Governors Island Archives: Unearthed!

You never know what you’ll find when you excavate on Governors Island. While trenching for new storm water outfalls, we turned up a relic from the Island’s army days. At one point, the south end of the Island was crisscrossed by a web of train tracks that connected a sea of warehouses.

The ghost of a railroad past. Comment if you know more. Image courtesy of The Trust.

The ghost of a railroad past. Comment if you know more about this relic! Image courtesy of The Trust.

This appears to be part of a train car or hand cart. The wheels were cast in Baltimore, MD. Any train buffs have thoughts on what it was? Let us know! In the meantime, we’ll keep digging as we rehabilitate  the Island’s seawall and storm water system and we’ll let you know what else we find.

Governors Island Railroad. Image courtesy of the National Archives, Art Audley & trainweb.org

Map of the Governors Island railroad. Image courtesy of the National Archives, Art Audley & trainweb.org

A longer history of the Island’s train past can be read here.

2 Responses

  1. 1. The fill was long since completed, and the seawall was put in place long before I watched the dredges removing silt from the bottom of Buttermilk Channel late in the 1920’s.
    2. Also, a small section of track was kept when GIRR was sold, and the Engine House was not destroyed, and a single locomotive was retained for many years, as a means of unloading coal barges to heat the Island’s buildings.
    3. This 1919 drawing does not show the Lighthouse on the southern tip of the Island.
    4. Lots of stuff will be dug up before the Island redesign is finished: my brother Tom dug up an old burial ground on the golf course.
    Tom and I buried a time capsule in a secret location on the Island.
    I know where General Bullard buried his favorite horse. Fun.

  2. when i was stationed there we were told that end had been created with the stuff dredged up when buttermilk channel was deepened. however i dont remember what year that was done. whas
    is deep enough that it could’ve been used as fill?

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