Barren Island, Brooklyn

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Barren Island
Deep Creek Dead Horse jeh.JPG
Coordinates: 40°35′34″N 73°53′35″W / 40.59278°N 73.89306°W / 40.59278; -73.89306Coordinates: 40°35′34″N 73°53′35″W / 40.59278°N 73.89306°W / 40.59278; -73.89306
Country United States
State New York
City Brooklyn

Barren Island was an island off the southeast shore of Brooklyn, in Jamaica Bay. Land filling was used to unite the island with mainland Brooklyn in 1926 for what became Floyd Bennett Field. The area is separated from the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens by the Rockaway Inlet.[1] All of what was once Barren Island is now part of the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service.[2]

It once maintained a somewhat diverse community for its time, supported mainly by a fish rendering plant and other industries related to offal products. The island housed a plant that rendered horse bones (supplied from the streets of New York City and elsewhere) into glue.[3] This activity inspired the name Dead Horse Bay for the still extant water body on the western shore.

Barren Island by Carol Zoref is an award-winning novel about life on the island.[4][5]


  1. ^ Brooklyn, NY Quadrangle (Map). 1:62,500. 15 Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 1898. § SW. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  2. ^ "North Shore District". National Park Service. Jamaica Bay Institute. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  3. ^ Feuer, Alan (July 29, 2011). "Jamaica Bay: Wilderness on the Edge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Barren Island, by Carol Zoref, 2017 National Book Award Longlist, Fiction". Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "AWP: Award Series Winners". Retrieved 4 December 2017.