2010-06-25 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Where the Great Arverne Fire of 1922 started
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke
Back in 1922 a careless painter discarded a lit cigarette, as the story goes, and started a fire that consumed almost the entire section of Arverne’s eastern half, from the oceanfront to the LIRR tracks. An all hands alarm was sent out by the fire department, which lost one engine that day. It was said that one fireman was lost the next day when a chimney of brick fell on him!

The fire started in the Hotel Nautilus on Amerman Avenue in Old Arverne, which became Beach 64 Street.

Yours truly never found a good photograph of the Nautilus Hotel, but a nice color reproduction of the Hotel’s Sun Parlor was found. The card with this truly historical image was postmarked in 1921, and mailed to Walpole, Massachusetts. The room was filled with wicker furniture, and looks like a real classic hotel was in operation.

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