Monday, March 21, 2011

A Newsflash From The Past: "Tis The Season For Drowned Bodies" In Gowanus Creek



Eagle, May 30, 1857

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 30, 1857

While researching neighborhood history, I came across this fun, if slightly gruesome, 1857 article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle archive on the Brooklyn Public Library web site. Reports of drownings in the Gowanus Canal were rather frequent back then, but I had never heard that there was a 'season for drowned persons." Since the article was written in May, we can assume that we are fast approaching that same time of year, though these days, there don't seem to be just as many drowning incidents as in 1850's.

The Carroll Place mentioned in the article was, of course, the stretch of Carroll Street from Smith Street to the Gowanus before it was renamed in the 1870's..

The most bizarre drowning in the Gowanus Canal had to be the sad tale of 8-year-old Tony Studo of 455 Carroll Street in 1915. His death and burial caused a row between two neighborhood undertakers, which escalated into more deaths and a brawl involving 150 people. Read about it here:

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