1940 - 1949

Founder of the Sea Gate Historical Society
Pete Spanakos first became familiar with Coney Island in the 1950's when he worked cleaning the beaches. In 1967, he moved into an historic home in Sea Gate built by Chrysler Building architect William Van Alen. Spanakos has a Golden Glove...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lived through the Great Depression in Coney Island
The History Project returned to an 85-year-old Goldie Durlester in July of 2010. In this interview, Goldie recalls more of the details of her daily life as a child during the Great Depression and as a teenager at the start of the World War II era....
Content type: Oral History Item
Locker Boy at Oriole Baths who hung out at Washington Baths with his friends
Marty Reich spent his teenage years as a locker boy at Oriole Baths on 16th Street and the beach, handing out towels and soap. He went to Oriole Baths with his family, but hung out at Washington Baths with his friends. His uncle, a champion...
Content type: Oral History Item
Rode the Cyclone at 4 years old
Marion is 75 years old and tells the story of first coming to Coney Island with her grandfather and riding the Cyclone when she was four years old. She subsequently took her children to Steeplechase regularly and then five years ago, she rode the...
Content type: Oral History Item
Family owned the Shamrock Irish House and Eldorado Arcade
Sheila and her family owned and operated the largest arcade in Coney Island, the Eldorado. Her father, his two brothers and three sisters opened The Shamrock Irish House, a restaurant/cabaret/open-air bar, in the early 1940's, and her family...
Content type: Oral History Item
1944 Lincoln HS graduate and former West Brighton resident
Alvin Dorfman, a 1944 graduate of Lincoln High School, was raised on Seabreeze Avenue in the West Brighton section of Coney Island. Dorfman recounts here his memories of the military presence in Sea Breeze (now Asser Levy) park and of life in Coney...
Content type: Oral History Item
Coney Island businessman and neighborhood activist
Lou Powsner, a former Coney Island businessman and neighborhood activist remembers his fond and not so fond memories of working in Coney Island. Jennifer Snow, his grand-daughter, talks about the future of Coney Island and having a grandfather who...
Content type: Oral History Item
Avid weekender in Coney Island
Pat Lingenbach recalls her weekend visits to Coney Island as a child and teenager growing up in Riverdale, New York in the 1930's and 40's.  Pat's mother was friends with Evelyn Mangels and according to Pat, Evelyn played matchmaker...
Content type: Oral History Item