CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina

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*Please note this is a work in progress. New researched information will be added periodically.

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1) The land for New York City's Central Park is first acquired. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

2) 1856: January 21 Staten Island Historical Society is founded.

3) In 1856, the National Convention of Dentists was organized, with Dr. John B. Rich of New York as President. * (NYS History)

4) 1856 St. Anthony's parish is established in Greenpoint. The first Catholic parish, with Reverend. John Brady as the first pastor.
*(Greenpoint)

5) At #8 Fifth Avenue was the Marble House, the first of its kind built in 1856 of John Taylor Johnston. * (Fifth)

6) Laura Keene's Varieties at 624, above Houston Street, was opened November 18, 1856, and remained under her management until May 8, 1863. The theatre was remarkable for presenting all sorts of plays and for the ability of the actors who appeared; * (Bwy)

7) Buckley's Hall at 585, opposite the Metropolitan Hotel, was opened with Buckley's Minstrels, August 25, 1856. * (Bwy)

8) On July 4, 1856, the first statue erected in New York since that of George III. in 1770, was unveiled with appropriate honors in the southeast corner of the square. It is the equestrian statue of George Washington, designed by
Henry K. Brown. * (Bwy)

9 ) "Herne The Hunter" a play was presented on February 18, 1856 in the Old Broadway Theatre, at 326-328 Broadway in New York City. * (fff)

10) Fort Schuyler: A United States military post, which forms one of the defenses to the northern entrance to the harbor of New York. The post was  established in 1856, although the fortification was begun in 1833. The  reservation comprises 62 acres, on Throg's Neck, Long Island Sound, 3 1/2  miles from Westchester, which is the post-office and telegraph station.
There are quarters for 9 officers and 120 men. * (n.i.e.)

11) Lawrence Barrett, American actor. He made his N.Y. debut in 1856 in "The Hunchback." * (c.e.)

12) The Adams memorial Church was a child of the Madison Square Church, which in 1856 established a mission center and Sabbath School. This was first located in a house on the north side of 29th Street near Third Avenue, and then in the public school on 27th Street near Third Avenue. Lots were secured on Third Avenue north of 30th Street, and a chapel erected where the first service was held in January 1858. *(presby)

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1) Elizabeth Blackwell opens the hospital, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.

2) 1857 The Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn is formed. * (BTL)

3) William Allen Butler, author of "Nothing to Wear" an episode in city life. * (1857)

4) Jordan's New York Carpet Cleaning Wks. at 437-439 West 45th street was established in 1857.

5) The Cooper Union: It occupies the triangular space formed by the junction of the Bowery, Third and Fourth avenues and 7th street, one square east of Broadway. It is a plain but massive and imposing edifice of brownstone, six stories high, with a large basement below the level of the streets. It was erected by Peter Cooper in 1857, at a cost of $630,000, and was endowed by him with $150,000, for the support of the free reading room and library. * (1865 mocny)

6) The invention of the elevator____the first practical passenger elevator was installed in the New York building in 1857, this made the skyscraper possible. * (Concise)

7) Lion Brewery, established in 1857, occupied a site bounded by Eighth and Tenth Avenues (today, Eighth Avenue becomes Central Park West north of 57th Street, and at the same point Tenth becomes Amsterdam Avenue) and extending from 107th to 109th Streets. * (mcny.org)

8) Long Island College Hospital, Henry, Pacific and Amity. Est'd 1857. Capacity, 385. Private. * (Polk's)

9) Joseph C. Gayetty of New York City invented toilet paper in 1857. * (50S)

10) The Bustle was patented by Alexander Douglas of New York city who obtained a patent on April 21, 1857 making them adjustable. * (fff)

11) Charles Kinnaird Graham born in New York City. In 1857 he constructed the dry docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. * (Generals)

12) An Association of Irishmen known as the Fenian Brotherhood founded in New York in 1857, with a view to secure the independence of Ireland. * (Century)

13) Professor Peter Carmont Campbell, aeronaut & inventor made his first balloon ascension in Crystal palace in New York City in 1857. * (Brooklyn Eagle)

14) John Wakefield Frances born in New York. An American Physician and medical and biographical writer. He published "Old New York" (1857)

15) Dual sewer systems for sewage and storm water was built in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1857 by Colonel Julius Adams. * ( fff)

16) Henry Reed Stiles: An American physician and author, born in New York  City. He was educated at the College of the City of New York, and at  Williams, subsequently studied medicine, and practiced for a short time. In  1857 he began the publication of the American Journal of Education. * (n.i.e.)

17) Germans helped organize the Communist club of New York in 1857.* (epic)

18) Austin Flint, was a founder of Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1857. * (c.e.)

19) Richard Upjohn, American architect. He was a founder of the American Institute of Architects and its first president 1857-76.

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1) R.H. Macy Company first opens in New York City.

2) 1858 The National Association of Baseball Players is formed. It is baseball's first centralized organization. *(BTL)

3) One of the first groups of chain stores to come into existence was the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, which began in 1858. * (NYS History)

4) In 1858 the corner stone was laid for St. Patrick's Cathedral on fifth avenue.

5) The Y.W.C.A. started in New York City in 1858 as the Ladies Christian Association "To labor for the temporal, moral and religious welfare of self-supporting young women." * (Concise)

6) St. Patrick's Cathedral is the grandest church edifice in America. It was begun by Archbishop Hughes in 1858 and was dedicated by the Cardinal Archbishop McCloskey on the 25th of May, 1879. * (Gaslight)

7) Skating in Central Park began in December 1858, when part of the unfinished lake south of the Ramble was flooded and froze * (mcny.org)

8) The American Numismatic Society, Broadway at 155th Street in New York City was organized on April 16, 1858. * (Museums)

9) Long Island College Hospital, cor. Henry and Pacific streets, Brooklyn, N.Y. J. H. Raymond, M.D., Secretary of the Faculty. Organized in 1858. The first class was graduated in 1860. * (Polk's)

10 ) New York Homoeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital, cor. E.Sixty-third street and Avenue A, New York City. Organized in 1858. The first class was graduated in 1861. * (Polk's)

11) Paulists, a body of Roman Catholic monks who profess to follow the example of the Apostle Paul. The congregation of the missionary Priests of St. Paul the Apostle, a Roman catholic organization founded in New York City in the year 1858 for parochial missionary and educational work. * (Century)

12) All Soul's present church on 4th avenue in New York City was erected in 1858.

13) Hanson Place Methodist Church, Hanson Place, corner of St. Felix street, in Brooklyn, was organized on the 3d of January, 1858. The first pastor was the Rev. Joseph Law; in 1859-60,

14) Thomas Addison Richards, American landscape painter illustrator and author. Richards organized (1858) and was first director of the School of Design for Women at Cooper Union. * (c.e.)

15) 1858 - Rowland Hussey Macy was a Nantucket Quaker and whaler who failed several times as a store owner until he founded a "fancy dry goods" store in New York City on 6th Avenue near 14th Street in 1858. He began selling at a fixed price for cash, discounted and advertised his merchandise. * (hsd)

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1) The first passenger elevator in an American hotel is installed in New York City's Fifth Avenue Hotel.

2) Suffolk's first parish was St. Andrew's in Sag Harbor, established in 1859

3) The Rev. Joseph Brunemann became St. Andrews' first resident pastor in 1859, when the parish was established.

4) 1859 Brooklyn Academy of Music is incorporated. *(BTL)

5) Adelina Patti made her operatic debut as Lucia in the opera of that name, November 24, 1859 at the Academy of Music. * (NYS History) Vol: V

6) In 1859 the New York Yacht Club sailed its first real ocean race___a race around Long Island, starting off the clubhouse at Elysian Fields, passing by Sandy Hook, and along the south shore of Long Island, ending up with a trip westward on the Sound to Throggs Neck. * (L.I.Sound)

7) Kirkpatrick, T., & Co., Jewelers on Park avenue at corner of 57th street, New York was established in 1859. * (Blue)

8) Dixie___Daniel D. Emmett a black-faced singer, composed the song as it is known today and sang it for the first time as a "walk-around" with Bryant's Minstrel in New York in 1859. * (Concise)

9) the Queens County, was built in 1859, one of four double-ended ferryboats active on the route between 34th Street and its docking station at Hunter's Point, Queens. Commuters going to Manhattan jobs rode the ferry, as did Manhattanites headed for a day at Long Island's racetrack, connecting at Hunter's Point to the Long Island Railroad. * (mcny.org)

10) 121 Heberton Avenue House at 121 Heberton avenue in Staten Island, N.Y. was built c 1859-61 by James G. Burger, designer and builder.

11) Daniel Edgar Sickles born in New York City. Sickles first achieved national notoriety in 1859 when he was shot down in the shadow of the White House, his young wife's paramour, son of the author of "Star Spangled Banner." * (generals)

12) The Equitable Life Insurance co. organized in 1859, William P. Alexander a prominent lawyer of long service in Public life was its first President. George W. Phillips an insurance expert, became the first actuary of the company. * (NYS History)

13) In 1859 Ann Bishop made her first bow to N.Y. Audience at the Academy of Music. * (NYS History)

14) The Fifth Avenue Hotel 1859: This was the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which was the usual stopping place of most of the presidents after 1860 when they visited the city. The Hotel opened its doors in 1859 at the junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. The proprietor was Paran Stevens. * (FTW)

15) Octavius Brooks Frothingham, American clergyman and writer. In 1859 he organized the Third Unitarian Church of New York and soon achieved wide renown. * (c.e.)

16) George Deshon, helped to form the New Paulist Institute in NYC in 1859. * (docb)

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1) Dr. Abraham Jacobi was the first Professor of Pediatrics in an American medical school, Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

2) 1860: April 23. The first passenger train on the Staten Island Railroad begins operating between Eltingville and Clifton (Vanderbilt's Landing).

3) Staten Island gets its first magnetic telegraph line.

4) In 1860 there landed at Castle Garden the first embassy from Japan. *(NYS History)

5) On April 12, 1860 a charter was granted to the Homeopathic Medical College of the State of new York in New York City. * (NYS History) Vol: V

6) New York City ranks first in garment making in 1860. * (NYS History) Vol: V

7) The first major foreign luminary to stay at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in 1860 was the Prince of Wales, Victoria's son. * (Fifth)

8) Frank Hastings Hamilton, an American surgeon. He was connected with Bellevue Hospital in New York City. He wrote "A Practical Treatise on Fractures and Dislocations" in 1860. * (Century)

9) Browne's Business College situated at 246 Fulton street in Brooklyn is one of the leading and most distinctive institutions of its kind. It was established in 1860.

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1) Staten Island Hospital was founded in 1861 and carried through its early
years mainly by women. * (NYS History) Vol: V

2) Clara Louise Kellogg, American operatic soprano. She made her debut in 1861 in New York City and in 1863 sang Marguerite in the first New York performance of Gounod's Faust. * (Bartleby)

3) St. Dominic German Orphan Home, 153 Graham avenue. Est'd 1861. Private. In charge of Sisters of St. Dominic.* (Polk's)

4) BROOKLYN: Dr. Shepard's Sanitorium, 81 Columbia Hgts. Est'd 1861. Capacity. 20. Private. *(Polk's)

5) Philip Kearny, born in New York City, a scion of great wealth & social position. He was among the first brigadier generals of volunteers appointed August 7 to rank from May 17, 1861. * (Generals)

6) Rufus King born in New York City the scion of a family long distinguished in the annals of colonial and post revolutionary America. He was appointed one of the first volunteer brigadier generals ranking from May 17, 1861. * (Generals)

7) Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth of New York. In April, 1861 he organized in New York City a Zouave regiment of firemen (the 11th New York) of which he became colonel. * (century)

8) Carlotta Patti, a concert singer, sister of Adelina Patti. She made her debut in New York in 1861. * (Century)

9) 1861 New York--first failed attempt to form street railway labor organization.

10) Academy of Music was opened in January, 1861, with great eclat, a prominent citizen, in the dedicatory address invoking the divine blessing upon the institution. As its name would imply, the Academy of Music was originally intended only for operatic and musical performances, chiefly those of the Philharmonic Society, but it had not been opened many months before the late Mr. Rarey gave a "horse show" there, and wiser and more liberal counsels prevailing, ere the expiration of the year, after much debate, to be sure, it was thrown open to the drama. Manager Jarrett was the first to catch the worm; he took the house for one week, commencing December 23d, and played Wallack and Davenport. (28)

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