27 March 2014

Hats and Beheadings

The shuttering of Classic Impressions, a gift and card store on Court Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn—as well as the recent closure of Gloria Flower Shoppe just down the street—got me to thinking of the past history of 296 Court Street. It's only been Classic Expressions, after all, for about a decade or so.

I uncovered a few things about the address. In 1888, this was a hat store. It was owned by Caesar Simis, who had several haberdasheries. In the 1950s, there was a "store and bakery" here. Which is interesting, since its right next door to the iconic Court Pastry Shop. Must have been some rivalry.

On a more grisly side, on March 26, 1895, there was a horrible trolley accident at the nearby corner of Court and Congress Streets. Woman named Mary Ann Medinger was struck by a trolley car and dragged under it for fully sixty feet before the transport came to a halt. He body was "literally torn to pieces," the New York Times reported, with he head cut off and legs broken. Her death, it was noted, was the 105th caused by trolley system since its creation.

The unfortunate conductor of the trolley lived at 296 Court.

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