Feltmans’ Restaurant, founded by Charles Feltman (1841-1910) was a Coney Island institution for over a century. At its height of popularity, it stretched along West 10th Street from Surf Avenue to the shore. Feltman’s restaurant had a modest start, but found success quickly, in no small part due to Feltman’s unique invention – the hot dog. Legend has it that Feltman first put a sausage inside a sliced roll as a way to provide beachgoers with a hot meal that could be served from his cart. People loved the hot dog and by the early 1900s Feltman was the proprietor of nine restaurants, a roller coaster, a carousel, a ballroom, an outdoor movie theater, a hotel, and more. Pictured here is a placemat from Feltman’s Coney Island, declaring the restaurant to be “Caterers to the Millions.” This was no exaggeration. By the 1920s Feltman’s Ocean Pavilion was serving five million customers a year and was billed as the world’s largest restaurant.

Abby Hopper Gibbons: Abolitionist and Civil War Nurse

I spent last weekend down in Fredericksburg, Virginia, taking part in the Center for Civil War Photography’s annual 3-day (and 3-D) Image of War Seminar. People gather from all over America to see photographs, some in 3-D, of the Civil War–at the places where they were taken 150 years ago. Friday was a particularly interesting … Read more

HIGGINS INK BOTTLE, Late 19th Century

Charles M. Higgins (1854-1929) is credited as the creator of “Higgins’ American India Ink,” which was, at one time, the most famous brand of ink in the world. Pictured above is a glass bottle that once held the famous formula. Higgins invented his India ink and the also popular “Eternal Black Ink” while experimenting with inks in his sister’s kitchen. The original Higgins’ Ink Company, founded in 1880, was on Eighth Street in Brooklyn, not far from Green-Wood.

A Cast Zinc Marker for A Civil War Veteran

Every once in while something of great interest–though not great monetary value–comes out of someone’s drawer or closet and finds its home. So it is with the little piece of paper discussed below. Since 2002, volunteers with our Civil War Project have identified 5,000 veterans at Green-Wood and written a biography for each of them.. … Read more


Edward Ferrero (1831-1899) served as a Union General in The Civil War, but his performances on the dance floor far outshone his military career. Although marred by accusations of misconduct in the U.S. military, Ferrero was universally revered in the world of dance. Ferrero earned a reputation as an expert choreographer and dance instructor. He operated Apollo Hall ballroom, the precursor of NYC’s Apollo Theater. In the years before the war, Ferrero published The Art of Dancing, a tome which remains important today for researchers of mid-nineteenth century dance.

House Tour!

Who doesn’t love a house tour? And how about a “house tour” of cemetery mausoleums? Now you’re talking! We started this event a few years ago, opening up mausoleums to the public, with volunteers in character and in costume greeting visitors. And it has caught on–and gotten bigger and better each year. This year, we … Read more


Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) achieved worldwide acclaim as a composer, conductor, pianist and music educator. Bernstein is pictured here doing what he did best: composing at the piano. His artistic virtuosity is credited with bringing a new respect to American music, bridging the gap between the classics and popular music of the 20th century. Bernstein scored West Side Story, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Premiering on Broadway in 1957 with a film adaptation released in 1961, this beloved score epitomized the eclectic theatrical style that set Bernstein apart from his contemporaries.