Canarsie, Brooklyn, NY Golden City Park fire, May 1909


Golden City Park Resort and Two Hotels Destroyed.

A fire which partly destroyed Golden City Park, Canarsie, and two hotels along the Canarsie shore yesterday afternoon, gave the firemen several hours' hard work. The flames, which were first discovered in the restaurant of the amusement park, quickly spread, and before the first fire companies responded had gained considerable hadway, and Batalion [sic] Chief John J. Donohue immediately sent in a second and third alarm.

William Warner, Jr., the President of the Canarsie Amusement Company, which owned the park and surrounding buildings, had barely time to gather up his weekly pay roll in his office next door to the restaurant and escape with the several thousand dollars which he had before him.

The south side of the park was a mass of flames when the first engine arrived. The flames spread from the park to the hotel owned by Lawrence Messenger and the Sunset Hotel, owned by John Plunkett, on the water front, and directly next door. It was said by several witnesses that the firemen could have easily saved the two hotels if the front of the entrance to the park had not toppled over on the hose they were using and destroyed it.

To-day was to be the opening of the park, and hundreds of men were at work making the final preparations. William Warner, Jr., the President of the company, said that the damage to the park alone would reach $200,000. The damage to the hotels was about $50,000. The park was erected in 1907, and the company invested more than $300,000. The scenic railway, roller coaster, "love's journey," and several other small amusement attractions were saved. The dance hall, cafe, restaurant, office, and all the other amusement places in the front of the park were destroyed.

The New York Times, New York, NY, 9 May 1909