On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 2

In Part 2 we look at how Staten Island’s brewers shrewdly utilized the island’s ferries and beach front… Historically, Sunday was an important day of relaxation, since it was the only day of rest for a working man, who was very often a poor man. After morning religious services many working Germans spent the remainder of their day at a local beer garden. As many as 50,000 were said to have left the “bustle and heat of the metropolis” on Sunday, July 23, 1871. Some went for trips to Coney Island; Keyport, New Jersey, or to Staten Island. Ferry boats were said to be full of “decently dressed and decently conducted mechanics and their wives and families.”[i] In 1879, a freight company known as the People’s Line was proposed in response to the...

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On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 1

On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons Part 1

I recently worked on a brief manuscript for musician Bob Wright regarding the Staten Island waterfront and how it was utilized by Staten Island’s brewery barons. For your interest I have split it into three blogs. Here is Part I of On the Waterfront with Staten Island’s Brewery Barons. All information was originally published in the book, Staten Island’s Brewery Barons. Please share your thoughts at the end of the blog. As always thank you! By 1889, a railroad bridge was operating between Old Place, Staten Island and Elizabethtown, New Jersey. It was the first bridge connecting Staten Island to another land mass and it was used mainly by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Another bridge connection would not be completed until 1928, when both the Goethal’s...

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The Good Life

March 26, 2016 was one of the best days of my life. Friends, family, and fellow historians joined me for the release of my new book “Staten Island’s Brewery Barons.” Approximately ninety people were in attendance to celebrate this three-year endeavor. Plus, we gathered at one of my favorite historic sites, the Noble Maritime Collection, an amazing museum and research center located at 1000 Richmond Terrace in Livingston, or as some call it, Snug Harbor. Musician Bob Wright began the afternoon with two wonderful tunes. The first was “Stapleton Beer,” a song he wrote about the demise of the Stapleton based Rubsam and Horrmann Atlantic Brewery in 1954, and the subsequent use of the brewery by Brooklyn based Piels. Acquired by Drewery Limited, Piels departed with a...

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Staten Island Histories—Now This is Exciting!!!

Lest you think the histories of Staten Island are reading solutions for insomniacs, try again… The information found in these publications will titillate all readers. Endless material on fascinating folks, events, and occurrences that will assist all researchers as well as those with a simple interest in island history can be found. One of the first volumes on island history was edited, not written by, but edited by Richard Bayles. Published in 1887, it was dubbed “History of Richmond County, (Staten Island) New York, From its Discovery to the Present Times.” In the introduction Mr. Bayles notes just who contributed to the book. They included some of my personal favorites including Dr. Nathaniel Lord Britton, Dr. Arthur Hollick, and William T. Davis. Governor...

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Celebrate Irish History Month!

Join us on Thursday, March 10 at 2:30 PM as we celebrate Irish History Month at the Center for the Arts of the College of Staten Island. A discussion on fascinating Staten Island Irish-American personalities and events will be included, as will traditional Irish music with Linda Hickman and Doug Barr. A presentation of Irish dance by Halle of the Forest Haven Center for Dance and Music will also be featured. Plus it is free thanks to the Pluralism and Diversity Program of the College of Staten Island. See you then! The College of Staten Island is located at 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, New York. Shuttle bus service from college parking lots is available. To use the campus bus please call Oncampus Transportation at 718-982-2000 ext. 3220 at least 24 hours...

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Remembering the Sisters May and Viola DeHart

By Patricia M. Salmon The ancient clapboard two-story house at 3344 Richmond Terrace was isolated. It existed at a desolate Mariners Harbor location. As the paint peeled off the old manse it fell quietly like a soft winter snow. The dreary green shutters were permanently sealed. If this was a Hollywood movie set, it was the perfect location for what was about to unfold. On February 16, 1946, firemen were in the midst of extinguishing a blaze in an empty lot when several children stumbled up to them crying hysterically. As best as the firemen could discern the youngsters had discovered two dead bodies in the old DeHart house. One of the children had gone to warn the elderly, spinster sisters that a brush fire was raging not far from their residence. When she...

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“Great-Aunt Mary, the Kreischers, and Me”

During the years that I worked at Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve in Charleston, Staten Island I became intrigued by the historical significance of the landscape in and around the park. Who wouldn’t? So much happened in the areas of Charleston and Rossville that I became mesmerized by its history. One aspect of its industrial past was the brickmaking industry that flourished. It was in 1854, that Balthazar Kreischer established a branch of his successful fire-brick making enterprise on the shore of the Arthur Kill River (along what is now Kreischer Street, behind The Tides of Charleston off Arthur Kill Road.) At this time Charleston, then known as Androvetteville owing to the numerous Androvettes who inhabited the area, held an abundant natural resource prized...

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