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2004-09-09 / Little Old Canarsie

Fishing Tackle — Always At Our Fingertips

Located at the end of Steamboat Creek was the above shop where “you could buy all the things you needed for the boats,” said Historian John Denton. Photo from the Ray Luck collection

At this story begins, it will show Little Old Canarsie in the year of 1915, when a creek ran along side the Murphy Merry-Go-Round, past Boegels Dance Hall, then Rigby’s Cabaret, then Schleliens and last Rose Victors, where families sat on the open porch to eat their own lunches and enjoy a delicious bowl of clam chowder.

John Denton This was known as Steamboat Creek, which was filled in about 1921 with sand pumped in with a dredge boat from a point (where the side road is at present) to go west on the Belt Parkway along this creek bed you now have the shopping center, with (what once was) the Seaview movies and all the various stores all along with the big wide Rockaway Parkway, from Seaview Ave. down to the Canarsie Peir, which came about in the early 1920’s.

At the end of the creek were all the boats, with the Marine Boat Shop of John Vorbeck who repaired the engines of all the boats when needed. At a distance was seen the Flagman shanty, where you were warned a train was coming in or out of the yard alongside the high-wire fence to get to the station at Canarsie Shore, which was located at what is now Schenck St.

It was always good to see a man who was very popular in those days loading up his horse and wagon with black mussels, which he called black-diamonds, and the next day, he would go all through the Flatlands and Flat-bush Streets selling for ten cents and 8 qt. Pail full. He was a hard working black man, Mr. Henry Simmons.

Alongside of where the train pulled in, was a building which housed a place you could buy all the things needed for boats, and especially sails, which boats were quite an attraction on the waters of Jamaica Bay, of which there were many sail boat races.

The sail maker was for many years located here. His name was Hodghson, who had a daughter who taught school in P.S.114, at Remsen Ave. & Glenwood Road, who was my teacher in one of the classes and later she married a popular Dr. on Glenwood Road, who I believe was Dr. Fedore L. Senger.

The trolley of the Wilson Ave line came down a hill from just where a gas station is at present on the N.W. corner down along what was a continuation of Rock-away Ave. (now known as St. Jude Place) and crossed the train tracks, along the big willow trees, past the white house, hotel and picnic grounds (now the home of St. Jude Church), then left past Grant’s Carousel and Toller Coaster and the Arcadia Inn and Giggs Schooner Houses, then Mother Vieths and Whitakers to turn around a circle just on the outside of Golden City Amusement Park to go back again all the way to Delancy St., N.Y. for a big nickel fare. Where the creek ended, was just about where Key Food is now and where the train went in the yard.

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