2010-10-01 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

An aerial view of Hammels…1995… Rockaway Beach, N.Y.
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

With JFK Airport, Broad Channel, Jamaica Bay, and the IND Rapid Transit Line in the background, the foreground gives us a bird’s eye view of the old Hammels section of Rockaway Beach, which is now referred to as part of the New Rockaway Beach Section (as the Post Office and others would have it). The old Hammels section stretched from Beach 79 Street to old Beach 88 Street.

The St. Rose of Lima R. C. Church and the former Temple Israel Synagogue are seen tucked between the Dayton Hi-Rise. Beach 84 Street (Old Fairview Avenue) and Holland Avenue are at left center, with Rockaway Beach Boulevard going left to right.

In the center are the Hammel Houses, and the Hammels bayfront from Bayside Place to Beach 87 Street. The Bay Railroad Line (now the A Train line) is seen crossing over an island that was once called Long Bar, complete with the Beach Channel Station where LIRR trains stopped to let fishermen off. Boats, bait, and equipment were sold or rented out for the day.

Liquid libation could also be had! As you can see the bay is empty of fishing boats that always dotted the bay in the old days, as well as pleasure boats. So much for progress… next comes houseboats!

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