The Jamaica Bay Islands scattered through 20 square miles of marshes provide complete isolation and tranquility in Queens — and area residents like it that way. Some can trace their family roots back 100 years, staying put from generation to generation.
Prior to the building of the Cross Bay Bridge in 1939, you were transported to the Rockaway peninsula via the Long Island Rail Road, and one station on the way was called Goose Creek.
Also there, to the right in the photograph, was the Charles Noehren Hotel. The Noehren family, early settlers from Scotland, erected the hotel shortly after the LIRR station was built in 1888. Family members Henry and William were all in the fishing boat business, specializing in fishing, tackle and nets.
When the LIRR was electrified in 1905, business was booming. But in 1935, with the new Cross Bay Bridge for cars coming soon, the LIRR closed the station as a cost-saving measure. After the opening of the bridge the area was cleared in 1940. The remaining Noehren family members moved to Woodhaven.
In 1953 the LIRR sold the former station site to the newly formed New York City Transit Authority, which revamped the route and opened a subway line, charging an additional 15 cents south of Howard Beach in 1958. The additional fee was stopped in 1975.
Today, with the building of modern sewers and roads residents on the bay can continue living there and passing their properties down to another new generation.