Foot of Sprague​ Ave. - Site D

Foot of Sprague Ave.

The Bishop Estate, formerly located between Loretto St. and Sprague Ave., contained 10+ acres and the palatial home of Clenen and Martha Bishop. Clenen was a Manhattan poultry merchant. Around 1903 he built the house and moved the family to Tottenville. In 1912 the property was divided into 103 building lots. Nearly a dozen were developed, but not until 1919. In 1921, Bishop and D. Baldwin Sanneman, builder and manager of Playland Amusement Park, reached an agreement for a 10-year lease on the property at $6,000 per year. Sanneman was to build an amusement park. Before the agreement was executed, a major investor withdrew his interest. Sanneman died in 1924. The project never came to fruition.

Philip and Eliza Cooley, African Americans from Virginia, purchased 22 acres of waterfront property from Abraham C. Totten in 1830. Philip was an oysterman. Descendants of the Cooley family, the Robinson branch, continued to live on the homestead property through the 1950s. Robinson’s Beach, as it is still known, was a popular destination for local and non-local church groups holding social outings and baptismal services.