BEAR ATTACK SITE

Program
Legends & Lore®
Subject
Folklore
Location
37-01 Bowne Street, Flushing, NY
Lat/Long
40.762923, -73.825285
Grant Recipient
The Bowne House Historical Society
Historic Marker

BEAR ATTACK SITE

Inscription

BEAR ATTACK SITE
IN 1670 “LAME” THOMAS BOWNE
FATHER OF JOHN BOWNE
CHOKED ATTACKING BEAR BY
SHOVING CRUTCH DOWN ITS
THROAT. BEAR WAS KILLED.
NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY
WILLIAM G. POMEROY FOUNDATION 2017

During the 17th century, the area of Queens was sparsely populated and had lots of surrounding forest unfamiliar to the newly arrived English. In 1657, one of these new residents, John Bowne, settled in Flushing, Queens. With him, he brought his father Thomas and sister, Dorothy. Thomas walked with a cane, likely due to an injury he received during the English civil wars. Legend has it that in 1670, a bear attacked Thomas while he was walking near their home. He fended off the attack, killing the bear using his crutch, which is now in the collections of the Bowne House.