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neck bonesMany old time politicians in Brooklyn, as well as others who by no possibility could be catalogued as such will sorrow to hear that King’s Hotel, a famous old hostelry at Canarsie Landing, is being torn down. Its place is to be taken by a more modern form of amusement, to be known as the Canarsie Casino. In the old days—the days before the trolley car made Canarsie too accessible to be exclusive—and the stage or private conveyance or the almost equally slow trains of the Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach Railroad were the only means at reaching the quiet resort on Jamaica Bay, the quaint old inn was patronized a set of guests who not only, made it famous, but also made the fortunes of a number of successive proprietors.

There are those who still remember the fish dinners put up by Mrs. Mary Fayling, the first lessee after the hotel was built in 1865 by William Warner, who has been termed the “Father of Canarsie.” Succeeding her were Jarvis & Smith. Captain William Smith and Philip Reid retained and increased the reputation obtained by the tavern. Then, in 1878, George B. King, who first bestowed on it the name of King’s Hotel, took up the management. From that year until 1896, the accommodations of the dining room and a spacious double porch were often too small to hold those who desired tables. Ex-Mayor Schieren was often there when he was most active in politics and at the same time Hugh McLaughlin, the old Democratic boss, might be found in a retired nook telling his quaint stories and planning defeat for the Republicans. Others who frequented the place— many of them now dead— were John V. McKane, Leonard R. Welles, former Police Commissioner; ex-Fire Chief James Dale; Chief of Police Mackellar; Senator Henry Wolfert; Seth L. Keeney; ex-Congressman I.F. Fischer and Cornelius Ferguson.canarsie palms

After the trolley reached Canarsie in 1895 the resort became so crowded that the “old guard” dropped away. For three years Robert Merrins lost money and then threw up his lease. Since 1899 the place had been deserted.
New York Tribune, May 17, 1903

Photographs by Brian Berger

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