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Steinway & Sons established North Beach, an amusement park and beer garden for his mostly German employees. But Queens' version of Coney Island did not prove as resilient, finally closing with Prohibition. Today the North Beach land is occupied by La Guardia airport.


North Beach in 1896


The carousel is a symbol of an era that centered around the turn of the century, and some of the first American carousels were made and used in New York. In the 1890's there were merry-go-rounds at North Beach, Long Island, Brooklyn, and at Central Park as well as at locations throughout upstate New York.


Welcome to the Summer of 1930!


Time in the Old Bowery Bay district that jutted out into Sanford's Point came to a standstill. The trolley car tracks that led to the once famous Gala Park owned by George Ehret and William Steinway became overgrown with weeds and the formerly gay amusement park that once bedecked the shore with a blaze of glory became a mass of tumble down wreckage.

Charles Rae and his family still operate some fishing huts where formerly they had a dance hall. Of all the roller coasters, barrooms, dance halls, chute-the-chutes and merry-go-rounds, their place is the last remnant of the rat-infested amusement park. His yard is littered with planks, rowboats and the whatnot of fishing stations.

In Mr. Rae's old dance hall is an old potbellied stove that has a circle of chairs around it. It is still decorated with flags gone dingy -- a reminder from happier days. Now it's a storehouse for marine engines, oars, lanterns, tools, paints and other odd and ends.

From 1917 to 1929 nothing much happens at North Beach. A reporter viewing its remains writes 'nominally still in existence but actually long dead.'



It is unclear if some resorts named below were separate of North Beach or part of it.

By May, the summer resort season at North Beach was under way and venues of every description advertised their charms. Silver Spring Park claimed it was the coolest retreat at Bowery Bay with old shade trees, nicely arranged dancing pavilions, and picnic grounds. At Sanford’s Point Hotel, which served George Ehrets Extra Beer on draft, singing societies and chowder clubs were a specialty. Kohlers New Pavilion had sausage and soda water stands, shooting galleries and swings, dancing (afternoon and evening), and a band concert at night. At Henry Daufkirch’s Bay view House and Pavilion, one could enjoy variety performances by first class talent on Sundays. Muff’s Bowery Bay Boat House was widely known for its boating and fishing. The North Beach Heights Resort touted itself as ideal for parties societies and families. The Club House and Grand Pavilion had choice wines, liquors, and cigars, meals at all hours (severed to order), and theatrical performance daily (with a change of program weekly). And finally, the famed Bath Pavilion at North Beach offered 25 tickets for $4, single tickets at 25 cents, (children 15 cents.) Of course there was a police presence; in 1899 the 74th sub-precinct was built.


CREDIT: Excerpts - Long Island Daily News - New York Public Library