Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island’

A long lost Narrows Ferry schedule to Brooklyn

May 20, 2011

In 1908, you had one transportation option if you were traveling between Staten Island and Bay Ridge—say to get to Coney Island or South Beach (Staten Island’s Coney-like amusement pier): the ferry.

This ferry schedule spells it all out for you. It was found stashed in Clinton Hill mansion all these years and is strangely well-preserved.

The ferry departs Brooklyn from Gelston’s Wharf in Fort Hamilton.

I don’t know if there still is a wharf known by that name, but the Gelston family settled here almost two centuries ago, reports a 1918 New York Times article:

“George S. Gelston came to Fort Hamilton in 1839 and bought the property on which was located the old Hamilton House, erected in 1750, and used during the Revolutionary War by both George Washington and Lord Howe as Headquarters.”

Today, Gelston Avenue in Bay Ridge looks like it may have at one time run down to the water.

A long-gone brewery in Staten Island

March 17, 2010

When you think of New York’s beer-brewing past, Bushwick—the once German neighborhood home to a dozen breweries in the 19th century—probably comes to mind. 

But Staten Island? Yep, the borough had a beer-making industry of its own, thanks to the fresh springs there.

One was the Rubsam & Horrmann Brewing Company, in the town of Stapleton (photo from the NYPL).

Was R&H beer-ale any good? I haven’t found anyone who recalls trying it.

But I did find some history. Launched in 1870 by two German immigrants, R&H switched to near-beer during prohibition before going back to the good stuff in the 1930s.

By 1953, R&H was bought out by the Piels company, which had its own brewery in East New York. Piels closed the R&H plant and the brand entirely a decade later.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is turning 45

March 10, 2009

Best known for its supporting role in Saturday Night Fever, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has been linking Brooklyn to Staten Island since November 1964. Below, a sketch of the bridge drawn before construction began:


Okay, so it doesn’t have the cache of the George Washington or Brooklyn Bridges. But the Verrazano can hold its own.


Until 1981 it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. One end is at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, the other at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island; these two forts are the historic guards of New York Harbor. And after the bridge was built, Staten Island’s population doubled.