2006-11-24 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Non-Existents...Exist!!
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

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

Whoever said that patience was a virtue knew what he was talking about" is what I have always believed! At every postcard meeting, show, or international bourse over the last two decades, yours truly has been looking through all the dusty boxes of dealers and collectors that bring their wares to sell, to see what they forgot they had, or thought they would never get rid of. Many dealers have stock that is not divided into separate categories or specific locations, but just thrown into a box, for example- New York State or Ocean Views or Animals- as such.

If you have the patience to let your fingers do the walking, at times you luck out! Such has happened lately, and I now have two very rare antique stereopticon views of the Rockaways.

The most recent appears today in Historical Views . It was produced in 1903 by T.W. Ingersoll, and appears to have been colored by hand, and very nicely done.

The other rare find is a black and white view of the Seaside Ocean Pier made of iron, before storms shortened the 1,080 foot pier to little more than half that length. The photographs on the stereopticon card have been dated back to the year 1888 (plus or minus a day or two) when the iron pier was finished, finally, after eight years of cash flow, litigation and legal ownership problems. Bad storms tore the hell out of the pier and its pavilions of all kinds, and the leftovers were torn out by the city when the boardwalk was built in the mid to late 1920s.

In the late 1890s a counterfeiter by the name of Brockway was reported to have buried his paraphernalia somewhere on Beach Avenue, or as it is today, Beach 110 Street- in the sand! Knock yourself out!!

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