1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Coney Island

CONEY ISLAND, an island about 9 m. S.E. of the S. end of Manhattan Island, U.S.A., on the S. shore of Long Island, from which it is separated by Gravesend Bay, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island Creek, a tidal inlet, and a broad stretch of low salt marshes. It lies within the limits of the Borough of Brooklyn, New York city. The island is the westernmost of a chain of outlying sandbars that extends along the southern shore of Long Island for almost 100 m.; it is about 5 m. long and varies from 1/4 m. to 1 m. in width. It is served by the Long Island railway, by several lines of electric railway, and (in summer) by steamboat lines. The island is the most popular seashore resort of the United States. There are four quite distinctly marked districts. At the extreme western extremity, Norton’s Point, is the district known as Sea Gate, lying between Gravesend Bay and Lower New York Bay. It is an exclusively residential section, has a fine light-house, a large number of summer homes and the handsome club-house of the Atlantic Yacht Club. A broad shore drive connects it on the E. with West Brighton, the most popular amusement centre, to which the name Coney Island has come to be more especially applied. Its great scenic and spectacular features, “side-shows,” booths, cafés and dancing halls, have made “Coney Island” a well-known resort. There are bathing beaches, two immense iron piers, observation towers, scenic railways, “Ferris” wheels, and the two amusement reservations known as “Luna Park” and “Dreamland.” From West Brighton a broad parkway known as “the Concourse” connects with Brighton Beach, 3/4 m. to the E., passing the large bathing establishments maintained by the city of New York. At Brighton Beach there are a large hotel, a theatre and the Brighton Race Track. Still farther to the E., and extending to the eastern extremity of the island, lies Manhattan Beach, with hotels, a theatre and baths, and patronized more largely by a wealthier class of visitors. Adjacent to Manhattan Beach on the mainland, and separated from it by a narrow neck of Sheepshead Bay, lies the village of Sheepshead Bay, in which is the famous race track of the Coney Island Jockey Club.