Letters to the Editor

A Not So Barren Island

Dear Editor: I truly appreciated reading Ed Wilkinson’s column on little-known Barren Island (Aug. 27).

My husband and eight siblings were born and raised on Barren Island.

The children were baptized and received all sacraments in Sacred Heart Roman Catholic church.

Their father from Poland/Russia on the manifest of the SS Astoria arrived in the Port of New York on April 11, 1905. He was to join a religious Brother Justin Pieslia on Barren Island, Brooklyn. He married the following year in the Mission on 240 Columbia St., Brooklyn. Their first child was born in 1907.

A fourth child, a son, born 1912, served in the U.S. Navy well over 20 years. All six brothers were active in the Armed Forces in WWII and all survived, thank God.

Catholic Polish immigrants labored hard on the Island to provide for their families.

They left Barren Island in 1924 to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Hopefully my input covers the earlier years.