Dead Horse Bay

By: Elizabeth

Ok so, I know it’s not one of the prescribed site tags, but I found out about this place recently and it is fascinating and relevant (both topically and geographically) so I am proposing it as Site #7 for the week!

Dead Horse Bay is a small body of water located off the South Eastern tip of Brooklyn. It got its name because it was once THE place to get your horse rendering done in the city (Seriously, no one renders like these guys). From the 1850s-1920s the beaches along the bay housed several rendering plants which processed the dead horse (and other animal) carcasses that the city produced by the thousands (this is back when Horses were the main mode of transit). The plants recycled these animal remains into useful products like glue, etc., and dumped what little byproducts they had (usually horse bones) into the Bay (hence the name). By the 20s automobiles began to replace horses and with significantly less business the area was converted into a landfill. Full by the ’30s, the trash dump was “capped” only to burst again in the 1950s, sending old trash out into the bay and all along the beaches. It continues to leak to this day and the area is infamously littered with old junk, from bottles to baby dolls to the occasional horse femur.

Here are some links including one to a site ‘Underwater New York’ which creatively explores all kinds of cool “underwater” places like this around the city:

(scroll down for pictures)

(another cool site)

DeadHorseBayMap (and in case you wanna see where it is in New York)


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