Tag Archives: Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

The Triangle Fire – One Hundred Years Later

Anniversaries of older, tragic events are usually the only time those events play into the public consciousness. Other than that, they are rarely thought about, discussed or even remembered.

This week a vast amount of attention has been devoted by newspapers, PBS, HBO and news stations in New York that are marking the 100th anniversary of The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in which 146 people, mostly young immigrant girls, perished.

The details of the March 25th, 1911 conflagration which are summed up best by Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School web site are heartbreaking. Many of these girls Continue reading

North Brother Island

A Close-up Look At Hidden New York: No People, But Lots Of Abandoned Buildings, Neglected Structures And A Safe Haven To Birds.

Having lived in New York City my whole life, there are places that I have never visited by choice and others that I have never been to because they are off-limits.  One of those off-limits places is North Brother Island, which is a small island just off the southern coast of the Bronx near the entrance to Long Island sound.

North Brother Island, if known by the general public at all, is famous for two reasons:

1-   In 1904 the excursion boat General Slocum caught fire and was beached near the island. The fire took the lives of over 1,000 people, mostly women and children going on a church outing to Long Island. Heroic rescuers who worked on North Brother brought many of the victims to the shores of the island.

2-   Mary Mallon a.k.a. Typhoid Mary who was a carrier of typhoid and spread disease and death in turn of the century New York. She was quarantined there until she died in 1938.

I am fascinated by abandoned structures. North Brother Island is chock full of history. Presented here is the link to the fabulous web site The Kingston Lounge which has done a phenomenal history and photo essay of the decaying remains on this forgotten section of New York City.

The 19.3 acre island is now controlled by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and since its human abandonment in the 1970’s has become a bird sanctuary.