2012-06-22 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Aftermath of the Great Storm of 1914 that Ravaged the Beachfront
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

The great storm of 1914 took a great toll on all the beachfront facilities that Far Rockaway and Rockaway Beach had to offer. From Far Rockaway to the point of the peninsula, wreckage covered the beach, except for the whole buildings washed out to sea. Among them was the Arverne Pier Theatre and platform at Beach 67 Street … only five pilings were left at the site on the beach side of the boardwalk. The iron pier out into the surf at Seaside was pummeled by the high and powerful waves, and had many feet torn off its end, and pavilions went with it. The Arverne boardwalk had sections a few blocks long ripped out, the longest at 200 plus feet at Beach 63 Street. Concession buildings on the beachside of the Holland boardwalk were left hanging precariously, and the two blocks at the east end were carried away …and some spots and places were not touched at all! But storms do appear to be selective – as we know from the oh-so strange stories we hear in a storm’s aftermath!

Certain sections of the beach were washed away, and others added to, and this made problems for swimmers in the water. At one moment you could be on an offshore bar, and then it disappeared under your feet. If you were not a good swimmer, you were #$&%!) ( ‘!

Today’s historical view was taken on the beach at the west end of the Seaside section in the summer after the storm. The iron pier at Beach 105 Street is under repair by a work barge, and much sand has been washed out from under the west end hotel pavilion, leaving a rather steep berm on the shrunken beach threat. The safety bathing lines seen at lower right lead back to the anchoring poles at the center of the picture. There are very few bathers in the water. You can understand why, right?

I ask you now, wouldn’t you like to have a beach pavilion, such as shown in this picture, on the beach today? Let’s hear from you on this! Aey!

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