On Tuesday, June 21, 1911, almost exactly 100 years ago, the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel was ceremoniously put into action to "clean the dirty and the malodorous canal" by pumping fresh water from Buttermilk Channel into the industrial waterway. To celebrate, then Mayor Gaynor attended with other dignitaries, speeches were made, businesses along the canal were decorated for the occasion and invited guests went down the canal in adorned vessels. There was also a parade and a young 9-year-old girl was crowned "Miss Gowanus."
To commemorate the event, a family-friendly centennial celebration is planned for this Tuesday, June 21 from 6:00 to 8:00. There will be two parades: one on land, and one on water. The sidewalk parade will begin on Butler Street between Bond and Nevins. The procession will march down Bond to the Union Street Bridge, where participants will greet the parade of watercraft. The event will end with a reception at Proteus Gowanus.
Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Centennial!
Parade and Celebration
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Meet on Butler Street between Bond and Nevins
On June 21, 1911, all of South Brooklyn came out to celebrate the opening of the GowanusCanal Flushing Tunnel. The tunnel’s pump would draw fresh water from Buttermilk Channel into the stagnant and odorous Gowanus Canal. One hundred years ago, the neighborhood marked the long-awaited opening with bunting and streamers, speeches and parades. A 9-year old girl, crowned MissGowanus, floated down the canal on a barge, tossing white lilies into the now purified waters of the canal.
Parade route: The sidewalk parade will begin on Butler Street, behind the old Pumping Station. We will walk down Bond to the Union Street Bridge, where we will meet up with a second parade on water—and cheer on MissGowanus! The celebration will end with refreshments at Proteus Gowanus, at Union and Nevins.
Of course, this centennial celebration would not be complete without a Miss Gowanus 2011. If you would like to wear the "Gowanus Sash" keep on reading:
Wanted: Miss Gowanus!
Have you always wanted to float down the Gowanus Canal at low tide wearing a sash that says "Miss Gowanus" and tossing white lilies into the water?
Yes? Then come join the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Centennial Parade!
On June 21, 1911, the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel opened to great fanfare. There were parades and speeches throughout South Brooklyn, and a nine-year-old girl was crowned "Miss Gowanus."
We are looking for up to ten people, any age or gender, to play Miss Gowanus in 2011! Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. If you are interested, please contact Angela Kramer Murphy at murphmer at gmail dot com. We are also looking for Miss Gowanuses who would want to be part of the sidewalk parade!