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Brooklyn Union
4 September 1876
                                BARREN ISLAND
                 Its odors and its industries--possible improvements
      Barren Island in no sence is an attractive resort.It is a place of 
swamps, some hills, fertilizing factories, and bad odors. And yet Barren 
Island has its possibilities. It is not beyond redemption. There is room and 
verge enough for improvement, a hundred thousand, or say half a million of 
dollars judiciously expanded upon it and it might be Made an "Ocean Park"
Barren Island extends  in Jamaica Bay about 3 miles, and its average width is 
half a mile. It early attracted the attention of the "first settlers." 
Companies at an early day were organized for the purpose of making sea-salt 
on it. These, although repeated trials had been made, proved disastrous failures.

       When the white man first disturbed the Canarsie Indians he found that 
this outlying island, as well as one or two others of lesser magnitude in the 
Bay, were thin salt depots. An OPDYCK  coveted possession of the island, and 
one of the Royal GEORGES presented it to him. It is said the patent is yet in 
existence, although possession of the island has long since passed out of the 
OPDYCK family.There are traditions about this island of the Captain KIDD 
order. In one of its many sandhills or sinks it is said the old pirate buried 
his ill-gotten-booty. If he did he was foolish. There is scarcely  a decade 
that, through storm and wind, the configuration of the shore and even 
interior divisions of it, is not more or less changed. And so if he buried 
his treasure and trusted to "landmarks" by which to approach and exhume it 
after an absence of 5 or 10 years, the chances were that he would not know 
where to look for it. Some years ago the island was pretty thoroughly 
searched for the pirate's wealth, but of course, without result. 
     The streets of New York are cleared of dead animals every day and 
all utilized. Four thousand tons of bone and scrape manure are sold annually 
to the farmers, principally of Long Island; and one thousand tierces of 
grease are sent into the market. Besides these are the bones not ground up 
for the enrichment of the soil. They are manufactured into buttons, 
knife-handles, and other useful things. The hides of the dogs and horses are 
sold to the tanners, and the hair of the equines--from mane and tail --are 
also made articles of merchandise, as also are the shoes and the hoofs. In 
fact there is not part of the animal that is wasted.

	About one thousand dogs are killed annually and made into manure on the island. 
In the summer season it would surprise a stranger to see the loads of eggs that 
are sent to the island to be used up in some way for the benefit of society. 
There are shipped weekly from the slaughter houses nearly 4 hundred tierces of offal. 
When the refuse animal matter is received at the island it is immediately 
prepared for the tanks, into which it is put 6 o'clock of the same day. The 
flesh of the dead animals costs about 3 cents per pound to gather and land on 
the island, and a carcase weighs from 1,200 to 1,400 pounds.The manure 
prepared for farmers is sold mostly on Long Island in its dry state and to 
New Jersey in its wet condition. The grease if obtained by steam. It commands 
a ready market.

There has been considerable complaint during the summer of the 
garbage of the cities of New York and Brooklyn  being thrown into the Bay and 
on Coney Island shore. In this way a fortune is lost yearly. SWIFT & WHITE 
say that they could utilitze this garbage. But the present contractors are 
forces to throw it away for the reason that their contract is of too short 
duration to warrent them in buying land and putting up works. Before the days 
of OLIVER CHARLICK SWIFT and his associates, it appears, had it their own way. 

                      A NEW ROUTE TO ROCKAWAY BEACH
A number of gentlemen are discussing the possibilites of a new, more direct 
and expediuous route, by rail and ferry, to Rockaway Beach. The proposition 
is, to lay a double track from Flatbush Billage, connecting with the Flatbush 
aand  Brooklyn railroad, to Sand Bay --a narrow inlet which divides Flatlands 
and Barren Island. The inlet is to be spanned by a bridge, and the road 
thence continued to the easterly side of the island, where a ferry will be 
established, its boat to convey passengers and trains to the beach. This will 
be the most direct route to Rockaway from Brooklyn. By it a person, it is 
thought, may be enabled to reach the beach in 45 minutes from the City Hall. 
it is contemplated having the route survayed some time this autumn. The only 
drawback on it will be the stenches which passengers while crossing the 
island may encounter.  

The End

      It seems fitting in this Centennial year that the American prople 
should not only make vigilant search for the family heirlooms and history of 
a hundred years ago, and present their findings to the world, but they have 
reasonable excuse for pausing at the intermediate landmarks. As figures are 
immutable there can be no elasticity to a century. The figures are unyielding 
as Plymonth Rock itself, but there is many an American city whose growth and 
present position exceed 500 years of the large cities in the Old World. 
Twenty Five years of Brooklyn since, say 1850 is more to her in all material 
points of prosperity than the first hundred of her own life dating from the 
erection of the Cortelyon  mansion near the corner of 3rd. street and 5th 
avenue, in 1699. Our local history has benn made with the greatest rapidity 
and the ?????????? substancial work, coating less than half a million of 

     Brooklyn Heights, called by the Indians " ICH-PA-TON-GA," was in the 
earlier days of the century quite a resort for private walks and talks, but 
at a later date amusements crept in. The city editor of the News and Times, 
published in 1841, bewails the good old days when one could walk on the 
Heights of an evening without having his placid thoughts disturbed by the 
untimely salutation of some friend. The Collanade Garden as a place of 
theatrical entertainment  was already established , its situation being 
described as " highly picturesque, overlooking the Bay, the city of New York, 
the islands in the vicinity, and the Jersey shore." The Military Garden, at 
the corner of Joralemon and Fulton streets, was also a very popular place of resort.

the indians long ago called it " NARRIOCK" 
Neither Rockaway nor Coney Island pertain directly to Brooklyn, but a 
digression is made perusal. Prime's "History of Long Island," published 
thirty-one years ago, says that Coney Island was formally called Conyne  or 
Conynen, and connected with the main land with a toll-bridge. The western end 
of the island is supposed to be the spot where JOHN COLEMAN, one of SIR HENRY 
HUDSON'S men, was buried, which gave it the name of  Coleman's Point. MR. 
PRIME  discribes the island (1844) as having become " a place of great resort 
in a hot season  for the luxury of sea-bathing and the enjoyment of ocean 
air." Coney Island has been a favorite resort with many of the theatrical 
people for years. Mention is made in the Daily News and Tmes of 35 years ago 
this month that FANNY ELLSLER, the famous dancer, was spending a few days at 
the Cropsey's Hotel on Coney Island. The News had expressed  at different 
times much disgust at the attentions bestowed upon the woman, and the almost 
royal manner with which they exacted, and the reference to her being at Coney 
Island is made the occasion to tell a story of how she was not remitted to 
"run" the hotel to suit her convience, but had to concede something to other guests.

In 1843, had 200 acres of ground only, and was very far from being a place of 
easy access. It had not become popular as a place of interment. Its natural 
attactions were then as now of the finest, but between the city and the point 
there lay vast acres of salt marsh and poor country roads. The horse cars 
were unthought of, and the stages were creations of fancy. The topography of 
the place must have been changed very materially in places, as well as the 
nomenclature of its throughfares since that date. History tells us of a 
winding for carriages leading from the gate at the entrance to the  highest 
eminence, called Mount Washington, " a distance of many miles," with every 
varity of scenery and a lake of four or five acres. 

     The County Jail, located about 1840 on the south side of Fort Greene, 
cost about $100,00 and at one time the County Courts and the court of Oyster 
and Terminer were held there. 
      The first bank established in this city was the Long Island Bank, 
incorporated April 1, 1824, with a capital of $300,000. The money and real 
estate of Brooklyn had at last accumlated from small beginnings to an extant 
that made such a project  feasible and successful. In 1706 the real and 
personal estate of "this town" was assessed at 312 pounds and the taxes 
amounted to 41 pounds. In the year 1824 the assessed valuation was over 
$2,600,000, aand the taxes less than $7,000. When the city was incorporated, 
the real and personal estate of its citzens had reached an assessed valuation of $15,612.9.

Transcribed by Anna Heller-Campbell
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