Coney Island was always popular partly because of its location which made it extremely easy to be reached from Manhattan as well as other boroughs such as the Isle and Brooklyn City which were far enough from the resort for it to make it look like an actual vacation place. The island started attracting visitors in mid 19th century, as some say in the 1830s and 1840s. This was mainly the result of the infrastructure development which made it once again easier to reach this place.
Coney Island began to exist when the first hotel was built in the area, of course carrying the same name. The Coney Island Hotel was built in 1829 and soon afterwards it was followed by other such accommodation places such as Brighton, Manhattan Beach and oriental Hotels. However, Coney Island truly increased in popularity among Americans, especially New Yorkers after the Civil War when excursion railroads and the streetcar line called the Coney Island and Brooklyn Railroad reached the island in the 1860s. At the beginning of the 20th century, the steam railroads were electrified and Brooklyn was connected to Manhattan through the well known Brooklyn Bridge and this made the island once again accessible even for those who were looking for a one day escape from the heat and the noise of New York.
It is estimated that the first carousel was built in 1876. Nearly ten years later, the Coney Island Elephant was the first sight to welcome immigrants coming to New York, which was long before they would get to see the famous Statue of Liberty. Then, the original and famous hot dog stand, Nathansâs Famous opened in 1916 and in no time it became a landmark. A year before however the Sea Beach Line was upgraded to a subway line. Yet, after the Second World War the resort started contracting as a result of the development of other neighboring resorts, plus the appearance of street gang problems.