• Quarters 409

    Take a Free Island History Walking Tour, May 28-29

    To celebrate the fourteenth public season of Governors Island opening, there will be free history walking tours on Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29. The walks will meet at 12:15 p.m. at Soissons Dock on the Island (see below). A free walking tour will focus on the three hundred years of island history. Learn about the people and stories that shaped Governors Island. Stops explore the military life, Civil War and World War I events, aviation pioneers, and even where the tiny railroad once ran. The tour is led by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, author of The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide (Globe Pequot Press). • See 50 locations on the…

  • From The New York World

    Tragedy Avoided in 1901 Fire on the Island

    With the island opening for the season on Saturday I am ready to get out there for its 13th annual season. I am working like mad to finish my manuscript for the Governors Island Explorer’s Guide, which is being published by Globe Pequot Press. I have an incredible amount of leftover material that won’t make it in the book, so let’s look at some of it. One thing people ask when I give a walking tour on Governors Island is about fires. There have been several. I think about this, because the island firehouse was demolished for development of The Hills on the south end. (The FDNY trucks were moved…

  • castle williams

    He Swam from Castle Williams to the Battery

    When I was researching the book, I came up with way more information than I could ever use. A lot of what I found were tall tales and historical stories that popped up. One was about Captain Billy Web, and it seems like this is the best venue to tell his story. If you’ve ever stood on the shore on Governors Island, think about jumping into the water and swimming towards Manhattan. In the almost 100 years that Castle Williams served as military prison, many attempted to swim to freedom. Most drowned in their attempt, but not Captain William Robert Webb, of the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry. As the tale…