2012-05-25 / Community

Carter Pens Rockaway Photograph Book

Paean To Earliest Pioneers
A Wave Review By Howard Schwach

Local author and attorney Vivian Rattay Carter has penned a new book about the history of Rockaway. Local author and attorney Vivian Rattay Carter has penned a new book about the history of Rockaway. If you’re interested in learning about the earliest Rockaway residents, we have a book for you.

Vivian Rattay Carter, who writes the popular monthly Wave column, “Rock Solid,” has penned the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series, “Rockaway Beach.”

Carter proves that the American frontier did not just consist of western prairie, but also included the marshes and wind-swept sand dunes of beach communities such as Rockaway.

When the earliest Rockaway pioneers showed up on the scene on steamships in the mid-1800s, they found a narrow strip of land pocked with ponds and covered in dunes for as far as the eye could see.

Within 30 years, however, Rockaway had grown into a wildly-popular summer resort that included amusement parks, hotels, taverns, dance halls, tent colonies and even bungalow courts.

Carter’s book tells the stories of the forgotten pioneers of Rockaway Beach – pioneers such as Fannie Bush Holland, who operated her family hotel alone for many years and, after her husband’s death, went on to found a local school and a church that has withstood the test of time.

It contains many interesting and little known facts about old Rockaway and includes previously unpublished images, a few dating back to 1879 and many others from the 1880s and 1890s.

From the first photos in the book depicting the Jamieson and Bond Company on Beach 96 Street in 1877, to the final photo depicting the Taco Shack that sprung up near Rockaway Beach Boulevard two years ago, the book is chock full of interesting and informative photos and captions.

Woven throughout the book are the stories of the Holland family, for which Holland Avenue in Rockaway Beach is named; and the First Congregational Church.

Prominent also are the many development projects that still stand today – the Cross Bay Bridge, Shore Front Parkway and Riis Park; as well as those that are long gone, including Playland and the large bungalow colonies that once dotted the peninsula.

All in all, if you are interested in Rockaway history, this is a must-read.

Carter is an attorney and a civic activist, who publishes a local events website, “Oy Vey Rockaway.”

The book will be available after June 4 at local bookstores, independent retailers and online retailers or through the publisher at www.arcadiapublish ing.com.

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