2011-12-02 / Community

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Bayswater, Bay Front, 1917
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

In Historical Views today, a picture of the old Bayswater section of Far Rockaway. Our camera is set up on a street called the Strand in the old days and Norton Drive in more contemporary times. The present Waterloo Place is behind the slant-roofed boathouse at right center. As it is printed on the face of the old postcard, we are looking at the Schuman House and the Wasserman House, both of which were west of Waterloo Place, on the Strand, or rather Norton Drive.

Bayswater was predominantly German in the early days of the 1880s up to the First World War. After the war, the older residents were replaced by newcomers, who did their best to maintain the palatial homes that they lived in. Many of these mansions survive to this day. Practically every home on the shore of Norton Basin in Bayswater had a boathouse or dock or float for boating purposes. In the 1890s, the Bayswater Yacht Club was built in the general area and lasted for several decades. A few old and rotten pilings are all that remain of the old boat club. Bayswater once had its own golf course and hunt club …hounds and foxes included! It’s interesting to note that the postcard identifies the area as Breezy Point. There was no Breezy Point at the western end of the peninsula at the time. The two houses still exist.

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