Heron’s Head history


A brief history of Heron’s Head Park assembled by the Neighborhood Park’s Council included this interesting segment (attributed to Peter Woodall):

The history of India basin is a curious combination of industry and open space, business and pleasure. The name India basin first appeared on a map in 1868, but theories as to its origin remain murky. The best guess is that India Basin is named for the ships from the India Rice Mill Company which docked there. A more creative explanation has it that it was so named because water from nearby springs would stay fresh until a ship reached India.

By 1890, India Basin buzzed with activity from its extensive dry-docks and shipyards. Jack London’s ship, the Snark, was built there, as were several Chinese junks used in the film “Blood Alley,” starring John Wayne. India Basin boomed again during the war years, when it was used as a marina. Sailors crossed the rough and tumble bars of Third Street, and the area reeked of the stench from the nearby meat- packing houses of Butchertown.

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