2003-06-06 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

A Blast From The Past - 1947
Historical Views of the Rockaways A Blast From The Past - 1947

Historical Views
of the Rockaways


Today’s Historical View was taken from a 1947 issue of Rockaway Review, a magazine published by the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways.

Shown is the old Holland Market on the northwest co rner of Beach 86 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Once known as Grove Avenue, Beach 86 Street was the leading street, with direct access to the Hammel’s freight yard of the Long Island Railroad.

The old railroad yard is now a city park next to the New York City Transit sub-station on the bay front north of Beach 82 Street and Beach Channel Drive.

The Holland Market was a competitor of Loeb and Mayer, Inc. – both suppliers of meat, poultry, and provisions, and independent butcher shops in the Rockaways.

Directly behind the market is the old Atlantic Engine #1 firehouse, now serving as the exempt Fireman’s Hall, operated by surviving members of the Rockaway’s Volunteer Fire fighters organization. Directly behind the Fireman’s Hall is Kreuschers’ Court of two-story attached houses. This was originally Houck’s Cottages built in 1903.

The old firehouse later became the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, which was destroyed by fire years ago. A new church is being built on the site at present, and when finished, it will add to the beauty of the wide Beach 86 Street. The Hammel Houses are on the other side, and many of us still remember Chubbuck’s Drugstore (1892-1952) on the opposite corner.

Mr. Jacob Rosenthal operated a meat market on the site from the early 1890’s to 1917. During the latter year, while on vacation in Mexico, Rosenthal was kidnapped and held for ransom by Pancho Villa and his gang of rebels. The ransom was paid, but Rosenthal was killed anyway.

In 1915, my grandfather, Mate Lucev, aka Mike Louis, was employed by Jacob Rosenthal as a teamster delivering meats and provisions. Grandpa borrowed five hundred dollars from his boss and went into the ice business. A horse (Tommy) and wagon was purchased, and in the following year Grandpa and his brother-in-law (Sam Ortulam) started delivering ice in Edgemere and Arverne.

It was a family business with a few close friends included. Yours truly was an iceman up until the early 1950’s, when household refrigerators put us out of work!

An upcoming Historical View will deal with ice and the icemen of the Rockaways!

In more modern times the site was occupied by Regan’s Milk Co., and then served as a bank, and is at present a convenience store.

Also today is an article from The Wave (circa. 1920’s) concerning a song written about Rockaway! We have the words, but no music! Help!


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