The Sheepshead Bay
Neighborhood, whose low wooden houses spread north of Emmons Avenue from
the basin, has drawn metropolitan anglers and epicures since its founding in the early
1800's. Fronting the bay are many restaurants noted for their shore dinners. Best known
are Lundy's, Villepigue's, Seidel's, the Beau Rivage, and Tappen's.
The Sheephead Bay fishing "fleet,"
consisting of about fifty boats, is moored to the nine concrete piers along Emmons Avenue
built by the city in 1936 at a cost of $180,000. Some of these boats take as many as two
hundred passengers on fishing cruises that sometimes extend as far as Atlantic City. The
charge per passenger ranges from two and a half to five dollars. Boats leave at six,
seven, and eight in the morning, and at midnight.
In the 1870's Sheepshead Bay was also a noted
sporting center. At Ocean Avenue, near Jerome, was the track operated by the Coney Island
Jockey Club. Near by, in the Holwell mansion, still standing, flourished one of the
earliest racing tipster rackets. From the top rooms of the house, "timers "
would watch the early morning trials and note the fastest horses. This information would
be sold to bookmakers. In 1915, horses gave way to motor cars when the late Harry
Harkness, millionaire sportsman, and a group of associates built the $3,500,000 Sheepshead
Speedway on this site. It was considered the fastest automobile track in the world. In
1919 the track was replaced by a commercial housing development.