Updated June 23rd, 2009




 is Now available
in major bookstores thoughout the metroplitan area for those who prefer not to shop online
It is always available online from Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, etc.and is called
"The Bronx in bits and pieces."
Format: 6 x 9 softcover
Page Count: 289
ISBN: 978-1-60008-062-3
Price: $19.95
Publication Date: August 5, 2007
Fort Schuyler, the Grand Concourse, Loew's Paradise, Early Edgewater, Silver Beach, Locust Point, etc. 
 If you've ever wondered what it was like around here in Edgewater and other sections of the Bronx by a man who can fill in all the blanks about the past history of the area, this is the book and Bill Twomey is the man. Order it today at your favorite bookstore or on the net!

Bill Says: I wrote this book on the South Bronx in 2002.  It's a showcase of old photographs showing the trolleys, movie houses, and buildings of that popular area of our borough.  It was featured as such places as Hostos Community College where montages were blown up to life size images.  If you hailed from the South Bronx, you may wish to thumb through a copy at your favorite Barnes and Nobel, Borders, or wherever books are sold.  It was the third book I wrote for Arcadia Publishing as part of their Images of America series. 
Book Description:
Once a part of Westchester County, the Bronx was annexed to New York City in the nineteenth century. The South Bronx came to be defined as the area in the southwest part of the borough between the Harlem River and the Bronx River, with Fordham Road generally considered as the northern boundary. Less urban than nearby neighborhoods in Manhattan, the South Bronx attracted countless numbers of immigrants arriving in New York City in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Choosing to raise their families in what was then a country setting, they helped to make the South Bronx one of the most culturally diverse sections of New York. Churches, schools, ballparks, and streets of the old neighborhoods come back to life on the pages of South Bronx. This book revisits the Third Avenue trolley, Old West Farms, the Third Avenue El, tar beach, and the cobblestone roadways of a bygone era. The breweries and old-time taverns that were once such a vital part of the culture of the South Bronx are found anew in these pages. The Schnorer Club, the Elks Club on the Concourse, the Concourse Plaza Hotel, and Yankee Stadium come to life in this stunning collection of more than two hundred images.
Author Bio:
Bill Twomey was born and raised in the Bronx, attended school in the South Bronx, and served as a tour guide at Yankee Stadium. More than one thousand of his stories have been published on the pages of the Bronx Times Reporter since he began covering the Bronx beat in 1983. A celebrated author and lecturer, Bill Twomey is also the author of two previous Images of America titles: Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay and East Bronx.
This is the front cover of Throggs Neck - Pelham Bay which I wrote with John McNamara for Arcadia Publishing in 1998. The children in the cover photo are students at P.S. 72 standing on the sidewalk at Dewey Avenue circa 1925.  They were performing in the school play.  Bill
Many of the photos below come from this book.
Students at PS 72 celebrate Arbor Day- 1929.
  In 1915, Irish immigrant Richard Shaw leased an estate on Eastchester Bay in order to run a horse farm. Coming from Mott Haven, he invited his church's St. Ann's Cadets to bivouac there. Parents later camped on the farm on weekends and Edgewater was born.
http://edgewaterparkdabronx.com///Bill_May25_09/The Bronx Rivals1919Lg.jpg
  Bill says: I found this photo in "Throggs Neck-Pelham Bay" which I wrote with John McNamara for Arcadia Publishing in 1998.   It is a photo of the Bronx Rivals and the caption reads:  Young men and women were allowed to have clubs in Edgewater Park, providing the clubs were separate and the members were 21 years of age.
This group was called "The Bronx Rivals"  and organized the first
Edgewater Park Labor Day Games in 1919.
I thought the picture may be important since this coming Labor Day will mark
90th anniversary of Edgewater Park Labor Day games.
The numbering system in Edgewater Park came into being after World War 1 when the returning veterans remembered the military designations, A for alpha, B for bravo, etc.  Prior thereto each of the bungalows had names. This postcard view of 5-B was taken in 1919 and shows Daisy Cottage. It was owned by the Halliday family and named for their dog according to John McNamara who knew the family well.  Bill

 5th grade class from P. S. 72 enjoy a class trip to Fort Schuyler circa 1929/30.  Note the lighthouse in the background.  "Captain" Charles Ferreira was the lighthouse keeper and it was he who welcomed the children to the fort.
  Ft. Schuyler Lighthouse before being razed in 1944.
 This photo shows a 1922 canoe trip from Edgewater Camp to Goose Island. Goose Island is located in the creek behind Co-Op City, just beyond the RR drawbridge.
 The caption in the book reads:
In 1924, the summer bungalow colonists in Edgewater Park lost no time readying their own volunteer firefighters.  The men hauled this wagon, learned fire regulations, and even had a "boys brigade."  The little mascot on the front seat, next to Chief Donohue, is Freddie Aram.
 The caption under this postcard view of Edgewater's stores reads:
The social hall at left served as a silent movie house, roller skating rink, dance hall, basketball court, and bingo hall in Edgewater Park.  This 1930 scene also shows he shopping center that houses about 15 stores.  The sign at the left, by the way, advertises a Phoebe Snow Dance.
 Gustav Swenson and Family - 1918
 Another from that book:
John and Betty McNamara walking north on Meagher Avenue toward Edgewater in 1916.  Harding Avenue would be in the background.  (This would be Johnny McNamara's grandparents).
  The caption in the book reads:
The "bookmobile" is parked at a scheduled stop on Dewey Avenue at Edison Avenue in this 195- photograph.  PS 72 would be at right, and the signs on the vehicle read, "The New York Public Library, Extension Division, Bronx Traveling Library." Way in the background, behind the pole was the diner (now Citibank) where teachers ate before P.S. 72 had a cafeteria.
 http://edgewaterparkdabronx.com///Bill_May25_09/Reynolds Paint Factory.jpg
 The former Wissmann Carriage House in the rear survived this fire, but its cinderblock annex burned to the ground on February 10, 1953.  It had been a paintspraying factory for typewriters and was located on Wissman Avenue and was often referred to as the Reynolds Paint Factory.
 Caption in book reads: Julia Barnett Rice, M.D., had Rice Memorial Stadium built in honor of her deceased husband, Isaac L. Rice. The 5,000-seat bleachers were surrounded by a Greek temple housing Louis St. Lannes' statue The American Boy.  
Not mentioned but you should: The stadium was located at Middletown Road and Stadium Avenue and has since been demolished. The statue The American Boy has, however, been restored and placed near the tennis courts in that area of Pelham Bay Park. The chess move Rice's Gambit, by the way, comes from Isaac Rice.- Bill

I took my daughter, Jackie, to the top by way of the back stairs. The whole place had been fenced off, so we had to sneak in through a hole in the fence. Jackie was nervous about it. When we got to the top there was a cop standing a few rows down with his back to us. Then he turned around and saw us. I was carrying Jackie as she was young and as the cop came towards us I started towards the stairs. All the way down, as the cop followed us, my daughter had a look of sheer terror on her face as if we were going to the "big house", her head swivelling back and forth, both watching the cop, and looking to see how far we had to go. When we got to the bottom, the cop, seeing the condition of my daughter, handed her a ball and everything was O.K. again. Needless to say, she did not want to go back up. - Craig
 A lot of people would have a tough time recognizing this scene on Tremont Avenue.  Beyond the vacant lot on the left was 177th Street (The Highway) and there was a miniature golf course just a block beyond the back of these stores.  Migel Place was to the right of the stores but that little street is long gone.  It would have been between the current firehouse and Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps building.  Angelo Mastrarrigo is looking west toward Revere Avenue and the old diner was outside this picture to the left.  The teachers at P. S. 72 used to eat there before a cafeteria was created in the school and at that time it was called the Village Diner.   Citibank and their parking lot now occupies the diner site.  I believe the diner was lost when the expressway was built but it was quite popular.  The family who owned the diner still own the land and they lease it to Citibank.  I can't recall what the stores in the background were as I rarely walked on that side of the street or simply didn't pay attention.  This photo was taken in 1946 but the scene remained the same for many years before and through the 1950's.
 Karl "Charlie" Fromwalt opened this tavern as an adjunct of his restaurant, Charlie's Inn, at Harding and Balcom Avenues.  The last owners were the Gallagher's before it closed down in 2008.
Ron Schliessman took this photograph of the Blue Coal Silos on the west bank of Westchester Creek at Westchester Square in April of 1968. 
  Edgewater Park Fife and Drum Corp, 1989
Kneeling left to right.  Joshua Flood, Erin Finnegan, Michele Falzon, Christine Schellenberger, Kristian Flood
Standing left to right: Cele Mutze, George "Pepe" Peragine, Dorothea Geffken, Paul Mutze, John Mullane, John Falzon, Paula Mutze, John Peragine, Patrick Petriello, Eddie and Jamie Schellenberger, Eugene Balasenowich, Nancy Lacerra, Theresa Peragine.
The St. Frances de Chantal Sea Cadet Corps Annual Retreat of the 1967-68 season is portrayed here.  John V. Riche (second from right) was the commander and Frank Twomey Sr. (at left) was the executive officer.
This is the Sea Cadet Retreat at the Gonzaga Retreat House in Monroe, New York. Some of the kids I recognize are Philip and John McArdle, Ronnie Falciano, Anthony Schiavone, Jeff Rively, Charlie and Donald Sweeney, John Krische, Kerry Bretz, Jerry O'Connell, Jimmy Riche, Greg Smith, Peter Clancy, and Buzz Quinn.     Bill
The St. Frances de Chantal Sea Cadet Corps posed on the steps of St. Frances School for this group picture with Monsignor John T. Halpin in 1979.
The St. Frances de Chantal Sea Cadet Communion Breakfast held in June of 1980.  Left to right: Msgr. John T. Halpin, Cdr. Joseph Caligione, Cdr. Bill Twomey (speaking), Cdr. Bob McLaughlin, Sister Mary Stanislaus.
The St. Frances de Chantal Sea Cadet Corps held a reunion at Amvets Post 38 on Shore Road in 1990 and drew a large crowd for the barbecue.
Councilman Michael DeMarco presents a street sign to Msgr. Halpin at street naming ceremony. Silver Beach Place was renamed Msgr. John T. Halpin Place. Sister Mary Stanislaus and Father Ed Barry joined in celebrating the happy occasion.  

 See John McNamara's page for info later.
 Click on the pictures below for history.
These are from Historian Bill Twomey's articles. 
  Rota's Restaurant
 The old Charlie's Inn.
Bronx Historian John McNamara admiring New York Central's old power house at Port Morris.
 The old St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum.
  One of the old Duffy's Taverns.
Hart Island Slip at City Island. Take the tour of Hart Island. 
John Robben delivered the Home News. Click on picture for story 

Five authors pose for a photo at Big Oak.  They are left to right:
John Robben, Bill Twomey, John McNamara, Jim Hewitt and Jack Sauter.
John Robben was raised in Alden Park, John McNamara in B Section and
Bill Twomey in D Section.
John Robben grew up in Alden Park but delivered the Bronx Home News to D and E Sections. He stands in front of one the the homes on his route, 149-D. 
Left to right:  Bill Twomey, Arthur Seifert and John McNamara at
the Vindabona in 1983.
Bill Twomey, John McNamara and John Robben in front of Mack's old residence at the Fort Schuyler House.
John McNamara, Grand Marshall of the Throggs Neck St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 12, 2000.
Left to right: C. Patricia Sullivan of the American Irish Historical Society, Bill Twomey and John McNamara.
John McNamara's surprise 90th birthday party at Charlie's Inn on 12-22-02.
Left to right: Betty McNamara, John Sr. and John Jr.
Book signing
John McNamara and Bill Twomey appear at a booksigning party at the Starving Artist Gallery  on City Island on December 6, 1998.
Writer's gathering at Artie's on City Island on March 21, 2000.  Left to right: Jack Sauter, John McNamara, Mike McGrory, Jim Hewitt, Bill Twomey and John Robben.
This is the 1985 Bill Signing in the Blue Room of City Hall officially creating "John McNamara Square."  Left to right standing are:  Bill Twomey, Peggy Vega, Helen Cahill, John McNamara Jr., Jimmy Vacca, Jane Gover.   Seated are: John McNamara, Mayor Ed Koch and Councilman Mike DeMarco.  The mayor is giving Bill Twomey some official pens used in the ceremony to distribute to participants. 

Frank In Marines 1958
Frankie Twomey, Jr. (at left)  at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1958.  He had recently been promoted to Corporal.
Erin Twomey, Bill's daughter, receiving her Bachelor's Degree. 
 Sean Twomey and John McNamara after Easter Diner at Twomey's 1997.
Bill Twomey in 1957


This is the Big Oak wooden diving platform. 


Another shot of the Big Oak diving platform taken in 1919. 


I found this nice one of the diving platform.  I like it better than the others because you see the entire platform.  Edna Cornish is doing a Swan Dive. 


The Wissman Breakwater in 1917 at the foot of Wissman Avenue at the Long Island Sound.
Lower Left to right: Betty McNamara, Marion McCaffrey,  Claire Stenek and John McNamara.
Holding on to pole: William Stenek and John McNamara Jr. (later, our Bronx Historian).


The Wissman Breakwater at the foot of Wissman Avenue.  Left to right standing: John McNamara, Jack McCaffrey, John McNamara Jr., Claire Stenek.    Seated left to right: Betty McNamara and Marion McCaffrey.

  1915. Note the canvas roofs and rock seawall.


 Bill told me before Edgewater houses had numbers, people hung out signs with their names instead, this being "Camp Kildare" from 1915. Note the canvas roofs. From the left seated is Douglas H. Clamp (father of the Douglas in the 1930 P.S. 72 school picture on your site (2nd row from bottom, 2nd from right)), his mother Agnes Clamp, J. Melen, standing Blanche Clamp Melen (My grandmother and sister of Douglas H.), Clara (wife of Douglas H.) and Emeldia Prevost  (friend). In the 1920 census Douglas and his family lived at 16-A Edgewater Park.


1915 -This photo and the 2 above sent by by a guy named Sam, a relative of those mentioned above. 



This shot of the start of the Obstacle Course race wass taken in 1921.  The races were held on 5th Avenue in B-Section at the time.  Bill Twomey  (PS - I believe one of the runners is Mack's grandfather)


The same 1921 obstacle course race but a little later on. 


Bill says: This is one of my favorite early Edgewater Park Labor Day contests.  It was the canoe tilting contest of 1921.  


This is Sandy Beach circa 1918.  The three men at the extreme left are Will Stenek, Jack McCaffrey and John McNamara (Mack's grandfather). 


This is the finish of the 600 yard dash.  If you look close in the right background to the right of the 48 star flag, you'll see a man standing on a roof.  Also not the posts with mesh in the background from the obstacle course. 


 Note the one piece bathing suits on the men in this 1925 photo.  Bottom row: John Petz, Ed McNamara, William Conroy; Middle row: Felix Rogers, David Carr, "Buddy" Bloomer, John McNamara; Top row: Ann Petz and Clio Greenish


Looking downhill toward Sandy from the Mansion.


Looking downward toward the yet to be built stores from the Mansion. 


The Ladies Auxiliary ran a Ragamuffin Contest each year.  This photo was taken on November 17, 1984 and the three judges are: Amy Scolaro, the president of the St. Frances Rosary Society; Bill Twomey of the Bronx Times Reporter; and Rev. Karl Bauer of the Fort Schuyler Presbyterian Church.


This photo from the 1950's shows the Labor Day foot races on the D-Section ballfield where the sand dunes were later built.  Note the Square Club in the background.  The view is to the south. 


This 1921 photo was taken on 5th Avenue in B-Section and shows the Charlie Chaplin Race.  The ankles were loosly tied together creating a "shuffle" walk much like the early film star. 


  Bill says: I like this shot of Big Oak taken in 1920 because it's more of a close up.  We're looking toward Alden Park.


This tree stood in front of 4-A in A-section. See photo below. This one was taken looking south in 1920.  Locust Point is in the far left background. 


BIG OAK 1931

This is a view of the Big Oak from which the beach and area got its name.
It was adjacent to 4-A and the photo was taken from the diving tower at the end of the pier in 1931. 



 Posing in 1921, left to right are: John McNamara, Edward McNamara, Gregory McCoy, David Carr, Robert Anderson, Frank Guista, Kathryn Anderson, Grace Carr and Dorcas Godden.  The last two little girls are unidentified.


Edgewater Park Beautification Project at the entrance.  Mrs. (Noble) Papp is second from left and Andy Arenholz is next to her in the center. Also, Yogi Braren next to him. 


This is a nice early shot of the Edgewater Candy Store.  Juliet, Emily and Dotie Willing ran it for Mr. Shaw when this photo was taken.  Later Herman O'Neil, past Chief of the Edgewater Park Volunteer Fire Dept. ran it and then later Anna Wehr when I worked there.-Bill


Look at the yellow mark here and on the shot below.


 Craig says: As close as I could match it. Long plywood is entrance to Pete's Candy Store. The original entrance would have been Pete's windows.

Photo CR.


Remember Endico's Peeled Potatoes on 177th Street and then at
Lafayette Avenue. They were an early sponsor of the Throgg's Neck
Little League.


Engledrum's Gas Station on Tremont and Lafayette Ave.


The Edgewater Fife and Drum Corps prepares to start the parade while the Ladies Auxiliary begin to form up at the left.


This photo of Weir Creek was taken in 1931 and appeared in Bill Twomey's book "East Bronx" (Arcadia Publishing 1999).  Edgewater is at the right and Bronxonia would be off to the left in this high tide shot.  Much of the area seen here is now overlaid with Weir Creek Veteran's Bicentennial Memorial Park.  Note the barge in the background just beyond the boat at left.


Left to right:  Billy Twomey, "Jerry" Twomey, Frank Twomey Sr., Frances Twomey, Dave Twomey,Cathy Twomey, Frank Twomey Jr., Niall McCabe and Bruce Williams in 1960.



P & P is short for Pye and Paliotta and the plant and store was once located between Pennyfield and Meagher Avenues north of Lawton Avenue.  They manufactured concrete blocks at that location and carried a full line of construction and home repair products.  This photo shows the store on East Tremont Avenue at Meyers Street where the Boston Market is now located.


This photo shows the Meagher Avenue side of the P & P plant when it was located north of Lawton Avenue between Pennyfield and Meagher Avenues.


This photo looking over Westchester Creek toward Westchester Square is from Bill Twomey's book "East Bronx" (Arcadia Publishing, 1999).  It shows the Blue Coal silos at the left and old Dock Street.  The el is in the background and the picture was snapped by Ron Schliessman in 1968.


Opening Day of Throg's Neck Bridge in 1961.

John McNamara Sr. took his son John for a ride over the bridge on bicycles before the actual opening ceremony. I was briefly interviewed by a Channel 11 newscrew during the ceremony.-Craig


This is one of the Morris mansions (Schurz and Hosmer Avenues). Francis Morris  purchased it circa 1860 and it was partially razed in the 1940's.  A small portion of it survived and was incorporated into the Throgg's Neck Country Club on Schurz Avenue.


Throgg's Neck Country Club located at the end of Schurz Ave. was known as German Stadium.





CHARLEY'S MANSION on Longstreet Ave. at Miles Ave.
Bill says: It was originally the Newbold Mansion of the 1840's and his estate was known as Pennyfield.  Later Samuel Fox owned it and then Leverichs and finally the Baxters.  It was called the Pine Tree House when it became a tavern in the mid 1930's but you may remember it when the big sign identified it as Charley's Mansion.  It was then called Henry's Mansion for a short span of time before it went bust.  It burned down in May of 1963.

And then came the "Buildings".

Click HERE for 1924 photo of Charlie's Mansion and the Legion.

More old photos from 1924 on the OLD BRONX MAPS page. Click HERE.

P.S. The Bronx was part of Westchester County back then. -Craig





One of the earliest Edgewater floods was captured in this 1915 photo.  Shown are Michael Graf and his three year old nephew, John McNamara in this very early B Section photo.



The 1919 Fourth of July Parade led by Sarah Joffre.


Ed and John McNamara -1915 



This circa 1951 photo shows the Victory Garden tended by the McCord family at D-section near the ballfield.  The Boy Scouts used it for overnight camping during this era.  Left to right are: Frankie Twomey, Randy McCord and Jimmy Meagh.  Some perennial crops such as rhubarb still grew there at the time.


Katie Grafenecker clowning around with her cousins on the Fat Runway in D Section.


This photo from about 1955 is an excellent shot of the Fat Runway. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 D are in the background.


 Something a little more modern, circa 1954.  Two cousins Eugene Twomey and Cathy Twomey posing in front of 10-D.  Note the Fat Runway in the background in this high tide photo.


Left to right: John McNamara, Henrietta McCoy, Marion McCaffrey and Betty McNamara in 1925 at 53-B. The pole stayed in the yard at 52-B. My family's house was 51-B. -Craig


Left to right are John McNamara, Erich Maier, Ed McNamara and Frank Courtney in 1932.  Note the one piece bathing suits for the four men.  John McNamara was just 20 years old at the time.


 Big Oak
I like this shot of Big Oak Beach because it shows so much.  It was taken circa 1930 and Locust Point is in the far left background.


All the men have a one-piece bathing suit on in this 1916 photo taken in today's B Section.  Victor Hartmann is on the left and Vincent Bennett and Edward Aram are at the extreme right.



Waiting for the fun to begin, these folks anxiiously await the start of the Labor Day games in 1920.


 Some of the earliest bungalows to go up in Edgewater were on the C-Section waterfront.  This photo was taken circa 1917.


Most of the races were held at what became 5th Avenue in B Section.  Some, however, were held at the Adee Mansion (now the firehouse) as was this broadjump contest.



Everyone in the camp turned out to see the tug of war contest held at the mansion.  At the lowest corner of the building at the right, you will notice a window.  This was the first candy and supply store operated by Mr. Shaw. 


Matty Meagh looks on as Eugene Twomey is taught the basics of playing marbles by his brother Frank on the D Section ballfield.


Left to right: Matty Meagh, Frankie Twomey and Jerry Archibald playing marbles on the D-section ballfield circa 1953. 


Almost all of the early races were for adults only.  This pie-eating contest was an exception.  They did have one for adults but this one was reserved just for the kids and took place in 1920 at the tennis courts alongside the mansion in the vicinity of what became 226-B.  The little boy, second from the right, is John McNamara, who became the noted Bronx historian.  His father, John Sr., is right behind him in the gray sweater.


  Bill says: This is the Edgewater Camp barn where you carried your milk bucket to be filled by the farmer.  I wrote about it in "The Bronx in bits and pieces."  It was located in today's E-section and this photo was taken circa 1920. Click here for map.


Note the canvas sides and front of the nearest bungalow.

Mrs. Aram took almost all of the old Edgewater postcard photos from the teens and 1920's. She took this photo to show the decorations on the bungalows during the Labor Day weekend of 1915.  We can  be grateful to her for preserving so many early memories. 

Thank you Mrs. Aram!


Thank you Bill Twomey!