Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oceanic House Burns - 1851

FIRE AT CONEY ISLAND.--We regret to learn that the beautiful and commodious hotel, known as the "Oceanic House," on Coney Island, was entirely destroyed by fire, yesterday morning.--The cause of the catastrophe is supposed to have been a defect in one of the chimnies. The flames spread with such fearful rapidity, that all attempts to extinguish them were unavailing ; and the greater portion of the elegant furniture, including the silver plate and splendid chandeliers, were consumed with the building. The tide was so high that the building had to be reached by means of boats. Cropsey's hotel was several times on fire, and it was feared would also fall a prey ; but the great exertions of the Coney Islanders happily preserved it. We are not informed whether the property was insured, but suppose it was, partially at least. This disaster will be a matter of regret to many, as the comforts of the "Oceanic" were of a superior order.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, April 18, 1851

It was only 1848 that the Oceanic House appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. This page notes the Oceanic House burned after its first season, then was rebuilt...then burned again.

CONEY ISLAND.--While the fire was raging in the large building called the Oceanic house, at Coney Island, yesterday morning, the water was very high and boisterous, and the forked flames seemed to shoot up out of the bosom of old ocean; the building being accessible only by boats. Cropsey's house was several times on fire, but fortunately the flames were got under before they reached the bounds of control. The observatory which stands on the high ground in front of Wychoff's (sic), was swept off by the unparallelled (sic) rise of the ocean, which usurped complete dominion over Gil Davis's domain.

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday, April 18, 1851

I think they are referring to Wyckoff's Hotel.

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