Wednesday provided a much needed break from the rain and humidity, so I decided to celebrate with an adventure to Dead Horse Bay. Not your typical way to spend a day off, but a fascinating lesson in NYC history nonetheless. Find out how this beach got its name and enjoy photos from my trip that started in the Far Rockaways and ended in Coney Island.
Dead Horse Bay, so called because of the former horse-rendering plants located nearby in the 1850s, is a small body of water located in Brooklyn close to Sheepshead Bay. Once upon a time, the beach was surrounded by over two dozen fish oil factories and garbage incinerators, in addition to the dead animal rendering plants. Per the New York Times, “From the 1850s until the 1930s, the carcasses of dead horses and other animals from New York City streets were used to manufacture glue, fertilizer and other products at the site. The chopped-up, boiled bones were later dumped into the water. The squalid bay, then accessible only by boat, was reviled for the putrid fumes that hung overhead.” Today, I am happy to report that the area smells much better. The upside of all this ancient garbage is that you can walk the beach and find historical items, such as medicine bottles and other bits of bygone days. Most prominent are the number of glass bottles littering the shore, as well as an extraordinary number of shoe soles. The area is also a breeding ground for horseshoe crabs, and you can find their spider-like shells all across the beach.
I got to Dead Horse Bay by taking the ‘A’ train to Rockaway Beach, walking through Ft. Tilden State Park, and then across the Marine Parkway Bridge to Dead Horse Bay. From there I walked — yes, walked — 11 miles along the shore and over the Belt Parkway to Coney Island. Sunset last night gave the boardwalk a magical air. Enjoy the pics, and email me if you have any suggestions of other off the beaten tourist track locations to visit. Summer is almost over, and I need to take a few more road trips before fall gets here.
If you would like to see more travel photos from my portfolio, please visit my personal website — www.Kelly-Williams.com