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FORT DECATUR circa 1812

Fort Decatur was a United States Army Blockhouse, located around Beach 137th Street, the first fort on the peninsula. During The War of 1812, the cannon was moved into position atop of the fort. Beach 137th Street was approximately the western tip of the peninsula at the time. This protected the New York Harbor from any invaders, particularly the British. The fort was dismantled after the war ended (1815).   Katie Lucev is the daughter of the late Rockaway Beach historian, Emil R. Lucev Sr. (1933-2018).

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PARK INN – 1915

  The Park Inn Hotel was located on Beach 115th Street. Fully furnished rooms were available during the warm weather seasons only. However, their restaurant-dance hall was open all year round. Not to be confused with the New Park Inn with its bathhouses that were up against the boardwalk and beach. On the back of the postcard, Raymond writes to a gal in Gray, Georgia, “Sorry for not writing sooner. I have been busy trying to land a Manager’s Position at this hotel. Please keep this a secret. I want to surprise my family and invite them when I have the job.”   Katie Lucev is the daughter of the...

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Breezy Point YMCA – 1924

An atlas of 1924 revealed that the Rockaway Point YMCA Chapel was located on the west side of Bedford Avenue, north of Market Street between Fire Department No.2 and the White Cross Hospital. It appears that a well-attended show has just let out for a photo opportunity and a Native American Chief is shown in the center of this photo.   Katie Lucev is the daughter of the late Rockaway Beach historian, Emil R. Lucev Sr. (1933-2018).

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SEASIDE’S 1ST DOCK 103RD ST – 1915

The first Seaside Dock was built in the late 1850s. After the Civil War (1861-65), it was greatly redesigned and improved to welcome larger steamboats to the peninsula. In later years, five more docks were built at Beaches 104th, 105th, 106th, 108th and 116th streets. Boating traffic successfully increased to the Rockaways. Here we see the Grand Republic Steamer at the Seaside Dock. Today you would be looking northeast from the corner of the sewage plant over Beach Channel Drive towards Beach Channel High School.   Katie Lucev is the daughter of the late Rockaway Beach historian, Emil R. Lucev...

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HOW NY IRISH CHANGED TRAFFIC LAWS – 1925

The City of Syracuse, New York installed a traffic signal at the main intersection of Tompkins Street and Milton Avenue in 1925. Irish families had settled on Tipperary Hill for almost 100 years previous, but the deep-rooted, politically-fueled resentment that many Irish felt toward Britain hadn’t faded a bit. The idea that a red light appeared above the green on the traffic signal was interpreted by many in the neighborhood to mean that Britain (red) was in some way superior to Ireland (green). Neighborhood pride rallied immediately and the red light of the traffic signal was knocked out by...

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116TH STREET – 1944

Looking “Majestic” with no parking island in the middle. This infrastructure has changed many times in the last century. This is how it looked BEST! Today’s view is from the boulevard looking north towards the bay.  Katie Lucev is the daughter of the late Rockaway Beach historian, Emil R. Lucev Sr. (1933-2018).

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LOUIS HAMMEL’S HOTEL 1906

The Louis Hammel’s Hotel on Beach 85th Street started out as shown here. It was enlarged a few times, then finally became an L-shaped building that was two stories higher with the top as a mansard-type roof. A small shed was the first house of the Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire Department, storing a ladder and bucket wagon pulled by manpower to a fire.  Katie Lucev is the daughter of the late Rockaway Beach Historian, Emil R. Lucev Sr. (1933-2018).

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WRONG-WAY CORRIGAN – 1938

At the age of 31, Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field on July 17, 1938 in a modified Curtiss Robin plane.  His survival supplies were limited with two chocolate candy bars, two boxes of fig bars, a quart of water and a map of the U.S. with a route from New York to California clearly marked out. He spent many years trying to get permission to fly to Ireland, without success. The government told him an ocean crossing flight was “out of the question.” Finally, he was awarded consent to fly from NY to California. His departure day was a foggy morning. Corrigan flew into...

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