Strong current and underwater obstructions made the Hell Gate the most dangerous section of the New York Harbor. Here, dozens of ships foundered and many hundreds perished. Starting in the mid-1800s, a series of projects removed the hard rock of its shoals and dangerous reefs. One such effort, depicted here, showing tunnels bored under the Hell Gate’s bed, was filled with explosives, then detonated collapsing reefs . The rubble was easily brought to the surface and disposed.
If you have historical photos or postcards you would like to share with the Queens Tribune, send them to us by mail at Queens Tribune c/o Throwback Thursday, 150-50 14th Rd., Whitestone, NY 11357. Or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @QueensTrib with the hashtag #TBT.