1830s Gotham in Lower Manhattan: From Moving Day to The Great Fire of 1835

Dramatic events from 19th-century New York come to life on this unique tour

While New York is a city continually changing and evolving in almost every aspect, it’s hard to top the upheaval of the 1830s. Between the worst fire in New York City history to absolute pandemonium surrounding Moving Day — when all NYC leases expired on the exact same day — it was truly one of the city’s wildest periods. It’s time to hit the streets and uncover the stories and remnants of 1830s New York like never before.

Join Bowery Boys Walks for an exploration of lower Manhattan and the notable sights and scandals of 1830s New York, with a close look at 1835 and how a single year forever changed New York City in big ways.

Upcoming Dates:
Sunday, May 12th at 2 pm
Saturday, June 8th at 12 pm

Book online now!

Led by James Scully — NYC tour guide and director / co-creator of the award-winning historical audio fiction soap opera, Burning Gotham — our unique experience will include:

  • An overview of New York City in the 1830s and why this period of social, political, and geographical upheaval is so underserved
  • A trip to important landmarks in the neighborhood dating back to the 1830s including Fraunces Tavern, Bowling Green, Stone Street, and South Street Seaport
  • Some of the big news stories that were the talk of the town, including why the United States was on the verge of war with France, the lack of clean running water in New York, and NYC’s Penny Papers orchestration of the greatest hoax of the 19th century
  • A visit to one of Manhattan’s most historic chapels, along with the site where John Jacob Astor built the City’s largest hotel in 1836
  • The full scoop surrounding the Great Fire (December 16, 1835), the worst fire in New York City history, which destroyed everything in Manhattan’s chief merchant district (and caused the modern equivalent of $500 million in damage) — while an investigation ensued, no public blame was ever assigned

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The Tour
The tour lasts about 90 minutes. It starts on the steps of the stunning Alexander Hamilton Custom House right next to Bowling Green.


Walking Tour:
Cost: $40

Book online now!

Please contact us to set up a private tour!


Walking Tour: Around 90 minutes (we will send the meeting place when you sign up)


This tour is best suited for precocious teens and older

Your Guide:

James Scully is a native New Yorker who grew up in a home with three generations of family. He’s a graduate of Xavier High School in Manhattan, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and has worked in media for companies such as Condé Nast and Hearst. James is behind Breaking Walls the docu-podcast on the history of American network radio broadcasting. He’s directed, post-produced, adapted, and acted in scripted audio fiction productions like the 2022 Tribeca Selection, Burning Gotham, and is an actor in the Fireside Mystery Theatre troupe. He’s also a member of the Salmagundi Club member and The Podcast Academy’s Education and Outreach subcommittee.

Prep for 1830s New York Walking Tour by listening to Bowery Boys episode: “The City in Flames: The Great Fire of 1835″ and “Burning Gotham” by James Scully.