22 December 2009

The Troublesome Folk of Dennet Place


Dennet Place ain't long. The short Carroll Gardens thoroughfare, between Nelson and Luqueer Streets, hiding behind the hulking mass of St. Mary Star of the Sea, can be traversed in about 30 seconds. But the lane wasn't short on trouble, once upon a time.

The curious path, with the midget-sized houses and half-doors, has been around since at least the 1850s. And in the decades leading up to the 20th century, it saw a pack of hurt. Not only the men, but the women were tough characters. Trolling through the Brooklyn Eagle archives, I was able to pin a black mark on nearly every one of the 20 or so addresses. Here's a taste:

1 Dennet Place: Sarah Alcock, an "old rounder," was sent up for 90 days in July 1885.
2 Dennet Place: Maggie Davis was arrested April 1890 for robbing a man of $42.
6 Dennet Place: Thomas Owens, arrested April 1885, for abandonment.
7 Dennet Place: Lizzie Mack had 14-year-old brother Johnnie arrested July 1891 for stealing her watch.
8 Dennet Place: Mary Allen, burnt by exploding kerosene lamp, Dec. 1893. Later home to Giulo Rivola, who attempted to dynamite Barrett Manufacturuing company on Smith in March 1906.
9 Dennet Place: James Reardon arrested in 1902 for falsely collecting insurance payments.
16 Dennet Place: Catharine Keeney had her husband Charles T. Foley arrested for bigamy in August 1896.
18 Dennet Place: Bernard Lafferty arrested June 1889 for stabbing a man several times with a pen knife.
20 Dennet Place: Andrew Schell, arrested for assaulting an officer, Oct. 1884.
21 Dennet Place: George Phoebus, arrested Dec. 1890 for misappopriation of funds, having sold a house for Annie Ross at 21 Dennett, and never paying over the money. Phoebus was son of a clergyman, became a lawyer, then a journalist, married an actress in summer 1884, disappeared Christmas day 1885, leaving to Liverpool.


Watch yourself when walking down this street.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That explains the size of the doors.

vclinton81 said...

i used to live there. it was so much fun. every night out with friends. it was a blast.