Magda Acosta, Puerto Rican, talks about her Red Hook WaterStories, 1974

Magda Acosta was one of many who migrated by boat from Puerto Rico to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Ships such as the SS San Juan and the SS Carolina traveled regularly between these two ports from the late 1800s to the 1950s, growing a Puerto Rican community in Red Hook.

Excerpt of a 1974 conversation between Magda Acosta and interviewer Jamie Barreto:

And do you remember the name of the boat?
“Yes, the San Juan.”

Where did it dock?
“ I don’t remember the muelle [dock] I know it was over there by Conover and Sullivan.”

How was the neighborhood?
“I remember at the time I found it well. The majority of those living there were Italians.”

The local church?
“Iglesia St. Peter that was on Hicks. They helped the poor a lot. I went there too because during the depression they gave food to all that went to the church.”

The complete oral history is in the  Brooklyn Historical Society's archives


Dec. 1974

Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Jesus Colon: Stowaway. 1917
This Item is related to Item: Song Celebrating the SS Carolina
This Item is related to Item: Porto Rican Stowaways: 1911


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