Mussels collected at Erie Basin "Farm", 1897
Brooklyn Life reporter Addison Steele, describes in 1897 the harvesting and pickling of mussles growing on the ramains of ship in Erie basin:
A large part of the bull of the sunken Ailsa has been removed from the spot where she went down—just below Fort Lafayette—and transported to the "farm" in Erie Basin. When the big pieces were put ashore thousands of deep water mussels were clinging to them, and no sooner was this strange cargo of sea food spotted by the neighboring population than there were swarms of men, women and children picking off the mollusks. Basketfuls of them were taken into homes where food is none too plentiful and pickled in vinegar for future use. This is a new industry to me, but I learn that it is by no means the first harvest of its kind.