by Kevin Walsh

Outside the circa 1710 Onderdonk House on Flushing and Onderdonk Avenues , the seat of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society (which is recommended for a visit) amid glass wholesalers, auto body shops, and collision repair places, is an old relic utterly unrelated to the old Dutch farmhouse.

It’s a trolley pole that formerly supported overhead wires providing power to the Brooklyn-Queens #57 trolley line, which ran from downtown Brooklyn to Grand and Flushing Avenues in Maspeth until November 28, 1948. In this part of town, replacement motor coach bus lines simply assumed the old trolley line numbers, so that the B57 bus plies the same route on Flushing Avenue today.

Today it supports an electric or telephone conduit going into the Onderdonk House.

The greatest concentration of old trolley poles continues to be onĀ Surf Avenue in Coney Island.


1 comment

robert j. illing October 7, 2021 - 3:15 pm

That pole was last used in 1960 to hold up the Trolley Bus wires .The trolley bus turned from Flushing Ave. and ran up Onderdonk Ave. (which was a two way street at that
time)to Suydam St. and turn into the side entrance of the De Kalb Ave. shop for repairs and maintenance .The trolley buses replaced the Flushing Ave. trolley cars in 1948,
and they were replaced by diesel buses in 1960. The DeKalb Ave shop was demolished in 1961 or 1962.


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