CONEY ISLAND HISTORY
Coney Island has a unique history that spans well before recreation was even on the City's mind. Check out some of our vignettes below, which not only discusses the history of the area from indigenous habitation to the present day, but also some of the landmarks–both gone and still standing–and pieces of culture that helped define the iconic identity of the neighborhood.
Coney Island's History Over Time
Scroll through the gallery below and learn about different periods in Coney Island's history!
Coney Island's Cultural Icons and Landmarks
Over its long history, Coney Island has been defined by iconic landmarks, trailblazing figures, and its impact on the popular culture, scroll through the gallery below to learn more about the area and its influence!
Everything below is only a glimpse of Coney Island's varied and eclectic history, for a more thorough look at the area be sure to check out the stories and resources collected by the Coney Island History Project.
If you want to learn more about Coney Island's rich history, be sure to check out these other resource:
Baldock, Melissa E. “Preserving the Honky-Tonk: Coney Island’s Future in It’s Amusement Past.” 2004. https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/37003944/4-chapter-1-history-of-coney-island-from-the-baldockcom.
Brooklyn Public Library. “Native Americans in Brooklyn.” https://www.bklynlibrary.org/sites/default/files/documents/brooklyn-collection/connections/Native%20Americans%20PP.pdf.
City of New York. “Coney Island Comprehensive Rezoning Plan.” 2009. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/plans/coney-island/coney_island.pdf.
“Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland.” 2017. https://eusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Coney-Island-Timeline.pdf.
Denson, Charlie. Coney Island: Lost and Found. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2004.
“The History of Coney Island.” May 12, 2008. https://macaulay.cuny.edu/seminars/gardner08/articles/h/i/s/History_of_Coney_Island_6202.html.
McCully, Betsy. “THE LENAPES: THE FIRST NEW YORKERS.” August 2021.
PBS. “Coney Island Gets Its Name.” https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/historic-highlights/.
Pritchard, Evan. Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York. Tulsa: Council Oak Books, 2019.
Sheidlower, Noah. “21 NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE SITES IN NYC.” November 2021. https://untappedcities.com/2021/11/11/21-native-american-sites-nyc/17/.
Stanton, Jeffrey. “Coney Island–Early Years (1609-1880).” November 19, 1997. https://www.westland.net/coneyisland/articles/earlyhistory.htm.
Sullivan, David A. “Early Coney Island History: 'Conyne Eylandt' and Gravesend (1600-1860).” 2016. https://www.heartofconeyisland.com/early-coney-island-history.html.