2007-07-20 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Somerville Park/Arverne Boardwalk Promotion… 1913
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S.Locke

In the years before "the war to end all wars," the Somerville Park Development in northern Arverne took advantage of the Arverne boardwalk by promoting it on one of the many postcards published by the Somerville Realty Company.

Courtesy: The Russell Family Courtesy: The Russell Family Today's View of the ocean promenade at Arverne, built in 1901, shows years of development in drugstores, restaurants, tailor and dress shops, baths, a bowling alley, an emporium and an airdrome theater that showed the latest vitagraph movies accompanied by sound recordings. The pictures and songs were changed daily.

On the right in the background is the Arverne Pier Theatre, which was on a par with a New York theater holding big shows, silent motion pictures and gala events. In 1914, it was washed away by a storm and never rebuilt.

The card mentions the Arverne boardwalk was only two blocks from Somerville Park in Arverne, Long Island.

Lowe's Drugstore (Old Chubbuck's) still featured a lending library, such as the ones in the Tabard Inn, Freon and Calumet, with stations located within many other stores in the Rockaways. One could rent a book at one store, return it to another and exchange it for a few pennies.

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