When Brooklyn Bridge Park’s roller rink opened earlier this summer, skaters were thinking about the great view and probably not the history of the activity in Brooklyn Heights.
Ephemeral New York reports on an 1880s rink located at corner of Orange and Fulton Streets (a corner that no longer exists). A collection of Victorian era Fulton Street trading cards digitized by the Brooklyn Public Library uncovered this “mystery”.
As for the rink ENY quotes a Brooklyn Eagle story from October 1886:
“‘The roller skating craze has passed away, as regards popular favor,’ said a former proprietor of a Brooklyn roller rink to an Eagle reporter.”
“‘Roller skating is like love—once dead, it can never be revived. The first established rinks realized immense profits. At this time last year, no less than 20 rinks were open in this city.
“Many did a good business, but others lost money. The best year for roller skating was the Winter and Spring of 1883 and 1884.’”