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Walking Through History: The Jay Street Connecting Railroads in DUMBO, Brooklyn

The Jay Street Connecting Railroads in DUMBO, Brooklyn is a place where history and culture simmer together like a strong cup of morning coffee.

Jay Street Connecting Railroads in DUMBO, Brooklyn

You can hear more Brooklyn stories with Gesso’s self-guided New York audio walking tours, which you can experience at your own pace.

For now, imagine walking along these iconic tracks, feeling the enduring spirit of the Arbuckle Brothers company beneath your feet. Indeed, it was this pair of siblings who, back in the early 1900s, transformed the simple act of coffee drinking and forever changed how the world savors its favorite morning brew.

The Arbuckle Brothers took the raw green coffee beans, which people were roasting in their homes and introduced the novel concept of pre-roasting and packaging the beans. And so, the mediocre homemade coffee was replaced with consistently flavorful, pre-roasted beans conveniently packaged in one-pound bags. As this fresh concept began to percolate throughout society, it rapidly gained steam, and the brothers' business started to brew a potent mix of success and influence.

To sustain their booming enterprise, the Arbuckle Brothers forged the Jay Street Connecting Railroads, an innovative network designed to efficiently transport their precious cargo. These tracks, which once rattled under the weight of coffee-laden freight cars, led directly to the bustling port, facilitating a seamless transfer of goods onto custom-designed barges. As you saunter along these tracks, you can almost hear the echo of clinking coffee bags and the hum of a well-oiled supply chain.

The Jay Street Connecting Railroads are more than just remnants of an industrial past; they are a testament to the spirit of innovation that continues to imbue DUMBO. When you ask yourself what to do in Brooklyn, consider taking a step back into history. A stroll along these iconic tracks is a chance to connect with the enduring legacy of a neighborhood that has transformed from a hub of manufacturing into a vibrant, creative haven.

Many more Brooklyn stories and New York City tours await. Discover more local history with our New York audio walking tours, and see which nearby New York City neighborhoods you want to explore next!


Gesso was created for urban explorers who find joy in life's hidden gems. Find audio tours on the Gesso app, available via the App Store or Google Play, and share your New York City adventures with us on Instagram.


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