• Glenn Curtiss

    Glenn Curtiss and the 1910 Flying Marksman of Fort Jay

    Governors Island played an important role in the history of aviation. Each week this month will be a historical look at one event in the island’s contribution to the history of manned flight. Wilbur Wright snared glory in 1909 on Governors Island. The next year his chief rival, Glenn H. Curtiss, snared something much more valuable on the Island: military contracts. While Orville and Wilbur Wright earned one kind of fame, Curtiss sewed up War Department funding. Some of the first-ever military airplane demonstrations happened in the same spot where Liggett Terrace is today. Like the Wrights, Curtiss also came from a humble background and had a keen interest in…

  • 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…