2008-07-18 / Community

A Broad History For Broad Channel

Peek Into The Rich Past Of Island Community
A Wave Review By Christine Cea

This image highlights the LIRR train platform on which the Delevan House was found on the southern end. The Delevan House was a two-story hotel. Men topped with fedoras, and women in long dresses, every aspect of this photo is in sync with its date, 1918. This image highlights the LIRR train platform on which the Delevan House was found on the southern end. The Delevan House was a two-story hotel. Men topped with fedoras, and women in long dresses, every aspect of this photo is in sync with its date, 1918. Broad Channel now has a new claim to fame, thanks to a new Images of America: Broad Channel book that highlights the rich history of that community.

Written by locals, Dan Guarino (writer for Rockaway Artist's Alliance) and his wife Liz Guarino (Wave columnist) the book uses hundreds of pictures to illustrate the exciting past of this nearby location.

"Even long-time residents of the area will be surprised and delighted to see pictures of early hotels and dance halls, huge waterfront restaurants, night clubs, and the old outdoor movie theater in Broad Channel," the press release for the book raves.

But within the covers of the book lies much more.

The book will appeal to those with a variety of interests, as it is divided into numerous sections. The opening pictures show the very beginning of Broad Channel, with a picture of the first child born there, as well as images of the formerly unpaved streets that we now drive over everyday.

Shown here is the St. Virgilius Class of 1962, overflowing with students. Shown here is the St. Virgilius Class of 1962, overflowing with students. There is an entire section on Mardi Gras, showing the amazing patriotic and festive nature of the locals.

And if fishing is what strikes you, there is an entire section on the surrounding water, specifically Jamaica Bay, showing the very beginnings of Broad Channel's deep fishermen roots.

The images in the book are exceptionally clear and details are easily discernable.

Author Dan Guarino claims that photos and information were found from a myriad of sources, including "The Long Island Division of the Queens Library, the Library of Congress, the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority archives and even NASA."

It is obvious from the start that the publication is well-researched.

The book is also divided into other sections, such as community and church, the original railroads and trains and early school days. St. Virgilius School claims many of the school pictures, and images show the growing enrollment in the school decades ago.

The 1910 volunteer firemen. Do you see any parallels to the firemen of today? The 1910 volunteer firemen. Do you see any parallels to the firemen of today? The sports section shows how the same sports ethic has been carried throughout the century. Always a big part of Broad Channel, it brought the community together. Interestingly enough, the sports became more intense as the fashion of bathing suits and uniforms became less restrictive.

Each picture is underlined by a wellwritten, descriptive and in-depth caption. They provide a greater insight that the vivid images cannot.

"We're very proud to be able to chronicle the history of Broad Channel. I hope this book will allow people to connect with this marvelous history and this amazing place," says Dan Guarino.

Tap into Broad Channel's past and take a peek at the original lifestyle, historical fashion and traditions of the locals throughout the 20th century. A whirlwind of history, the book does an excellent job of helping the reader explore Broad Channel's past.

The book is available via Arcadia Publishing, reachable at 888-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com. In addition, there will be a book signing on Sunday, July 27 from 1-3 p.m. at Grassy's, located at 1802 Crossbay Boulevard in Broad Channel.

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