Christmas, 1864: The New York skating pond report

Skating Carnival, Brooklyn 1862
From Harper’s Weekly — Skating Carnival, Brooklyn 1862


The New York Times publishes its review of the various skating ponds in the area, starting with the Captioline Lake and Union Pond in Brooklyn.

Capitoline Lake Skating

This favorite skating resort enters upon its third year under the most favorable auspices, and will, undoubtedly, be the principle pond in the Western District. It will continue under the able management of Messrs. WEED & DECKER. The skating superficies at this pond is larger by, perhaps, an acre, than any other pond in the city, all of it being fit for use. The improvements this year are both numerous and important. The sides of the dock or walk in front of the Club-house had been extended and closely boarded up, so that the embankment cannot possibly give way or the earth fall in upon the ice, which is a most important improvement. Several more bridges, too, have been provided, and a railing run all along the above-mentioned gallery. A shed, or rather a pavillion, has been erected on the north bank of the pond (on the site of the engine house,) as a resting place for the skaters. The restaurant and skate-department have been greatly enlarged, while the other rooms have been refitted, and generally improved The Capitoline Skating Lake is accessible by three car routes, viz.: the Fulton-avenue, the DeKalb-avenue and the Atlantic-avenue routes, all of which leave Fulton Ferry, the last two passing the Catherine-street Ferry and (the Atlantic) Wall and South ferries. The pond is located on Nostrand-avenue, one block from Fulton-avenue. A prominent change in the rules is single admissions, which can be obtained for 50 cents.

The “world-renowned” Union Pond continues under the management of Mr. WM. H. CAMMEYER, whose management of it during the last three seasons has won for him the encomlums of every skater. The Union is a model skating pond. The arrangements, on the whole, are pretty much the same as last year, for, to improve them, would be difficult. Of course the various rooms have been renovated, refurnished and redecorated. The entrance (necessarily) has been enlarged, and a shed erected solely for the boys, which, we presume, will be satisfactory to both them and their friends of a larger growth, as they always manage to make themselves disagreeable, in some way or another, so that it is best for them to be by themselves. The pagoda, too, has been repainted and repaired. The pond will be cleaned by horsepower, and two or more horses will be kept on the pond, in a stable just erected. The arrangements for lighting the pond are even more extensive than last year, when they were better than at any other place. A band of music will be in attendance, as usual, every afternoon and evening;” and there will, we learn from the circular, be frequent displays of pyrotechnics throughout the season. The Union is reached by the Greenpoint, the Flushing-avenue, (which leave the Fulton ferry,) and the Division-avenue, or East New-York car routes, the latter starting at the Grand-street ferry, Brooklyn, E.D.

THE WASHINGTON POND, on Fifth-avenue, corner of Sixth-street, Gowanus, hus passed from the hands of Major OATMAN into those of Messrs. CARTER, SKINNER & FOSTER, all of whom hare had some experience in skating-pond management. The arrangements are the same as last season. The accommodations at this pond are very extensive, and the new management promise to have everything in the finest order. The old Cortelyou House, erected in 1799, by an opulent Knickerbocker, and occupied by Gen. Washington during the battle of Long Island, stands on the margin of the Washington Pond, and is open to visitors. The Washington Pond is accessible by the Fifth-avenue, the Greenwood (Court-street) and Coney Island cars, all of which leave Fulton Ferry, the first-named touching at Wall and South Ferries.

THE NASSAU POND, at Flatbush, will continue to be used by the Nassau Skating Club and their friends. Mr. LOTT still occupies the Presidential chair, and will, therefore, officiate as Master of Ceremonies. The accommodations and arrangements at the Nassau Pond are always ample and good. This is only accessible by the Flatbush cars, which leave Fulton Ferry.

CHICHESTER’s POND, on Bushwich-avenue, near Cooper’s Factory, Williamsburgh, will be reopened by Mr. MAHLON CHICHESTER, the inventer. It can be reached by the Newtown cars from South Seventh and Grand streets ferries, Williamsburgh.

The following free ponds in Brooklyn are always crowded: The Poplar Ponds, on Fifth-avenue, near First-street, reached by the Fifth-avenue and Greenwood cars, from Fulton, Wall and South ferries; Seller’s Pond, Bedford, near the Jamaica Pond Road, accessible by the Fulton-avenue, Atlantic-avenue, Devel, East New-York cars, leaving Fulton, Wall and South ferries; Dumbleton’s Pond, on Myrtle-avenue, by the Myrtle-avenue car, from Fulton ferry; and the Suydam’s Pond, on Atlantic-avenue near the Hunters-Ferry road, reached by the Atlantic-avenue and Fulton-avenue “East New-York Direct” Horn Fulton, Wall and South Ferries.

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