|The Tompkins Square Boys Club, 10th St and Avenue|
|The Library at The Tompkins Square Boys Club|
|E.H. Harriman, founded the Boy's Club of New York in 1876|
Growing up on the Lower East Side of New York City has been chronicled in many novels, studies, newspaper articles and memoirs. My father, Peter Noznick, never wrote his story, but through many years of story telling, I have managed to put together the story of his childhood, from 1915 to 1930.
Peter Noznick was born in 1915 in Bellevue Hospital, on Second Ave in New York City, which unusual for that time, since most children were born at home. His parents, Marya Klak and John Nyznyk were living on East 92nd Street, in the Yorkville area. Their New York roots, however, were on the Lower East Side. They were married in St George Ukrainian Catholic Church on East 7th Street in 1914, and that is where their son Peter was baptized.
Marya and John's marriage was on the rocks, and within two years it ended and she moved back to the Lower East Side neighborhood. Marya was now a single mother, illiterate, and not fluent in the English language. Yet, she was able to find the best available situation for her son. She found the Children's Aid Society of New York, which had many services for women in Marya's situation. She sent him to a Children's Aid Society day nursery, so she was able to work. She worked at a cook at a summer camp, near Lake George, in Upstate New York, and found an area family to take my dad for the summer. He had fond memories of that summer, especially of the family dog, a large collie.
|Tenement Kitchen from the Lower East Side Tenement Museum NYC.|
Marya married Peter Zackowski, and the two of them worked three jobs in order to save enough money to buy a farm. In the passbooks from the Dry Dock Bank and the Emigrant Savings Bank, most of the deposits were under ten cents. At first the family lived on Avenue C, across the street from the Eagle Pencil Factory, between Twelfth and Thirteenth Street. Later they moved around the corner to 624 East Eleventh St, a typical three room Lower East Side Tenement. They lived there until 1930, when they moved to Connecticut.
|Children's Aid Society Dental Clinic|
|The Children's Aid Society's Sixth Street Industrial School|
|A Poster from the NY Public Library|