Armbruster Book - Page 12


Eugene L. Armbruster (was created by)

Armbruster Book - Page 12

little side wheel steamboat ran from New York to the West End or Coney Island Point, during the summer months, as early as 1847. This was succeeded by large boats in 1874, and about 1880 the Iron Steamboat fleet of seven vessels began to run to Coney Island. The Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road, the earliest steam railroad to run to Coney Island, was subsequently acquired by C. Godfrey Gunther. This line was for years known as the dummy line, alias Gunther Road, alias West End Line. The Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Rail Road began to operate in 1869 and became in 1878 known as the Brooklyn and Brighton Beach Rail Road. In 1875 the Kings County Railway Company ran its trains, consisting of open cars only. The Prospect Park and Coney Island Rail Road, alias Culver Rail Road, followed in 1876. The New York and Manhattan Beach Rail Road, 1876-77, the last train ran in May, 1924. The New York Sea Beach Rail Road was established in 1877. The Sea View Railway, an elevated railroad, ran between West Brighton and Brighton Beach. The Eastern Marine Railway ran between Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach, Oriental Hotel and Point Breeze. The Coney Island Plank Road was opened in 1850. The planks were removed in 1860 and the road was turnpiked and the horse cars began to operate over its line; this road is now known as Coney Island Ave. Engeman's wooden pier was the earliest pier built; the Old Iron Pier was erected about 1878, and the New Iron Pier, on the site of Engeman's Pier, in 1880. The Brighton Beach Race Track was opened in 1879.

Coney Island, the playground of the young and old children of the Metropolis, had its beginning at Coney Island Point, later known as Norton's Point. Difficulties about the land titles caused the resort to be shifted eastward, and West Brighton became thereafter the real Coney Island. Many of the hotels and amusement places were several times reduced to ashes by the conflagrations, which periodically swept the island and usually cleared a number of acres of ground. One Gilbert Hicks, settled at the "Point" in 1828 and opened a store. This was the first place where visitors, whose pro-

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