Factory Pond, Staten Island

Among the boroughs, Staten Island has the largest number of hidden waterways, most of them still in their natural condition as this borough is often regarded as the city’s last frontier. Long before the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connected the island to Brooklyn, its north Shore was already an established hive of industry. In the West Brighton neighborhood, Factory Pond supplied water for the New York Dyeing and Printing Works, a major employer and polluter on the North Shore.

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In the undated etching above, Factory Pond is seen behind the smokestacks, with Staten Island’s Broadway in the foreground. The pond was gone by 1908, and today on its site is Corporal Thompson Park. Here’s the story of a Staten Island pond that is no longer there.

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Bard Avenue brook, Staten Island

In the West New Brighton neighborhood of Staten Island, one would see historic cottage homes with spacious lawns and quiet tree-lined streets. The largest park here is Snug Harbor campus through which Harbor Brook flows. Its western tributary is not as easy to access, flowing mostly through private properties.

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For a few blocks on Bard Avenue, Logan’s Spring Brook weaves through yards along the road between Moody Place and Wales Place. Continue reading

Photo of the Week

This week’s selected photo from the NYPL Digital Collections is from Staten Island, with a place name very commonly used throughout the city, Mill Pond. The first question then is which Mill Pond is depicted here and where was it located?

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Previously, I reported on the mill pond located near the mouth of Bodine Creek on Staten Island’s North Shore, but I haven’t seen images of the mill pond. What exactly is the abbreviation W.N.B.S.I. in the undated postcard above? Continue reading

Photo of the Week

As late as 1936, steam locomotives shared tracks in the city with diesel and electric trains, horses shared the roads with trucks, and could that be a tall-masted ship docking on Staten Island’s North Shore? This week’s selected photo comes from the NYPL collection, taken by noted urban photographer Percy Loomis Sperr on May 22, 1936.

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Sperr’s photo shows Bodine Creek crossed by the old and new trestles of the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island RailwayContinue reading