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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sea Beach Spur to the Gravesend Race Track in 1891?

Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
Author:  Bien, Joseph Rudolp (1858-1950)
Date of Map: 1891
Scale: 1:31,680
Page IV, Series 7
Phillips 2150
  Folks, I took this clip off another on line map site, called "David Rumsey Historical Map Collection".  There is great stuff there.  As I was looking at the Gravesend Race Track area from 1891, I noticed that on the map, there appears to be a spur from the Sea Beach Line, that was steam at the time and ran on the surface to the Gravesend Race Track at Gravesend Avenue.  I did not know of this and I am not sure if it existed.  The race track loop, as seen in the above map, is slightly out of place compared to my 1924 Aerial posting.  The race track path was much closer (the northern part) to Ocean Parkway than shown on the map.  Notice the streams that cross Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenues.  Notice a Johnston Avenue which does not exist now.  This Sea Beach spur, if existed, and shown on the map, run perpendicular to Gravesend Avenue and meet the Race Track at right angles.


  1. It appears from the map that the spur not only connects to the race track but also to the Prospect Park & Coney Island Railroad (Gravesend Ave Line). But this is a great website providing some really interesting information!

  2. Fausser's book- "The Sea Beach to Coney Island" pg. 35 states that the NY&SB purchased property in 1889 from its Kings Highway station to a point at Gravesend Ave near Ave. S and constructed a branch 0.6 miles in length to serve the racetrack. The service was not well patronized and was not resumed during the 1890 season. After 1891 it was apparently abandoned although it still showed on the maps.

    1. Hi Kenneth:

      Thanks for doing the research and stating the source. I guess it pays to look more closely at old maps and see what shows up. Thanks for your quick response. I will try to look at old maps of other parts of the city.