Edgemere & Rockaways Original Street Names

I had been looking for the original street names of Edgemere for the longest time. So, In 1993, when the 100th anniversary collectors addition of The Wave, Rockaways newspaper since 1893, came out, of course I had to have one and inside was article about what had happened to the naming of the streets in all of Rockaway including Edgemere. Isn’t this interesting to look at the two columns and see the wonderful names of the streets that I knew by the numbers when I was young. Also just to add, if your into postcards from the early 1900’s, this would be a guide to help you find your street.

Bruce Baumwoll

What Are Your Memories of Skee-Ball?

Skee-Ball in Edgemere

One can never forget that the boardwalk played a major role in everybody’s life there. Skee-Ball was a staple. How many of us played this game over and over hearing that special sound when all the balls are released after putting in your change? My brother and I could play for hours.

My Family in the Rockaways in 1930

My grandfather, grandmother, father and uncle in 1930 in the Rockaways

The photo shown here is of my family in 1930. It is taken somewhere in the Rockaways. The small boy in front is my father, Jack. The other boy is his older brother, Joseph. Aren’t his horn rim glasses wonderful? With them are my grandparents, Nathan & Eva Baumwoll. The first thing I began looking for in my genealogical research was my great grandmother and great grandfather on my father’s side, who up until a few months ago I knew very little about. I didn’t even know if they had made it to America. I am named after my great grandmother Bella Baumwoll and my grandfather’s older brother Samuel Baumwoll.

While I was growing up and all through my life, people who knew my my grandfather would say to me, “You know he was a motion picture operator and he put the sound in the Roxy Movie Palace in New York”. It wasn’t until all of this started to come together that it all began to be a story that is so American. A small boy (my grandfather) comes off an ocean liner to meet his father who is waiting for him. The year is 1910. The boy is 13. Within a short period of time this young man is working for the one of the pioneers of the new era of the great movie palaces. His name was J. Fabin of Union Hill, New Jersey.

So this is how my blog has begun. To discover my family’s history in Edgemere of 50 years; of the people they knew on the boardwalk and all the merchants who they did business with and had friendships with.

Edgemere is really all of ours now in our memories. It’s a place that only lives with and through the people who wish to share their times in words and photos for all of us to enjoy. None of these times will ever pass our way again. The America that was Edgemere is long gone.

The Baumwoll’s History from Edgemere Long Island to Warsaw Poland

My ancestors at my Grandfather's house on Beach 34th Street, 1942

As I began to put together my collection of everything Edgemere, I came across a photo that intrigued me. Through the new technology and with Photoshop, I took a postage stamp size picture and blew it up. The photograph shown here was of one of the houses that my grandfather owned on Beach 34th Street about five houses from the ocean. In the photograph is some of my family. They are having one of their picnics. I recognized everyone except one young woman. On the back of the photo was names. I learned at that moment that my grandfather had four sisters I never knew about. What else didn’t I know? How did they end up in Edgemere, I began to ask myself. This set me on the path to genealogy and finding my ancestors.

My goal with this blog is to capture the many memories and varied interests that have taken me on my life  journey, starting when my  family  had one of those great old big houses for all those summer folks and city folks to rent for the summer. Our house was one house from the boardwalk on Beach 38th Street and Sprayview Avenue in  Edgemere  Long Island and Far Rockaway .  The photo above  is our house the big brown one. I start this whole new adventure for I was looking for my grandfathers family. I had begun this journey two years ago. To date over 40,708 people have come to see it all. I am very humble.

I realized that I knew nothing. Since my quest has begun to find where my great grandmother and great grandfather are buried. I have come to understand that my grandfather was a young man when he got to America. In 1910 he was 13.  By age 17 he is working for one of the pioneers of the movie industry Jacob Fabin.  He is one of the boys that stood there and turned the film. I have since found out that he made films. I have a few. He brought some of his films home when he was still living with his mother and sisters so I have a feeling they still exist somewhere.

I am looking for those films.  My grandfather went on to become a man that they wrote about. When I was young I saw a newspaper article about my grandfather comparing him to the great Blasco. As I remember, they were comparing his technique to Blasco. My grandfather was one of the men that put the sound in the Roxy Movie Palace in New York in 1927. He worked his whole life as a film projectionist.

My great grandparents Bella (who was formerly Beile) and Yosef Baumwoll and all their children came to America in 1910. Their oldest son Samuel came the following year. I am looking for the sisters and brother to my grandfather Nathan. They are; Anna, Helen (who was formerly known as Adela), Sadie (formerly Ceilia), Fannie (formerly Fela) and Samuel. In my genealogy search, I haven’t been able to find where all these children from the brothers and sisters of my grandfather are.

My grandfather’s sister Anna Baumwoll married William Lomberg around 1920. They had three children. Their children were Jeannette, Joseph and Natalie Lamberg. Anna was 24 years old and William was 36.  We were told through family stories that they had the concession for and ran the Carousel in Central Park.

Most of what you have just read I myself has just recently discovered. I am now working on trying to find my grandfathers’ youngest sister Saide (formerly known as Ceila). What I know of her now is that she was a Jewelry Designer and she died sometime in the early 1967. I was told she came to my older brothers’ Jewish briss in 1948. I have no idea what happened to her or where she is buried. I know she lived in the Bronx and much of her life was spent in Edgemere and that she was the youngest sister to my grandfather and they were quite close. I know there must be photos out there and this too is part of the quest.

So my quest is still the same. Who is my fathers family? Where are they? What happen to them all?

As I said I knew so little, hear is what I have found out so far.

knew nothing about my grandfather’s life before he came to America. All he ever said was that he was from Belgium. I now know that my family lived in Warsaw Poland as far back at this point to 1760. To be able to say all there names and who they were is beyond any thing.

I had begun this, for I was in great despair .

I am a quiet man living a life mostly in the house. Due to my partner’s health and my health we do not get out much, we have been together now 31 years. Our days are filled with lots of pain. Andrew is very ill with two differant diseases Each one moving forward never leaving us in there inch toward trying to take him. I am often alone in the house due to large blocks of time when Andrew is resting; escaping the pain. So all of this has come to me.

Our house is a large old Victorian three blocks from Lake Erie in Cleveland Ohio. Our area is right out of downtown called the Gordon Art Square District in one of the oldest parts of town here. On one of those days I was walking around through the house and got to the main second hall way on the second floor. I stopped at the two photos of my great grand parents. I knew nothing about them except that I was named after my great grand mother Beile ( Bella) and my great Uncle Samuel. I did not know where they were buried or what happened to them. I had been crying thinking of my dear mother and brothers.

I could no longer take all the pain. Sixty years is enough to be the one that is always on the outside. To be a victim is hard enough but to allow it, all in the hopes that I would be loved just for myself and who I am was more than I could take any longer. We all have a voice. My family would just let me go. For I would not let them tell me my truth or the truth that they felt I was not seeing from their point of view. So in my hallway, at that moment I realized with all that I believe that I would not meet them when I leave this earth. The shock of that was almost too much for me. I broke down in that hallway and prayed to keep my faith. And then it came to me.

As I look at the photos of my great grand parents, I knew that I would see them. I would meet all the people that had come before me. And so the journey began. Through my blog two angels came to me and they found my great grandparents graves. I have found things out that I could have never seen. I am now putting together a little film on their times and places. Who were they? How did they live? I am very close now to all these souls.

Most of the Baumwoll men as far back to 1760 lived in Warsaw . Abram Baumwoll is my 4th great grand father, born in 1770. They lived in Warsaw with his wife Esther and their children, their first son Zelik and my 3rd great grandfather Josef born in 1794.
The census of 1764 counted 2519 people, and that of 1778 testified to the presence of 3512 Jews residing mostly in the jurydykas little towns right out of the city. They constituted about 6 per cent of the entire population of Warsaw, and came from more than 200 localities all over the Polish Commonwealth. All the time, Jews strove to obtain the right to settle freely in Warsaw. Their actions gained impetus in the second half of the 18th c., and, in particular, during the “Four-Year Diet” (1788-1792) sessions.They change laws for the families that were born there before 1798. Those jewish families could live within the city limits.

My family was able to live in the city of Warsaw at the time. For they had been born their before 1798 . Jews that lived outside the city were given day passes to come in. I have also found out that I had a great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was a Rabbi there also was a cantor which makes total sense to me for both my father and I were singers . There are so many lives that have come forth. I have come to see that life is a circle .I am a man that can not live with out his family. I will find a way to have try and have them in my life.There is always Hope and Faith. . And to never forget who we are and where we have come from.
Bruce Baumwoll