Peter Charles Park
69 St., 58 Ave., Queens - Mid-Town Exwy. Svc. Rd. S.
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This site remembers the large carriages pulled by a team of horses through the city’s streets and the once nearby Maspeth Depot where they took on passengers, before the advent of the automobile.
Horse cars played a vital role in the history of mass transportation in New York City and Long Island. In 1832, the New York and Harlem Rail Road began laying down tracks for a Harlem-Downtown line. Those first horse cars carried about thirty people per trip, rushing them to destinations at a record seven to twelve miles-per-hour. Five years later, the fare was just 25 cents to ride from City Hall to Harlem. While the railroad company would have liked to use engines for the whole ride, complaints against noise, sparks, pollution, and hazard led to a city ordinance requiring horses to be used. Subsequently, cars were pulled by horses south of 27th Street in Manhattan, and powered by engines from 27th Street north to Harlem.