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Full text of "The history of Coney Island"




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Price. 10 Cents. 




t'iii>4l»lie4l HI *2ii l>ey Mi-ecl,i INe^v York. 



TO THE NEW CONEY ISLAND PIEH 

steamers Leave W. 22d STREET, at 9.15, 9.45, 10.45, 11.15 a. m. 

12.30, 1.15, 1.45, 2.15, 3.15, 3.4,'5, 4.45, 6.15, 6.15, 8.00 p. m. 

LEROY ST., 15 minutes and PIER 2, N. R. 30 minutes later. 

RjtamiQ^, leave Iroa Pier every 45 minutes to 7 p. m. and 8 p. M 

Last bi>at leaves lo p. m. 

if to Mt i Eitire IM 

Take Steamboat to Norton's point, then Railroad for two milet 
to West Brighton, (Fare 10 cents); thence by coach to Bright or 
Beach, (three quarters of a mile Fare 5 cents); thence the Young 
Railroad, to Manhattan Beach, (one half mile, Fare 5 cents); thenc€ 
to the extreme East end of the Island, on the Marine Railroad; Fare 
from Manhattan Beach and return 10 cents; distance one and om 
half mile. 

BLACK-KINC 

"Will prevent the hot sands 
or salt -water from ininr- 
ing yonr Boots. It renders 
the Leather soft, an< 
makes all boots and shoes 
IV ATERPRO Of* 

WIFHOUT INTE RFERING W ITH POLISHING. 

For Sale at the Paber Stands at Hotels. 

Advertisements for next edition Seoursil at 23 Dev Streel 



y 

THE HISTORY 



OF 



CONEY ISLAND, 

FROM ITS FIRST DISCOVERY IK 4, II, 44, DOWN TO LAST NIGHT, 

IN RHYME. 

Adapted for all Children under eighty-five, and 

PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED 

BY THE AUTHOR, 

With_Maps and Sketches in Water Colors, Drawings of Bier, and many 

Dry Cuts, 




Wf^^^^^^ ,.rtS OF COiV^?^ 



GKKAT SEAL OF THK ISLAND. »" ^ V t/........>^.../...../.../..V. 



v.v>^ 18T9./ o'^. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 187>, by . 

MORRISON, RICHARDSON & CO., 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C. 



1 IX.1 , 




Steamer HA.MPrON, via. Locust GS-rove, leaves: 

Foot of 23d St. N. R. Foot of Leroy Street. Pier 13, foot Cedar Street. 
9.30 a.m. 9.40 am. 9 50 \ m 

12.20 p.m. 12.30 p.m. 12 40 pm 

3.40 p.m. 3.50 p.m. 4 00pm 




Steamers Itosedale and Sylvan Dell for Couey island 

Poiut leave 

West 34th St., West lOtli St., Franklin St., Pier No. 3. 

9 A. M. 9:10 A. M. 9:20 a. m. 9:30 A. M., 

and every hour and a half to 3 o'clock from West 24th Street. Then at 4 p. M. and 
6 p. M. 

Returning, leaves Coney Island Point 10:10 a. m., 12 m., 1:30, 2:45, 4:30 and 
9 p. M. 

These boats connect with P. P. & C. I. Railroad for West, Brighton Hotel, 
Cable's and New Pier. 




o 

H 

m 

ft 
Q 

H 

m 



Prospect Park & Coney Island Railroad, 

9th Avenue and 20th Street, Brooklyn. 

Trains leave for West Brighton Beach, 6:30, 7:40, 9, 10. 10:30, 11, 11 30 a. m. 
13 M., 12:30, 1, 1 :25, and every fifteen minutes to 10:30 p. m. 

Returning, leave West Brighton Beach, 7:05, 8:10, 9:30, 10:30, 11, 11:30 a. u., 
12 M., 12:30, 1, 1:25, 2, and every fifteen minutes to 11 p. m. 







Brighton Beach via Long Island Railroad. 

Leave Huaters Poiat, 9, 10, 11, 13 a. m., and hourly from 1:30 to 9:30 p. m. 
Leave Brishton Beach, 8:40, 11:15 a. m., and hourly from 12:iO to 9:40, 10:ia. 



11:10 p. M. 



Maiiliattan Beach. R. "Et, 

GREENPOINT DIVISION. 

Trains leave foot, of 23d St., East River, 8:45, 9:45, 10:4") a. m., and every half 
hour to 8:45 P. M. 

Returning, leave Manhattan Beach, 7:35. 10, 11:05 a. m.. 13:05, 13:30, 1:10, 
1:30,2:15,2:30,3:15,3:30,4:15,4:30,5:15.5:30,6:15,6:30, 7:15, 7:30, 8:15. 8:30, 
9. 9:30 and 10:35 p. m. 

BAY RIDGE DIVISION. 
Steamers Thomas Collyer and Twilight: 

22d Street, N. R., Leroy Street, Pier 8. 

9:10 A. M.. 9:35 A. M., 9:55 a. m. 

10:25 " 10:35 " 10:55 " 

and every hour to 8 :25 p. m. from 23d Street. 

Steamer D. R. Martin leaves Whitehall St., 9:25 a. m., and every hour to 8:25 

p. M. 

Trains leave Manhattan Beach for Bay Ridge, thence steamer to New York, 8:10 
10:20, 11, 11:20 A. M. ; 12 M., 12:20, 1, 1:20, 2. 2:20. 3, 3:30. 4, 4:20, 5, 5:20. 6, 6:20, 
7, 7:20. 8:20, 8:55, 9:20, 10:25 p. m. 

THE NEW YORK 



imm urn mmm 

Will take Contracts to 

Light Hotels, Stdres and Factories 

From Oct. 1. 1879, 
WITH ONE OR MORE LIOHTS FOR EACH ROOM, 

AT A LOWER RATE THAN GAS. 



23 DEY STREET, NEWTORK. 

6 




Out in the ocean blue, 

There is an isle of beauty, 
A sunny isle and true, 

That never shirks its duty. 
All nations seek this spot. 

Their bosoms void of fear, 
For clam roasts smoking hot 

And ice-cold lager beer. 



For I'm called Coney Island, fair Coney Island, 

Loveliest of islands am I, 

Yet I'm called Coney Island, C.O.N.E.Y Island, 

Though I could never tell why. 

Yet I'm the great city's plaything, 

For I've beaches for bathing. 

As far as the vision ere reaches, 

I've ' ' Cables " and ' ' Culvers " 

With scores, too, of others, 

The " Brighton " and " Manhattan Beaches." 

For in spite of all temptations 

To take other conformations, 

I chose a front of sunny, sea-washed sand. 

Though I might have been a high-land. 

Or a flowery, wooded island, 

Or a mouritain on the dry land, 

I remained just what I am. 

Golden strip of ocean's coast, 

A bathing place, Columbia's boast, 

Home of whitebait and of clams. 

Then give three cheers, and one cheer more 

For the charms of Coney Island's shore. 

For its clams and beer and ocean's swell 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

Are things the townsmen love full well, 

For Coney's beauties every body chants, 

And so do his sisters, his cousins, and his aunts, 

And as for his wives and his progenif^ 

They say there is no islelike me. 

Now, doctors, I've important information, 

Sing hey the right good fellows that you be ; 
It concerns the very intimate relation 

Between Hygeia's sources and the sea ; 
For every robust nature loves the sea, 

Nor think, wise ^sculapius, I am speaking 
In praise of oceans foreign and afar, 

The waves I'd have your patients all be seeking,. 
Break over Coney Island's golden bar. 

The near-by Coney Island's wave washed ban 




The People's Link to the Island. 



Chapter I. 




HERE old Long Island's southern shore 
Looks out upon the raging sea, 
A stster island goes before, 



And tempts the surf with dainty knee ; 

And in the breakers lies and feves 

Her glistening bosom in the waves : 

So fair, she seems an isle of gnow, 

Set in ofd ocean's ebb and flow. 

Tis Coney Island, fairy ground. 

Where all that charms and cheers is found. 

No wooded vales or hills has she, 

No tropic wealth of vine or tree ; 

No prairies that outreach the eye. 

No mountains climbing to the sky ; 

No leaping torrents, boiling springs, 

No jungles filled with snakes and things, 




OR cocoa groves where monkeys screeen. 
But then, she has " Manhattan Beach. " 
A land unclothed with grain or fruit, 
But fairest in a bathing suit. 



mSTORV OF CONEY ISLAND. 




ET plenty reigns, for her rich coast, 
Turns up "dead loads" of clams to roast. 
Huge cod and sea bass crowd the spot 
\Vh(?re steams the chowder in the pot ; 




A CHOWDER PARTY. 

And oysters slip for fries and stews, 
From shells like " No. 14 " shoes. 
Here, urged by nature to abound, 
The ruby lobster roams around, 
Sweet-hearted soul as one e'er saw, 
Who has for all the world a claw ; 
With Q.g^ and oil and lettuce in 
He's the ideal Salad-in. 
Here, natives of this bounteous land, 
Soft crabs and clams walk hand in hand ; 
Sheepsheads and skates and terrapins, 
And everj-thing with tails or fins ; 
White fish and black fish here abound. 



10 



HISTORY OP' CONEY ISLAND. 




|\ HE well fed whales go spouting 'round; 
And last to crown the list of fishes, 
Comes whitebait, best of English dishes. 



No island in the tropic zone, 
Can boast such riches of its own, 
For Kidd his treasure buried here, 
They've found it now — 'twas lager beer. 

Way down its annals first oegin. 
Where History sticks her shortest pin, 
And borne on Time's unceasing fligh^ 
Comes down to ten o'clock last night. 
Nay more, this is her proudest boast, 
Time filled his sand glass on her coast. 




THB COUNT DISCOVERING CONEY-AC 

Who peopled first this fair domain, 
The Count Joe Hannis wont explain. 
Perhaps Phoenicians first invaded, 
And in the breakers bare-legged waded ; 
Or here I'gyptians steered their galleys, 
Or Romans roamed her hills and valleys 



11 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

Perhaps the Greeks, perhaps the Scythians, 
But never mind, it makes no difference ; 
Whoever 'twas, found heaps of rich things. 
In sampling first her clams and sich things. 




ET, that these duffers of the past, 
Have surely been here, first or last^ 
■r Is proved by facts no one denies, 

' Quite plain enough tor skeptic eyes. 
For even at this day of grace. 
There meets you here in every plac^ 

I Relics of all these ancient races, 



In Roman noses, Grecian faces , 

And sometimes in sequestered ground, 

Are traces of old Faro found. 




TRACES OF FARO. 

But relics are not her delight, 
She joys in what is young and bright; 
\nd when the glass at 90° stands, > 
And youth and beauty crowd the sands, 
When clams and beer begin to sizz, 
12 




niSTOR Y OF CONE Y ISLAND. 
H ! what a lovely spot this is 

To Norton's, at the western end, 
Crowds from the steamboat's landing wend; 
The brave and fair meet side by side, 
Where from the broad Atlantic's tide 
The swell rolls in with constant roar, 
To meet the -'swells" upon the shore ; 
Who, issuing from the bathing houses 
In clinging suits and flowing blouses; 



Both sexes in the waves are met. 

Who plunge, and posture, and coquette. 




BATHING AT THE WEST END 

13 



HISTOR y OF CONE Y ISI AND. 




THE THREE MEN WHO NEVER SAW CONEV ISLAND. 

How welcome then the waves caresses, 
What grateful garments — bathing dressed", 
As on her threshhold, glad to greet us, 
Old mother Ocean flies to meet us ; 
Like children who have long been strangers, 
Exposed to distant lands and dangers, 
With outstretched arms she hastes to take us, 
And hugs us in her mighty breakers ; 
And slams us down and dances round us, 
And treads upon, and tries to drown us ; 
With sand and seaweed decks our tresses, 
And fills our mouths with briny messes, 
But swells our lungs with pure ozone. 
And screws our muscles into tone ; 
Woiks on the outer man and inner. 
And makes us long lor love and dinner 

A loving nurse Old Ocean is, but oh. 
Don't let her ever get you under tow. 



14 



HISTORY OF COI^EY ISLAND. 
BasypjiiUil 




Here met the famished men who dub 
Their band the "Impecunious Club," 
And clams ^vere all tha they were able 
To put upon thei" meagre table, 
And yet, despite such -canty cheer, 
They get a meal but once a year. 
They dined on clams and water pure. 
And gave the fragments to the poor. 
Care to the vinds then each one gave. 
And drowned his sorrows in the— wave. 




15 



' iSTOK y OF CONE V ISLAND. 

Fair Island, in thy mid-day dress. 
Words fail to tell thy loveliness, 
But when the sun sinks in the west, 
'Tis then you seem the loveliest ; 
For then thy sands are turned to gold. 
The ocean into silver rolled ; 
The sky puts on a deeper blue, 
The clouds blush to a brighter hue. 
The breezes stir, the air grows fine, 
You feel it stiffen up your spine . 
Just like a bottle of old wine. 



This happy thought to^Ditman brought 

Inspired him with the notion 

To have the salts from Neptune's vaults 

Brought from the depths of Ocean. 

So that by subtle chemistry 

You in your bath tubs have a mimic sea. 




HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




17 



Chapter II. 




THE OLDEST INHABITANT OF CONEY ISLAND. 




REATHES there a man with soul so dead. 

Who never to himself hath said— 

I will some maiden fair implore 

To go with me to Coney's shore ? 

If such there be, let him repent, 

Before his money is all spent : 

And with sweet words let him invite 

The gentle girl to this delight. 

She'll go, you bet ! make no mistake. 

And }-ou can cars or' steamboats take. 



18 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND, 




HEAVY WEIGHTS ON THE SAND. 




any point, for all roads tend 
To Coney Island, off Gravesend. 
Should you a stranger be, nor know 

The easiest route that you should go, 

Go with the biggest crowd you see, 

And that the favorite route will be. 

It matters not how learned you be, 

How traveled over land and sea ; 

How much you've seen, how much you've read. 

You've got surprises right ahead, 

And sights you never saw oefore 

You'll see on Coney Island's shore. 



19 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND, 




TWO HEARTS WITH BUT A SINGLE THOUGHT, UNDER ONE UMBRELLA. 





W poor the grandeur and display, 
shrinks the shallow pomp away, 
plaster that the old world sticks, 
hide its ugly rows of bricks, 
Beside the grandeur of our land 
Displayed on Coney Island's strand. 



HAT other watering-place can boast 
The vastness of this island's coast ? 
Can Newport or Boulogne-Sur-Mer, 
Can Long Branch or Dieppe compare? 
Can any one or all t)f these 
So woo you to the sounding seas? 

30 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




WHEN SHAT.T. \VV. THRKK MEET AGAIN 

But take advice and ere you go, 
Get your dress shirts of Perego ; 
Be spared the anguish here displayed 
From shirts by some pretender made. 




TO ORDER. 

87 Nassau St., and 128 & 130 Fulton St., N.Y. 

21 



mSTORY OF CONEY ISI.AND. 

But come with me and we'll survey 
The various objects on the way. 
From Norton's, where the steamboats land, 
We gaze f'jr miles adown a strand, 
Where giant waves, with sullen roar, 
Ereak on the white and glistening shore. 



Along this line of tempting beach, 
Hotels and vast pavilions reach ; 
Some safely back upon the land, 
Some standing boldly on the strand 
Tier upo.n tier, and over these, 




ACH nation's banner woos the breeze. 
To name them all it would, I think, 
Use up a " schooner " full of ink ; 
But Rasher's name we cannot pass, 
Who'll furnish " rashers" and a glass ; 
Nor Ryan's, where stage people dine 
And say they get the best of wine • 




Tilyou's, which the ladies say, 
Is the best bath-house on the wa}-. 
The Newark House, and Welsh and Gleason, 
Ward's Sea-side House, and Dibb's and Thompson, 



Feltman's and Leopold's then are seen, 
While scores unnamed come in between. 



22 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND 




23 



HISTOR Y OF CONE V INLAND. 




CULVER S TOWER. 

Before us now a structure stands 
With iron feet upon the sands. 
That towers full fifty fathoms high, 
Up in a blue and cloudless sky ; 
Higher in air its head it sticks 
Than Babel's famous pile of brick? ; 
And, like this tower, by the same token. 
For here all languages are spoken. 

Here daily sail promiscuous crowds, 




PON this railway to the clouds; 
And get, without a thought of fear, 
As high as Jove to drink their beer. 
And on ambrosia getting merrv-. 
Smile down on all things sublunary. 

Around its base on every hand 
Hotels, saloons and gardens stand. 



24 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAirn 



Here is a vast and bright saloon, 
Where bier and music flows in tune, 
Adorned with many a tropic flower — 
'Tis the gay kingdom of the genial Bauer. 




O the "Atlantic " do not miss a caJ, 
And touch your glass with thriving Paul ; 
To thousands he good cheer extends, 
And makes each day ten thousand friends. 

Here are the Island's pioneers, 

Culver, and Cable, VanderveerS, 

Who greet their friends successive years. 



ND the Grand Union's hand extends 
A welcome to all lady friends ; 
Home comforts and securities 
For ladies, is the Union's "biz." 

Here, stretched far out above the tide, 
^s Voorhees's bath-house, long and wide, 
Where you can sit and hear the beat 
Of ocean waves beneath your feet ; 
Or, if you bathe, need do no more 
Than drop down through the parlor floor. 

Here the Aquarium meets the eye, 

Which visitors should not pass by, 

And say they've other fish to fry. 

Within, vast rows the eye engages. 

Of wild beasts of the sea, in cages ; 

All kinds, from whales to periwinkles, 

Sun fishes shine, the star fish twinkles, 

Sea monsters, sturgeons, sharks and shrimps, 

On stiff-kneed legs the lobster limps. 



25 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




Gotham's King David has nobody hurt, 
He emblazons his banners with hope, 
And drives from our midst the Goliah of dirt 
By sending amongst us Prize Soap. 
Try it. You'll like it. 
26 



!^f(iG^sYo]^[ m^-(^^. 










Half way tlie Island, now our footsteps leach, 
The New World's Brighton, built on Culver's beacli. 



27 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




HERE stands the Brighton's glittering pile, 
A bright spot on this fairy isle 
Sweet flowers and faces here abound, 
And makes it seem enchanted ground. 
Here Brooklyn's beauteous dames assemble. 
And make their plainer neighbors tremble. 
With nymphs so fiir to tempt the lips, 
No wonder Brooklyn sometimes slips. 




CHILDREN AT PLAY ON THE BEACH. 

The children, let me not pass them, 
Sweet buds upon the parent stem. 



28 



HISTOR Y OF CONEY ISLAND. 




They flit around like butterflies, 
With rosy cheeks and sparkUng eyes, 
With pink legs bared above the knee, 
Go wading in the shallow sea. 
They dig the sand, the donkeys ride, 
Or round the swift carousal glide, 
At Punch and Judy's quarrels gaze, 
And pass long, happy, healthful days. 

Happy nurslings, that I could 

Bring to these shores all baby-hood, 

And bid it breathe the stintless air. 

In Ocean's matchless tonic share ; 

' Twould make, I'm sure, the whole world gfad. 

And none but bachelors be mad. 




K BROOKLYN BfiAUTY BATHING AT BRIGHTON BKACH. 



39 




30 



>rS^'SS¥¥Sj^( e^acS. 




B 



ARTISTS ON THE BEACH. 



H 



G 



y all conveyances that reach, 

New Yorkers crowd Manhattan Beach 



They fill the hot 1 and display 
Themselves in an alarming way. 
Such stacks of people here you'll find, 
It seems no one is eft behind, 
But the procession never ceases, 
And mine host Kiefer's joy increases, 
As in his palace by ^he sea, 

E lives and thrives prodigiously. 

In manly garb and female robe, 

New York, (and that takes in the globe,) 

Comes to INIanhattan once a day, 

To bathe and hear Graff'ulla play. 

REAT railroad magnates, bankers, clerks, 
The man who thinks, the man who works. 
With skill or cunning, head or hand, 
All mingle on the level sand; 
And here, on this protean Isle, 
Is seen the widest jange of style. 



31 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




THE NEW YORK GIRL. 

Here come the stately New York dames, 

Who boast of Knickerbocker names, 

The girls from Boston and Chicago, 

From New Orleans and Colorado ; 

The Montrealers and Quebeckers, 

The Western girls, great double deckers. 

The Down East girls, tall, queenly misses, 

With saucy mouths just made for — chowder. 

Sweet Philadelphians, calm, sedate 

And even-tempered, like their State. 

Girls who are blonde, and round and pretty, 

The product of rich Cincinnati. 

With melting ej'es and tint brunette. 

The maiden from the South is met ; 



32 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

And those, who anchorites would thaw, 
Drop in from distant Omaha. 




THE GIRL FROM BOSTING. 

How Strange it seems to look and think, 

That on this strip of ocean's brink, 

Here, where a few slTOrt years ago 

No foot save ocean's undertow 

Had pressed the sand, there now are seen 

All sizes, up to " broad 14." 

That this lone shore and sobbing sea, 
Were all each others company ; 



88 



HISTORY OF lOJVEY ISLAND, 

Then, where sandpipers fed and rails, 
Now, fashion drags her silken trails. 
Here, where the grandsires, daring men. 
Braved the fierce quohog in his den, 
Their sons their hardihood revives, 
And hunt around for wealthy wives. 
And daughters, not to be behind them. 
Scoop in good looking men and bind them. 




AN HEIRESS FROM NEW ORLEANS, 

Here mid'st a thronging sea effaces. 
Are types of all Earth's varied races. 
Here all man's comforts and delights 
Cheer in the day and soothe the nights. 



34 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

Napkins and toothpicks when you^dine, 
"America," the choicest wine. 

And to leave nothing more to need, 
You come or go at Railway sf)eed, 
And if yjur wearied legs should fail, 
Can promenade the beach by rail. 



^.c^ 




What healthful influence resides, 
In Coney's sands and ocean tides I 
One hour beside this bounding sea 
Is worh more than the Pharmacy; 
One breath from off this mighty bay 
Sweeps pain and weariness away ; 
One plunge into its emerald flood, 
Stirs up tha sluggish streams of blood. 
Makes the small great, the big feel bigger, 
And flesh and soul renews with vigor. 



36 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND 

In olden times this was the cry 
Of travellers, "See Rome and die." 
Now the advice the wise ones give, 
Is "See Manhattan Beach and live." 



BfAcH 




\ 



And when upon this sunny isle, 
You meet a goat who wears a shiny tile, 
Note the inscription gilded in the crown, 
And test its truth when you get back to town. 

36 



THE 



L(e^ei\d of Cot^ey I^ki^d. 



Wherein is related a fact of its early history, and which 
is supposed to be connected with the disappearance in the 
surf, on July 34th, of an unknown and mysterious gentleman. 
See papers of that date. 



Part I. 




no island on the zone, 
But has a legend of its own. 
Some startling romance of its youth. 
Complete in everything but— truth. 
But Coney Island's famous mystery 
Is true — as any of this history. 

T'was told me by an ancient man, 
Past many years the allotted span ; 
Young men may lie, but he was old, 
And vouched for every word he told. 

'Way back in Coney's early days, 
Before Ben Bu'Jer, Cox or Hays, 
A ruddy Dutchman bore him sway 
From Norton's point 10 Rockaway. 
Here, like a patroon, at his ease 
He lived, with children at his knees. 



67 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 




lEDERICK Von Smitzerl was his name, 
^=-- From Amsterdam his forebears came. 

And all there was to mar his life, 
Were sundry notions of his wife ; 
For she was active and emphatic, 
In striking contrast to her husband, 
Who was rather round-cornered and lymphatic 



One day, so runs the thrilling tale, 

Frau Smitzerl's appetite did fail 

To herrings, sour-krout, wurst and cheese, 

Pretzels, zweibake, and things like these, 

Bologna and Westphalian hams, 

And sent her good man out for clams. 




38 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLANL. 

The day was cold, and Smitzerl sighed, 
Quite loth to leave the chimney side, 
But good Frau J:^mitzerrs way was winning. 
And had been so from the beginning. 
So he with bucket and a spade. 
Tracks for the nearest clam patch made. 



9S 



OUD roared the surf the gulls flew in. 
Poor Smitzerl shivered in his skin. 




He tried for clams, but they were shy — . 

The poor man sat him down to cry. 
But while he moaned in misery, 
His salt tears mingling with* the sea. 




A mermaid f'om the wave rose dripping. 

And unto Dicdrieck's side came tripping, 

As mermaids of this later date 

Would do to one in such a state. 

Into her ears, in accent-; brief, 

Poor Smitze: 1 poured his clammy grief. 



89 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

The maiden's tender-heart was torn. 

To hear how much poor Dirck had borne. 

She clasped his hand, "Come thou with me,' 

She cried, "and you a prince shall be; 

No longer serve so harsh a M'S. , 

Who calls for clams a day like this is." 

"I am a princess, and my throne 
And coral halls shall b-^ your own. 
Then come with me, and we will rule, 
And have our lager, always cool." 

Poor Smitzerl scratched his head and turned. 
To where his distant ingle burned. 
He saw Frau Smitzerl at the door — 
Frau Smitzerl saw him never more. 



Hat happened when they went below,, 

My old informant didn't know ; 
Until one day, come twenty years, 
Herr Diedrich on the shore appearS; 

Looking as young, and fair and hearty, 
As when he joined the ocean pirty ; 
And so well dressed he ne'er was seen, 
In coat and small clothes, b ittle green. 
He seemed to have a mine of "chink," 
He stood old neighbors all they'd drink. 
But never once went near the door. 
He left so many years be!bre. 
For old Frau Smitzerl was, they told him, 
Still hale and hearty, and might — scold him. 

That night again he disappears, 
And for another twenty years 
Dame Smitzerl got along without him; 
The neighbors they forgot about him, 



40 




HISTOR V OF CONE V ISLAND. 

Then suddenly attain was seen, 
Dierck and his shining suit of green. 
He seemed still rich, and young and spry. 
He found his neighbors old and — dry. 





E eve, a crony as they sat 
ver their lager for a chat, 
Ventured to ask of Smitzerl where 
He kept himself when he wasn't /here. 

At ttiis, Von Smitzerl slyly winked, 

A score of yellow ducats chinked, 

Then to this wondering friend related, 

The story that is here narrated. 

And furthermore, gave him a notion, 

Of high old times beneath the ocean. 

Of emerald bowers, and coral beds, 

Of mermaid blondes wi:h pea green heads. 



41 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

Of countless treasure, diamond mines, 

Limburger cheese and Hamburg wines, 

And bags of things that in the sea, 

They had at hand full lavishly. 

"His mer-wife was no scold," he said, 

" No cabbage patch was to be wed ; 

No tubs of water had to bring. 

On washdays from a distant spring, 

No v^od to chop, no fires to light. 

But just loaf round from morn 'till night, 

Witn jolly comrades, half seas over, 

And y e in luxury and clover. 

And more, we ne'er grow old nor crusty. 

But in the salt keep fresh and lusty. 




" He had no wish," he said, "to stay 
Long from his ocean home away. 
Earth was so dull, and slow, and grim, 
One day on shore sufficed for hira." 
He only came for this one reason, 
To see McCue's Hats in their season. 



42 



Part II. 




HE years rolled on, the Island grew» 

The o'.d gave way before the aew. 

Old Died rich's neighbors turned to clajr, 



The children followed in their way. 
New settlers filled the vacant spots, 
And Died rich's farm was sold in lots. 
His great g and clii dren rolled in pelf) 
And quite forgot old Dirck himself. 
The girls wore laces, silks and things, 
Outside their gloves wore diamond rings ; 



Scolded their cooks in Faris talk, 

And tried in " No. 3s " to walk. 

The boys had yachts and four in hands, 

And raised the wind on Smitzerl's lands. 

For where their grandsire's cottage slept, 

A ciiy of hotels was kept. 

His farm, once stocked with cabbages, 

Bloomed now with pretzels and Swiss cheese ; 



43 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

And clam bakes gave a savory mess. 
With Rogers' Vinegar to dress. 




i he lane became a lighted street, 
Filled bv gay teams with prancing feet, 
And on the sands where Smitzerl moped, 
Ere fion. Fr lu Smitzerl's sight he sloped, 
Thousands of bathing houses stood, 
And modern mermaids gemmed the flood. 




IDST of this scene of modem jollity, 

Of gilt-edged sport and fair frivolity, 

A stranger in the throng was seen, 

Clad in a suit of glossy green. 

None knew him, nor from whence he came. 

No hotel clei k could give his name ; 



ROGERS' CIDER & VIITEGAR, 187 Washington St.,'ll. Y. 

44 



HISTORY OF CONEY ISLAND. 

But still he moved like one of rank, 
And paid for all the beer he drank, 
And paid for all who'd join him, too, 
And these, you bet, were not a few. 
But one thing that seemed rather strange, 
He always gave doubloons for change. 
Though these things seemed of ancient days, 
He dropped riglit sharp to modern ways. 
On bathing hours he walked the sand, 
A natty cane within his hand, 
Ogled the girls who put on style, and 
That takes all upon the Island. 
He went in bathing, here a wonder, 
He'd stay an hour the water under. 
And when he came from out the water, 
Would look as dry as any otter. 

This put the Beach into a maze, 

That lasted for a score of days. 

At wondering who a man could be 

Who seemed at home when out to sea. 

So deep at last the mystery grew. 

Of guessing on this question "Who?" 

The poor man might have been arrested, 
And courts his sanity contested ; 
Have had his life by mobs imperiled. 
Or interviewers on the Herald, 
Had not the stranger seemed to think, 
'Twas time to tip them all the wink. 




46 



HIBTORT OF COimT ISLAND. 



BOAt 




That day he took his usual dip. 
Among the throng- from Brighton's slip. 
Then, though the hour and day passed by. 
Was seen no more by mortal eye. 



launched the life boats, made a stir, 
And then they called the coroner. 
But as the body never rose, 
The coroner sat on his clothes. 

And after several hours he'd sat, 

He rave as his opinion " that 

It Avasn't worth their while to mind him, 

Because he'd l-ft no name behind him. 

He'd searched all 'round, with care ofBcial, 

But couldn't find a blamed initial. 




His clothes no finer could be seen, 
Of faultless cut and glassy green; 
And alligator boots he wore, 
From Mahrenhjlz's famous store; 
And this, the coroner said, proved 
He must in high-toned ranks have moved. 
4C 



EI8T0RT OF CONEY ISLAND. 



But here came in an incident, 
Which shed some light, far as it went 
When from the fob his watch they took. 
The jeweler, Sheehan, came to look, 
And he at once did recognize, 
The timepiece by its shape and size, 




S one a buyer did select, 
And later, off at sea was wrecked ; 
Though how this man came in possession^ 
He couldn't offer a suggestion. 



Then as they wona^red still the more, 
And pawed the lost man's fixin's o'er, 
A strange occurence came to view, 
That paled each cheek to ashen hue ; 
The clothes and jewels, watch, and all. 
Seemed slowly shrinking very small. 
Or else their eyes were growing blind 
Far soon no trace was left behind. 
All, all were gone to mortal view, 
And then, the coroner went too. 




47 




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