Ocean Parkway’s last 19th century mile marker

South of Avenue P on Brooklyn’s lovely, leafy Ocean Parkway is a foot-high rectangle of granite sticking out of the ground, with a mysterious “3M” etched into its traffic-facing side.

This curious artifact is Ocean Parkway’s last remaining mile marker.

Before the 20th century, mile markers dotted major roads, letting coachmen and riders know how many miles they had traveled—and how many more they needed to go.

This mile marker was likely one of 11 placed at every half-mile from the Prospect Park Circle to Ocean Parkway’s end at Coney Island.

It probably dates back to the 1870s, when Ocean Parkway, inspired by the great boulevards of Paris and Berlin, was built.

Sheepshead Bites has more on the history of the mile marker—as well as the mysterious disappearance of another back in June.

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5 Responses to “Ocean Parkway’s last 19th century mile marker”

  1. petey Says:

    i was reading along and thought ‘i hope nobody takes it’ – when i see at the end that someone took another one! they should cement it into the ground right quick.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    It should be blocked behind a small fence. This is Brooklyn history!

  3. Gary Says:

    In the 70’s when I was a teenager I fantasized about digging up one of the markers (there were more of them and yes, I had little social life) then I realized: what would I do with one once I had one? So I left them alone and in 1977 when OP was rebuilt, the city had most of them removed.

  4. A colonial-era relic outside an uptown mansion | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] far as I know, there’s only one other mile marker left in the ground—this beauty on Ocean Parkway south of Avenue P in Brooklyn. I hope it’s still […]

  5. The only colonial-era mile marker remaining on a Manhattan Street | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] (Or at least it was several years back.) A stub of granite with the number 3 carved into it is on Ocean Parkway and Avenue P. That’s 3 as in three miles to Prospect Park, where Ocean Parkway […]

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