Sunday, July 12, 2009

The history of North Brother Island

From Ephemeral New York:

North Brother Island is a 13-acre spit of land in the East River, between the Bronx and Riker’s Island. Unlike bigger Roosevelt Island nearby, it’s never been developed.

RiversidehospitalnobrotherBut it has been inhabited by people—sick people. Acquired by the city in 1885, officials built Riverside Hospital (at right) there, a place to quarantine New Yorkers who suffered from potentially deadly and easily communicable diseases such as typhus and smallpox. It also housed drug addicts until the 1960s.


Anonymous said...

North Brother is more famously known as the landing spot of the doomed General Slocum. Because the captain steamed for this remote island in the sound instead of grounding the boat on the nearer shores of Astoria, Queens, over 1,000 people died in the worst inland sea disaster in history.

This East River tragedy of 105 years ago is forgotten today, but in view of the parallels between the corrupt steamship inspectors who let this ship sail and the corrupt building inspectors who let all manner of dangerous work go on today, we can see the potential for death and destruction.

georgetheatheist said...

The Slocum disaster devasted the German-American community of "Klein Deutschland" (Little Germany) of the Lower Eastside. Widowers of these victims moved out of the neighborhood and migrated to the 86th Street-Yorkville area. The memories in the LES were too much to bear.

By the way, The Slocum disaster was the greatest loss of NYC lives until 9/11.

-Joe said...

No doubt one of the most AMAZING places in New York.
All kinds of birds, Peach trees, Grapes, Blueberrys, Painting on walls, Water Wells.
Im glad I got to go there (pre 911) now FORGET IT. The CG DHLS and the Cops have Forward looking IR and all sorts of securiety stuff.
They can spot a 3 HP motor on a rubber boat from LGA.
Once they come and let the dogs loose there is NOWHERE to hide or escape.
Federal charges, that means no bail !

To bad about the lighthouse, its down with the front facing the sky.

-Joe said...

Oak and steel parts of the Slocum are still in the water.

There is also a couple a rum runners skiffs and a sub down in Davie Jones locker Between Stepping Stones and Huntington.
That sub used to fire steam torpedos of rum into Manhasset Bay and Hempsted Harbor.
Lots of secret tunnels BTW

Anonymous said...

This island caught my interest while driving on the Bruckner Expwy in the Bronx. Additional info...