Erie Basin

Theme curated by: The Red Hook WaterStories Team

Erie Basin, at one time dubbed “The busiest place in the Port of New York” is a large man-made protected harbor near the southern point of Red Hook. Its U-shaped breakwater, well over one-half mile long, encloses a large area of water. The basin was originally a major center of the world wide grain trade, and then later of ship building and repair.

Erie Basin, at one time dubbed “The busiest place in the Port of New York” is a large man-made protected harbor near the southern point of Red Hook. Its U-shaped breakwater, well over one-half mile long, encloses a large area of water. The basin was…

"No man ever, perhaps, got so much the best of old Beard as did Louis Heineman, the housemover of the Twelfth ward.” (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 19, 1891)  When Louis Heineman died in 1904, he was reportedly 104 years old, and likely the oldest…

Cotton was king in Red Hook from the 1870s to 1910. In 1901 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle more than once used the headline "Much Cotton in Red Hook" to describe how "the cotton docks and warehouses at Red Hook and the German-American stores at the foot of…

The trans-Pacific sidewheel steamship GREAT REPUBLIC built by Henry Steers in Greenpoint being fitted out in Graving Dock No. 1 of Erie Basin. The photo was taken in 1867. The dock is one year old. The Erie Basin breakwater is unfinished and at…

A giant timber raft, 595 feet long and 55 feet wide, containing 22,000 ‘sticks’ (logs) was floated from the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia to the Erie Basin, Brooklyn, in 1888. An experiment in cost savings, it was calculated that if the wood was…

The racing yacht VALKYRIE, was the unsuccessful British challenger of the ninth America's Cup race in 1895 against American yacht DEFENDER. While in dry dock in Erie Basin, being redied for the race, she was a popular attraction.According to the New…

A huge fire destroyed Beard's Wharf in Erie Basin. The steamship Idlewild was destroyed, but luckily drifted away and prevented further damage to other ships.

An aerial view of Erie Basin taken in 1920 by Perry Loomis Sperr. In the crook of the breakwater that protects the basin's piers is Thos. A. Crane's Sons' dry dock. The white building at the center rear of the view is the New York State Barge Canal…

Agwisun Oil Tanker BlastSeveral blasts tore through and shredded much of the 4,000 ton Agwisum oil tanker as it was undergoing repairs in the yards of the Robins Dry Dock and Repair Comapny. The effects of the explosions were felt as far away as Park…

"I think everyone here will agree that New York City's Waterfront has enormous opportunities for new recreational facilities, new housing, new businesses, and that we are going to be seeing an unprecedented level of waterfront development over the…

In The Brooklyn  Standard Union’s column about  reader’s interesting experiences, Gustave tells how a BIG cat gave him the shock of his life when he visited a tramp steamer docked in Erie Basin.  (A tramp steamer is ship without a fixed schedule or…

A Red Hook cat invaded the British steamship BADAGERY while the vessel was docked in Erie Basin and proceeded to terrorize the small members of the crew.  Katy Cockroach, the cook’s speckled hen, stopped laying eggs and became “lean and wan” from…