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Remembering Rose Pitonof: The Real Coney Island Mermaid

6 days ago   |   By Tablet Magazine

On September 19, 1910, Rose Pitonof, age 15, swam from East 23rd Street in Manhattan to Steeplechase Pier on Coney Island. The jaunt took five hours and six minutes and covered 17 miles; Pitonof, from Dorchester, MA, was the first person to do it. The following year, she returned to the murky East River waters, swimming from the East 26th Street Pier to Coney Island. To contend with powerful currents and thrashing waves, she wound up swimming under three bridges and covering 21 miles instead of 17. It took her eight hours and seven minutes. In a breathless account, The New York Times...
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