Excerpt from The Tourists Companion and Guide to Coney Island, Fort Hamilton, Bath Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Rockaway Beach and Far Rockaway: To Which Is Added a Description of Public Buildings, Famous Landmarks, Parks, Churches, Theatres, Libraries, Art Galleries and Other Matters of In... terest to Strangers, in the City New York and Vicinity
In those days the beach was reached in a dilapidated steamer, and the crowd on board was never so large but that one had plenty of elbow room. Arrived on the Island the attractions offered were a dash in the surf, a promenade on the shore, a carousal, the bracing sea breeze, and a good fish or clam dinner at the hostelries, if the unpretending sheds, where good fish and bad whisky were dispensed, could be dignified by such a title. These places were few in number and situated toward the west end. The entertainment they offered was not calculated to please the fastidious taste the dainty found no morsel to their liking, and the elite, when they sought the pleasures of the Island, enjoyed them mm. Wyckoff, Van Sicklen, F elter and Rodger were the famous publicans of the time.' Wyckoff was 'admitted to be pioneer; but it was a matter of contention which was King of Coney Island. They all reigned by turns, 'tis believed, although History has neglected to chronicle the realm in this regard.
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