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Gerritsen Beach's Holmes Family

Virginia Holmes's grandfather, John Frances Nash, and great-grandfather, William Nash, bred and trained horses to run at the Sheepshead Bay racetrack, which opened in 1880. Her other grandfather, Herbert Holmes, and his sons owned and operated the Suburban Bus Company, later known as the Kings Coach Company, which in 1921 was contacted to carry the residents of Gerritsen Beach to and from the Brighton Avenue U subway station.

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Ginny Holmes & Ruth Meyers, early 1940s

In 1922, Herbert Holmes purchased land in the Old Section at 67-71 Gerritsen Avenue to build a bus barn, office, and home. He also bought parcels of land in the New Section, where P.S. 194 was later built. The Holmes family built the Graham Theater in 1927. When talking pictures came, Holmes donated the Graham's piano to St. James Lutheran Church. He died two years later of complications from a beam falling on him during the Graham's construction.

Ginny's father, Roland Earnest Holmes, was born in Leads, England, in 1901; her mother, Lillian Frances Nash, was born in Brooklyn in 1907. In 1920, Lillian Nash's mother Carrie and her daughters bought a lot for a summer home at 19 Hyman Court for $200. In 1923, she organized the Camp Fire Girls and St. James Community Theater. Roland and Lillian married in 1927. In 1928, Roland received his pilot's license and purchased his first airplane, The Ginny Mae. In the same year, Roland and Lillian Holmes bought a house and two lots at 50 Florence Avenue for $4049. In 1930, Roland bought a new Aristocrat airplane (it had a cabin and top wing) and housed it at the new Floyd Bennett Field Airport. It was also called The Ginny Mae.

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Girl Scout Day Camp, 1939, Troop 84. Left of flag, front row: Vera Ianniello, Roland Holmes. Behind them, Ginny Holmes, Stella (Cangley) Witkowski. Also in back row, with bandanna on her head, Mrs. Witkowski, then Mrs. Ianniello. To her right, ?, then Mrs. Holmes (second from right in back row).





In 1931, the Brooklyn Bus Company successfully took over the Holmes family bus line in Gerritsen Beach. The Holmes family returned to Gerritsen Beach in 1939 after spending a few years in another part of New York. Lillian then started the first Girl Scout Camp in New York City. In 1940, she organized the St. James Drill Team and All Girls Marching Band. She was also an air raid warden during World War II. Lillian Nash's sister Ruth was a major in the U.S. Army Corps, serving in Iceland and Europe.