2008-01-25 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Atlantic Engine Company #1 - RBVFD - From The 1902 Front Page
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S.Locke

The Rockaways had a volunteer fire department from 1886 to 1905, the latter year beginning the takeover by paid New York City firemen. Some of the dedicated volunteers became members of New York's Bravest, but were transferred to other city firehouses. Afew did come back later on.

Today's view is of the Atlantic Engine Company # 1 posing in front of the Atlantic Park Hotel, the Greater New York Stables and the Rigel General Food Store near Beach 75 Street on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The company, consisting of (l to r) Chief Engineer, John A. Carle; Assistant Chief, Henry L. R. Himmel; and firemen, Robert C. Kreuscher, James E. Snedicor, Geroge Closs, William Strinning, Bernard J. Fallon, William A. Barnes and Louis C. Ott...had just participated in a firemen's parade after a fire tournament here.

The Atlantic Engine's headquarters were located on the west side of Beach 86 Street, north of Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

The local jail cells were also located in the firehouse, and at times court was held there. The firehouse was built, on donated land, in the late 1890s and had a bell tower.

After the new firehouse was built on Beach 94 Street and the boulevard, the place became a community firemen's hall, where gala events and meetings were held.

Later the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church occupied the building, until a disastrous fire consumed it.

The congregation cleared the land, acquired more, and in the new century, opened a marvelously beautiful new house of worship on Beach 86 Street, once known as Grove Avenue.

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