"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Treasure Hunting at Dead Horse Bay

Have you ever heard of Dead Horse Bay? 
Also known as Bottle Beach and Garbage Beach?
While other families enjoy the white-colored sands
of the Jersey shore, this is the kind of beach
we like to visit!   Picture a time-capsule
from the late 1800s-1950s.
 Known as Barren Island in the 1850s, this beach
was home to the garbage of dozens of factories
and horse rendering plants.  Yes, you read right.
Tons of garbage and horse carcasses were
dumped here; hence, its nickname Dead Horse Bay.
 During WWI, all the surrounding trash from
Manhatten, Bronx, and Brooklyn was also
dumped here.  You wouldn't believe the
amount of old bottles scattered about!
Even before I found out about this beach,
Mary had just learned about it in school and
she was the one who told me it was also
referred to as Garbage Beach.  We collected
some pieces for Mary to bring to school
to show the class and give her own
personal description of it. 
 By the early 1900s, the government cried
eminent domain and people were evicted from their
homes to make way for what is now Floyd
Bennett Field.   All the garbage left behind from
hundreds of people's home was also buried here.
 During the 1950s a cap in one of the landfills burst, littering
Dead Horse Bay with years of debris, which continually
washes ashore to this day. 
It's not just the beach that's filled with old
garbage.  According to the park ranger we met,
this entire area is a huge landfill.  Even where
my friend, Beth and Mary stand is just
layers and layers of sand filling a garbage dump.

 And just across the bay is
a gorgeous view of New York. 
For those who like to take a step
back in time and explore the past,
it's definitely worth the trip.   I guess
I like it because it's not just pictures of the past.
I get to actually touch the past.
 My mom didn't understand it.
Beth found it.......interesting.
The kids, Ted and I all want to go back.
 And as they say in New York.... 


  1. Wow, this is amazing, sad, interesting and a place I too would love to visit. I've never heard of this before ... looks like some amazing pieces of the past!! Thanks for sharing, I probably would have kept it a secret LOL!! Judi

  2. What amazing pictures!! I've never heard of such a place. It's kinda scary and exciting at the same time.

  3. OMG!! Jill you know I wanna go there!! I never heard of it!! THANKS for sharing!! My kinda place for sure!! Did you get any cool things for you? And what state is it in? XOXO Love ya Aunt Frannie

  4. I agree with Kim; it is kind of scary. But I've had all my hepatitis shots. Have you? I've been reading many of your posts this morning. I had a good night's sleep after my hot showers and compresses. I actually feel good this morning, but will never go within 50 yards of a pile of poison ivy as long as I live.

    I'm amazed at how you "transform" those figurines. I remember you did this last year. Your talent is unbounded, and I'll bet you're doing very well on Etsy. Now that I'm farther north, maybe I'll make it up to Bucks County someday. Patsye

  5. If I lived in the area,I would be there-My kind of fun:)