2004-06-04 / Community

1908 Document Places Belle Harbor At Beach 124 Street

By Howard Schwach

1908 Document Places Belle Harbor At Beach 124 Street


By Howard Schwach

Sometime in 1908, G. Cornell filed specifications for the construction of a frame dwelling on Montauk Avenue, which is now Beach 124 Street.

"This house to be located at Belle Harbor, Long Island, on Montauk Avenue, 200’ 0" North of Newport Avenue," the specification says.

The architect for the project was Wm. R. Rothchild, who was located at 52 Fourth Avenue, Rockaway Park, Long Island. Fourth Avenue is now Beach 115 Street.

Frances Cornell, G. Cornell’s daughter, brought us the specification to prove to us that we were wrong about Belle Harbor beginning on Beach 126 Street. She says that it actually begins on Beach 124 Street, but that the gate denoting the beginning of the community was placed on Beach 126 Street because that was the first street that was Belle Harbor from the ocean to the bay.

Cornell drew The Wave a small map that showed that the area that was considered to be Belle Harbor on Beach 124 Street and Beach 125 Street ran only from the bay to Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which was then called Washington Avenue.

The beach block on those two streets was still considered to be Rockaway Park.

"Only at Beach 126 did Belle Harbor stretch from the ocean to the bay," Cornell told the Wave.

Cornell’s family was the founding family in Rockaway. There is a family cemetery in Far Rockaway that includes many residents from the Revolutionary War and beyond.

Her family is also the founding family of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.


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