In the late 19th century, many of Staten Island's beaches became fashionable and popular resort areas. There, visitors found relief from the crowding and close development of Manhattan and Brooklyn. During the day, vacationers enjoyed the beaches, while at night they frequented the grand hotels, casinos, and music halls.

Midland Beach's resort area opened on August 29, 1896. The Midland Terminal Company, which developed the resort, was a subsidiary of a trolley organization, and the growth of the recreation facilities was thus inextricably tied to the growth of trolley service in the area.

Over the next few decades, Midland Beach's popularity grew and the area continued to expand. By 1917, however, worsening economic conditions and disastrous fires took their toll on the resorts and the area began to decline. Subsequent efforts to revive the beach as a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project during the Great Depression (1929-1940) were frustrated by further fires and newly troublesome water pollution.

Midland's carousel, built by the renowned factory of Charles I. D. Looff (1852-1918), came through every fire miraculously unscathed, and continued in operation until the mid-20th century.

CREDITS: Excerpts: New York City Parks Department

A wooden carousel owned by the Tirelli Family ran on the Midland Beach Boardwalk for approximately 40 years until 1957 when it was sold and dismantled. The Midland and South Beach Boardwalks were popular early 20th century summertime attractions for New York City families, including the Vanderbilts, who "summered" on Staten Island. A large St. Bernard figure that appears on The Carousel For All Children's outer row is a reproduction of one of the figures that appeared on the Tirelli Carousel in Midland Beach. In addition, one of the paintings that adorn the new carousel depicts a bustling Midland Beach Boardwalk scene of yesteryear.

CREDITS: Excerpts: Green Belt Conservancy

CLICK BELOW FOR RELATED STATEN ISLAND PAGES. Staten Island was once similiar to Coney Island except little documented. i.e. numerous parks,numerous name changes,etc.etc.