I remember that we burned coal to heat the house in Gerritsen Beach up until 1957. I also remember when the Brooklyn Borough Gas Company converted all the houses from manufactured gas to natural gas for cooking. Every stove had to have parts changed in it.

I haven't thought this much about Gerritsen Beach in a very long time. There is a good feeling about it. However I am a realist and when people start talking about the good old days of the 50's I'm quick to remind them we also had Joseph McCarthy and Polio!

--Richard J.

Your links talk about 3? racetracks , I think the one one near PS194 must have been another.sheepshead.jpg (10001 bytes)

One of the links led to a 1939 WPA blurb about a community living at what must have been in our time the Floyd Bennet seaplane ramp (the current intersection of the Marine Park Bridge, Flatbush Ave, and Floyd Bennet Field) . They were called a community of "house wreckers," many of whom had worked at a fertilizer factory at Dead Horse Bay. We used to keep a sailboat there. Wonder how the "house wreckers" got to work, and where in that area the house wrecking business was flourishing? WW II probably displaced the "house wreckers." In the 50's the place where they had lived was now Coast Guard Barracks and a seaplane ramp.

When the Belt Parkway and the greater Marine Park was designated there were a number of houses (squatters?) all along the shoreline. Robert Moses was the Czar for getting everything done in NY. The story was that he hired some thugs (the house wreckers?) to destroy these homes before they established "squatters rights". The remains of these houses are often still visible all along the shoreline. The Roberts across the street were supposedly among  the original squatters.

Do you remember "Old Pop"? Mom used to take us for walks along Knapp St; you may have been very small. We used to visit a very old man who was the caretaker to one of the old barges that were used to offload fish. Roughly across from the canal. Later he was living on a little barge stuck on the shore a little further south. There was a little Italian? community between Schatz Bros and the Belt Parkway east of Knapp St. There was a funny loop to the Knapp St Parkway exit that seemed like a mistake, It was south of the parkway, east of Knapp. Think it became the site of a motel and later a senior citizens home. In 1940? this spot was just a depression surrounded by a road that had no purpose. I think "Old Pop" had to move, somebody must have had pity on him--they moved the barge from the shoreline into that depression. Don't know the end of the story. Mom's recollection was that he had worked on tugboats etc. in the NY area all his life.

 


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