enter name and hit return
4 September 1876
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 OLD DAYS
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.
CONEY ISLAND --
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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