Kleindeutschland and the Lower East Side, Manhattan - Streets

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Kleindeutschland and the Lower East Side

My ancestors, Catherine Furst Schwartzmeier Lindemann (born Aschaffenburg, Germany 1827), her daughter, Wilhelmina Schwartzmeier Lindemann Goehle (born NYC c 1862), and Wilhelmina's husband, Peter Goehle (born Herrnsheim, Germany 1852) and their extended families lived in the Lower East Side. My grandfather, Frank Goehle, was born at 88 Sheriff Street in 1894.

In the mid to late 1800s a large portion of this the area was known as as Kleindeutschland (Little Germany) because of the high percentage of German immigrants who lived there. The Germans who lived in this part of New York City maintained their language and culture. It was a bit of Germany moved to New York City.

Germany was not unified as a nation until 1871. Up to that time it was made up of multitude of states, princedoms, dukedoms, city states, etc. All of these diverse regions had their own dialects, customs and dress. The "Germans" who came to America in the 1800s tended to form communities within their own regional groups. Bavarians and Prussians were the two biggest German speaking groups who settled in New York City.

Kleindeutschland encompassed the 10th, 11th, 13th and 17th Wards - an area between 14th and Division Streets - the East River and the Bowery. Today this area includes the East Village, Alphabet City, and parts of Chinatown, the Bowery, Little Italy, and NoLita.

Kleindeutschland was the first large urban language settlement in an America city. Between 1855 and 1880 it was the third largest German speaking community in the world - Only Vienna and Berlin were bigger!


The Bowery

Once one of the most fashionable streets in the city, by the end of the Civil War the Bowery had become the home of popular theaters and German beer gardens.

A 1892 Century Magazine about the Bowery had the following to say:

  • "It is an enormous, crowded, noisy street of retail shop, lodging houses, and museums."

  • In addition to "respectable" shops like grocer's, baker's and a shop for "the supply of firemen's goods" there were a abundance of cheap jewelry stores and pawnbrokers.

  • The "foreign inclination" of the street was noted:
    "one sees the force of foreign inclination unmistakably in other features of the street. The frequency of signs painted with Hebrew characters in German words even in the windows of banks, is no more mistakable than the occasional "delicatessen", shops, as the Germans call these places which are nearly like our "fancy groceries". The number of places for the sales of muscial instruments is so great as to indicate that the majority of their customers are from continental Europe, and in the still larger numbers of cheap photograph-galleries the same influence is apparent"........... Not only are the types of faces Teutonic and Slavonic, but the sitters have shown a fondness for being pictures in fancy costumes and maskers' dresses.".......... The sources of the fancy costumes is seen in the many places for the hire of masquerade dresses that are in the Bowery.......The costumes are hired for use at masquarade balls and it is on the morning after such a ball, before the dresses are returned, that the dancers wear them once again to the photograph-galleries."

  • The inhabitants of the Bowery area were joiners and everyone became members of numerous "societies". Each occupation had one of more societies. One became a member of the society of people who came from the same village of area of Germany. Other societies included: singing clubs, sharpshooting clubs, secret societies, mutual benefit societies, burial societies, gymnastic clubs, and various church groups.
    "Fraternity and fun are at the bottom of all these organizations — a kind of fun we Anglo-Saxon are too stiff to enjoy, and a sort of vigorous and ostentatious fraternity that we do not see the necessity for............No matter what the aim or title of the organization, dancing and the drinking of wine and beer seem to us the main purpose of the members."
    Many of these clubs members mixed on "equal terms" regardless of their social standing. The king of a given "ball" could have been "wage-earner", "clerk, a "professional" or a "well-to-do shop keeper".

    One society had the sole purpose to "bring together the people for a Rhenish village for a grand dance and feast of new sausage and new wine once a year."

  • The large number of drinking establishments was noted:
    "The street is fourteen blocks long, and there are sixty-five places where drink is sold on on its east side and seventeen on its west side"
    The numbers included: four music halls, four restaurants, four oyster houses, two or three wine houses, one wholesale liquor store, and several bars connected with theaters and variety-halls.
    "Some of the saloons have glittering exteriors and costly fittings, but not one is so called fist rate. In the main they are cheap places of a low class."
    The exception was the "one orderly resort &mdash The Atlantic Garden —"

    "Lager beer is of course the standard tipple of the Bowery, and it flows there in such torrents that I am not guilty of the slightest exaggeration is saying that early on Sunday morning, after a busy Saturday night, the very air that is breathed in the great avenue is weighted with the odor of soured beer."
  • There were six museums on the Bowery. They showed such things as "the fattest women on earth"

  • The Bowery was one of the most brilliantly lit streets of the day. Although Julian Ralph deems it "cheap and vulgar".

  • The Old Bowery theater had recently been "given over" to entainment for "Polish Hebrews".
    "The language used on the stage is a strange jargon of bad Russian, Polish, old Hebrew, and one or more other tongues"

  • Germans abounded:
    "More numerous than all others on this great East-Side parade are the people of German origin."


Bowery and Elevated Road, New York

Post marked 1910

By the mid 1870's elevated trains ran along 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th Avenues. While they improved the speed of travel they were loud and caused pollution.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Bowery and Doubledeck Elevated R. R., New York City

Not posted

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Printed on back
The Bowery, one of the most noted thoroughfares in the city, runs in a northeasterly direction through the most congested district of the famous East side. It practically begins at the Brooklyn Bridge under the name of Park Row and ends at Cooper Square. Was formerly a part of the old Boston Post Road.


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Third Avenue El — From Battery Park to Harlem along the Bowery and Third Avenue.


New York Public Library ID 805719

A SATURDAY NIGHT SCENE IN THE BOWERY NEW YORK, HARPERS WEEKLY MAY 20, 1871


"The Bowery is devoted mainly to the cheap trade. The children of Israel abound here. The display of goods in the shops flashy, and not often attractive. Few persons who have the means to buy elsewhere care to purchase an article in the Bowery,

as those familiar with it know there are but few reliable dealers in the street. If one were to believe the assertions of the Bowery merchants as set forth in their posters and hand bills, with which they cover the fronts of their shops, they are always on the verge of ruin, and are constantly throwing their goods away for the benefit of their customers. They always sell at a "ruinous sacrifice;" yet snug fortunes are realized here, and many a Fifth avenue family can look back to days passed in the dingy back room of a Bowery shop, while papa "sacrificed" his wares in front. Sharp practice rules in the Bowery, and if beating an unwilling customer into buying what he does not want is the highest art of the merchant, then there are no such salesmen in the great city as those of this street. Strangers from the country, servant girls, and those who, for the want of means, are forced to put up with an inferior article, trade here. As a general rule, the goods sold here are of an inferior, and often worthless quality, and the prices asked are high, though seemingly cheap. Pawnbrokers' shops, "Cheap Johns," third-class hotels, dance houses, fifth-rate lodging houses, low class theatres, and concert saloons, abound in the lower part of the street. The Sunday law is a dead letter in the Bowery. Here, on the Sabbath, one may see shops of all kinds-the vilest especially-open for trade. Cheap clothing stores, concert saloons, and the most infamous dens of vice are in full blast. The street, and the cars traversing it, are thronged with the lower classes in search of what they call enjoyment. At night all the places of amusement are open, and are crowded to excess. Roughs, thieves, fallen women, and even little children throng them. Indeed it is sad to see how many children are to be found in these places. The price of admission is low, and strange as it may sound, almost any beggar can raise it. People have no idea how much of the charity they lavish on street beggars goes in this way. The amusement afforded at these places ranges from indelicate hints and allusions to the grossest indecency. Along the line of almost the entire street are shooting galleries, some of which open immediately upon the street. They are decorated in the most fanciful style, and the targets

represent nearly every variety of man and beast. Here is a lion, who, if hit in the proper place, will utter a truly royal roar. Here is a trumpeter. Strike his heart with your shot, and he will raise his trumpet to his lips and send forth a blast sufficient to wake every Bowery baby in existence. "Only five cents a shot," cries the proprietor to the surrounding crowd of barefoot, penniless boys, and half-grown lads, "and a knife to be given to the man that hits the bull's eye." Many a penny do these urchins spend here in the vain hope of winning the knife, and many are the seeds of evil sown among them by these "chances." In another gallery the proprietor offers twenty dollars to any one who will hit a certain bull's eye three times in succession. Here men contend for the prize, and as a rule the proprietor wins all the money in their pockets before the mark is struck as required. The carnival of the Bowery is held on Saturday night. The down-town stores, the factories, and other business places close about five o'clock, and the street is thronged at an early hour. Crowds are going to market, but the majority are bent on pleasure. As soon as the darkness falls over the city the street blazes with light. Away up towards Prince street you may see the flashy sign of Tony Pastor's Opera House, while from below Canal street the Old Bowery Theatre stands white and glittering in the glare of gas and transparencies. Just over the way are the lights of the great German Stadt Theatre. The Atlantic Garden stands by the side of the older theatre, rivalling it in brilliancy and attractiveness. Scores of restaurants, with tempting bills of fare and prices astonishingly low, greet you at every step. "Lager Bier," and "Grosses Concert; Eintritt frei," are the signs which adorn nearly every other house. The lamps of the street venders dot the side-walk at intervals, and the many colored lights of the street cars stretch away as far as the eye can reach. The scene is as interesting and as brilliant as that to be witnessed in Broadway at the same hour; but very different.

As different as the scene, is the crowd thronging this street from that which is rushing along Broadway. Like that, it

represents all nationalities, but it is a crowd peculiar to the Bowery. The "rich Irish brogue" is well represented, it is true; but the "sweet German accent" predominates. The Germans are everywhere here. The street signs are more than one-half in German, and one might step fresh from the Fatherland into the Bowery and never know the difference, so far as the prevailing language is concerned. Every tongue is spoken here. You see the piratical looking Spaniard and Portuguese, the gypsy-like Italian, the chattering Frenchman with an irresistible smack of the Commune about him, the brutish looking Mexican, the sad and silent "Heathen Chinee," men from all quarters of the globe, nearly all retaining their native manner and habits, all very little Americanized. They are all "of the people." There is no aristocracy in the Bowery. The Latin Quarter itself is not more free from restraint. Among the many signs which line the street the word "Exchange" is to be seen very often. The "Exchanges" are the lowest class lottery offices, and they are doing a good business to-night, as you may see by the number of people passing in and out. The working people have just been paid off, and many of them are here now to squander their earnings in the swindles of the rascals who preside over the "Exchanges." These deluded creatures represent but a small part of the working class however. The Savings Banks are open to-night, many of them the best and most respectable buildings on the Bowery, and thousands of dollars in very small sums are left here for safe keeping.

Many of the Bowery people, alas, have no money for either the banks or the lottery offices. You may see them coming and going if you will stand by one of the many doors adorned with the three gilt balls. The pawnbrokers are reaping a fine harvest t--night. The windows of these shops are full of unredeemed pledges, and are a sad commentary on the hope of the poor creature who feels so sure she will soon be able to redeem the treasure she has just pawned for a mere pittance. Down in the cellars the Concert Saloons are in full blast, and the hot foul air comes rushing up the narrow openings as you

pass them, laden with the sound of the fearful revelry that is going on below. Occasionally a dog fight, or a struggle between some half drunken men, draws a crowd on the street and brings the police to the spot. At other times there is a rush of human beings and a wild cry of "stop thief," and the throng sweeps rapidly down the side-walk overturning street stands, and knocking the unwary passer-by off his feet, in its mad chase after some unseen thief. Beggars line the side-walk, many of them professing the most hopeless blindness, but with eyes keen enough to tell the difference between the coins tossed into their hats. The "Bowery Bands," as the little street musicians are called, are out in force, and you can hear their discordant strains every few squares.

Until long after midnight the scene is the same, and even all through the night the street preserves its air of unrest. Some hopeful vender of Lager Beer is almost always to be found at his post, seek him at what hour you will; and the cheap lodging houses and hotels seem never to close. Respectable people avoid the Bowery as far as possible at night. Every species of crime and vice is abroad at this time watching for its victims. Those who do not wish to fall into trouble should keep out of the way. p. 194

"Lights and Shadows of New York Life: or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City" by James Dabney McCabe, 1872

James Dabney McCabe on Sundays in the Bowery:
"Broadway wears a silent and deserted aspect all day long, but towards sunset the Bowery brightens up wonderfully, and after nightfall the street is ablaze with a thousand gaslights. The low class theatres and places of amusement in that thoroughfare are opened towards dark, and then vice reigns triumphant in the Bowery. The Bowery beer-gardens do a good business. The most of them are provided with orchestras or huge orchestrions, and these play music from the ritual of the Roman Catholic Church.

Until very recently the bar-rooms were closed from midnight on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, and during that period the sale of intoxicating liquors was prohibited. Now all this is changed. The bar-rooms do a good business on Sunday, and especially on Sunday night. The Monday morning papers tell a fearful tale of crimes committed on the holy day. Assaults, fights, murders, robberies, and minor offences are reported in considerable numbers. Drunkenness is very common, and the Monday Police Courts have plenty of work to do.


William Louis Sonntag, Jr. (1822-1900), "The Bowery at Night"1895

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, The Centry Magazine, 1892

From a painting by Andre Castaigne, 1891


The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1871 listed the following places of amusement on the Bowery:
  1. Bowery Theatre 46 Bowery near Canal, melodrama etc.
  2. Liederkranz Hall 35 East 4th Street near Bowery
  3. Stadt Theatre 45 Bowery, German plays
  4. Tony Pastor's Opera-House 201 Bowery near Spring st, variety performances
Other German places on the Bowery:
  1. Lindenmullers Odeon 205 Bowery
  2. Germania Hall, 291 - 293 Bowery
  3. Germania Bank 190 Bowery

The Third Avenue railroad line, which opened to great fanfare in July 1853, ran from Park Row up Chatham street and the Bowery until it joined the Forth avenue at Grand Street. The end of the line was a 61st Street. Drawn by horses there were originally 19 cars on the line.

Cooper Union

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Cooper Union, New York. Posted 1911.

Cooper Union located in Cooper Square (Bowery, Third Avenue and 7th Street) was founded in 1859 by Peter Cooper and offered free classes to everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or social status.


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

HARPER'S WEEKLY, July 2, 1870

Red Cloud, leader of the Oglala Kakota Sioux spoke at Cooper Institute in New York.

An excerpt from his speech:

"This was all very well until the Great Father sent another kind of men out there — men who drank whiskey; men who were so bad that the Great Father could not keep them at home, so he sent them out there"
The article indicates that Red Cloud left the impression that his "expectations had not been met at Washington, and that his intentions were not altogether pacific."

Red Cloud did not take part in the Lakota War of 1876-1877 (aka as the Great Sioux War) when Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull led their men in several battles against the United States Army. One of these battles was the the infamous battle of the Little Big Horn.

On February 27, 1860 Abraham Lincoln gave an historic speech on slavery at Cooper Institute.


Forth Avenue

Steinway Hall, East 14th Street near 4th ave concerts, The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1871

Steinway Hall was built in 1866. It contained concert halls, showrooms and sales rooms for Steinway pianos. Steinway Hall


Third Avenue

Third Avenue was a heavily populated street lined with small shops. It did not contain any important public buildings, with the exception of Copper Union.

Cooper Institute Hall East 8th and 3rd ave, concerts and lectures, The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1871.

See Cooper Union above.

Scheffel Hall at 190 Third Ave was built in 1894-94. A beer garden and restaurant it was modeled after a 17th century building in Heidelberg, Germany. New York Architecture

There was a trolley line on Third Avenue from 1853. The Second and Third Avenue lines ran together until Chatham Square. The Third Avenue line ran up the Bowery to Third Avenue (at 6th Street). Originally pulled by horses, the trollies were later run on cables. In 1899 electric cars were introduced.

An elevated railway was constructed on Third Avenue in 1878.

The trollies (or surface cars) and the El were built and operated by different companies.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, January 2012

Private Mailing Card, posted 1904, Cooper Union, 3rd Ave Elevated R. R., New York


Second Avenue

Second Avenue also had a trolly line.


The New Metropolis 1899, cut from book, collection of Maggie Land Blanck

SECOND AVENUE LOOKING NORTH FROM ST. MARK'S PLACE

The two buildings on the right are the N. Y. Historical Society and the Second Avenue Baptist Church

"In the quaint and historic structure of St. Marks church, at Tenth Street, is an interesting landmark. For a time this was a part of the German quarter."

The New Metropolis, 1899


Second Avenue and 11th Street New York Historical Society and the Second Avenue Baptist Church

King's handbook of New York city: an outline history and description of the of the American metropolis, edited by Moses King, 1892


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Located at 137 Second Avenue (near East 8th Street) the German Dispensary was built in 1884. The Dispensary and the library next door were the gifts of Anna and Oswald Ottendorfer the owners of the German/American newspaper, Staats-Zeitung. The dispensary was originally founded in 1857.


New York Library Digital Gallery, German Dispensary, 1840-1870, Print, No. 8 Third Street, Original Source: From Manual of the Corporation of the city of New York. (New York : The Council, 1840-1870) New York (N.Y.). Common Council, Author, Digital ID: 805213

The first facility of the German Dispensary was located at 132 Canal Street. In 1862 it moved to 3 East Third Street. By 1887 when it was located at 137 2nd Ave. the Dispensary was treating 28,000 patients a year, most from the neighboring German community. In 1905 the facility moved to Park Ave and 77th Street. It is now the Lenox Hill Hospital.


Cut from magazine, collection of Maggie Land Blanck

GERMAN BRANCH Y. M. C. A. 140 and 142 Second Avenue near 9th Street

"The German Branch, on Second Avenue, was organized in 1881 for work among the East-Side Germans, by whom it is greatly appreciated."

Kings handbook of New York City By Moses King


HOUSE OF THE HOLY FAMILY, a Catholic Charity at 134-136 Second Avenue was run by the Sisters of Divine Compassion. It was an association for befriending children and young girls. Established in 1870 its object was:
"The reformation and training, industrial, mental and religious, of girls not hardened by vice."

"Girls between the ages of 10 and 21 years may be committed or admitted on their own application or that of their friends; they must remain long enough to show fruits of their training."

There were 102 girls "cared for" in 1900.

The King's handbook of New York City of 1892 shows a 6 story building with a plain facade.


First Avenue


The New Metropolis 1899, cut from book, collection of Maggie Land Blanck

FIRST AVENUE LOOKING NORTH FROM EAST EIGHTH STREET

According to The New Metropolis, 1899 the elevated train gave First Avenue "an air of gloom and poverty".

"It comprises mile after mile of small shops on its west side and generally factories on the eat side, or yards of lumber, coal or stone."
There were apparently hundreds of cigar-makers on First Avenue "nearly all producing exceedingly cheap goods".

Photo courtesy of Timothy and Karin Greenfield-Sanders

St Nicholas Chruch, rectory, and convent on 2nd Street between First Avenue and Avenue A. The church and convent are no longer standing.



The Catholic Church in the United States of America Vol 3. - posted July 2013

Another view of St. Nicholas Church and rectory. My grandparents, Isabelle Walsh and Frank Goehle, were married in this church on February 6, 1921. See Frank Goehle

The first church of St. Nicholas was build on Second street in 1836 and the first mass was said there on June 28, 1836. A second church of St. Nicholas was build in 1848. The school was build in 1868. The rectory on 2nd street was built when Father Nicholas Sorg was pastor (after 1879 and before 1888).


Library of Congress, January 2012

Deutsche RomischKatholische Kirche in New York c. 1848


Avenue A


The New Metropolis 1899, cut from book, collection of Maggie Land Blanck

AVENUE A AND TOMPKINS SQUARE LOOKING NORTH FROM EAST SEVENTH STREET

Avenue A was the main thoroughfare of the German community in Lower Manhattan.

"Its entire lower end, from East Houston to Fourteenth Streets, is lined with shops that are German, spread with signs that are German, and promenaded by men and women who are, without question, prosperous German-Americans. A decade ago little else but the German tongue in its various dialects was heard here; now much English, though often a broken English, is to be heard. This is not because the Germans have moved, however. As a matter of fact there are more of this nationality about there than ever before, and Avenue A, for about fifteen blocks, is the pivotal center of "Kleine Deutchland". The reason of this gradual dropping of the German language is the influence of the growing generation which attends American schools. The older generation still speak the dialects of their native land. On the evenings just proceeding Christmas the curbs are lined with booths of decorations and toys, and it takes on an especially picturesque and foreign aspect. Avenue A abounds with "wein stubes," "bier Halles," bowling alleys, and numerous quaint shops."

The New Metropolis 1899

In 1861 Julius Lindemann was listed at 133 Avenue A. Julius Lindemann and his second wife, Catherine Furst Schwartzmeier Lindemann, lived at 133 Avenue A at the time of their marriage in 1863. I do not know when they moved, but in January 1865 the family was at 216 2nd Avenue. See Goehle Homes in New York City, Julius Lindemann and/or Catherine Furst Schwartzmeier Lindemann

133 is just north of St. Mark's (8th Street). A newer building is at that address today.


Avenue B


St Marks' Place

St Marks' place is "8th Street" between 3rd Avenue and Avenue A.

The Hamilton-Holly House 4 St Mark's Place was built in 1831. Originally a private home the building was later used as a meeting hall and apartments.

The German American Shooting Society Clubhouse 12 St. Marks Place. The Deutsch-Amerikanische Schuetzen Gesellschaft at 12 St. Mark's place was headquarters for 24 German shooting clubs from New York City and adjoining areas. The shooting ranges were mainly located on Long Island to the south and east of Brooklyn.

"It has a fine club-house at 12 St. Mark's Place, near Third Avenue, which contains, besides the usual club-apartments, a large hall for social events."

King's handbook of New York city: an outline history and description of the of the American metropolis, edited by Moses King, 1892

The Erxmeyer brothers, Fred and Henry, were members of the Hoboken Schuetzen Club. They were active in shooting events in the New York City area. Fred was on the Advisory Board of the National Schuetzen Bund in 1891. See Fred Erxmeyer and/or Henry Erxmeyer

Daniel LeRoy House, 20 St Mark's Place, was constructed in 1820.


From King's handbook of New York city: an outline history and description of the of the American metropolis, edited by Moses King, 1892

Arlington Hall, 21 St. Marks Place was the headquarters of the Arlon Society, a German musical club from 1870 to 1887.


Children's Aid Society, Girls Lodging House, 27 St Mark's Place

King's handbook of New York city: an outline history and description of the of the American metropolis, edited by Moses King, 1892 Children's Aid Society Girls Lodging


German Odd Fellows Hall 69, St. Mark's Place

From King's handbook of New York city: an outline history and description of the American metropolis, edited by Moses King, 1892

The cornerstone was lain for the German Odd Fellows building on November 19, 1889.


Houston to 14th Street


E 4th Street N. S. West - Avenue D
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: 4th Street (East) - Avenue D Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1935 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 710889F

Margaret Goehle was born at 374 E 4th Street in April 1897. I do not know when the family left 88 Sheriff Street and moved to 4th Street nor when they moved on again to 709 East 12th Street.


East 12th Street S - E from No. 644
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: 12th Street (East) - Avenue C Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 7111209F

Lena Goehle, the last child of Peter and Wilhelmine was born at the Lying In Hospital. The family address was 709 E 12th Street. A modern Google map shows this between Avenues C and D.

"John Pierpont Morgan, an affluent patient of Dr. Markoe, was responsible for the next important advance, the purchase in 1894 of the Hamilton Fish Mansion on Second Avenue and 17th Street to be used as the Lying-In Hospital. This was later expanded toward 18th Street. In 1899, the facilities were overtaxed and the need for a larger hospital was evident. The generosity of Morgan made possible the demolition of the mansion and the construction of a modern, eight-storied hospital that opened in 1902."

Lying-In Hospital of the City of New York

At this period of time most babies were born at home. The fact that Lena was born in a hospital could indicate that there was some issue with Wilhelmine's pregnancy.


Manhattan 12th Street (East) - Avenue C
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: 12th Street (East) - Avenue C Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 711118F

The general impression of the tenements is one of poverty, dirt, cramped courters, cold water flats, and other discomforts. In fact tenement immigrates were often clean, hard working and industrious. People made do with what they had and most stove for a better life. See Tenement Life now or at the bottom of the page.

This image shows the feather beds and pillows out to air.


Manhattan 12th Street (East) - Avenue C
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: 12th Street (East) - Avenue C Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 711119F

No's 639 to 647 East 12th Street, north side, west of Avenue C."
These images were taken when the buildings in the area were being demolished in the mid 1930s. In fact these buildings could not have been that old. They were probably build in the late 1800s and were typical of many of the tenements of the time. . See Tenement Life now or at the bottom of the page.


Tompkins Square

Tompkins Square is located between Avenues A and B, 7th and 10th Streets. The park, which opened in 1850, was a breath of fresh air in the congested area of Little German. It was also the scene some unrest:

  • 1857 — immigrants demonstrated against unemployment and food shortages and were attacked by police

  • 1863 — Draft Riots

    See 1863 Draft Riots now or at the bottom of the page

  • 1871 - German Peace Celebration.

    The celebration included a parade which culminated at Tompkins Sqaure. See German Peace Celebration below.

  • 1874 — Labor riots.

    See image below

  • 1877 — conflict between the National Guard and crowd gathered to head Communist revolutionary speeches

The park contains a monument to the victims of the General Slocum boat disaster in 1904. See General Slocum Disaster

"Tompkins Square is one of the largest in the city, and is laid off without ornament, being designed for a drill ground for the police and military. It occupies the area formed by avenues A and B, and Seventh and Tenth streets."

"Lights and Shadows of New York Life: or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City" by James Dabney McCabe, 1872


New York Public Library Digital Gallery &mdasg; Poor people's parks - Tompkins Square. 1873 Print From Hearth and home. (New York : Orange Judd & Co., 1873-) . Catalog Call Number: PC NEW YC-East Digital ID: 801462

POOR PEOPLE'S PARKS — TOMPKINS SQUARE


HARPER'S WEEKLY September 13, 1873 Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

TOMPKIN'S SQUARE, NEW YORK - OUT FOR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Those lucky enough to live close to one of the few parks in the Lower East Side could enjoy a more pleasant space — no traffic, less noise, trees, greenery.

The church in the background is St. Bridget's Roman Catholic started in 1848 by famine survivors. It is at Avenue B and East Seventh Street. The church has been the center of a lot of controversy in the last several years as the Archdiocese of New York sought to demolish the building. In May 2008 an anonymous donor gave $20 million to save the building and provide an endowment for the parish.


New York Public Library — Popular concert in Tompkins Square, N.Y. Thulstrup, Thure de, 1848-1930 -- Artist 1891 Harper's weekly : a journal of civilization. (New York : Harper' s Weekly Co., 1857-1916.) . Catalog Call Number: PC NEW YC-Parks Digital ID: 806158 Digital Item Published: 10-28-2005; updated 2-13-2009

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper January 31, 1874 Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

THE RED FLAG IN NEW YORK - RIOTOUS COMMUNIST WORKINGMEN DRIVEN FROM TOMPKINS SQAURE BY THE MOUNTED POLICE, TUES JANUARY 13th

There were not that many open spaces in the lower part of the city. A group of mostly immigrant, working-class, laborers requested a permit to demonstrate in the square. Political leaders suspected the group of Communist leanings and at the last minute revoked the permit to hold the rally. Large numbers of men and their families had gathered without realizing they no longer had a permit. Mount police wielding clubs rode down on the crowd.

"THE RED FLAG IN NEW YORK"

The so-called workingmen of the American Commune were announced to meet in Tompkins Square on Tuesday morning January 13th, and by ten o'clock at least 6,000 persons had assembled in the square. Many were also outside the railing inclosing the square and in the adjoining streets. Suddenly squads of police marched to the center of the square, crowds quickly hemming them in. Commissioner Duryea formed the men in line, and ordered the crowd to disperse. The officers, at almost the same moment, made a rush upon the crowd, which broke and ran, hotly pursued by the police who used their clubs indiscriminately. The square was soon cleared, except one portion, where Christian Meyer held froth as a leader of the Tenth Ward Association. He defied the police, and, with his crowd made a desperate resistance. He struck Sergeant Berghold with a hammer on the head, laying open the scalp a length of three inches. The sergeant's wounds were dressed at the station. His assailant was severely clubbed, and, with several of his bodyguards, was arrested. Several policemen were severely cut while taking the prisoners to the station house.

In the crowd were several hundred Communists, with red flags. The Central Committee of the Workingmen left the Casino, in Houston Street, at eleven A. M. followed by mounted police. On reaching Topmpins Square, the crowd hooted and yelled and stoned the police. While Captain Walsh was clearing the square his attention was suddenly directed to a body of men, numbering about two hundred, who were marching down the avenue followed by numerous rabble. The leader, Justus Swab, a Communist, carried an immense red flag which he defiantly waved over his head. When he reached the square, Captain Allaire arrested him and sent the flag to the police station. The First Avenue Station-house was besieged for several hours by the friends of those who were confined there. Our illustration represents the mob flying before the police."


Library of Congress, January 2012

Tompkins Square, between c 1910 and c 1915, Bain News Service


Library of Congress, Bain News Service September 2013

Playground Tompkins Square Park


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Tompkins Square Park circa 1903


Hamilton Fish Park


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Review, November 1905

Visable in the background is Houston Street at the corner of Sheriff Street.


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Review, November 1905

I believe that this view is of the Stanton Street side of Hamilton Fish Park.

To see more images of Hamilton Fish Park go to Children, New York City, Tenement Life


Hamilton Fish Park

With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Pitt Street - Stanton Street Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Digital ID: 720301F

Peter Goehle lived at 139 Pitt Street from his marriage to Catherine Christ in 1875 until at least the birth of his daughter Elizabeth in 1876. This image is of the Hamilton Fish Park Pool and gymnasium which backs up to the 100 block of Pitt Street (between Stanton St. and Houston St.). The buildings to the right in back of the gymnasium is the approximate location of 139 Pitt Street. The park was completed in 1904 as part of a slum clearance project.

Note: While the New York City Public Library grants permission to web sites like mine to use the images in their digital gallery for free, they charge $50 to get an image of better quality. Because that price would make the whole thing a little too expensive I have had to settle for images that are not as sharp and detailed as I would like.

The Goehle family subsequently moved one block down to 80 Pitt Street (between Stanton and Rivington Streets). They were at 80 Pitt Street for the birth of Frank in November 1878 and at his death in September 1880. A daughter, Louise, was born at that address in June 1880.


Library of Congress, January 2012

Hamilton Fish Park, undated, Bains News Service


Library of Congress, January 2012

Hamilton Fish Park, undated, Bains News Service


Rivington Street


The Ghetto, New York

Not posted

The sign post says Rivington Street

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Printed on back
The Ghetto

This district, located on the East side, is one of the most densely populated areas in the city. The narrow streets are lined with push-cart venders, dealing in all classes of food stuffs. Electric cars traverse very few of the streets, as the old-fashioned horse car is still to be found, moving slowly through the narrow street.


Library of Congress, The Ghetto, New York, N. Y. Rivington Street, circa 1909, January 2012

The street sign says RIVINGTON ST


Library of Congress, T Rivington Street, circa 1909, January 2012

Sunday morning at Orchard and Rivington, New York City c. 1915 Photo by Bain News Service


Rivington Street N. S. Columbia Street
With permission of the New York Public Library — Manhattan: Rivington Street - Columbia Street, 1920? Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy Digital ID: 722991F

Comments with this image:

"Rivington Street, north side, at Columbia Street. The view shows the DeWitt Memorial Church at No 280 Rivington Street, between Columbia and Cannon Streets. These buildings are reported to be over congested; 1 building having 96 people in 62 rooms."

246 and 248 Rivington Street

The following two wonderful old photos of East Rivington Street where graciously shared by Mary Canzler, September 2006




Mary writes:
"My great great grandfather, Philipp Meckel immigrated from Germany sometime around 1865-1870, worked hard and made enough money to send for his best gal, Katharina Knapp to come over and become his wife. He also put a down payment on two brand new buildings, 246 and 248 Rivington Street. Each building was 4 stories with two stores fronts in each.

My grandfather, Michael Koch opened a barber shop in one of the store fronts at 248 sometime around 1890-1892. He then won the heart and hand of Philipp's daughter Elizabeth and they married. At that time, Philipp was proprietor of Meckel's Orange County Dairy and was also one of the founding fathers of the New York dairymen's league. He picked up the milk from the train station at 11th Avenue. A cousin (or a nephew, family lore is not clear) of Philipp's came over after his mother died. John Meckel had been an officer's chef in the German army, and he worked in the dairy making creamed pickled herring and pot cheese (now known as cottage cheese). Philipp died in 1904 and Michael took over the running of the dairy store and changed the name from Meckel Dairy to Koch Dairy, and added groceries. After Michael died, a man named Joe Rempe bought the business. I believe there is a connection to Joe via a marriage of Philipp Meckels son Philip P. to Mary M. Rempe. It is possible Joe was Mary's brother as I remember "Uncle" Joe as a young girl and he was pretty old then.

As for the people in the photos, none of them look "familiar" to me, they were probably just passersby hamming it up for a moment in eternity.

At least one of the buildings on Rivington Street stayed in the Koch family until around 1956 or so as my Great Aunt Marie and Great Uncle Philip (brother and sister) inherited them. One of the buildings may have already been sold, but one was still in family hands, though not for long. I have a letter from my aunt reporting on the progress of the workers who were taking measurements and discussing the problems of collecting the rents from the apartments. The postmark on the letter was 1956. I have a sad suspicion that when I make my road trip in the spring, I will find that those buildings have been razed and something new and ugly will be in their place. Progress."

September 2006

For more information on the Meckels and some additional great photos go to Meckel


New York City Library, ID 1659347

Public School No 4, Rivington St. near Ridge. (1853)

See 88 Sheriff Street for more information on Grammar School No 4.


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Public School, Suffolk and Rivington ca. 1897


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Public School, Rivington, Forsyth and Eldridge ca. 1897


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Public School, Hester and Ludlow circa 1897


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

The first free public baths in New York City opened in March 1901 at 326 Rivington Street.

326 Rivington was just east of Columbia St. The address no longer exists.


For more images of Rivington Street, go to Goehle Houses in New York City now or at the bottom of the page.


Sheriff Street

My grandfather, Frank Goehle, was born at 88 Sheriff Street in March 1894


Sheriff Street - E. S. - North - Rivington - Stanton Streets
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Sheriff Street - Rivington Street, 1923, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 723194F

While a current Google map shows 88 Sheriff between Houston and Stanton, an 1899 map from the New Metropolis shows 100 Sheriff at the corner of Sheriff and Stanton, which would put 88 Sheriff in the middle of the block between Rivington and Stanton on the West side — approximately across the street from the above image.


Sheriff Street - Nos 86-88
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Sheriff Street - Rivington Street, 1923, Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 723196F

I found it quite exciting that one of the clearest and largest images in the New York Library Digital Gallery was actually of the back of at least a part of 88 Sheriff Street.

Notice the outdoor latrines.

The Goehle family was at this address in the fall of 1890. A federal census was taken in 1890 but New York City officials decided that that census did not reflect a true accounting of the citizens of the city so the New York City policemen did another census between September 19 and October 14, 1890. The count was 13% higher than the federal census. The really fortuitous part of the Police Census is that when the federal census burned before it could be microfilmed the Police Census remains for historians and genealogists to work with.

Frances Goehle was born at 88 Sheriff in May 1891. Her brother, and my grandfather, Frank Goehle, was born here in March 1894. Their father, Peter Goehle, was the son of Franz Goehle. He tried through two marriages to have a son named Frank (Franz). He had nine children by his first marriage including a Frank and a Frances who both died in their infancy. He was in his second mariage and age 39 when Frances was born. He had five children from the second marriage. The last when he was 47.

See Peter Goehle

88 Sheriff Street had a notoriously bad reputation. See 88-90 Sheriff Street


No 86 Sheriff Street

This image is labeled "No 86 Sheriff" Street but I am not sure if 86 Sheriff Street is the building to the right, the empty lot or the building in the background. In any event, it gives a feel for the neighborhood.

With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Sheriff Street - Rivington Street Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 723195F


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

90-94 Sheriff March 4, 1937


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Review, November 1905

Sheriff Street south of Houston. The original of this image focused on the Hamilton Fish Park but I am more interested in the buildings.


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Hamilton Fish Park, ca. 1890

Again, the images original focus was on the playground activity, but I chose to empathize the buildings.

These buildings are all gone.

Hamilton Fish Park currently encompasses the area between E. Houston, Stanton, Sheriff and Pitt streets. It includes a part of what once was Willett street.

The Gymnasium, located on the western edge of the park, is the only part of the original as designed in 1898. The address given for the Gymnasium is 130 Pitt Street. The park was opened in 1900.


Museum of the City of New York, September 2013

Hamilton Fish Park, ca. 1890, facing the corner of Sheriff and Stanton.

The building with the kind of eyebrow effect over the windows was NY Grammar School #22, located at the corner of Stanton and Sheriff.


Museum of the City of New York, Byron Company, 1898September 2013

NY Grammar School #22, located at the corner of Stanton and Sheriff.

1898: Stanton Street A large crowd of children entering a public school on Stanton Street. A police officer presides over the crowd.
According to several city maps the facade of the school was on Sheriff street. And the side was on Stanton. This view is looking north along Sheriff towards Houston.

See 88 - 90 Sheriff street

1916 Map, New York Public Library, digital collection.

1916 map showing location of school in relationship to the Hamilton Fish Park.


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, 2010

88 Sheriff Street is now in the middle of the Masaryk Towers. See 88 Sheriff Street


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, 2010

The Park at the center of Masaryk Towers.


Pitt Street Street

The Goehle family lived at 80 Pitt street between 1878 and 1880. I believe 80 Pitt was between Stanton and Rivington. There are housing developments at this location today.


Museum of the City of New York, Wurts Bros. September 2013

Pitt street between Houston and Stanton during the construction of Hamilton Fish, 1930.


Willett Street from Stanton toward Houston Street, Bone Alley Park made there, Museum of the City of New York, September 2013, Jacob A Riis, ca 1895,

Willett Street


Hester Street


Hester Street, New York

No date

There was another copy of this card for sale on ebay in January 2012 with a post mark of 1907.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

See Tenement Life now or at the bottom of the page.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Hester Street 1898


Library of Congress, January 2012

In Hester St., N. Y., Candy, Alfred Campbell c 1896, stereograph


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Zeisloft NYC Book Print c 1900s Hester Street


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Zeisloft NYC Book Print c 1900s Hester Street


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, Zeisloft NYC Book Print c 1900s Hester Street

The previous three images are on one sheet with the following comment:

"HESTER STREET MARKET ON FRIDAY

Here is Hester Street, scene of the wonderful market of the Ghetto. See on Thursday afternoon and evening and Friday morning, when all the housewives are making their purchases for the Shabbas...It is then a most picturesque spectacle, as the sun beats down on it, heightening and brightening the kaleidoscope effect. Miles of push carts, filled with shimmering glistening fish, stretch far away down the adjoining streets. Other hundreds of carts, filled with fruit, vegetables, neckwear, linen, tinware, and merchandise of all sorts and descriptions, crowd in between the fish carts, choking the way. About these carts there swarms and jostles and crowds and jabbers and bargains and barters a heterogeneous mass of people, such as is to be scene nowhere else on the face of the earth"


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

A Scene on Hester Street, New York City


Library of Congress, January 2012

Garbage at Essex and Hester Sts (before School 26) circa 1911, garbage collectors strike


Columbia Street

Columbia Street No 28 N. E. Cor and Broome Street showing P.S. 110
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: Cannon Street - Broome Street, 1920, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 71807

The Goehle family was living at 63 Columbia street from 1885 to 1889.


Broome Street

In 1881 the Goehle family was at 73 Broome Street (between Lewis Street and Cannon Street south of the Williamsburg Bridge near). Cannon Street once ran for several blocks between Columbia and Lewis Streets but most of it has been lost to the high rise apartment complexes that are now in the area. A small section still exists south of the Williamsburg Bridge. Construction on the Bridge started in 1896 well after the Katherine was born here in August 1881. The family had moved on by 1883.

Note: The New York Public Library Digital Gallery does have some other images of Broome Street near Columbia, but the images are so small and the quality so poor that they unfortunately do not give much more than an impression of the area.


Corner Broome and Columbia, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893


Goerck Street

Goerck Street no longer exists. A 1917 map show that it ran from Grand to Houston street.


Rivington and Goerck Streets, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893

Goerck and Delancy Streets, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893

Goerck Street, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893


Lewis Street

A 1917 map show that Lewis Street ran from Grand to 8th street. A section still exists between Grand and Delancy. The rest is gone.


Lewis and Delancy, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893

Lewis Street from Delancy Streets, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893

Lewis Street North of Delancy Street, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893


Clinton Street

Clinton Street North of Rivington, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893


Worster and Third Street

Wooster and Third Streets, Harpers Weekly, February 18, 1893

Note: Worster is actually not in the Lower East Side.


Delancy Street

Delancey Street - No 5 E Columbia- Cannon Strs
With permission of the New York City Library — Street Delancey Street - Columbia Street 1932, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 719294F

At the death of Frances age 2 months, in May 1883 the Goehles were at 63 Columbia Street just north of Delancey. Peter used this address when he was naturalized in October 1883. And the twins, Marie and Peter, were born here in June 1885. The family was still at 63 Columbia at the birth of Clara in 1887. Peter's wife, Catherine, died here of acute post partum hemorrhage in October 1888. A little over three months later in January 1889 when Peter married Wilhelmina Lindemann this was the address listed.

The stay at 63 Columbia Street is a mini versions of the trials, travails and joys of immigrant life in the Lower East Side. Infant mortality was high as was death related to childbirth. Families were large in these days before birth control and when a young mother died it was practical to remarry as soon as possible so the remaining children would have proper childcare.

The family had been moving on an average every two years before the move to 63 Columbia. Frequent moves were common occurrences in immigrant families. The stay of six years at 63 Columbia may indicate some stability in the family's finances.


Norfolk Street

Norfolk St No. 116- showing P.S. 140
With permission of the New York City Library — Norfolk Street - Rivington Street, 1920, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 719946F

Wilhelmine (Winifred) Goehle was born in December 1889 at 145 Norfolk Street. A current Google map shows that mid block between Stanton and Rivington Streets.

The stay at this address was relatively short. In the 1890 New York City Police Census the Goehle family was listed at 88 Sheriff Street.


Miscellaneous Images of the Lower East Side


A "slum" that was torn down to be replaced by the high rise apartment complexes that now run along the East River from the Brooklyn Bridge to 23 Street
New York City, State, and Nation by Sol Holt, a 1955 Junior High School civics book. Collection of Maggie Land Blanck


One side of a stereo view Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

On the East Side, New York, 1905


Work May 1909

THE PUSH-CART DISTRICT


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Essex Street, N. Y.. City, 1906


Library of Congress, "Imported Armericans" shopping from push-carts on the lower East side, N. Y. C. 1907, Underwood & Underwood, stereograph card January 2012


Library of Congress, "How the other half lives" in a crowded Hebrew district, Lower East Side, N. Y. C., 1907, Underwood & Underwood, stereograph card January 2012


Library of Congress, January 2012

Organ Grinder on Street, East side Bain collection, not dated


Library of Congress, January 2012

On the East Side, N. Y. C., circa 1906, stereograph


Library of Congress, January 2012

Selling Sox, Hester Street between 1908 and 1916, Bain collection


Library of Congress, January 2012

New York "Little Jerusalem" between 1908 and 19196 Bain collection


Library of Congress, January 2012

Jewish Market on the East Side, New York between 1890 and 1901 Detroit Publishing Co.

The three story building at the left of this image shows an example of the older wooden tenement houses. As described in an 1873 article in Harpers Weeky this type of wooden structure was "liable at any time to take fire, and from its position, and from the fact that it is unprovided with fire escapes, such a casualty might involve a frightful loss of life. "


Library of Congress, January 2012

Jewish life - celebrating the Jewish New Year on the East side of New York, between 1905 and 1915, Bain collection


Library of Congress, January 2012

East Side Women discussing price of meat during N. Y. C. meat boycott April 1910, Bain collection

This images is a great example of layering to keep warm.

Note: The "meat boycott" was a nation wide consumer movement that attempted to gain a reduction in the price of meat. "Boycott", meaning to join with others in refusing to have any dealings with some other individual or group, is derived from an incident that occurred at Lough Mask House near Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland in 1880. See Boycott


January 1908. These ladies have on even more petticoats and shawls the the group pictured above.

Modern reproduction of 1907 photo. Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Corner of Broome and Essex, 7-12-1907

According to his naturalization record, Joseph Hymson was born January 10, 1870 in Russia and immigrated in 1899. He gave his address as 226 Broome Street and his occupation as druggist.


New York Public Library, ID 1659342

Front elevation of Ward School House No 20 in Chrystie near Delancy Street, Tenth Ward (1853)


New York Public Library, ID 805522

R. Hoe & Co.s printing press and saw manufactory (1884)

R. Hoe & Co were located above Grand between Sheriff and Columbia Streets.


>
Modern reproduction of old photo. Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

I was told that this is a copy of one of the oldest photos of New york City and was taken somewhere near the Five Points. While that is technically not the Lower East Side I believe that the buildings with their awnings are representative of the shopping areas of lower Manhattan at the time.


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Lower New York, Harpers Weekly, September, 1877. Close up of a larger picture, see New York Waterfront


Most of the tenement buildings where the Goehle's and their related kin lived in in the late 1800s were replace with complexes like this one.
New York City, State, and Nation by Sol Holt, a 1955 Junior High School civics book. Collectin Maggie Land Blanck


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Printed on the back:
" East River Park, located at the foot of the New East River Drive. A modern playground at the East River's edge. In the background can be seen the skyline of Midtown Manhattan.
Not posted.

The tennis courts at the bottom of the card are just above Delancey. The East River Park and East River Drive (Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive or, FDR ) was a Robert Mosses pro


Around the Williamsburg Bridge

From at least 1875 until at least 1897 Peter Goehle and his family lived either one block north or one block south of Delancey Street on the Lower East Side.

Several of the addresses where they lived were very near that east end of Delancey Street which is now the approach to the Williamsburg Bridge. Construction on the Williamsburg Bridge started in 1896 and was completed in 1903. The buildings north of the bridge ramp remained until the 1950s when all of the buildings north of Delancey, east of Pitt Street (Avenue C) and south of Houston over to the river were razed and the Samuel Gompers Houses, Masaryk Towers, and Baruch Houses were built in the area.

For a period of time the Goehles lived at 63 Columbia Street. This address would now lie between Masryk Towers and Baruch Houses. They also lived on Sheriff Street which now lies east of Hamilton Fish Park just south of Houston. Sheriff Street once extended down to Grand through what is now the grounds surrounding Masaryk Towers.

Samuel Gompers housing was build in 1964. The project was named for Samuel Gompers who was born in London of a Dutch Jewish family. The family immigrated to New York City in 1863. Gompers was president of the American Federation of Labour from 1886-1894.

Baruch is a large complex of 18 towers located between Columbia Street and the East River Drive that was mostly built in 1959.

The following pictures give some idea how the area looked in the early 1900s just after the Williamsburg Bridge was built.


The Old Wharf, Williamsburg Bridge
Etched by C. H. White from Harpers magazine, February 1905 collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Etched by C. H. White from Harpers magazine, February 1905, collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

This view is of an unknown street running east/west north of the bridge and fairly close to the river. The two streets just north of the bridge were Rivington and Stanton.

Williamsburg Bridge Approach, New York City
Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Printed on the back:
"WILLIAMBURG BRIDGE APPROACH
NEW YORK CITY
Williamsburg Bridge, a combined cantilever and suspension bridge, opened Dec. 19, 1903, crossing the East River from Delancey Street, New York City to Broadway, Brooklyn. Total length 7,200 feet, width 188 feet, height 135 feet clear. Cost $10,000,000."
Not posted Edward Hopper painted a scene From Williamsburg Bridge in 1928. Edward Hopper

>
Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Printed on back:

"Schiff Parkway (formerly Called Delancy Street) was named after the great philanthropist, Jacob Schiff."


>
Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

South of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side of the East River.


Allen and Delancey

July 5, 1907

Allen Street continues south of First Avenue below Houston. By 1880 the Second Avenue elevated train ran from Allen Street all the way up to 65th Street.

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck

1907 Delancey at Elridge

In 1881 Peter Goehle and family lived on Broome Street just west of Allen and a block below Delancey.

East River Bridges As Seen From Woolworth Tower, New York

No date

The Brooklyn Bridge (at the right of the photo) took 14 years to complete. It was the longest, highest bridge in the world when it opened in 1883.

The Manhattan Bridge (in the center of the photo) was completed in 1912.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Electrical Lighting in The Lower East Side


Harper's Weekly July 27, 1889, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

ELECTRICAL LIGHT LEAVING THE BRUSH STATION

According to the accompanying article, the Brush Electric Light Company station was at 210 Elizabeth Street.

In 1889 there were 7 electrical companies provide electric service for Manhattan.

  1. The United States Co covered lower manhattan and part of middle Manhattan .
  2. The Brush Co covers the middle.
  3. The Manhattan Co. covered the upper east side and some upper and middle parts of the city
  4. The East River Co. covered the east side and part of the middle.
  5. The Harlem Co. covered the upper east side.
  6. The Mount Morris covered the west side
  7. The Edison covered lower and middle

The Brush and Manhattan supplied only large lights and motors. The Manhattan supplied only small lights. The other companies had similar restrictions.

To see more images of services and utilities in New York City go to Services and Utilities now or at the bottom of the page.


Transportation in The Lower East Side


Harper's Weekly July 27, 1889, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Grand Street, New York at Night

To see more images of transportation in New York City go to Trollies, Subways, Cars, Buses, and Boats, now or at the bottom of the page.


Lower New York City and East River Bridges

No date.

The bridge in the center of the photo is the Williamsburg Bridge (completed in 1903) which ends on Delancey Street in Manhattan. Known addresses for Peter Goehle include:

  • Pitt Street just north of Delancey in 1875/76
  • Broom Street just south of Delancey in 1881
  • Columbia Street just south of Delancey from 1883 to 1889
  • Sheriff Street just south of Delancey in 1894
  • Pitt Street just north of Delancey in 1899
Catherine Furst Lindemann and her daughter, Minnie Lindemann, were on Cannon Street just south of Delancey in 1899.

This photo was taken before the FDR Drive was build and before the old buildings near the East River were demolished to make room for the housing projects that now cover most of the area. The Williamsburg Bridge was completeted in 1903. Construction of the FDR began in 1934.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

LX. TENEMENT HOUSE LIFE.

The peculiar formation of the island of Manhattan renders it impossible for the city to expand save in one direction. On the south, east, and west its growth is checked by the waters of the rivers and bay, so that it can increase only to the northward. The lower part of the island is being occupied for business purposes more and more exclusively every year, and the people are being forced higher up town. Those who remain in the extreme lower portion for purposes of residence are simply the very poor. Those who can afford to do so, seek locations removed as far as is convenient to them from the business section. The laboring class, by which I mean all who are forced to pursue some regular occupation for their support, are not able to go far from their work, and are obliged to remain in locations which will enable them to reach their places of business with as little delay as possible.

Consequently the bulk of the population is packed into that portion of the city which lies between the City Hall and Fourteenth street. By the United States Census of 1870, the population of the wards in this district was reported as follows:

Wards Natives Foreigners Total
4 10456 13292 23748
5 9245 7905 17150
6 9444 11709 21153
7 24130 20688 41818
8 20285 14628 34913
9 33020 14589 47609
10 18851 22580 41431
11 34805 29425 64230
13 19288 14076 33364
14 13379 13057 26436
15 16821 10766 27587
17 46033 49332 95365
Total 255757 222047 477804
By the same census, the total population of the city in 1870 was 942,292. The district included in the above wards is about two miles square, which would give for this portion of New York an average population of 238,902 to the mile square. The Seventeenth ward covers less than one-fortieth of the whole area of the island, and contains more than one-tenth of the whole population.

The total area of the city is twenty-two square miles, and we find that one-half of its population is cramped within an area of about four square miles. It is evident, therefore, that they must be housed in a very small number of buildings, and such indeed is the case.

Lights and Shadows of New York, Sights and Sensations of the Great City, 1872, James Dabney McCabe Jr 1842-1883


Union Square

Saturday Night At The Union Market, New York City. Drawn by W. T. Smedley,
Harper's Weekly, October 16, 1886

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Union Square, New York

Not posted

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Castle Garden Recruiting of Arriving Immigrants

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

This very interesting image from the Illustrated London News of September 17, 1864 depicts the recruiting of newly arrived immigrants outside of Castle Gardens. Castle Gardens was the immigration processing center before Ellis Island. See Immigration for more images of Castle Gardens.

The major focus of this recruitment are the Irish and Germans. Notice the sign is in both English and German. Union soldiers can be seen mingling with the crowd. Unfortunately, the accompanying article is missing.

An Irish "type" can be seen in the center wearing a tall hat, holding a glass, and standing near the soldier with the whiskey keg and two glasses. This is the classic stereotype of the Irish immigrant — apish and a drinker.

There is no clear stereotype of a German immigrant in this image.

German-Americans were the largest ethnic group to fight in the American Civil War. Most fought on the Union side. New York supplied the largest number of German born Union soldiers.

See also 1863 Draft Riots


Free Ice in the Summer

In the heat of summer ice and ice water was dispensed to the poor of the city.

In August 1896, according to the New York Times, the Health Department distributed free ice to the poor at police stations. Patrolmen searched the poorest families on their beat and gave them vouchers for free ice. The ice was cut up into 10 pounds blocks at the police stations 352 tons of ice were distributed throughout the city. The seventh and eleventh precinct included the most crowded tenement districts. The 7th precinct is at 257 Madison the 11th is at 105 Eldridge. Each of these precincts got 11 tons of ice. Nearly all the applicants for the ice were children. The distribution started at 6 o'clock in the morning but children were lining up by 4 o'clock. About 1,500 people were served at the Madison street station and about 2,000 at the Eldridge street station. Petitioners for the ice were subject to questioning and if it was felt that the person in question could afford to buy ice they were turned away.

105 Eldridge is between Grand and Broome.


People waiting on Cyrystie Street for free ice distributed by the Police Department, Home missionary, Volumes 74-75 By Congregational Home Missionary Society, 1902.

The ice was distributed at the Police Station which was two doors from the Camp Memorial Chruch.


The ice being distributed Home missionary, Volumes 74-75 By Congregational Home Missionary Society, 1902

Harper's Weekly, date unknown, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Free Ice-Water

The sign on the wagon reads "FREE ICE WATER MODERATION SOCIETY N Y". In 1894 the Moderation Society of New York and a delegation of women from the Presbyterian Church of Arlington, N. J. were regularly distributing flowers to the "children on the poor" in Five Points, an infamous tenement area made famous in modern times by the movie GANGS OF NEW YORK. See Trailer and New York Times, July 1, 1894

As the name implies the "Moderation Society" was part of the temperance movement. One of it missions during the hot weather was to place the kind of ice water fountains depicted in this image in various poorer neighborhoods of the city, including Tompkins Square and Five Points. A permanent fixture, the Temperance Fountain was installed in Tompkins Square Park in 1890. See Temperance

This images was on a page entitled "NEW YORK TENEMENT-HOUSES ON A HOT DAY". The lady with the parasol does not look like the typical depiction of a woman from the tenement district. Perhaps she is a representative of the Moderation Society.


Goehle Homes in New York City

174 Second Avenue (corner building)

Julius Lindimann lived on the corner of Second and 10th Streets between 1855 and 1858. Julius immigrated in 1847.

According to the Property Valuation Tax Assessments the building that now stands on this site was built in 1900.


Avenue A N. E. 8th Street, 1937
With permission of the New York City Library — Manhattan: 12th Street (East) - Avenue C Sperr, Percy Loomis, 1890-1964 -- Photographer, Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History Digital ID: 715864F

"Avenue A north from East 8th Street. At the right is Tompkins Square. This extends to 10th Street. May 17, 1937, works Progress Administration Five borough Project"
133 Avenue A was the address given at the marriage of Catherine Furst Schwartzmeier to Julius Lindemann in 1863. 133 Avenue A is just north of St. Marks (8th Street). A newer building stands at that address today.

Julius had been listed at this address from 1861 to 1863.

In January 1865 the family was at 216 2nd Avenue at the death of one year old Elizabeth. They were still there in 1866 for the birth of Sophia. 216 was near the corner of 2nd Avenue and 13th Street. I have not found any old images of that intersection and the area is totally new today.


366 8th Street (Between Avenues C and D)

The home of Julius and Catherine Lindemann at the time of Julius's death in 1867


535 6th Street, April 2009

Zillow.com lists this property as built in 1900.

Photo Maggie Land Blanck

533 is the building with the glass blocks on the ground floor.

NYC directory: 1869-1870, Catherine Lindemann 535 Sixth Street widow of Julius

NYC directory: 1870-1871, Catherine Lindemann 412 Sixth Street widow of Julius
NYC directory: 1873, Catherine Lindemann 412 Sixth Street widow of Julius

412 6th Avenue building is no longer standing.


531 5th Street, April 2009

NYC Directory: 1874, Catherine Lindemann, dress maker, 531 Fifth Street

Photo Maggie Land Blanck


504 6th, April 2009

NYC Directory: 1878-1879, Catherine Lindemann 504 Sixth Street widow Julius

Zillow.com does not give a year of construction.

Photo Maggie Land Blanck

1875-77, Catherine Lindeman, wid. Julius, 514 Fifth Street
1879-1880, Catherine Lindemann 152 East 4th Street widow Julius — Gone


518 6th Street, April 2009
Photo Maggie Land Blanck

1880-1881, Catherine Lindemann 518 Sixth Street widow Julius

1881-1882, Catherine Lindemann was listed at 518 Sixth Street as the widow of Julius

Catherine Furst Lindemann and her daughters, Wilhelmine and Sophia, lived at this address from 1880 until at least 1882.

In the 1880 census there were 17 families living in this five story building. It is probably typical of the tenements of the time which averaged four families per floor.

Several other buildings in the surrounding blocks had these same small windows in the middle of each floor.

Zillow.com does not give a year of construction.


236 E 14th Street (the right hand side of the grey and white building)

This was the home of Peter Goehle, his wife, Minnie, and his children, Peter, Mary, Clara, Minnie, Frances, Frank, Margaret and Rosa, as listed in the 1900 Federal Census.


208 East 82nd Street

The Goehle's lived here just before Agnes married Bud in 1941


For more information on the Goehles and related families go to Goehle Introduction Page

To see images of life in the tenements of lower Manhattan go to Tenement life

For more information on the Meckels and some additional great photos go to Meckel

To see images of children on the Lower East Side and for information on education, child labor and other issues see Children of the Tenements

88 and 90 Sheriff Street were addresses that were written about in the press for a number of years. My grandfather, Frank Goehle, was born at 88 sheriff Street in 1894. 88 - 90 Sheriff Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan as a Microcosm of Little Germany (Kleindeutchland)

New York City, Information and Images

Shopping and Street Venders

The German Theater

Actors in the German Theater

Survices and Utilities in New York City

Trollies, Cars, Subways, Buses and Boats in New York City

James Dabney McCabe Jr 1842-1883

German Beer Gardens

German Social Organizations

Lower East side Places of Worship

Life in Germany

Catherine Furst, Julius Lindemann, Peter Goehle, Henry Blanck, the Erxmeyers, the Petermanns were among the millions of German American immigrants. For images of life in Germany, click on the picture of the wooden shoes


Germans in America

Catherine Furst, Julius Lindemann, Peter Goehle, Henry Blanck, the Erxmeyers, the Petermanns were among the millions of German American immigrants. For information on and images of the German American in United States click on the image of the German American Family


The Temperance Movement

For early pictures representing the Temperance Movement in New York City


May 1st Moving Day in NYC

May 1st was a day when many leases, both commercial and residential, expired. Consequently the city was jammed with moving wagons.


General Slocum Fire 1904

On June 15, 1904 the excursion boat, SS General Slocum caught fire on the East River resulting in the death of over 1,000 persons, mostly women and children. It was the biggest disaster in New York City until 9/11.


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Maggie


© Maggie Land Blanck - page created 2008 - latest update, September 2013