English

Artist and Coney Island resident
Courtney King was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and has lived in Coney Island for the past seven years.  An artist since childhood, he began working as a sign painter after training in commercial art and fine art.  He spent 12 years working on an...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of Coney Island in the 1920s and '30s
Born in Harlem, Ida Rosenblum Gambrell, now 94,  spent her childhood summers in Coney Island at her aunt's home on Surf Avenue and West 24th Street. Ida recalls her mother giving her and her sister 20 cents to take the train from 103rd Street to...
Content type: Oral History Item
Former teacher at Mark Twain Junior High School recalls his Coney Island memories
Jeffrey Eisenmesser, 73,  grew up in Bensonhurst in the late 1940s and early '50s.  He taught English Language Arts at Mark Twain I.S. 239 in Coney Island  from 1992 to 2007.  His earliest memories of Coney Island are going to Washington Baths pool ...
Content type: Oral History Item
A Brooklyn native's boyhood memories of Washington Baths and Steeplechase Park
Jan Brown grew up in Brooklyn where his family spent summers at Washington Baths in Coney Island. His parents, who had met at Washington Baths, played handball and his father was a professional model and bodybuilder. Brown describes the atmosphere...
Content type: Oral History Item
Son of Coney Island artist, banner painter and Cyclops creator Dan Casola
Wesley Casola shares memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1950s and '60s. The son of artist Dan Casola (1902-1990), he recalls his father building the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops in their yard and making figures for The World in Wax Musee. His...
Content type: Oral History Item
Daughter of Coney Island artist, banner painter and Cyclops creator Dan Casola
Patricia Casola shares memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1950s and '60s as the daughter of artist Dan Casola (1902-1990). She recalls her father as a "tinkerer" and "a self-taught individual" who learned by doing.  Among his clients were...
Content type: Oral History Item
Girlhood memories of growing up on West 5th Street in Coney Island before being displaced by Warbasse
Sisters Gladys Sandman and Lucille daCosta, née Salvia, share girlhood memories of growing up on Coney Island's West 5th Street in the 1950s and the beginning of the '60s. Their grandparents were homeowners on West 5th and their mother and father ...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of growing up in Coney Island during the Great Depression and 55 years practicing law
Charles Berkman, 88, grew up on West 29th Street in Coney Island during the Great Depression.  The youngest of nine children of a hard-working orphan immigrant from Poland, Berkman recalls peddling fruit, shining shoes, helping concessionaires in...
Content type: Oral History Item
Memories of going to Steeplechase Park as a teenager in the 1950s
Visiting the Coney Island History Project and seeing an original Steeplechase horse brings back vivid memories for Rosalie Diamond of coming to Coney Island as a teen in the 1950s. She recalls the clowns at Steeplechase, riding the Parachute Jump,...
Content type: Oral History Item
A five-year-old describes her visit to Coney Island
At 63 seconds, this is the shortest oral history in our archive and one of the youngest narrators. Five-year-old Rebecca Diamond, who was visiting with her family, including her grandmother Rosalie Diamond, tells us her favorite rides in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item