2012-04-27 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Two Antique Views Of The Old Beach At Far Rockaway, Long Island
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Imagine this folks! What would the police do if they found you on a horse, doing the equestrian thing in the surf? Would you and the horse get a summons, or would they lock you up and call the ASPCA?

I have read of many instances in the old days, where riding horses on the beach was in vogue! Horses provided transportation for persons and businesses long before the horseless carriage was invented, and there were riding academies up and down the peninsula! Horses enjoyed cooling off on a hot day just as much as their riders. What’s that! You would like to try it! Go for it, baby!

The second beach view shows bathers frolicking in the surf at Far Rockaway, wearing those old fashioned bathing suits, which weighed a ton after they got wet.

They were watched over by the lifeguard on the Catamaran at top right.

The old style safety lines are seen suspended from and secured to wood piling driven into the sand.

This type of safety line was first installed on the Rockaway beaches in 1876, and were removed many years later, in favor of the surf line.

The old and dependable ropes suspended from poles had hanging stringers to hold on to, and the modern lines consisted of two between wooden jetties, mainly to keep bathers away from the jetties. And wave action that could dash you in!

These safety lines have disappeared, as well as the old wooden jetties that reappear when beach erosion has been heavy, and maybe in the foreseeable future, the beach will also be history! Think so? Could be!

If You have Any Old Photos or Historical Information About The Rockaways Please Send It To: HISTORICAL ROCKAWAY C/O THE WAVE P.O. BOX 930097 ROCKAWAY BEACH, N.Y. 11693

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