Flirtation Walk

The lower pathway from Kosciusko’s Garden leads the visitor on a delightful walk to Gee’s Point. (image courtesy of USMA Library’s Special Collection and Archives Department)

The lower pathway from Kosciusko’s Garden leads the visitor on a delightful walk to Gee’s Point. (image courtesy of USMA Library’s Special Collection and Archives Department)

Order No. 32 of the Academic Regulations, dated May 6, 1843, extended the prescribed geographic limits for cadets “to include the new walk commencing near the flag staff, thence descending in the rear of the chain battery, by Gee’s Point thru Kosciusko’s Garden and joining the road to the Hospital opposite the south end of the Academy Building.  The Superintendent hopes he may not have occasion to withdraw this indulgence in consequence of any improprieties – and that all will exert themselves to secure this recreation to the Corps by effectually arresting any attempt to evade the regulation of the Academy.”

In the 1840’s this pathway was referred to as the ”hanging walk” to Kosciusko’s Garden, a pleasant place for strolling and dreaming and chatting about furlough plans. Perhaps a more appropriate name was “Chain Battery Walk,” for it led down to the site of the old battery guarding the chain which stretched across the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. To cadets, whose exclusive preserve it was, the area became known as Flirtation Walk, a place of relative privacy on a crowded post.

In 1934 a commercial film entitled Flirtation Walk was released. It starred Dick Powell as a soldier in love with a general’s daughter, played by Ruby Keeler.  You can check out a copy of this film from the Library’s media collection and read more about this film and others regarding West Point here.

Contents contributed by Alicia Mauldin Ware, Archives Curator.