About the Site
City Hall Park 1899 first came about circa 1998, as the result of wanting to know more about the strike “Newsies” is based on and discovering very little information was easily available. Fortunately, having a mother who worked as a university librarian made it easy to obtain access to microfilm for the New York Times.
Over the years, the site grew to include articles from other contemporary newspapers, as well as information about life at the turn-of-the-century, provided in the voice of Newspaper Annie. (She still remains one of my favorite historical newsies discussed in the papers.)
The original site at FortuneCity.com went into archival mode after a hacking incident several years ago. Now that FortuneCity has become Dotster and the old site is gone, City Hall Park 1899 is rebuilding to be better than ever.
I’m Rachel, just a girl who loves history, research, and writing. “Newsies” provided a way to combine all three into one pursuit.
In addition to researching the newsboys’ strike, around the beginning of the website, I also wrote fiction set in turn-of-the-century New York City, as a member of the old Newsgirls’ Union writing circle. My main lodging houses, for those who remember the Union, were Harlem (Verity Fowler) and the Rose Theater (Judith Rosenburg). Other houses & locations I wrote for were the Nine O’Clock Club, the South of Houston lodging House, the Long Island lodging house, the Silver Nickel gambling hall, Millinger’s Tavern, 97 Orchard St. Apartments, and the Tribune.
Odd fact: I’ve never been to New York City. Ever. When I originally started City Hall Park 1899, I was living in Alabama and attending college in Mississippi. Now, I live in Dallas. When I do finally visit, you can be certain that Newsies and history will be a part of it!