Showing posts from 2015

Argyle Heights Crime Blotter, 1905-1912

Early Chronicles of West South Midwood Part 4: Crime In Olde West South Midwood by Joe Enright As the 20 th century dawned, our neighborhood was a wooded area, untouched except for two surface railroad lines. The land in fact was still owned by one of the original Dutch families who had settled southeastern Brooklyn in the 17 th century. Its population remained at zero until 1905 when hundreds of wood frame houses, erected by John Corbin and T. B. Ackerson over the previous two years, were all sold. With people there follows crime. So here is a tour of the police blotter in those early days when West Midwood was considered to be the area west of Coney Island Avenue and our neighborhood was more commonly known as the westerly portion of the South Midwood land tract that extended from Flatbush to Coney Island Avenues and from Foster Avenue to the Manhattan Beach Railroad tracks - now the sunken freight line cut. Since Midwood was considered by the Dutch to be the a

Looking Back

Of Cops and Careers My foot was staining the snow red with blood when a lone police officer pulled up in his patrol car.  It was New Year's Eve in Park Slope and I had just been in an accident that embedded a lot of glass in my right leg. The cop was gruff and not very gentle as he tightened the sock I was using as a tourniquet. His repeated radio calls for an ambulance got no reply. The snow was coming down harder around us and the cop seemed worried.   “Listen you're losing a lot of blood, I gotta get you out of here, OK?” And with that he scooped me up, placed me in the back of his car and rushed me to a Methodist Hospital emergency room bursting with the casualties of a wild Brooklyn night.  The officer cornered a doctor he apparently knew and I was prepped for surgery immediately. I remember him walking away, his uniform drenched with my blood, and I never saw him again. Prior to that incident the only cops I knew were the ones who constantly rousted

The West South Midwood Chronicles, Part Three: A Stroll Down West Midwood's Hidden Past

Socialists and Novelists and Dead People by Homeowner Harry The Reigns Pass to A New Leader Forged In Radical Socialism The issue of the “restrictive covenants” that accompanied the new houses built by Ackerson and Corbin would arise again for another president of the West South Midwood Property Owners League, William Wallace Passage of 716 Rugby Road. Passage was a long-time radical socialist who served as our leader from 1934 until his death in 1944. [NOTE: For those who recall that 716 Rugby was the same address where Joseph Clapham lived in 1908 when he complained about poor service on the Brighton line, as reported in Part 2 of this series below, it's time to ask yourselves the same question my wife is always asking me: isn't there something else I could be doing rather than memorizing Flatbush addresses?] Many of the original deeds to properties sold in West South Midwood contained restrictions that were expiring as 1940 approached, so Passage surveyed the 200 hom