Barren Island is a former island in Jamaica Bay, off the southeast shore of Brooklyn in southern New York City, New York. It was originally part of a Lenape Native American land before being settled in the 17th century. Barren Island, whose name is a corruption of a Dutch word for bears, was geographically part of the Outer Barrier island group on the South Shore of Long Island. The former island is separated from the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens by the Rockaway Inlet.

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  • Barren Island is a former island in Jamaica Bay, off the southeast shore of Brooklyn in southern New York City, New York. It was originally part of a Lenape Native American land before being settled in the 17th century. Barren Island, whose name is a corruption of a Dutch word for bears, was geographically part of the Outer Barrier island group on the South Shore of Long Island. The former island is separated from the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens by the Rockaway Inlet. The island was sparsely inhabited before the 19th century, owing mainly to its isolated location away from the rest of the city. From the 1850s to the mid-1930s, Barren Island was developed as an industrial complex. Barren Island once maintained a somewhat diverse community for its time, and at its peak housed 1,500 residents. The community was originally supported by fish rendering plants and other industries related to offal products. The island housed a plant that received the carcasses of the city's dead horses and turned them into a variety of industrial products, including glue, fertilizer, buttons, and materials for refining gold and sugar. This activity inspired the name Dead Horse Bay for the still extant body of water on the western shore. Starting in the 1890s, Barren Island was also home to a waste processing plant. The odor from the plant was so noxious that it could be smelled from miles away. In 1916, a controversy arose when the city tried to relocate the waste processing plant away from Barren Island to Staten Island. As a result, operations on Barren Island continued until 1921. By the 1920s, most of the industrial activity had tapered off, and landfill was used to unite the island with the rest of Brooklyn for what became Floyd Bennett Field. Most of the residents were evicted, but a few were allowed to stay until 1942. No trace remains of the former island's industrial use. 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. (en)
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  • Barren Island is a former island in Jamaica Bay, off the southeast shore of Brooklyn in southern New York City, New York. It was originally part of a Lenape Native American land before being settled in the 17th century. Barren Island, whose name is a corruption of a Dutch word for bears, was geographically part of the Outer Barrier island group on the South Shore of Long Island. The former island is separated from the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens by the Rockaway Inlet. (en)
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  • Barren Island, Brooklyn (en)
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