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June 30, 2016
We've raised 77% of our on-line goal!
Put us over the top!  #GetOnBoard!

Help us end our June campaign strong. Please donate to Red Hook WaterStories (RHWS) today! We have raised 77% of our goal and need another $4,000+.  

Donate at this link:

Or, if you want to donate by check or credit card, email us a reply with the amount; and we will get back to you.

RHWS is describing, marketing and helping Red Hook in a powerful new way. Our multimedia map will give locals and visitors a new reason to explore the neighborhood.  

RHWS tells  NYC's maritime story in microcosm, bringing new understanding to maritime topics and how they connect to the rest of the city. 

RHWS describes how the water defines Red Hook's history - and present.   It reveals forgotten stories of Red Hook's greatness: how the port of Brooklyn, with its heart in Red Hook, was a place of international importance from the mid-1800's until the mid 1900's. RHWS will provide the origin to many street names, describe the history of buildings, include major ethnic groups with waterfront connections, and discuss major real estate trends as diverse as booming shipyards and shantytowns.  The map will provide info on hurricane Sandy flooding and resiliency (Red Hook flood prep info).  To help visitors and locals, retail businesses will be shown.

Below some examples of our work and research.
Red Hook WaterStories progress!
We have received input from respected advisors, and commissioned articles from noted historians Norman Brouwer, Charles Foy and Jane Ziegelm an covering maritime history, 18th century food processing by tidal mill, and African-American maritime history.  Our research has covered the stories of Dutch, Irish, Germans, Puerto Ricans, and Norwegians; shantytowns as 19th century "affordable housing," the barnacle library created by a paint manufacturer, and more. Below some images from the harvest.

Our current home, Atlantic Basin, in its first incarnation, the much larger Atlantic Dock

In the mid-1800s_ before gas and electric refrigerators_ ice was cut from rivers and ponds and towed by barge to NYC. In the 1880s 1.5MM tons of ice was sold in NYC_ and Knickerbocker Ice Company dominated the market. One of their ice houses was in Red Hook at the foot of Smith Street.
The first Puerto Rican community in NYC was in Red Hook because the ships docked here. Jesus Colon, who became a major Brooklyn Puerto Rican activist, traveled to New York from Puerto Rico as a stowaway on the S.S. Carolina in 1917 when he was 16. The S.S. Carolina docked at Pier 35 in the Atlantic Basin.

Plenty of big ideas for Red Hook never happened. The Red Hook Island proposed in 1921 as a breakwater is such a case.

"I'm happy. A good wife is half the battle.  I've had one; and the other half of the battle has been to put as nice a curve on a spar as possible."  said John J. Murphy, 40 year veteran of the  Brooklyn Spar in 1929.

R. J Eckard vice president and research director of C. A. Woolsley Paint and Color Co., had a large library of barnacles. The collection, started in the 1940s, was used to develop barnacle resistant paint that will ward off the many species around the globe. 

1970s, Gowanus Bay looking over Ira S. Bushey & Sons, with an oil or fuel slick.

Please  donate to RHWS now!  

RHWS is supported in part by funding from Councilman Carlos Menchaca and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Click the button or send a check made out to "PortSide NewYork" 
P.O. Box 195, Red Hook Station, Brooklyn, NY 11231.

PortSide NewYork is a 501(c)3 organization.
Donations are tax-exempt to the full extent of the law.
PortSide NewYork is a living lab for better urban waterways. 
PortSide brings WaterStories to life. 

Our WaterStories programs, services and advocacy show how to combine the working waterfront, public access and community development. 

PortSide brings the communities ashore and afloat together, 
for the benefit of all.
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