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9/12/02

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Canarsie Historical Society
Set For Long Walking
Tour Of Old Canarsie

Officials of the Canarsie Historical Society have announced the public is invited to join a walking tour of old Canarsie on Saturday, September 14.

Ira Kluger, co-president of the organization, will lead the tour, which is being organized under the sponsorship of the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House Museum. Those wishing to participate in the tour will meet at the Wyckoff House, 5816 Clarendon Road, near Ralph Avenue, at 1 p.m.

The program will begin with a presentation by Charles Dono, co-president of the Historical Society, who will enlighten you on items of historical interest, including Canarsie Lane and the local railroads.

The tour will include a visit to the 19 century Lott House, Varkens Hook Road, various churches and the site of Canarsies "Indian cemetery."

"It will be interesting to learn why the official name is and isnt a misnomer at the same time," says Kluger.

"I hope the public will join me for a very special journey through Canarsies past," Kluger says. "The only requirement for participation is that you wear comfortable shoes."

Admission is free.

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2/6/03

Support Sought For Planned Canarsie History Museum
By Charles Rogers


Ramon Martinez holding anniversary issue of Canarsie Courier. Charles Rogers

Its official. Our community will soon be able to display its rich and illustrious beginnings and background for the world to see at our own Canarsie History Museum. Complete plans have not been finalized, according to the board of organizers, but they already have an official charter establishing it as a bona fide educational institution.

Native Canarsiens and other buffs who have an interest in the background of our community have always been not only proud of our rich history, which dates from the 1600s and the Canarsee Indians, but willing and eager to share that history with others. Now, thanks to a group of entrepreneurs with similar thoughts, we may soon have a museum through which we can show off our past.

Ramon Martinez, who, along with Morton Werbel, Kevin Roth, Marshall Squeri and Louis Petrillo, heads the group of board members who recently acquired the provisional charter, said the charter is valid for a term of five years. Martinez met recently with Ira Kluger, co-president of the Canarsie Historical Society, and received his "complete" support, according to Kluger, who also said the Society will avail the museum of its collections of artifacts and memorabilia. The entrepreneur said he has also received the backing of political representatives and is currently seeking support from civic organizations, as well as individuals.

The Canarsie Courier has also offered its support and accessibility to its archives when the museum is established.

In a prospectus he is presenting to various groups, Martinez said he feels the museum will "help feed the communitys economy and give residents self-pride." He also noted how schools in the area will be able to visit the museum "as a special source of education, giving them a sense of history not found anywhere else."

"The museum will also be Canarsies first tourist attraction in over 60 years," he said, "ever since Golden City Amusement Park burned down in 1934."

The goal of the museum, the enthusiastic entrepreneur noted, is "to educate the general public of the rich, untold and unknown history that lies in Canarsie and how it has an effect on the borough and the city."

Martinez said that, when the project comes to fruition, it will feature four sections: Native American, Transit, Fire Department and Neighborhood Origins.

"Now we are seeking the support of the community," Martinez said. "We will shortly be talking with Community Board 18 and, eventually, every civic and block association, as well as official community leaders as we request their backing."

Martinez said a location for the project has not been decided yet.

"This is one of the items we want the community to help us with," he said. "What the community wants is what we want." Some suggestions included a location on the Avenue L shopping strip, which recently embarked on a campaign to revitalize it as a center of commercial activity.

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