05 March 2008

The Ghost Horses of Verandah Place

In keeping with today's Verandah Place them, let my hereby relate the tragic tale that I recently learned is connected to Nos. 22 and 24 of that peaceful passageway.

Like many of the addresses on this street, 22 and 24 operated as a livery stable in the 19th century. This particular one, according to a story in the New York Times published back in 1873, was owned by one Patrick McIntyre. The building was set up like this: five horses on the basement floor, carriages on the first, 12 horses on the second and coachman John Jackson and family at the top.

On May 25, 1873, the basement caught on fire in the early hours of the morning. The people up top got out all right, but citizens and firefighters could find no way to free the horses. All 17 animals died from burns and suffocation. It was thought the fire was started by a drunken stable man who returned to the building a half hour before the blaze began and lit his pipe among the straw in the basement.


Katia said...

That's dreadful! What a sad story.
I just walked by there yesterday. That little stretch certainly is one of the nicest places in Brooklyn.

SP said...

I live on Verandah Place and never knew this story, thanks for sharing! And Thomas Wolfe lived at 40 Verandah Place for a short time...