Photo Album Page 6
Before closing this narrative of the Go-Home-to-Hart visit that NYCHS was able to arrange through the good offices of the NYC Correction Department, the writer/photographer wishes to thank the three returning women for serving as guides down the memory lanes of their island.

By sharing their return visit recollections with him and, through him, with the viewers of these web pages, they have helped make more vary-faceted our understanding of the vibrant -- and in their case, vivacious -- past life on this island, extending our appreciation beyond its role as burial place for the unclaimed dead.

Mary McDonnell points to the below-ground level shooting gallery -- note the gleam of the roof beneath the tree branches in the upper left corner of the photo -- where she learned how the fire a gun. Her father, Warden Thomas McDonnell, was a marksman who won medals in shooting competitions.

With unfailing good humor, keen wit and seemingly boundless vigor that belied the calendar years of even the most senior members of the trio, they set a pace of running conversation and steady striding that their juniors escorting them had to hurry to keep up with them.

For letting us -- this webmaster and the readers of these web pages -- accompany them on their sentimental journey back in time and thereby deepening our historical knowledge of Hart, we thank:

  • Mary J. McDonnell, a City Island attorney whose father Thomas McDonnell was Hart warden in the 1930s and 1940s.

    Jackets that had been worn on the trip over to Hart in the morning are held as the group prepares to depart the island in the early afternoon.

  • Patricia Murphy of City Island, whose father Francis J. Sweeney served as Hart deputy warden in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Judith Colgan of Maryland whose grandfather Joseph P. Mannix lived on Hart in the early 1950s when he was in charge of the city welfare agency's homeless shelter there.

We also thank:

  • Mary J. McDonnell's daughter, Maureen McEnery-Hraska, also of City Island, for whom the Hart visit was her first.

    City Island looms into view through the captain's window as he steers the boat on a course to the ferry slip.

  • City Island Museum founder/curator and NYC Tax Commissioner Virginia Gallagher.

  • Correction Officer Michael Cassara and other officers of DOC's Support Services Division that conducts City Cemetery operations on the island.

Last but hardly least, such NYCHS-arranged Hart Island events could not have happened without continuing support of the society by then Correction Commissioner and now NYPD Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik, Correction First Deputy Commissioner Gary M. Lanigan, and then Chief of Department and now Correction Commissioner William J. Fraser.

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