The Indians called it Aquahung. Settlers named it after Jonas Bronck, the earliest European farmer along the East River shore of the mainland: it was "Bronck's River." Beginning in Westchester County, near Kensico Reservoir, it winds fifteen miles southward to the base of Hunt's Point, where it enters the East River. Along the way, it cuts through Bronx Park in the dramatic gorge of the New York Botanical Garden, and touches Williamsbridge, West Farms, Soundview, and other Bronx communities. It is the major geographical divider of the borough, the boundary between the hilly areas and the eastern coastal plain, the border between the wards of "North New York" on the Harlem side, annexed in 1874 and given an urban infrastructure, and the much-later-developing sections of lower Westchester. The importance of the river even seems to show up in our borough's name. Why do we add a definite article - that is, call it "the Borough of THE Bronx" rather than "the Borough of Bronx" (Compare "the Borough of Brooklyn," for instance.) Some experts think it's because the name really denotes "the borough of the Bronx River."

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