Title Fight: Louis Heineman vs. William Beard

By The Red Hook WaterStories team “No man ever, perhaps, got so much the best of old Beard as did Louis Heineman, the housemover of the Twelfth ward.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 19, 1891) When Louis Heineman died in 1904, he was reportedly 104 years old, and likely the oldest man in Red Hook […]

“Tug Talk: Mariners’ Names for Red Hook” by The Red Hook WaterStories Team

Tug captains use landmarks (points on land visible from the water) to tell other mariners and the Coast Guard VTS (Vessel Traffic Service – the harbor equivalent of air traffic controllers) where they are.  This is not always as straightforward as it sounds, but it is proof that maritime history lives on. A typical radio […]

Shaft Alley Saloon by The Red Hook WaterStories Team

“We have mostly men here – very few women.  No unattached women permitted at the bar. That’s a simple way of preventing trouble.” One of the best known watering holes in Red Hook was the Shaft Alley saloon. Fortune magazine, in a 1937 essay about the New York Waterfront, said” You won’t find enlisted men over on […]

Brooklyn Spar Company By The Red Hook WaterStories Team

In 1921, the Brooklyn Spar Company advertised in The Marine Journal that it sold wooden masts and posts for derricks and flag poles, which the company made at its waterfront facility at the foot of Columbia Street. In O.R. Pilat’s 1929 article, John J. Murphy, a 40-year veteran of the Brooklyn spar business, said that during World War […]

Tug Talk: Mariners’ Names for Red Hook

By The Red Hook WaterStories team Tug captains use landmarks (points on land visible from the water) to tell other mariners and the Coast Guard VTS (Vessel Traffic Service – the harbor equivalent of air traffic controllers) where they are.  This is not always as straightforward as it sounds, but it is proof that maritime […]

Another Chance – The Paul Robeson Theatre by Darlene Miller

I was so happy to learn recently that the Paul Robeson Theatre will hopefully be getting another chance to shine!  The 153 year old church-turned-theater nestled in the rich community of Fort Greene, Brooklyn has been approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission to be restored. I have been asking myself why hasn’t anyone (or group) […]

Overspreading on transit seats ca. 1850. Contentions on the Hamilton Avenue Ferry

By The Red Hook WaterStories team All was not peaceful on the new Hamilton Avenue Ferry.  People, particularly in the evening, were sprawling out across the benches, and extra deckhands were hired to keep the order. One of the directors suggested adding dividing armrests, but the Chief Engineer feared they would provoke ridicule. Overspreading to […]

Red Hook History: Bars and Restaurants in the 1880s by Maryam Daghmoumi

The idea behind this Red Hook history blog is to get a snap shot view of the restaurants and bars in Red Hook, Brooklyn in the late 1800s according to the research done by Maggie Blanck. First I feel compelled to mention that there were 10 restaurants listed in the 1883 directory and 16 listed […]

Forgotten NY Tour of Sunset Park Sunday.

Sunset Park is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that has quite a buzz behind it right now.  It’s still relatively affordable and many have claimed that it’s going to be the next Williamsburg.  It’s definitely been marked as one of the up-and-coming hoods of this already very hip borough. It also has a very rich history. […]

Exploring Glass Bottle Beach by Arthur Mallet

In the dog days of summer, New Yorkers like to take advantage of the local beaches: Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and the Rockaways.  There’s one beach, however, that offers a unique attraction: Glass Bottle Beach and it’s vast treasures. Located in Dead Horse Bay across from Floyd Bennett Field, Glass Bottle Beach lives up to […]