When Peter Stuyvesant first came to New Amsterdam in 1647, he brought with him a sapling pear tree from Holland. He planted it at what is now the northeast corner of 13th Street and Third Ave., not far from his farmhouse. It grew tall, and yielded much spicy fruit. In the nineteenth century, the pear tree was considered the oldest thing in NYC and was a revered landmark. Unfortunately, in February 1867, the tree was hit and felled in a carriage accident. In 2003, a replacement pear tree was planted. A bronze plaque on the corner building commemorates the original tree's location at what is also known as "Pear Tree Corner."
(Illustration looking north up Third Ave. From "The Wilderness to the Sea," by Benson J. Lossing. NY: Virtue and Yorston, 1866.)