Brock stands for Brockholst Carroll, apparently a prominent Far Rockaway name at the turn of the century. He served as the last Village President of Far Rockaway (before they became part of NYC). His photograph appeared in the “History of the Rockaway from the Year 1685 to 1917,” by Alfred H. Bellot.
His mineral water business existed from at least the mid 1870’s until his death in 1905.
The first listing I can find for Brockholst L. Carroll was in the Rockaway section of the Lain’s Directory of Long Island in 1878 -1879, classified as mineral water. He was also listed as the excise commissioner in the same directory.
The business was listed under Soda and Mineral Water in the Far Rockaway section of the 1890 Lain’s Business Directory of Brooklyn, located at the foot of Broadway. According to “Far Rockaway Reminiscence” a presentation given by Valentine Smith in 1934, the original bottling plant on Grandview Avenue burned to the ground on Columbus Day 1892.
Later, the business continued to be listed as a manufacturer of mineral water. In the 1899 Trow Business Directory of the Borough of Queens two locations were given: Broadway in Far Rockaway and Central Avenue in Lawrence. It was also listed in the 1903 Trow Business Directory of the Borough of Queens with just the Broadway location (foot of Broadway).
Carroll passed away in 1905 after which the April 15, 1905 edition of the American Bottler reported:
Mrs. B. L. Carroll has sold the mineral water business conducted at Far Rockaway, N. Y., for many years by her late husband, to William Geis.
Strangely, I found the story of Carroll’s death in the February 1, 1905 edition of the Scranton (Pa.) Republican.
Brockholst Carroll Passed Away. A Hymn on His Lips.
New York, Jan 31. – Brockholst L. Carroll who was the last president of the village of Far Rockaway, died in his home in Review Avenue, Far Rockaway, Sunday evening.
Mr. Carroll was fifty-eight years old. Calling his wife and five children to his bedside on Sunday afternoon he told them he believed his end was near and began to sing hymns.
At night he grew weaker, and then he started to sing “Think of Me.” After a few words he gasped for breath and passed away.
Grandview Avenue is currently named Beach 17th Street and Broadway is named Beach 19th Street. Based on the address given as the foot of Broadway, I suspect that the business (both original and rebuilt) was located near the ocean beach between what is now Beach 17th and Beach 19th Streets. The second location in Lawrence may have been needed during the rebuilding process. The area between Beach 17th and 19th Streets now serves as parking for beachfront residential high rises.
His bottles are one of the most plentiful finds on the bay, probably because they are extremely heavy and durable. I’ve found a total of 18 (16-8oz pony’s and 2-28 oz sizes) and all are tooled blob tops. I’ve never observed a crown top finish or machine made version. This agrees with a 1905 or earlier end date.
The embossing on all of them refers to “Far Rockaway Long Island.” This would indicate they were manufactured in 1898 (the year Far Rockaway became part of NYC) or earlier. I’ve never found one with “Far Rockaway N.Y.”embossing so it’s possible he just never went through the cost of changing his molds. I’ve also never found one embossed with the Lawrence location.
The embossing includes a picture of two gentlemen seated at a table that are being served bottles of presumably Brock Carroll Mineral Water by a waiter with a large mustache.