2006-07-14 / Columnists

Central Avenue In Far Rockaway, Queens- 1925

From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Our cameraman of the past has set his camera up on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, probably on an early Sunday morning, when there would be less people on the streets. He pointed the camera south towards the beach a little north of Cornaga Avenue and caught the following on film in 1925.

The trolley track to the beach at Beach 19 Street passed the Far Rockaway Bank on the left, the old Mullen & Buckley House Furnishing establishment, which was now the location of a restaurant, an electric shop, a bowling alley, and a billiard parlor. Next was the Strand Theatre with a dancehall upstairs, and this was followed by a row of stores down to old St. Mary's Church (the square tower in the background at New Haven Avenue). At this avenue the old trolley line turned to Beach 19 Street for the run to the beach at South Street (now Seagirt Boulevard). The trolleys were discontinued in 1928.

On the right is Dunlop's Sporting Goods Store, which is best remembered as Morty's Army & Navy Store in the 1950s, where a pair of Levi's cost $5.09. Dunlop's is followed by a bakery, a drugstore, a barbershop and bath, and a dry goods store towards New Haven Avenue.

When the trolley tracks were removed in later years and Central Avenue paved for the first time, someone forgot to remove the railroad ties. When the fill settled between the ties and the paving sank a little, automobile drivers complained of the annoying washboard effect that was caused by this settling between the buried railroad ties. Relief was a long time coming. In the mid-1850s, Central Avenue was called Catherine Street, named after the wife of James Finucan. Both were pioneers in Far Rockaway.

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