This is a little pocket menu from the Creamerie Restaurant at 262 Bowery, New York City.
The pocket menu also includes an identification card on the back, with spaces for name, address, and birth date. Oh, and the birth date allows for any year that starts with 18__. There is also a space to record the number of the case on your watch and the number of the works. Did you know that watches were used for identification? I didn't.
The other side of the card notes that the restaurant is open "at all hours." Does that mean it was open 24 hours?
I might have expected the history of any place on the Bowery to be colorful, but maybe not quite this colorful. The best resource ended up being the New York Times archives, a fun ride on any day. I found little that would tell me anything about the Creamerie or its proprietor, Frank Summer, but I did find that people from this address died often and in interesting ways.
Here are the highlights:
May 5th, 1869 - Plans were submitted for a five-story, "first class iron store" building at 262 and 264 Bowery. The lot size appeared to be 83' by 85' and was owned by William J. Gesner.
March 26, 1871 - The Chapel of St. Augustine, 262 Bowery, was crowded to capacity to witness the confirmation of forty individuals by Right Reverend Bishop Potter. The chapel appears to have remained there until at least 1890.
April, 1873 - L. Zellner, alias L. Cruz, who listed 262 Bowery as his address, was arrested for dealing in obscene articles.
1878 - Aetna Sewing Machines was located at this address.
August 12, 1884 - Joseph Gallagher, a 19-year-old waiter who lived at 262 Bowery was arrested for stealing watches and other articles of value from doctors at St. Vincents' Hospital. He was caught going through one of the corridors in the hospital in his bare feet. Gallagher had previously worked at the hospital.
March 13, 1888 - 60 year-old Andrew Jauch, who lived at 262 Bowery (Schirmer's Lodging House), committed suicide on this date by ingesting Paris green.
June, 1888 - A Tailor by the name of Bernhard Marks was attached by L. Schwarz & Co. . Marks had recently bought the business from Louis Corn and then had his name changed from Gambitsky to Marks. Bernhard Marks was one of four tailors who had failed within a few weeks.
July 29, 1888 - Edward Cook of 262 Bowery was in a boat with Patrick Byrn and Byrn's two children when the boat capsized. The adults, who could not swim, were rescued by a row boat, but the children's bodies were not immediately recovered.
1890 - Moses Rephael had a crockery business at this address.
June 13, 1890 - John H. Waite was taken from Schirmer's Lodging House at 262 Bowery to Bellevue Hospital where he died in the pavilion for the insane ten hours later. Doctors said that he died of starvation and acute melancholia. They believed that he killed himself by abstaining from food either because he thought he was mistreated by his wife or because he thought all nourishment was poison. They tried to administer whiskey and milk when he was admitted to the hospital, but he spit it out.
June 20th, 1897 - Frederick Konig, 21, died at 262 Bowery.
August 2, 1897 - Max Berninghoff, 68, died at 262 Bowery.
May 18th, 1902 - John O'Brien, 62, died at 262 Bowery.
August 6, 1910 - Frank Schultz of 262 Bowery was arrested in Hackensack, New Jersey, leaving the house of Frederick van Saun with a suitcase full of loot.
May 22, 1915 - Karl Schmidt, an indigent resident of 262 Bowery, died in Bellevue Hospital. Once it became known that he was actually rich, relatives appeared out of nowhere to claim an inheritance. Apparently Schmidt always left the house at about 8 and returned at 6, but no one ever knew where he spent that time.
The building that currently stands at 262 Bowery was built in 1920 and houses a restaurant supply business.