Sands Street Station

Here is a photo of the Sands Street Elevated Train Station in Brooklyn during the White Hand Gang’s era. It was built around 1908 and torn down in 1944. As you can see, it had many tentacles of tracks coming out from it as it was literally the central station for all Brooklyn travel.


The actual station house is just above the center of the photo, but you can see Fulton Street to the left underneath the elevated track and the Manhattan Bridge at the top of the photo.

Since it was connected to the approach of the Brooklyn Bridge, it allowed Brooklynites to travel to Manhattan by train or trolley and Manhattanites to make a quick stop in Brooklyn, if need be. The station was three levels high and had adjoining tracks on each level that connected to the Fulton Street Elevated track or the Myrtle Avenue Elevated. Before doing so, however, there was a loop that the trains had to go round in order to double back to Brooklyn instead of going over the bridge. From there, you could travel all the way down to Coney Island or various places in Queens or to Prospect Park, if you like.

(Listen to The Story of Irishtown)

The White Hand Gang‘s newest members, Richie Lonergan and his crew (Petey Behan, Abe Harms, Matty Martin and Timothy Quilty), all around ages 14 and 15, previously pick-pocketed and cut-pursed at the station during the day. Since there

Sands Loop

Here is a close-up of the actual three-story Sands Street Elevated Train Station

were so many travelers and not a huge police presence, the Sands Street Stations was a popular place for muggers.

This humungous, three-level station with elevated tracks running through the tenement neighborhoods and along the waterfront was literally a few blocks away from 25 Bridge Street, a longshoremen’s saloon which was the White Hand Gang’s headquarters.

Eventually, the station and the elevated tracks were torn down and Cadman Plaza was built in this area in a very similar shape.

Like the Manhattan Bridge (built in 1909), it was not around when the area was called Irishtown, but became a permanent fixture when the Brooklyn waterfront became the industrial and manufacturing center of the United States in the busiest port harbor in the world.

Watch a video trailer of Exile on Bridge Street:


About eamonblog

I am Eamon Loingsigh, author of the Auld Irishtown trilogy. The first book in the trilogy is "Light of the Diddicoy," (Three Rooms Press 2014). The second is "Exile on Bridge Street," (Three Rooms Press 2016). This blog is mostly concerned with the books and the history of Brooklyn, the Irish-Americans and the gangs of Brooklyn and New York. I have also written lots of other stuff, namely two other books, the first called, "An Affair of Concoctions" and the book of poetry, "Love and Maladies." There are also articles sprinkled around the internet about anything from the anarchist movement of the Spanish Civil War to the French Symbolists of late 1800s Paris to the Irish Famine. With a degree in journalism and a passion for writing, there are lots of topics I have covered. To get in touch, send an email to: Oh by the way, my last name is pronounced "Lynch." Eamon Loingsigh
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s