Red Hook Building Company

By The Red Hook WaterStories In 1838, a proposal was printed and addressed to the newly formed board of the Red Hook Building Company.  It was aimed at getting more support for the publicly owned real estate development concern whose goal was to develop all of Red Hook.  It promised that by developing the area, […]

Erie Basin: The Photography of Jenny Young Chandler, 1890-1915

By The Red Hook WaterStories team Newly married and recently widowed in 1890, Jennie Chandler Young began working as a photojournalist to support herself and her two-month old son. Using the moniker “Brooklyn Girl,” she worked until 1915 for the New York Herald as a gifted photojournalist and feature writer. She also wrote and illustrated articles for […]

PS GENERAL SLOCUM – Disaster and Memory

By The Red Hook WaterStories team Red Hook has many famous ships associated with it. The GENERAL SLOCUM is probably famous for the saddest reasons of them all. The GENERAL SLOCUM ended service as a sinking fireball June 15, 1904, killing over 1,000, most of them women and children. 1,300 were aboard. That made the […]

Red Hook Flats has Hermit on Mystery Ship, 1931

By The Red Hook WaterStories team The junkboat skipper lowered his voice, though no one could be seen on the Smith’s deck. “There’s some one aboard,” he said.  “He never goes ashore.  How he lives there all alone is beyond me.” Month after month a three-mastered schooner was seen anchored off-shore in the Red Hook […]

The Mary A. Whalen By The Red Hook WaterStories team

The MARY A. WHALEN is an early example of lap welding – the transition between riveting and the butt welding of today. She is also a rare surviving example of a bell boat. The oil tanker MARY A. WHALEN was launched May 21, 1938.  The ship is PortSide NewYork’s ambassador to the BLUEspace and site of our offices and many […]

Cowhey Marine Hardware, c. 1862 – 2006 by The Red Hook WaterStories Team

Cowhey Marine Hardware operated in Red Hook for about 150 years. The rump remains of the business was at 440 Van Brunt Street, the northwest corner of Van Brunt and Beard Street, and closed in 2005. Cowhey donated their final inventory to PortSide NewYork who has kept sample selections of their marine hardware and their 1941 […]

“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 […]