2003-07-11 / Community

Broad Channel To Celebrate Historical Day

Broad Channel To Celebrate Historical Day

For the past seven years, the Historical Committee of the Broad Channel Civic Association has been working tirelessly to compile an extensive collection of old photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, documents and written and oral histories of the community. The public is invited to enjoy browsing through the vast collection at the town’s annual Historical Day to be held Sunday, October 5, at the VFW Hall on Shad Creek Road.

More than 20 volumes of photographs and news clippings have been collected. Also on display that day will be objects such as newly acquired 1920s-era trophies from boat races held by the North Channel Yacht Club.

Not only is the public invited to look over the historical collection, but anyone with fond memories of Broad Channel, old photos or mementos is also invited to share those thoughts or items with the Historical Committee. The group is always on the look-out for more items to add to its archives.

Any photographs or documents donated will by copied and the original will be returned.

A large part of the Broad Channel collection is comprised of news clippings from The Wave that people have saved through the years. Since its first issue in 1893, The Wave has regularly reported on Broad Channel events. In 1932, The Wave started promoting a Broad Channel page exclusively devoted to events and advertising in the island community. Gertrude McAleese reported on Broad Channel news, sold ads in the neighborhood and edited the page.

During World War II, McAleese became the editor of a newsletter for servicemen that was mailed monthly to every Broad Channel resident in the armed services no matter where they were stationed. Called The Banner, the newsletter was such a success that it received national recognition.

After the war, business in Broad Channel began to boom, the town’s Chamber of Commerce became very active and the community’s Civic Association continued its long fight with the city government for services and land ownership. With all of the activity in town and the success of The Banner behind her, McAleese was asked by a prominent local businessman to edit Broad Channel’s own paper. For three years, The Broad Channel Record, which was printed by The Wave, became Broad Channel’s weekly newspaper. However, revenue from ads and the subscription price of five cents was not enough to make The Record a financial success.

The archives of the Broad Channel Historical Committee are possibly the only place clippings from The Record are preserved. Bits and pieces of Broad Channel’s history can be viewed on October 5th.


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