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The History of Howard Beach by Richard Ranft. Published by the Queens Forum, June 13, 1997.

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The History of Howard Beach

Hotel Howard
Friday, June 13, 1997 :: History :: 18054 Views :: 1 Comments :: Article Rating

The following is taken entirely from the Hotel Howard's promotional brochure in 1904.

Capable of accommodating about one hundred people comfortably, meeting all the requirements of the "vacationist" and satisfying the most exacting until duty again summons him home.
The Culinary Department is entirely new. The cuisine is in charge of a competent chef, who will see that the table is supplied with the choicest the market affords.
The Dining Room is large enough to comfortably accommodate the guests and a high standard of service will (is) the aim of the management.
This charming hotel is situated on a pier, two thousand feet long, on Jamaica Bay, Long Island, being entirely surrounded by water, it is unusually cool and refreshing, and an ideal place in which to spend the summer
The hotel is modem in every detail, is lighted by electricity, and with newly furnished, well-ventilated rooms, each commanding a magnificent view of the bay and surrounding country.
Those who do not like the roughness of surf bathing will find splendid still water bathing in Jamaica Bay. Excursionists will be accommodated, and will find a day's outing here a most enjoyable one.
An enclosed tank for women and children is an accessory of the hotel, and for the timid ones who do not (like) the old bay, it offers an exhilarating and refreshing bath.
The hotel is very accessible from New York City; reached in half an hour from the foot of Thirty-Fourth Street by Long Island Rail Road to Howard's Landing, or via Twenty-Third Street Ferry, thence by Brooklyn Elevated Railroad, or via Brooklyn Bridge and Lexington Avenue Railroad to Gates Avenue Station, changing for the Rockaway train. Also from Flatbush Avenue via the Long Is land Rail Road.
Jamaica Bay is noted as a fisherman's paradise, and the location of the Hotel Howard makes fishing one of its chief attractions. Boats may be hired at reasonable rates. Pool and billiards may also be enjoyed.
Wheelmen will find the ride to Howard's Landing a most enjoyable one; the roads are good and the ride just far enough. Take Glenmore Avenue to Old South Road, to Howard Cycle Path direct to the hotel.
Clubhouses suitable for clubs for parties of gentlemen, situated on a pier 2, 000 feet long (connected with the hotel) have individual floats and boat landings, are lighted by electricity and have fresh water supplied.
These cozy little houses make most attractive summer homes for clubs. To rent by the year for $150. Rooms in annex, with lockers for smaller parties to rent at $20 per year
Excellent music will be provided for dancing, and in order that every comfort may be had by the younger portion of the guests and public, a special pavilion has been erected where dancing may be enjoyed as often as desired. Special hops will be given each Wednesday and Saturday evening.

Rates $12 to $15 per week Rooms $1.50 to $2 per day

American Plan The Hotel Howard

"At ease in mine inn." -Dickens

The Hotel Howard was a magnificent achievement for William Howard as well as a resounding success. Construction of the two thousand foot pier supporting the hotel, bungalows, support buildings and recreation centers, was no small feat, Howard brought in all the construction materials despite the lack of roads, motor vehicles and other modem methods of transport.

When the hotel and pier were built at the turn of the century Cross Bay Boulevard did not exist; the land was a marsh. There was no Sunrise Highway; the land was just north of the marsh. The automobile had been invented but would not be seen in South Queens for a few more years; most roads were dirt trails and those going into the marshes flooded at high tide.

Yet William Howard managed to bring in all the materials needed to build his hotel and pier, accompanying buildings and even his power plant, which stood on the site Of today's Frank M. Charles Memorial Park. Hotel Howard had electricity years before the railroad, steam engines chugged over the trestle until 1905, the passengers marveling at the brightly lit Hotel Howard sitting atop its magnificent pier.
The pier was about twelve feet wide. About one thousand feet from shore Howard constructed thirteen two-story rental bungalows all facing east; each had a ramp leading from its front door down to its private dock. A support building stood opposite the bungalows, facing west and may have been the infamous "Kill-Time Clubhouses. "

Farther south was another two-story structure, the Comfort Club, after which the pier broadened as the visitor approached the hotel.
The Hotel Howard was a three-story wooden building with twin towers at its front comers. Between these shingled turrets the room peaked in two triangular points. The hotel faced south with over thirty windows providing a breathtaking view of Jamaica Bay. Flower gardens were placed outside the hotel and a rollup awning provided shade near the entrance. A giant three-story flag pole proudly flew Old Glory from the hotel's southwest tower

The pier widened to about 80-100 feet to accommodate the hotel, then narrowed back to twelve feet.for the remaining 100feet of its length. At the pier's end a small gazebo was placed for fishermen to jump into out of the rain.

Halfway between the hotel and the end of the pier was a second pier which went east to connect with the Long Island Rail Road trestle. This pier was about twelve feet wide, also made of wood on pilings driven into the bay. After the LIRR left Ramblersville and went south onto the trestle, the train would stop about 1500feetfroin Hamilton Beach, over the water and let passengers disembark onto the connecting pier known as Howard's Landing.
William Howard provided both, a nautical as well as a horse and buggy Shuttle from Ramblersville to hotel and LIRR passengers could simply disembark on the trestle at Howard's Landing and walk across the connecting pier to the hotel.

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