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'Flasfiing 
'In «\fie GiV11 War~ra. 

1837 te--- 1865 

by Vincent F. Seyfried 

Typesetting and Design by: 
Traction Yearbook, P.O. Box 123, Merrick, New York 11566 U.S.A. 

For additional copies or information: 
Telephone: 516-379-3319 

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'Flasfiing 
'In «\fie GiV11 War~ra. 

1837 te--- 1865 

by Vincent F. Seyfried 

Typesetting and Design by: 
Traction Yearbook, P.O. Box 123, Merrick, New York 11566 U.S.A. 

For additional copies or information: 
Telephone: 516-379-3319 

E-Mail: JoePCC699@AdL.com 



Part One: 
Chapter 1: 
Chapter 2: 
Chapter 3: 
Chapter 4: 
Chapter 5: 
Chapter 6: 
Chapter 7: 
Chapter 8: 
Chapter 9: 

Chapter 10: 
Chapter 11: 

Part Two 
Chapter 12: 
Chapter 13: 
Chapter 14: 
Chapter 15: 
Chapter 16: 
Chapter 17: 
Chapter 18: 
Chapter 19: 
Chapter 20: 
Chapter 21: 
Chapter 22: 
Chapter 23: 
Chapter 24: 
Chapter 25: 
Chapter 26: 
Chapter 27: 
Chapter 28: 
Chapter 29: 
Chapter 30: 
Chapter 31: 
Chapter 32: 
Chapter 33: 
Chapter 34: 
Chapter 35: 
Chapter 36: 
Chapter 37: 
Chapter 38: 

'Flusfiing 
'llL «tfie GiVil WaC'Era 

1837 t.,,. 1865 
by Vincent F. Seyfried 

<:;. Table of Contents <:;. 
A Portrait of Flushing on the Eve of the Civil War: 1837 to 1860 
The Hamlet of Flushing .. 
Public Schools ..... ........................................................................... .. . 
Private Schools ......................... .................................................................. . 
Travel in Pre-War Flushing by Water ..... .. . 
Travel in Pre-War Flushing by Land .. 
Crime and Delinquency .. 
Culture ....................... . ............... ............................................................................ . 
Public Spectacles ....................................................................... . 
Public Facilities: 

Gas, Fire Department, Water, Newspapers and Post Office .. 
Unique Flushing Landmarks ... . 
Flushing Cemetery ............................................................................................................ ..... . 

A Portrait of Flushing During the Civil War: 1861 to 1865 
The Coming of the Railroad .................................................................................... . 
The Hamilton Rifles ....................................................................... . ....................... . 
The Flushing Artillery .. 
Manpower for the Armies .. 
The Sad Tale of the Steamboat Flushing ....................... . 
Home Front Support - Men and Money . 
The Civil War Monument . 
The Patriot Orphan Home . 
The Sanitary Fair ..... .......................... . 
Village Growth During the War Years 
Economic Conditions in Wartime Flushing . 
Flushing Town Hall . . ................ . 
The Public Schools 
The Private Schools 
Crime. 
The Music Scene ................................................................................................................... . 
Lectures ............................. ... . 
The Lyceum .............................. . 
The Skating Pond 
The Churches ....................................................................... . 
Hotels ....................... ......................... . .................... . 
Fire Companies 
The Gas Company 
The Poor Farm 
The Flushing Railroad . 
The North Shore Railroad (Flushing to Great Neck) .. 
Memorable Dates in Flushing and Environs .. 

Copyright 2001 Vincent F. Seyfried 

*** Typesetting and Design by Traction Yearbook, P.O. Box 123, Merrick, New York 11566 U.S.A. 

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The U.S. Coast Guard Survey map of 1858 for Flushing. The smallness of the village area is notable - only five or six 
blocks north and south of Northern Boulevard is built up. Note the extensive marsh land shown by the vertical striping. 
The 10 and 20-foot contour lines are the wavy lines indicating elevation above sea level. 

2 



Preface 
Flushing has existed as a village for over 350 

years, and it is the author's conviction that it is probably 
no longer possible to do justice to so long a period in 
one volume. This consideration has motivated me to 
attempt what is probably the most eventful era in the 
19th Century history for a study in depth. I have 
concluded to present the era in two broad sections: 
A Portrait of Flushing on the Eve of the Civil War (1837 to 188J) 
and A Fbrtrait of Rushing During the Civil War (1861 to 1867) 
itself and its immediate aftermath. For the war years, 
there is extensive coverage of military organizations, the 
homefront, support, economic strains, casualties and the 
final war record. Some attention is given to the Civil 
War Monument and the Patriot Orphan Home, and, for 
the post-war era, the churches, hotels, Town Hall, village 
growth, railroad growth and social changes. 

By far the best source for information for this 
era has been a thorough ongoing search through all the 
pages of the Rushing Journal. Another very valuable source 
has been Flushing Fbst and Present, A Historical Sketch by the 
Reverend Henry Mandeville of Newburgh, New York. 
He was the former pastor of the Protestant Reformed 
Dutch Church in Flushing. This book was published in 1860 
by the Home Lecture Committee of 1857-58. Other 
sources include the Flushing Times and Brooklyn Eagle. 

I am indebted to the National Archives, Queens 
Borough Central Library, the Flushing Historical Society, 
Robert Friedrich, American Antiques and the Mariner's 
Museum Library for providing the photographs and 
illustrations, and to Joseph P Saitta for the book's design, 
typesetting and production. 

Vincent F. Seyfried, 
Garden City, New York, 
December 2001 

*** 
Front Cover: 

The Flushing Institute. The Institute was founded in 1845 by Ezra Fairchild, who had 30 years of teaching 
experience before coming to Flushing. Originally, he wanted to purchase St. Thomas' Hall for his school; its owner, 
Dr. Docherty, refused to sell the building. Mr. Fairchild then was able to obtain a lease on the Flushing Hotel in April of 
1845. A few years later, in 1848, the majestic Greek Revival structure, St. Anne's Hall , built in 1828, became available. 
This edifice was located on the north side of the North Shore Railroad, between Main and Union Streets. The building had first 
had been used for Dr. Muhlenberg's Flushing Institute (1828-1839) and the Reverend J. F. Schroeder's St. Ann's Hall 
(1842-1848). Its large size and six acres of surrounding ground made it especially adapted to school use. 

Ezra Fairchild took on a young Vermont man, Allen Northrop, as a partner and these two men became the 
pillars of the Flushing Institute. Ezra died in 1854 but his son Elias, even more capable and energetic than his father, 
carried on the school with Allen Northrop, who had meanwhile become his brother-in-law. 

For 55 years, from 1841 to 1901, the Flushing Institute continued its educational mission, eventually becoming 
possibly the most prominent prep school in America. The students came not only from Long Island and Manhattan, but 
from many of the States of the Union, and surprisingly, from Central and South America. The courses were heavily classical 
but also included considerable mathematics and science. The student population fluctuated over the years from 60 to 175, 
and the annual tuition averaged generally $125.00, although music, art and foreign languages entailed additional fees. 

The Flushing Institute survived until 1901, by which time modern, publicly-supported high schools made it 
obsolete and its two principals too old to carry on the educational mission initiated in the 1840s. 

3 



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:····:·.·::.:·~:: . . ~ 

William Hamilton's Grist Mill (1785 to 1860), where Mill Pond Creek flows into Flushing Creek. A dam impounded the 
water in the mill pond at high tide and released it through an undershot wheel into Flushing Creek. The mill seems to 
have been in use at least as late as the Civil War. Clinton Road crossing the mill pond on its way to College Point is now 
College Point Boulevard. 

4 



Part One 

. A Portrait of Flushing 
on the Eve of 
the Civil War: 
1837to1860 

5 



Top: 
An old lithograph of 1840. The view looks up 39th (old Locust Street) Avenue from College Point Boulevard to Main 
(Old St. Lawrence) Street. On the left we see the rear of St. George's Church and outbuildings, and in the foreground are 
the Peck and Bloodgood cemeteries west of the church. On the right is the Flushing Institute (formerly St. Ann's Hall, 
built in 1828). It is hard to imagine that Flushing looked like this in 1840. 

Bottom 
The only known view of the steamboat dock at the foot of old Bridge Street (now Northern Boulevard) on Flushing Creek. 
The Peck family had owned the waterfront since the Revolution, but in February 1865 sold this portion to George B. Roe for 
$11,700.00 to accommodate his lumber and planing business. By this late date, the old steamboat business had passed into history. 

6 



Chapter 1 

The Hamlet of Flushing 

The hamlet of Flushing became an incorporated 
village by an Act of the Legislature on April 15, 1837; 
the charter was further amended by an Act passed on 
March 13, 1838. The Gazetteer of the State of New York, 
published in 1836, describes Flushing as a village of about 
140 dwellings, "some of which are neat and several 
magnificent." There were three churches: St. George's 
Episcopal and two Methodist, Macedonia for the blacks 
and one for the whites on 37th Avenue; two Quaker 
Meeting houses, one Orthodox and one Hicksite; 
three landmarks, the Greek Revival Flushing Institute, 
Joshua Kimber's Ladies Seminary, and the Linnaean 
Garden of the Princes. Two sloops belonged to the village; 
a steamboat, the Linnaeus, which ran twice a day to 
New York. There was also a stagecoach to Brooklyn. 
The concluding sentence in the Gazetteer adds: 
"The facility of conveyance, the attractiveness of the 
Linnaean Garden, the delightful voyage, whether by land 
or water, make this a favorite place of resort to citizens 
of New York." (1) 

The built-up part of Flushing was amazingly 
limited; Northern Boulevard on the north, Bowne Street 
on the east, Sanford Avenue on the south and Flushing 
Creek on the west. Even then, 37th and 38th Avenue 
and Northern Boulevard were the sole streets solidly lined 
with houses. We have no statistics for the number of 
inhabitants in the small area in 1840, but it was probably 
hardly more than a thousand. The Act of Incorporation 
defined the limits of the village: the creek on the west, 
21st Avenue on the north, Bowne Street on the east and 
Sanford Avenue on the south. "Downtown" was the lower 
end of Northern Boulevard at the creek; here was the 
Town Dock where the Unnaeus and the manure boats 
tied up. The Flushing Hotel, the saloons and all the shops 
occupied both sides of Bridge Street, as that part of 
Northern Boulevard was then called, up to Main Street. 
Flushing was primarily a residential town with scattered 
houses occupying the streets leading out of the village. 
All of Flushing north of Northern Boulevard, except for 
the first two or three blocks, was marsh land. A serpentine 
creek more or less on the line of 21st Avenue drained 
the Town Pond, which occupied the present public park 
bordering today's Leavitt Lane. The pond was drained 
and filled in late 1837 and early 1838 because it was a 
mosquito breeder, was usually covered with green slime 
and served no purpose except in the depths of winter 
when it could be turned into a skating pond. (2) 
The Linnaean Nursery sloped down to the meadowland 
west of the pond and the Bloodgood Nursery east of it. 
The head of Main Street widened out into a kind of 

town square, on the north side stood the Flushing Hotel, 
operated over the years by a succession of innkeepers; 
in mid-square was a tiny green area, and here, in 1844 
was erected the village hall with a jail in the basement. 
When the modern town hall was finally opened in 1863, 
this makeshift hall was given up, and the space converted 
into a park with a two-block mall behind it. 

The streets in early Flushing were very few; there 
were four north-south roads: 

• Main Street, that ended at Kissena Boulevard; 
• Union Street, which ended at Sanford Avenue; 
• Bowne Street, also ending at Sanford Avenue; 
• Prince Street, ending at 37th Avenue. North Prince 

Street was opened in 1841 when the 
Linnaean Garden was broken up. 

There were six east-west Streets: 
• Washington Street (37th Avenue) from Prince to 

Bowne Streets. 
• Liberty Street (38th Avenue) (after the Civil War, 

called Lincoln); running from Main to Bowne 
Streets; west of Main it was called Church 
Street; 

• Amity Street (Roosevelt Avenue) was just one 
block long, running from Union to Bowne 
Street . Only in 1869 was it finally extended 
between Main and Union Streets; 

• Madison Avenue (41st Avenue), from Main 
to Bowne Streets; 

• Monroe Street (Barclay Avenue), from 
Bowne Street to Kissena Boulevard; 

• Sanford Avenue, from Main Street to Parsons 
Boulevard. 

In the beginning of the year 1854, the Village 
Trustees began to consider the enlargement of the 
corporation boundaries of 1837. A public meeting was 
held to consider the subject, and in March a petition was 
sent to the Legislature. The request met no opposition 
in Albany and in the last week of April, the permission 
was granted. (3) The new line began at the old point 
on Flushing Creek, went due east to a bridge over Mill 
Creek (now the intersection of Main Street and Elder 
Avenue) then northeast along Elder Avenue and its 
projection to Parsons Boulevard, then straight north 
along 147th Street to the old 1837 line and then west to 
the creek. In effect, the new boundary added a 
considerable amount of new land on the south and east. 
Some of the motivation for the enlargement of the village 
boundaries lay in a steady increase in the population. 

7 



Looking north up Bowne Street to Northern Boulevard in an 1840 lithograph. On the right is the familiar Bowne House, and 
on the left stand the two Fox Oaks, under whose branches, according to tradition, George Fox preached the new Quaker 
religion in 1672. In the rear stands the Samuel Parsons house, in this century called the Welles house; it is now demolished. 

8 



The Federal and State census returns for the incorporated 
village for the pre-Civil War years reflect this growth: 

1850 ..... 2,600 1860 ..... 4,114 
1855 ..... 3,488 1865 .... 4,410 

If we could return to the Flushing of the 1840s 
and 50s, we would be taken aback by the rural crudities 
visible all around us. There were no paved streets at all, 
and vary few sidewalks. There were no streetlights at night. 
The main road, Bridge Street and its continuation Broadway 
(today's Northern Boulevard) - was very irregular in width 
and ungraded, and Main Street remained an unimportant 
side street till the coming of the railroad forced it into 
prominence. There were frequent appeals to the civic 
pride of the property owners to flag the street fronts with 
boardwalks or stone screenings, and, as the years passed, 
a connected sidewalk gradually emerged. What would 
probably shock us most today was the presence of domestic 
animals - cows, sheep and pigs - roaming about casually 
and peacefully grazing in backyards and gardens, 
oblivious of property rights and boundaries. The 
newspapers of the day speak frequently of this problem: 

"Collector Boyd must devise some 
plan to impound those cattle that are 
turned into the highways to graze after 
nightfall. Much damage has been done of 
late and those who will violate the law 
should be made to suffer some." (4) 

"A stray horse and a great many 
cows have been running about the 
village for these eight or ten days past 
to the great annoyance of the 
inhabitants by getting into their gardens 
and yards and making great destruction." (5) 

"Wanted: - person to drive a hog to 
impound. The animals is supposed to 
belong to a person named Hunt and is 
daily in the practice of breaking into 
the enclosures in the vicinity of Barclay 
Avenue. Any persons who will arrest said 
hog in Barclay Avenue or 41st Avenue 
shall receive a fair reward on producing 
a receipt from the Pound Master that the 
hog has been impounded." (6) 

"The pasturing of cattle along the 
streets and highways is becoming a 
positive nuisance which should be 
instantly abated by the strong hand of 
the law. A gate can rarely be left open 
but one is liable to have a whole drove 
of cattle in and over his premises in an 
instant. This is not all; frequently the 
sidewalks are covered with filth and 
pedestrians are obliged to be careful in 
selecting their way. There is no excuse 
for such a condition of things. The cows 
are not on their way to and from 
pasture.... A new class of milkmen 
owning a number of cows pasture them 
along the streets in contempt of and in 
defiance of law." (7) 

The pound referred to came to be created by the 
village to cope with the animal problem, but some resented 
using public money to pay the salary of a Pound Master whose 
duty it was to impound roving animals and auction them off. 
A law was codified in February 1858, appointing a Pound 
Master and forbidding animals from grazing at large. (8) 

The economic base of Flushing in the late 1840s 
and 50s rested on agriculture and tourism. All around the 
incorporated village stretched farms of varying sizes devoted 
to the cultivation of vegetables and fruits: corn, cauliflower, 
tomatoes, carrots, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, kale, 
pumpkins, squash, beans, apples, plums, peaches and grapes. 
Crops were moved to market by steamboat to New York City. 
Flushing farmers enjoyed the advantage of being located only 
six miles from the city, an important factor in delivering 
produce fresh to market. 

Flushing, even in these early days, was a tourist 
attraction; the traffic was, of course, seasonal, but it was 
heavy and dependable. The visitors were of two kinds: 
day-trippers, as we call them today, and long-term 
boarders. The day-trippers consisted of Sunday School 
groups, numerous military companies from New York 
City and Brooklyn, and a trickle from New Jersey, political 
clubs, family groups yearning for a day in the country, 
and factory workers seeking a day's respite from week-
long drudgery in a factory. All these people came by the 
boatload, most heavily on weekends, and wandered 
around town, some picnicking and some patronizing the 
restaurants and saloons. 

The long-term boarders descended on Flushing 
about May 1st, scoured the village to find rooms or 
apartments to rent, and stayed on until the second or 
third week in September. In the early 1840s, there were 
few rooms or houses available, but the townspeople 
rapidly rose to the challenge by erecting cottages, and, 
after 1855, boarding houses catering to tourists. 

"We believe that all the new buildings 
erected during the fall and winter (1842) 
have already found tenants. The number 
of tenements (available) to let is also rapidly 
diminishing. Last year we reported that 
we knew not of one tenement to let after 
the 1st of May. Some 20 or 30 new 
buildings have been erected the past 
year and present indications are favorable 
to the supposition of the same state of 
things the ensuing month of May." (9) 

"The mass of people who have been 
boarding in Flushing during the summer 
have taken their flight. Never was there 
such a crowd of visitors congregated 
in Flushing." (10) 

"We presume that there are more 
boarders in Flushing this year (1854) than 
ever. We heard at the depot the other day 
several gentlemen complaining that they 
had found it utterly impossible to 
procure accommoda lions for the 
summer in Flushing." (11) 

9 



'The hot weather of the past week 
has filled up our summer resorts with a 
crowd of boarders. It is the opinion of 
competent judges that there are more 
summer boarders in this section than 
for any season for years." (12) 

The Farrington House was a typical boarding 
establishment. Begun as the private mansion of Walter 
Farrington on Northern Boulevard opposite the Quaker 
Meeting house, it was remodeled after the death of the 
owner expressly to serve as a summer boarding house 
by adding a third story, a stable and a large garden. (13) 

There were a few factories in the vi llage 
providing employment. The largest establishment was 
the planing mill of James Milnor Peck & Company north 
of the Town Dock. This was the first steam-operated 
plant in Queens County and opened in June 1851. (14) 
Just north of the mill was Cox's Sash & Blind-making 
establishment. About 1850, a sandpaper factory was 
opened by William B. Parsons on the west side of Leavitt 
Street, halfway between Northern Boulevard and 35th 
Avenue. In 1854, the plant was turning out upwards of 
25,000 reams of sand and emery paper annuall y; 
the plant operated by steam and employed 20 men. (15) 
Some time in October 1852, thieves took the trouble to 
rob the plant of about $100.00 worth of emery paper. (16) 

In an age when carriages were the only vehicles 
in use for pleasure and work, there were several makers 
in Flushing. James E. Ketcham opened a carriage-making 
shop, on the corner of Northern Boulevard and Union 
St., employing 12 to 14 hands. Ketcham died in 1854 
and the plant was put up for sale. (17) William H. 
Bowman acquired the shop in April 1855 and advertised 
all types of carriages and wagons. (18) A year or two 
later, D. K. Thorne took over the business and he in turn 
sold out to William Ellis in October 1860. (19) In the 
1850s Doty and Van Nostrand also manufactured 
carriages in a shop west of the Flushing Hotel; in 1856 
George Van Nostrand operated the business alone. (20) 

Henry Lewis, a tinsmith, sheet iron, copperware 
and stove manufacturer was active in the 1840s, moving 
his establishment into Rapalyea's Linnaean Hotel on 
Northern Boulevard in 1844. (21) 

George Weaver carried on a marble and stone 
cutting business in the mid-1850s on Main Street near 
the railroad depot, manufacturing mantels, table tops, 
baths, vases, fountains, window sills and steps. (22) 

A large new lumber yard was opened at the 
Town Dock in July 1857 by George B. Roe and Company. (23) 

The newest manufactory built before the Civil 
War was Isaac Smith's Sons umbrella plant on Northern 
Boulevard, where 30 young women sewed umbrellas and 
parasols, thereby earning $3.00 to $4.00 a week. (24) 

Besides these manufactories, there were several 
dozen stores providing not only the basic necessities, 
but also, as time passed, specialized items like pianos, 
confectionery, etc. 

10 

The vigorous commercial activity in the village 
must have created a need for banking services very early. 
The circumstances behind the appearance of the first 
bank are obscure; apparently some kind of "Bank of 
Flushing" ex isted in Prince Street even before the 
incorporation of the village, for its charter expired on 
December 31, 1842 and it was not renewed. (25) There 
is one account of a spilled wooden cash box in May 1842; 
the coins rolled all over the sidewalk and street, unknown 
to its bearers. After a while, someone notified the bank; 
in the meantime, no one made any move to pick up a 
single coin. Eventually, the president and cashier arrived 
on the scene and scooped up the errant coins while the 
bystanders watched. (26) 

Five years passed, and in March 184 7, the 
Trustees gave notice that they would apply to the 
Legislature for an Act to incorporate a savings bank. (27) 
Apparently, the attempt failed and twelve more years 
passed. Then, in March of 1859, several wealthy and 
prominent citizens applied to the Legislature once more. (28) 
A bill was prepared and was signed by the governor in 
April 1859. The title of the bank would be the "Queens 
County Savings Bank" and it was to be located in 
Flushing. Among the trustees were some of the best and 
most wealthy men in town. (29) The new bank opened 
to receive deposits on July 7, 1859, between the hours 
of 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.; also Mondays from 7:00 to 9:00 
p.m. and Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (30) The 
bank's first quarters were in Trustees Hall. On the first 
day, eighteen customers deposited $600.00, a good start. 
(31) As of 1860, there were 410 depositors and the bank 
was paying 4% interest on balances under $500.00 and 
5% on accounts above $500.00. (32) 

Flushing Creek itself provided recreation for the 
townspeople. It was possible to hire rowboats for fishing 
in the summertime. Two enterprising individuals, Uriah 
Mitchell and John Heaton, built a floating salt water bath, 
a wooden frame sunk in the water and slatted to allow 
the tides to flow through. There were two different depths 
of water, one for wading and one for swimming. The bath 
was open daily except Sundays. A simple bath cost 12-1/2 
cents or two dollars for a season ticket; the use of a towel 
was 6-1/ 4 cents extra. There were changing booths alongside 
the open pool for ladies and gentlemen. The baths had 
the greatest appeal for the ladies in an era of primitive 
indoor plumbing. Men and boys usually bathed downstream 
in the nude, sometimes too close to the Flushing Bridge, 
for as of August 1st, 1855 such bathing was ruled unlawful 
between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (33) 

Flushing had its tourist showpieces even in the 
1840s and 50s. There were the grand mansions of the 
wealthy on the outer fringes of the village, but one sight 
that everyone came to see was the Fox Oaks on Bowne 
Street opposite the Bowne House. These were two 
majestic trees over 500 years old. Unfortunately, 
one of these patriarchs was lost within four years of the 
village's incorporation. On the afternoon of September 25th, 
1841, one of the venerable oaks was prostrated by 
high winds. Gabriel Furman, the author of long Island Antiquities, 
visited the oaks on August 4th, 1825 and took measurements. 
At a height of 6 feet , one tree was 13 feet in circumference 
and the other 12 feet 4 inches. (34) 



Another set of measurements recorded that the two 
trees were 36 feet apart; the northern one was 15 feet in 
circumference and the other 16 feet 8 inches at 2 feet from the 
ground. The circumference at the height of 6 feet was 
11-1/8 feet and the other 12 feet 6 inches. (35) Samuel Parsons, 
who owned these trees, almost lost a son to the earlier 
falling tree; for as his son was driving down the street, the tree 
collapsed and he was saved only by the quick instinct of his 
horse from being crushed. (36) The second oak was struck 
by lightning on October 14th, 1873 and tom apart. (37) Today, 
a low stone monument, which is nearly always obstructed 
by parked cars, marks the spot where the trees once stood. 

Another prominent landmark of pre-Civil War 
Flushing was Sanford Hall, located between Kissena and 
Parsons Boulevards and occupying the blocks of Ash, 
Beech, and Cherry Avenues and part way to Elder Avenue, 
15 acres in all. This was outside of the corporate limits 
of 1837, but within the extension of 1854. 

Sanford Hall had been erected in 1836 as a private 
residence by the Honorable Nathan Sanford, Chancellor 
of New York State in 1823 and twice a senator. He died in 
Flushing on October 17th, 1838. The spacious mansion was 
bought in 1844 by Dr. James Macdonald and his brother 
General Allen Macdonald. (38) In 1845, they moved their 
hospital for the treatment of nervous diseases from New York 
to Flushing. Dr. Macdonald died in 1849, but his brother and 
widow carried on the private hospital for many years. 
The house and the extensive grounds, much of it forested, 
were for all practical purposes a private park and a showpiece 
of Flushing. (39) In 1903, the grounds were developed to create 
Waldheim by Appleton & Company, who paid $40,000.00 
for the tract. In April and May of 1914, the beautiful trees on 
the property were cut down and made into lumber at an 
on-site mill; the planks were used to build the first houses. (40) 

The 1850s were a time of unparalleled development 
in Flushing; new streets were opened up and old ones extended 
The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road in 1854 greatly 
stimulated real estate values in town and in induced 
hesitant investors to buy close-in farms and lay them 
out in streets and building lots. 

"There are more buildings being erected 
in Flushing this Spring than at any other 
period in its history. Some of them are very 
pretty, and on the whole, no town can 
show a greater variety of architecture." (41) 

The Flushing Journal reports the erection of many 
private houses and a few mansions. The builders most active 
in these good years before the Civil War were Robert Titus, 
Benjamin L. Fowler, William Post, Sylvester Roe, Thomas 
L Robinson and William \km Nostrand. The names of all 
six of these men constantly reappear in accounts of new 
housing going up year by year. (40) 

Perhaps the most visible new structures in 
Flushing of the 1850s were the churches, all of which 
were built new at almost the same time: 

1843: Methodist Church, east side of Main Street, 
north of 37th Avenue; 

1844: Reformed Church, north side 37th 
Avenue, west of South Prince Street; 

1852: Congregational Chapel, west side of 
Bowne Street, south of 38th Avenue; 

1854: St. George's Protestant Episcopal, west 
side of Main Street between 38th and 
39th Avenues; 

1854: St. Michael's Catholic Church, northwest 
comer of 41st Avenue and Union Street 

1856: Congregational Church, west side of 
Bowne Street, south of 38th Avenue 

1857: Baptist Church, south side of 37th 
Avenue midway between Union and 
Bowne Streets. 

(1) Gazetteer of the State of New York, 1836, 
Article: Flushing, 
and Henry D. Waller, History of the 
Town of Flushing, 1899, pages 184 and 185 

(2) Minutes of the Trustees of the Village of Flushing, 
pages 14 and 38 

(3) Flushing Journal, April 29th, 1854, 2:6 
(4) ibid., May 20th, 1843, 2:3 
(5) ibid., November 8th, 1845, 2:4 
(6) ibid., March 6th, 1847, 3:2 
(7) ibid., May 22nd, 1852, 2:2 
(8) ibid., March 6th, 1858, 2:2 
(9) ibid., April 1st, 1843, 2:1 
(10) ibid., September 14th, 1850, 2:5 
(11) ibid., July 22nd, 1854, 2:2 
(12) ibid., July 16th, 1859, 2:4 
(13) ibid., January 1st, 1859, 3:1 

and April 25th, 1857, 2:1 
(14) ibid., June 21st, 1851, 2:2 
(15) ibid., March 18th, 1854, 2:3 
(16) ibid., November 6th, 1852, 2:3 
(17) ibid., September 23rd, 1854, 2:5 
(18) ibid., April 28th, 1855, 1:2 and 2:2 
(19) ibid., October 20th, 1860, 3:2 
(20) ibid., May 10th, 1856, 2:2 
(21) ibid., May 18th, 1844, 3:5 
(22) ibid., February 3rd, 1855, 2:6 
(23) ibid., August 1st, 1857, 2:2 
(24) ibid., June 16th, 1860, 2:3 and 

July 14th, 1860, 2:4 
(25) ibid., December 3rd, 1842, 2:5 
(26) ibid., May 21st, 1842, 2:5 
(27) ibid., March 6th, 184 7, 3:2 
(28) ibid., March 5th, 1859, 2:3 
(29) ibid., April 23rd, 1859, 2:2 
(30) ibid., June 25th, 1859, 3:1 
(31) ibid., July 9th, 1859, 2:4 
(32) ibid., March 31st, 1860, 3:6 and 

January 21st, 1860, 2:5 
(33) ibid., July 28th, 1855, 2:6 
(34) Long Island Antiquities, Gabriel Furman, page 78 
(35) Long Islander (Huntington), June 21st, 1890 
(36) Flushing Journal, October 9th, 1841, 2:4 
(37) Hempstead Inquirer, October 17th, 1873, quoting 

the Flushing Times 
(38) Waller, op. cit., pages 192 and 193 
(39) Brooklyn Eagle, May 4th, 1904 
(40) Flushing Journal, March 4th, 1854, 2:4 
(41) ibid., December 13th, 1856, 2:2 and 

August 1st, 1857, 2:3 

11 



. :-7',; _ ... 
+" 

: f'i:,. -11:: .... ..:r . ~ 1.,t,$,_ :.:?:;.~~ , _._· _1.;:_;. _, ,_. ____ _:_ "£~~~~ 

., . 

This rare old photo of Main Street in Flushing was taken about 1870. The photographer was standing at the railroad crossing, 
about one block south of what is now Roosevelt Avenue. The view looks north up the west side of the street towards 
Northern Boulevard; the steeple of St. George's Church is clearly visible. The 19th Century demand for stereoscopic views 
accounts for Long Island's earliest known picture taking. The sign on the building to the left clearly reads, "J. J. Vandewater, 
Dealer in Choice Groceries, Provisions, Foreign and Domest ic Fruits, Hardware, Woodenware, Crockery, etc." 
This stereoscope view was taken by D. C. Smith; it is his catalog number 674. 

12 



Chapter 2 

Public Schools 

When the curtain of history rises on post-
incorporation Flushing, we find the District School 
already well established. In the whole Town there were 
six such districts: 

#l 
#2 

at Success (Little Neck) 
William L. Titus: 48 Avenue 

(Rocky Hill Boulevard) 
and 216 th Street 

#3 Whitestone 
#4 Black Stump 
#5 Flushing Village 
#6 Ezra W. Miller, Kissena 

Boulevard, north of 
Vleigh Road. 

By the advent oi the Civil War, two more schools 
were added: 

#7 Strattonport (College Point) 
#8 Bayside. 

The District School in the Flushing of 1841 was 
on 38th Avenue (Church Street). (1) By a special law, it 
was connected with the Flushing Free School Association 
School on the south side of 38th Avenue, midway between 
Main and Union Streets. The Flushing Female Association 
ladies had organized their own free public school in 1814 
in a private house and later in 1819 erected a school 
building. Tuition was two cents per week. In the Report 
of the Public School for 1841, $456.21 was apportioned 
to Flushing Village; $92.24 went to the school library, 
leaving $364.97 for the teacher's salary. In 1841, the three 
trustees were Abraham Bloodgood, Garret R. Garretson 
and Charles A Hamilton. (2) The Deputy Superintendent 
of Schools, Pierpont Potter, was the official visitor, whose duty 
it was to check annually on all the District Schools. (3) 

The topic of a new Flushing school house arose 
in February 1843 and the citizens met to discuss the site 
and cost. (4) Before the meeting, someone circulated 
an anonymous handbill questioning the honesty and 
integrity of the ladies of the Female Association in 
handling some of the public money allotted to them and 
the ladies angrily asserted their position as "ladies of the 
first character for respectability and associated for a 
strictly benevolent purpose." At the same meeting, 
it was suggested that the colored children be instructed 
in the basement of the African church and the girls be 
educated in the Female Association's school house. (5) 

At a subsequent meeting on March 23rd, 1843, 
it was unanimously resolved to purchase, for $8000.00, 

a plot of ground at the head of 38th Avenue as a site for 
a boys' school, with $400.00 for the building, and to lease 
the Union School house for a girls' school. The village 
school population was then 409. (6) More importantly, 
the meeting took away from the ladies their share of the 
public money they had been receiving. 

In May 1843, the administration of the Public 
School system in New York State was drastically altered 
by creating the office of State Superintendent. and under 
him local superintendents in the districts. Three grades 
of certificates for teachers were established. The office 
of School Trustee was prolonged to three years (one to 
go out each year), and teacher's money would remain in 
the hands of the Town Superintendents until disbursed 
on a written order of a majority of the local trustees. 
Finally, the Library system would be continued as it was 
then operated. (7) 

As of November 1846, the trustees were 
W. H. Fairweather, William Mitchell and Samuel Willett. 
Miss Roe opened the Female Department on November 
16th, 1846. (8) In accordance with the new organization, 
one librarian, one trustee and one school clerk were 
elected at the annual election. (9) 

All did not go smoothly under the new system. 
Parents who once paid 25 cents per quarter for school 
tuition now had to pay $2.00 to $3.00 to pay off the 
interest on the mortgage on the school lot and would later 
face the cost of the new school building. Discipline must 
have suffered, for on one memorable occasion the pupils 
drove the teacher out of the school house. Worse, there was 
frequently no school and for some two or three months 
in 1846, costs went up and the $450.00 or so in state 
funds that once defrayed expenses no longer did so. Even 
the library suffered, for the librarian's job was abolished and 
books were being distributed with no one responsible. (10) 

At the public meeting of 1847, the voters refused 
to impose a tax either to pay for the school lot or to pay 
for the arrears in interest that had accumulated. On top 
of this, the mortgage holder died and the administrator of 
his estate petitioned to foreclose on the school lot. (11) 

There was much public resentment at the way 
things had gone from bad to worse; parents would not 
send their children to the school nor did they feel able 
to pay for their education at any of the private schools. 
As a result, there grew up a large number of ignorant, 
idle and neglected children, without fixed ideas or 

13 



respecting anything, with no taste for reading or acquiring 
knowledge, who wasted their time in taverns, drinking 
and slipping into other vices. With this adverse prospect 
before them, the parents began to look for a remedy. 
There was a growing feeling that a good school must at 
once be established. (12) 

On December 24th, 1847, the largest district 
school meeting ever held since the organization of the 
district took place to discuss and decide upon the erection 
of a new public school house and the raising of $3,000.00 
by taxes for that purpose. The proposition to raise 
$3,000.00 by taxing all the property in the district was 
carried by a vote of 36 to 5; it was also voted to sell the 
old 38th Avenue school plot. On January 4th, 1848, 
another meeting took place to adopt another site for 
the proposed new school. A few diehards opposed all 
movements towards the new school, but in vain. (13) 

An Act of the Legislature was secured 
authorizing the Trustees to raise $6,500.00 by tax or 
mortgage for the erection of a building and limited the 
annual assessment to one-fifth of 1% on all the taxable 
property in the school district. On March 29th, 1848, 
this act was approved by a vote of 140 to 87 of the 
assembled voters of the district. A new site was finally 
fixed at the southeast corner of Union Street and 
37th Avenue, and in July 1848 ground was broken. 
On August 17th, 1848, the framework of the new edifice 
was raised. (14) The new school was a classic Greek 
Revival building, three stories high and with four 
imposing Doric columns in front. On the architrave 
appeared the words "Public School" and in the frieze 
the date "1848". 

On November 27th, 1848, the school was opened 
with seven teachers and 331 pupils. Five months later, 
on April 28th, 1849, the first public display of pupil 
proficiency was put on to the gratification of the trustees and 
the people of Flushing. (15) The grand total cost for the new 
school was $9,846.55. Of this amount, Sl,318.87 was recovered 
by sale of the old school lot; a mortgage of $3,000.00 remained 
to be paid. In 1849, the register climbed to 492; the cost 
rose to $2,600.00 or $5.30 per annum per student. (16) 

A resident of Jamaica visited the Flushing 
school in February 1850 and left us this description: 

14 

"The room on the first floor is the 
one I first entered. This floor is divided 
into two apartments by sliding doors 
the whole width. The rear part has a 
gallery of five raised seats for very small 
children, containing about 130. The front 
is for larger children where there were 
about 170. The whole were under four 
teache rs , all of whom seemed to 
understand their duty and ambitious to 
do it. Mrs. Maurice is the principal of 
this department and she examined her 
class in reading, spelling and ciphering, 
geometrics, mineralogy, physiology .... 
The second floor is for larger girls 
and of course higher branches. This 

room contains about 100 under three 
teachers. The principal, Miss Davis, 
exhibited a class of some 25 readers ..... 
in geometry and astronomy; the girls 
seemed quite at home. Their writing books 
showed within neatness, excellent writing 
and wonderful uniformity .... 
many beautiful specimens of map 
drawing and fancy drawings. 

On the third floor are about 140 boys 
under one male and two female teachers 
Mr. Harrison, the principal, had his class, 
about 50, on the black walls which encircle 
the room writing phonography. Many 
boys showed great proficiency in this art 
but the study was changed to Arithmetic 
Mr. Harrison used no book but walked up 
and down the middle aisle propounding 
sums and then calling upon any boy 
whose sum was done to explain exactly 
every movement... .. The teacher changed 
to algebra and I confess my astonishment 
at the promptness and rapidity with 
which all was executed. 

After examining many copy books, 
some most excellently written, many 
beautifully executed maps, landscapes 
and other drawings, we took our leave." 

February 23, 1850. 

With the close of the decade, one last important 
change took place The Flushing Female Association, 
which had undertaken the education of the colored 
students in 1848 when the new Public School started, 
offered to sell its building on 38th Avenue to the 
Board of Education, which accepted it. At that time, 
in November, 1850, the colored school population 
numbered 120 boys and 89 girls; the primary department 
had 300 on its rolls. (17) 

The original District School house on Garden 
Street near 38th Avenue, which had been converted into 
a four-family tenement house, caught fire and burned to 
the ground. (18) 

At the report of the Board of Education for 1851, 
it was announced that there were 482 pupils in 
attendance in the Public School. In the school for colored 
children on 38th Avenue, there were 68 pupils who were 
being instructed in Spelling, Reading, Writing, Geography, 
Arithmetic and Drawing, all under the charge of Selah 
M. Africanus, who was an experienced teacher. (19) 
In less than a year, the colored school suffered a serious loss 
in the death of Mr. Africanus, who died in January, 1852. 
The school suffered materially for a while in the effort 
to find a teacher until a brother, Edward African us, agreed 
to assume the post. (20) 

In the 1853 contest for school trustee, there was 
a spirited contest for the first time. A Catholic 
nurseryman, Daniel Higgins, was running for office. 
This was the era in American history when anti-
Catholicism and anti-immigration was, in general , 
running high and there was fear that "Romanism" and 



"Popery" threatened Protestant control of the schools. 
As it turned out, Mr. Rickey, the Protestant candidate, 
won over Mr. Higgins 245 to 108. (21) The friction 
between the sizable Irish Catholic population and the 
Protestant establishment reached into the classroom 
when some Catholic parents objected to the reading of 
the Lord's Prayer in its Protestant form before class each 
day by Miss Maintain, one of the Public School teachers. 
The Board of Education, after an investigation, upheld her. 
The ultimate result of this controversy was the 
establishment in August 1853 of a separate parochial 
school system. (22) The feeling generated by the prayer 
controversy lingered on among teenagers in the schools 
and sparked street clashes during the summer of 1855. 
In September, there were fistfights and one or two boys 
even brought firearms. Cool heads on both sides saw the 
danger to the public peace and moved to quell future 
outbreaks by demanding tighter discipline in the schools 
and appealing to parents to avoid provocative partisan 
remarks in the home. (23) 

The end-year Report for 1853 summarized the 
Public School situation: (24) 

Students on Register at last report: 
129 males 98 females 

Since admitted: 
66 males 50 females 

Since discharged: 
99 males 61 females 

Leaving as of January 4th on Register: 
86 male 87 females 

Average daily attendance 
90 males 71 females 

Present on January 4, 1854 
81 males 60 females. 

During 1854, the first summer school was tried 
out, but unfortunately no description of it survives. (25) 
In February 1856, the Board of Education hired a new 
principal, Mr. Fitch, a seasoned veteran of nine years' 
experience from Williamsburg. (26) Within two month's 
time, the tone in the school improved noticeably, 
especially in tight discipline. The colored school was also 
said to be improved. (27) As of May 1, 1856, the total 
school population reached 1,270. At the close of the 1856 
session, Mr. Fitch treated the pupils to a picnic at 
St. Ronan's Well, a rocky outcrop on the shore a quarter 
mile west of Flushing, with ample space for games and 
rambles in the wooded groves. (28) The success of this 
outing caused it to become an institution, for it was 
successfully repeated in 1857, 1858 and 1859. In 1857, 
the annual report showed a total of 1,149 students and 
twelve teachers. (29) 

Some intimation of ;he sectional feeling in 
Flushing on the eve of the Civil War is evident from a 
ruling by the Board of Education in February 1858 
to ban Uncle Tom's Cabin from the approved school 
reading list because it aroused Abolitionist feelings; 

the result was that there was increased demand for the 
book on the part of the public. (30) 

The first recorded Parent's Day or Examination, 
as it was then called, took place on April 1, 1858 when the 
parents and friends of the students came to Public School #l 
at 9:00 a.m. to witness the proficiency of the Junior and 
Senior Departments at Principal Fitch's invitation. (31) 

The closing school party at St Ronan's Well in 1858 
was particularly festive. The exercises were held in the hall 
at the resort on July 28th and the whole place was turned 
over free to the exclusive use of the school children. 
A picnic followed the closing exercises. (32) 

The Public School was taken by surprise in 
December 1858 when Principal Fitch announced his 
resignation to free him to change to another occupation. (33) 
The Board of Education , after some search, fixed on 
S. W. Chadbourne, of the Jersey Freehold Institute, to take 
over the principalship, (34) but Mr. Chadbourne, after only ten 
day's experience at the Flushing school, abruptly resigned. 

"We have now to chronicle his 
resignation which we cannot think other 
than premature, although we may not 
conceal the existence of good and sufficient 
reasons why a gentleman of relined 
education and taste should decline 
to make himself a bully in order to 
enforce discipline upon some half a dozen 
or so boys whose incorrigible conduct for 
several years has been a blot upon the 
discipline of the school and who should 
have been permanently expelled by the 
Board of Education who upon all 
occasions ought to stand between the 
teachers and those parents who cannot 
and do not exercise the least restraint 
upon the positive vicious inclinations 
of their children .. " (35) 

This is surprisingly blunt language, but it does 
reveal to us the true conditions in the Flushing Public 
School of 1859. The Board of Education appointed 
Nelson J. Gates, principal of the Whitestone Public School 
to the vacant post, evoking this comment from the press: 

"We hope the Board will inaugurate 
appointment by the institution of rules 
and regulations that will be rigidly enforced 
without distinction and thoroughly winnow 
the school from perverse and refractory 
pupils, who after due trial, will not conform 
to those rules." (36) 

A minor scandal erupted in September 1859 when, 
upon the opening of school, it was discovered that no 
cleaning, scrubbing or painting had been done over the 
summer. It turned out that the Board member responsible 
for this work had been touring Europe and forgot to 
provide for the cleaning to be done in his absence. 
The opening of school had to be postponed for a week 
to the resentment and anger of the parents. (37) 

15 



'\ 
! 
I 

I ________ _j 
G~O ... :H.., ~g~ &. CO .. ,. ( 

LUMBER AND COAL DEALERSf,, 
FLUSHL~Q-, L. I. 

The steamboat wharf and docks, located on Flushing Creek, were formerly the property of Isaac Peck. They were sold at 
auction on February 4th, 1865 to George B. Roe and Company for Sll,750.00. The firm, which had existed for some 
time, had become cramped for room. With this land acquisition, the firm now expanded their offerings into coal, stone, etc. 
The photo dates from about 1870. 

16 



The Public School earned much approbation 
when it fu lfilled an old dream by opening an evening 
school for youth over 14 and whose work prevented their 
attendance in the day time. In early November, interested 
persons were asked to call and register their interest in 
the proposal; the turnout induced the Board of Education 
to open the school house four evenings a week, Tuesdays 
through Fridays. Again there was the stress on discipline: 

"It is to be hoped that those not fully 
determined upon availing themselves of 
the liberal advantages proffered will not 
seek by their presence to interpose 
obstacles to thwart the object sought 
by the Board of Education." (38) 

We have no surviving description of the Flushing 
experiment, but Whitestone and Little Neck adopted the 
idea and with great success. 

When school closed in 1860, preparations were 
made for a picnic on a grand scale. St. Ronan's Well was 
again engaged for July 27th and Shelton's Band from 
New York was hired to provide music. The day proved 
memorable: 

"The long-expected picnic for the 
school children of this Town took place 
on Friday the 27th. No pains were 
spared, no effort seemed too great upon 
the part of the citizens of our Town to 
make the affair one of the pleasant as 
well as the most brilliant of the season. 
For several days before, the ladies held 
meetings in the various school houses to 
provide for the wants of the inner man. 

The District School from the east 
turned out strong, having no less than 25 
wagons among which we noticed 
four-horse teams from Little Neck 
headed by Shelton's Band which drove 
through streets with banners flying and 
flags waving to the school house in this 
village where they met the children 
who came from the Whitestone and 
Strattonport schools by the Enoch Dean. 
About 10 o'clock the procession, consisting 
of between ten and twelve hundred 
children with their teachers and 
Trustees, proceeded under the escort of 
the Odd Fellows of this village, who were 
dressed in full regalia and with three 
bands of music, all under the direction of 
General Hamilton, Marshal of the Day, 
to St. Ronan's Well. 

During the afternoon, addresses 
were delivered to the children ....... It was 
estimated that not less than 3,000 persons 
were on the ground during the day. All 
seemed to leave with the impression that 

the day had been well spent. Great good 
will result from this gathering as a 
stimulus to further exertions. 
The singing of the children was far 
superior to that on similar occasions 
One or two German songs, sung by the 
children from College Point, attracted 
special attention. We trust that this will 
be inaugurating a movement for a 
similar picnic each year." (39) 

(1) Flushing Journal, October 9th, 1841. 3:1 
(2) ibid., August 13th, 1842, 2:4 
(3) ibid., December 10th, 1842, 2:5 
(4) ibid, February 18th, 1843, 2:3 and 

February 25th, 1843, 2:3 
(5) ibid., March 11th, 1843, 2:1 
(6) ibid., March 25th, 1843 2:2 and 

May 6th, 1843, 2:4 
(7) ibid., May 20th, 1843, 2:1 
(8) ibid., November 14th, 1846, 3:4 
(9) ibid., January 23rd, 1847, 3:3 
(10) ibid., January 30th, 1847, 2:1 and 

Annual Report for August 1849 
(11) ibid., March 20th, 1847, 2:4 
(12) ibid., January 1st, 1848, 3:1 
(13) ibid., May 13th, 1848, 2:5, and 

January 13th, 1848, 3:1 
(14) ibid., August 19th, 1848, 2:4 
(15) Report of the Board of Education in 

Flushing Journal, August 11th, 1849 
(16) Flushing Journal, September 22nd, 1849, 2:4 
(17) ibid., November 30th, 1850, 2:2 
(18) ibid., September 20th, 1851, 2:4 
(19) ibid., December 27th, 1851, 2:3 
(20) ibid., February 5th, 1853, 3:1 
(21) ibid., January 29th, 1853, 2:1 
(22) ibid., March 12th, 1853, 1:4, and 

Mandeville, op. cit., page 130 
(23) ibid., September 15th, 1855, 2:2 
(24) ibid., January 14th, 1854, 2:3 
(25) ibid., July 29th. 1854, 2:4 
(26) ibid., February 2nd, 1856, 2:2 
(27) ibid., May 17th, 1856, 2:2 
(28) ibid., June 28th, 1856, 2:2 and 

August 1st, 1857, 2:3 
(29) ibid., April 4th, 1857, 2:4 
(30) ibid., February 6th, 1858, 2:3 
(31) ibid., March 27th, 1858, 2:4 
(32) ibid., July 24th, 1858 2:5 and 2:3, 

and July 31st, 1858, 2:4 
(33) ibid., December 4th, 1858, 2:4 
(34) ibid., January 8th, 1859, 2:5 
(35) ibid., January 15th, 1859, 2:2 
(36) ibid., January 15th, 1859, 2:2 
(37) ibid., September 10th, 1859, 2:3 
(38) ibid., November 19th, 1859, 2:3 
(39) ibid., August 4th, 1860, 2:3 

17 



·.l.., t=:...tJSHlNG. L. L N:i. Y. 

*~) 

Flushing Town Hall occupies a plot of land 100 by 125 feet on the northeast corner of Northern Boulevard and Linden Place. 
The architect was William Post, one of the most prominent in Flushing. Work began in March of 1862, and the 
cornerstone was laid on May 31st of that year. Wartime inflation in 1863 brought the work to a halt and forced the 
village to borrow $6,000.00 to complete the Hall's construction. The Hall opened on January 8th, 1864. The finished 
building was 55 by 90 feet; its main hall had seating for 800. 

18 



Chapter 3 

Private Schools 

Many families in pre-Civil War Flushing, because 
of their superior social status, social aspiration and ample 
means, opted to entrust the education of their children 
to private schools. A substantial number of such schools 
came into existence in the 1840s and 50s to satisfy this 
demand, which reflected a concern to educate young 
girls as fully as boys, not just in feminine socia l 
attainments, but in the areas of general culture. 

A few schools, active about 1840, are little more 
than names to us. Mrs. James S. Westervelt's Select School 
in Church Street (38th Avenue), behind St. George 's; 
Mrs. Fitzgibbons Select Boarding and Day School in 
Prince Street for young ladies; Miss Sarah Halstead's 
School, continued by Miss M. E. Landon in the school 
house in the rear of the old Methodist Church; and the 
English and Classical S~hool of Mr. R. S. Henderson. (1) 
All of these were probably extinct by 1845. 

Perhaps the oldest and longest continued private 
school in Flushing was that of Joshua Kimber's Boarding 
and Day School on Northern Boulevard, just west of the 
Quaker Meeting House. Founded in 1823, it continued 
until 1856. The school occupied a private house 
surrounded by three quarters of an acre of ground. 
In 1854, Kimber became increasingly sick and much of 
the school work devolved on his wife Anna and the two 
daughters, Rachel and Sarah. Though primarily a girl's school, 
small boys were accepted in the Day School. By March 
of 1856, it became evident that Kimber's disease would 
prove fatal and he sold off the school to Mary P Chase, 
who reopened it in May under her own name. (2) 
Kimber died in Flushing in August 1856 in his 67th year. (3) 

About 1840, Mrs. George W. Huntsman 
(Catherine), mother of the first Flushing boy to be killed 
in the Civil War, opened a school for boys in Cottage 
Place, now Barclay Avenue. A quarter lasted 12 weeks 
and there was an additional charge of $7.00 for English, 
$7.00 for French and $6.00 for instruction in painting 
and drawing. School hours ran from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (4) 
The last known session of the school began on 
November 8, 1845, after which we hear nothing further. (5) 

An ad for a prospective private school for boys 
appeared on April 29th, 1843, inserted by a Daniel Miller, 
who asserted that he had "some experience" and would 
open on May 1st in the school house of the Methodist 
Society on Washington Street (37th Avenue). Terms would 
cost $2.50 to $5.00 per quarter. Apparently, few answered 
the ad for we hear nothing further of Mr. Miller. 

A Susan Miller, possibly the wife of Daniel, 
advert ised at the same time a school for girls to open, 
also on May 1st, in her house on Washington Street. 
Again, nothing further is heard of this venture. (6) 

In early 1844, a Mr. and Mrs. Mosher announced 
to the public that they would open a Male Boarding 
and Male and Female Day School on May 6th in the 
Wright house on the northeast corner of Main Street 
and 41st Avenue. The rate would be $30.00 for a quarter 
of twelve weeks for boarding boys. (7) Again we hear 
nothing further of this venture and have to presume that 
it came to naught. 

A similar flash in the pan was the effort of Miss 
Almira Blake of New England, who opened a school for 
small boys and girls in the chapel of the new Methodist 
church on Main Street on April 15th, 1844. (8) 

One of the more prominent schools in the 
Flushing of the 1840s was St. Thomas' Hall, started by 
an Episcopal minister, the Reverend Francis L. Hawks, 
in 1839, located at Main Street and Kissena Boulevard. 
This was a fairly imposing institution. The first building 
seems to have been one of those now-rare octagon 
structures, built of brick and with eight school rooms 
and with small recitation rooms. In the center was an 
elevated platform which commanded all the classrooms. 
Circular stairs led to the dome of the building, up which 
refractory boys were sent. (9) 

On the "Map of Flushing" of 1841, St. Thomas' 
Hall is described as follows: 

"St. Thomas' Hall is an institution 
founded by the Reverend Doctor Hawks 
and devoted to education on Christian 
principles. It employs 14 instructors 
and with its present building can 
accommodate 120 pupils. It is under the 
charge of the founder and is now full. 
The Bishop of the Diocese is Visitor of 
the institution. The chapel is one of the 
most beautiful in this country. The 
grounds around the institution are laid 
out with taste and the whole place is 
made attractive. It is kept in excellent 
order, both internally and externally, and 
nowhere are the health and comfort of 
children at school more sedulously 
provided for." 

19 



.•.... ,... ~-~-. 

,. ·--·.--~-"'-·"·.· · '<' . .::..,:~!".->.~-- r t-. 

-~--- · 

This tiny building, Trustees Hall, served as the seat of Flushing government for twenty years. The trustees authorized its 
construction in 1844 in the central mall of Northern Boulevard (old Broadway) just west of Main Street; it faced west. 
When the new Town Hall was opened in 1864, the old building and its furnishings were sold for $430.00 at a public 
auction held on January 23rd, 1864 to Dr. J. H. Vedder, who moved it to Main Street and rented it out to various 
businesses such as Alexander Rogers Hardware and House Furnishings in January 1869. This 1910 photo was provided 
through the courtesy of the Queens Historical Society. 

20 



The Reverend Hawks was elected bishop of the 
Diocese of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1843 and this 
may explain why he decided to accept the promotion 
and to close St. Thomas' Hall. (10) On May 10, 1843, the 
furniture was auctioned off for $3,800.00. (11) Much of 
the material was bid in by two Hempstead schoolmen, 
the Reverend Gerardus Beekman Docherty, principal of 
Hempstead Seminary, and Dr. William M. Carmichael, 
then Rector of St. George's Episcopal Church. The school 
was reopened on November 7, 1844. (12) We have one 
description of the school as it was in 1845: 

"Boys are prepared in this institution 
for the Counting House or for admission 
in the Freshman, Sophomore or Junior 
class of any college in the United 
States. Each pupil is furnished with a 
bed, bedding, etc. and no other outfit is 
required than a half dozen towels, books 
and stationery. 

Gerardus Beekman Docherty, 
Rector & Proprietor; 

David D. Flower, Instructor in the Greek 
and Latin languages; 

S. T. Thompson; Instructor in English 
Literature; 

J. E. Alemand, Instructor in French; 
Augustus L. Lander, Professor of Music; 
John Milburne, Professor of Drawing 

and Painting." (13) 

Dr. Carmichael pulled out after a year but Mr. 
Docherty persevered until October of 1847, when he 
too gave up. (14) This time, a Methodist minister, the 
Reverend William H. Gilder of Bordentown, New Jersey, 
took up the challenge and reopened the school on 
November 6th, 1848 as the Flushing Female Institute. (15) 

Under this new guise, the school thrived for 
several years. In 1853, Gilder even reorganized the school 
into Primary, Preparatory, Collegiate and Classical 
Departments and hired more instructors. He even planned 
to apply to the Legislature for a college charter. (16) 
It is possible that the aspirations of the Reverend Gilder 
were beyond what the school could financially sustain, 
for in April 1859 he accepted an appointment to a parish 
in Redding, Connecticut and closed his Female Seminary. (17) 
In July, 1860, the Pastor of St. Michael's Roman Catholic 
Church, the Reverend James O'Beirne, purchased the 
old school through an agent and turned the property 
over to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who opened it on 
September 1st, 1860 as St. Joseph's Academy for Young 
Ladies. (18) This institution, as is well known to many 
Flushingites, lasted almost a century down to our own day. 

In August 1846, a very modest endeavor was 
made by William L. Savage, who advertised that "having 
been solicited by a number of his friends to open a select 
school and having consented to do so, provided he shall 
meet with sufficient encouragement if twenty scholars 
can be obtained," he would then open a school. Mr. Savage's 
fainthearted ad must have aroused no confidence in 
parental hearts for we hear nothing further. (19) 

The last attempt at starting up a private school 
in the 1840s was that of Miss Mary Johnson, who announced 
that she would open a school for girls in the Union School 
house on Church Street on December 20th, 1847, and 
that she was available for interviews at the house of 
William Mitchell. We must conclude that no one ever 
came, for Miss Johnson never again advertised. (20) 

The 1850s produced a spate of private schools, 
all of them short-lived. James B. Pearson advertised his 
intention to open a "Select Classical and English School" 
for the instruction of boys aged eight to sixteen years old" 
provided sufficient encouragement be given" by about 
September 1st, 1851. Apparently the encouragement 
was not forthcoming, for no further ads appeared. (21) 

Mrs. Jemima Hammond, a 57-year-old Quakeress, 
in an ad in May 1852, offered to instruct a few children 
at her residence on Barclay Avenue "in the rudiments of 
an English education beginning May 1st, 1852 and at a 
tuition of $5.00 per quarter." The school must have begun 
auspiciously for in May 1854 Mrs. Hammond offered "the 
higher as well as the elementary branches" and in a new 
large school room "fitted up and furnished with whatever 
is necessary''. She also engaged an experienced woman 
to help her, a Miss Sarah K. Roberts. (22) Unfortunately 
for the school, Jemima Hammond died unexpectedly on 
February 2nd, 1858 and the school shut down after a 
successful run of six years. (23) 

Another aspirant to education appeared in 
November 1852 in the person of a young English woman, 
a Miss Fern, who announced that she had opened a 
"Select School for Young Ladies and Gentlemen where they 
will be taught a thorough English education." The address 
given was 37th Avenue. Nothing came of the venture. (24) 

Mary P Chase, who had worked under the Kimbers 
and bought out their school on Northern Boulevard, 
opened under her own name on May 5, 1856. (25) 
Finding the old building too small and too old for her 
ambitions, she had a new large building erected by the 
Flushing architect Gilbert Hicks and moved in March 1857 
(on the northwest corner of 35th Avenue and Farrington 
Street). She chose a new name for her school: "Linnaean Hall 
Seminary for Young Ladies." On March 20th, 1857, she 
held a glittering reception. (26) A notice in the papers 
stated that the next half session would begin on April 27th; 
tuition for Juniors was $6.00 and $8.00; for Seniors $10.00, 
$12.50 and $15.00. (27) A later ad gave more information: 

'Llnnaean Hall Seminary: Mary PChase, 
Principal, assisted by Sarah A. Shepley, 
J. 0. Mauriac, Teacher of French; P Winter, 
Teacher of Drawing and Painting. 
The pupils in this Seminary are carefully 
and thoroughly instructed in the various 
branches of an English education: Physical 
Sciences, Mathematics, Ancient and 
Modern Languages. The scholastic year is 
divided into two sessions of 20 weeks each 
commencing September and February. 
Prices will vary according to 
the a ttainments." (28) 

21 



In March 1858, Professor Hyatt was engaged to give 
stated lectures to the school on the Physical Sciences, 
using his laboratory equipment to illustrate his subject (29) 
Surprisingly, the Linnaean Hill school closed without 
explanation in May 1859. Eight months later, we find 
Mrs. Chase conducting a similar school in the village of 
Washington in Dutchess County. (30) Many years in the 
future, the handsome old school building became the 
Kyle Military Institute. 

In July 1859, the Reverend Henry Dana Ward 
and Mrs. Ward of New York appeared on the scene and 
proposed to Open a Young Ladies' Seminary in a cottage 
owned by Gabriel Winter on the comer of Prince Street and 
35th Avenue. The Wards had operated a similar school in 
New York for eleven years and must have moved in the best 
circles, since they presented letters of recommendation 
from President Millard Fillmore, President King of Columbia 
University and Bishop Potter. (31) The Wards advertised that 
"they are prepared to receive into their families eight young 
ladies to be educated in the best manner with and as their 
own children, sharing all the privileges of a pleasant home 
and the refined associations of literary society." They also had 
a large addition put on the cottage for more room. (32) 
All of 1860 passed with no mention whatever of the school. 

The last private school to flourish before the 
war was the effort of Miss Sarah K. Roberts, whom we 
have met before as the protege of Jemima Hammond in 
1858. Miss Roberts took over the Barclay Avenue school 
in late February 1858 and reopened it on March 8th 
with a formidable menu of offerings for so small a building: 

"The course of instruction will 
embrace the various branches of a 
substantial English education: Orthography, 
Reading, Writing, Geography, English 
Grammar, Composition, Arithmetic, 
Natural History & Philosophy, Botany, 
Physiology, Drawing, Plain & Fancy 
Needlework, etc .... Instruction will be given 
to the pupil and others in leather and 
other ornamental works at reasonable 
rates afte r the adjournment of school. 
Sarah K Roberts, #7 Ailanthus Place 
(38th Avenue east of Union Street)." (33) 

Miss Roberts was quick to note that the 
Linnaean Hill Seminary had been vacated in May 1859 
and she lost no time in getting possession of the spacious 
building and moving her own school into it. 
More instructors were hired: Clara E. Miller, Mary T. 
Texido, Jean 0. Mauriac (French) and Henrietta Coons 
(Instrumental & Vocal Music). Weekly report cards would 
now document the Progress of each pupil. (34) In February 
of 1860, the local newspaper commented: "Mrs. S. K. Roberts' 
select school is one of the most decided successes of the 
last 20 years, at least as our village is concerned." (35) 

Far and away the most prominent and successful 
of all the private schools of this era was the Flushing 
Institute, founded by Ezra Fairchild in 1845. He had 30 
years of experience in teaching in New Jersey schools 
before arriving in Flushing. He attempted at first to 

22 

secure St. Thomas' Hall from Dr. Docherty but was 
rebuffed. He then bought out the lease of the Flushing 
Hotel in April 1845, and when the St. Anne's Hall became 
available in 1848, he seized the opportunity to acquire it. 
The building was an imposing Greek Revival Structure, 
erected in 1828 and had been used for Dr. Muhlenberg's 
Flushing Institute (1828-1839) and the Reverend J. F. 
Schroeder's St. Ann's Hall (1842-1848). Its large size and 
six acres of surrounding ground made it especia lly 
adapted to school use. 

Ezra Fairchild took on a young Vermont man, 
Allen Northrop, as a partner and these two men became 
the pillars of the Flushing Institute. Ezra died in 1854 
but his son Elias, even more capable and energetic than 
his father, carried on the school with Allen Northrop, 
who had meanwhile become his brother-in-law. 

For 55 years, from 1841to1901, the Flushing Institute 
continued its educational mission, eventually becoming 
possibly the most prominent prep school in America. 
The students came not only from Long Island and 
Manhattan, but from many of the States of the Union, 
and surprisingly, from Central and South America. The courses 
were heavily classical but also included considerable 
mathematics and science. The student population 
fluctuated over the years from 60 to 175, and the annual 
tuition averaged generally $125.00, although music, art 
and foreign languages enta iled additional fees. 

The Flushing Institute survived until 1901, by 
which time modern, publicly-supported high schools 
made it obsolete and its two principals too old to carry 
on the educational mission initiated in the 1840s. 

(1) Flushing Journal, May 14th, 1842, 4:2 
(2) ibid, March 29th, 1856, 2:2 
(3) ibid., January 5th, 1856, 2:6, 

March 29th, 1856 2:2, 
August 30th, 1856, 2:5; 
and September 6th, 1856, 2:5 

(4) ibid., March 4th, 1843, 3:3 
and April 29th, 1843, 3:4 

(5) ibid., November 8th, 1845, 3:2 
(6) ibid, April 29th, 1843, 3:3 
(7) ibid., April 6th, 1844, 3:2 
(8) ibid., April 27th, 1844, 3:4 
(9) Flushing Past & Present, 

Reverend G. Henry Mandeville, 
1860, page 125 

(10) Flushing Journal, April 27th, 1844, 3:1; 
(11) ibid., April 29th, 1843, 3:2 

and May 8th, 1843, 2:3 and 3:3 
(12) ibid., January 13th, 1844, 4:5 
(13) ibid., November 8th, 1845, 3:4 
(14) ibid., January 1st, 1848 1:1 
(15) ibid., August 11th, 1848 
(16) ibid., October 1st, 1853, 2:4 
(17) ibid., April 30th, 1859, 2:3 
(18) ibid., July 21st, 1860, 2:3 
(19) ibid., August 29th, 1846, 3:2 
(20) ibid., January 1st, 1848, 3:5 



(21) 
(22) 

(23) 
(24) 
(25) 
(26) 
(27) 

ibid., August 16th, 1851, 2:4 
ibid., May 8th, 1852, 3:2, 

May 20th, 1854, 2:6; and 
February 20th, 1858, 2:2 

ibid., February 13th, 1858, 2:5 
ibid., November 6th, 1852, 3:1 
ibid., May 3rd, 1856, 2:3 
ibid., March 28th, 1857, 2:2 
ibid., April 4th, 1857, 2:5 

(28) 
(29) 
(30) 
(31) 
(32) 
(33) 
(34) 
(35) 

ibid., August 8th, 1857, 2:5 
ibid., March 27th, 1858, 2:2 
ibid., May 28th, 1859, 2:3 
ibid., July 12th, 1859, 2:5 
ibid., October 8th, 1859, 2:6 
ibid .. February 20th, 1858, 3:1 
ibid., June 18th, 1859, 3:2 
ibid., J anuary 28th, 1860, 2:3. 

: ''""•" •"• • •• < .i.->t. ....... '10>0 ••U.. ' ~'''"' " -~' .. ~,, . .. .... . .. , .. < '' '"""'UIO"• .. , ... , .. "''If .......... "''" ''" '•o "''· ::!-"" •~•"'" • ..-....... """"'""~'"' n1•COl.ll. CO• o<"ll oin :t• "''\ .•~• · 1•11<"1n>flx .1r11• .,,. '" ~ ~,.;,: 11. "" ''u I 

This is a composite published by the Daily Graphic in New York City in October 1878, showing 15 general views of 
Flushing buildings, churches, munuments and a park. From top to bottom, left to right, they are: Quaker Meeting Hall, 
a fountain and park, Flushing and Queens County Bank, Flushing Town Hall, High School, Sanford Hall, residence of 
Benjamin Downing Flushing Institute, a Monument, St. Joseph's Academy, Long Island Times Building, St. George's Church, 
Bloodgood's Building, Old Flushing Steamboat Landing and Methodist Church. 

23 



h;i ~. thc r1..' furc , tW\\' C<>rnplt't cd twcnty-se,·en yeins of wn of 
--~7 f t ' .'1t /1 y ii_1 the county o~~-c.-c /t( haring l.JL•en applied to uyvi?f,_, ,~;;._,./,, ·' 1 J 1? -- : I ./ . . I ' . ,. ,, ,,, . /;",~ .. ,,,,','II' a resident of saiJ town, who purposes to keep an Inn 01· T,wcrn, nt ,~ . • ,, ,. 
/,·;{, ,._, ,,, ; 17, ..... "-' 1« ,,,__, "' for a license to sell strong and spirituo11;; li1111t1r~ a11d 

"'irws to Le drank in ~O ,,,,-,., ·1 1( house; and we being sati~licd tltnt lie• i~ of._· 
good moral character, and of !:'ufficient aLilit.y to keep a lan•rn, nnd tl1nl lif ha" t!te 
nect·ssar.v a.:<:ommudalions tu ente1 t.ain t.ra1·ellcrs, and that a taH•rn i" ah~n'.utelv i11.·-
cessary, for tl:c actual acco1~rn10-dut.iou of traYcllers, at the plu<:.c w!tcre lte prnpos1·s tu 
keep t.he same, nnd for which he has paid a duty or ;,-;~, , . ~---.. 
dollars determined by us; WE DO THEREFOllE grant this· Jicen~e, and uut . liori~e 
,.:_. ·,, , to !:'ell strong and spiriluou;; liquors and wines to be drank in the Iun ur Tarern 
to be kept at the place abo,·e .mentioned. This license is .to be in rorce until tlie day 
after the first Mon day in May next. 

Tn 1\ ilncss 1...-lu: reof, we have he1·c111)tO subscribed our 11nrnes, th<' 
. I . 

n1 <./(/ l8)j•, 
day 

A Liquor License of 1853: The Excise board sets five conditions for the granting of a license: good moral character, 
sufficient ability to keep a tavern, necessary accommodations, there is a necessity for such service, and the $10.00 fee has 
been paid. Nothing is said about Sunday closing. 

32 



Chapter 6 

Crime and Delinquency 

Victorian novels and plays, with their emphasis 
on propriety and morality, have conditioned us to believe 
that the 1840s and 50s were an era of public and private 
decorum, but the reality was very different. Human nature, 
with its passions and weaknesses, erupted through the 
veneer of rectitude in the pre-Civil War era as in any other 
and damaged the social fabric. 

Youth gangs were one of the major problems in 
Flushing. "Young ruffians" and "young rowdies" were the 
most frequent expressions used to describe these teenage 
gangs of noisy, swaggering youths, exulting in their nascent 
manhood and hungering for notice in the community. 
To get this notice, exaggerated conduct was the usual 
method: uproarious behavior, coarse and vulgar language, 
gross profanity and obscenity in the hearing of 
pedestrians and before young women, a clumsy outreach 
for approval and even interest that instead elicited only 
revulsion and fear. The eleven and twelve-year-olds were 
pimply-faced and soft-headed with their greased hair 
and insecure manner and were really harmless, but the 
older boys, normally out of school by age 14, could be 
menacing, especially if fired up by liquor. Gangs would 
often meet on the streets of a town as small as Flushing 
and start a noisy riot. Many of the gangs were territorial; 
some of the favorite hangouts were in front of the 
Methodist church, the corner of Northern Boulevard and 
Prince Street or Union Street and Barclay Avenue. 
Downtown, near the bridge on Northern Boulevard, had 
the reputation of being a bad area because of the number 
of "groggeries"; these were low-life saloons catering to 
working class men. Weekend nights were a bad time; 
the liquor flowed freely and by midnight, teenagers who 
were drunk and swaggering poured into the streets 
accosting passersby and demanding money for liquor. (1) 

Sometimes, the village endured only deviltry of 
a mild kind like sending false a larms. (2) More to be 
feared was the wanton destruction of property; the small 
damage was graffiti on fences. (3) The bigger was the 
mutilation of trees, breaking windows, smashing 
greenhouses and even church windows. In August 1857, 
over thirty panes of glass and stained glass in the 
Congregational Church were smashed. (4) One of the 
worst acts occurred in March 1860 when youths broke 
down the elaborate double Gothic gates of St. Thomas' 
Hall and shattered them into fragments. (5) The following 
is typical of many articles in the press of the day: 

"Our attention has been repeatedly 
called to a gang of young ruffians who 

almost nightly assemble near the corner 
of Bridge and Prince Streets and whose 
characteristics are grossly profane and 
obscene. The magistrates should listen 
to the representations of the inhabitants 
and private watchmen and break up th is 
nest of rowdies and grant some repose 
to the neighborhood." (6) 

"Great complaints are made of 
the gangs of boys who infest the streets 
of the village at night indulging in 
various kinds of mischief and insulting 
decent ears with obscene and profane 
observations. An example will soon be 
made of some of these scamps and 
parents should exert an influence on 
their children to remain at home for 
the present unless they are willing to 
endure the mortification of having their 
children brought before the magistrates 
and sent to the county jail. There is a 
rod in pickle for several young scamps 
and perhaps this timely warning may 
not be ineffectual upon the youth of 
respectable parents." (7) 

This account has a very modern ring: 

"On Monday night there was a 
crowd of boys and half-grown men 
congregated on the corner of 
Washington and Main Streets which, it 
had been previously arranged, should 
take place there between two pugilists 
by the names of Quinn and Pearsall. 
Some of our distant readers wil l 
probably be astonished to hear such a 
public place was selected, but then it is 
to be taken into consideration that 
rowdyism is in the ascendant in Flushing 
and that our magistrates and our officers 
are literally making no exertion for the 
protection of the citizens whose wives 
and daughters are nightly insulted by 
foul and filthy obscenity if they happen 
to pass through the streets of an evening. 
It is a crying complaint that our vi llage 
is being fast given up to the tender 
mercies and triumph of rowdyism as this 
case of a premeditated fight in a most 

33 



T" 1'aus fur lkc t®m <{ Plt/$/iitlg~ fflr tlee '!J'-' J ~ P cnt ~ l!. .I P I E ~Tl! EI 

First publication of the Flushing Journal , a specimen sheet appeared, on October 9th, 1841. The first regular number of the 
paper appeared on March 19th, 1842. Most editions of the Journal survive, except for a major gap, from 1894 to 1909. 

38 



the Jaggar Mansion. The burglars 
unlocked the front door by nippers but 
the door being bolted, they were 
outwitted. The noise awakened the 
family and they got out of reach before 
they received what was awaiting them. 
On the same night they also attempted 
the dwelling of Walter Jaggar and also 
that of Mr. E. M. Griswold in the same 
neighborhood. There were at least two 
burglars who had with them one horse 
and a wagon." (16) 

Many such incidents could be quoted. The net 
effect of these persistent attacks on property prompted 
the organization of night patrols. 

"The repeated thefts in and about 
our village have so exasperated our 
citizens that there is danger when a thief 
is caught, he will be arraigned before 
Judge Lynch in a jiffy. As there is 
scarcely a house but the inmates are 
armed with revolvers and some on the 
watchmen, we expect to hear at any 
morning of someone being shot." (17) 

"Our citizens should omit nothing 
that will lead to the detection of the 
thieves who infest the village. The 
village is pretty well patrolled by 
watchmen. In Washington Street the 
citizens have kept up a patrol through 
the night for more than a month and 
mean to continue it. There is scarcely a 
house in which there is anything of 
value but some of the inmates are armed 
to the teeth and in many cases where 
a watch is not kept through the night. 
Let the utmost vigilance be continued." (18) 

The shops in the village did not escape the 
attentions of thieves. The rear of the stores, lacking the 
light on the street fronts, offered an easy opportunity to 
burglars to use their tools unobserved. Once inside, 
it was easy to carry out merchandise to a waiting wagon. 

There was also a more subtle form of thievery, 
less obvious because it was sol itary; this was shoplifting 
and almost a lways practiced by women whose 
voluminous clothes concealed their pickings. 

"This accomplishment is 
occasionally practiced in this village and 
often times with success although there 
are those who are very quietly watched 
in their proceeding. On Wednesday a 
piece of parametia was very adroitly 
taken from the store of Clement & 
Bloodgood. A person saw a woman 
throw away a board in the neighborhood 
of Grove Street and had the curiosity 
to pick it up, and perceiving that it was 
such as is used to wind around certain 
goods, took it around to several stores 
when it was discovered to belong to the 
store named. The house of the woman, 
who was found in a gross state of 
intoxication, was searched when the 
goods worth about $16.00 were 
discovered and taken away. There are 
some dozen persons of both sexes that 
are known to be shoplifters and who, 
upon detection , should be made 
amenable to law. It is only by public 
exposure that this sort of dishonesty can 
be stopped." (21) 

"Shoplifting is becoming quite 
common in this village. Several cases 
have occurred recently but the parties 
have been allowed to escape without 
public exposure. The only way to put a 
stop to this sort of traffic is for our 
storekeepers to be ever on the alert 
and to have every one detected 
immediately arrested." (22) 

All the foregoing has involved violence against 
property in various forms; violence against people is rarer. 
The long stretches of lonely road around Flushing made 
attacks by highwaymen on travelers an occasional hazard 

"A marketman named Patrick 
Connolly living at Little Neck was 
attacked about 10 o'clock Wednesday 
night near Parsons Woods a little east 
of Flushing village on the plank Road 
and jerk ed from his team by a 
highwayman. The marketman, who 
was considerably bruised, succeeded in 
beating off his assailant and making 
good his escape with his team. It is 
becoming obvious the necessity exists 
for our marketmen to travel armed." (23) 

"The store of Messrs. Clement and 
Bloodgood in this village was entered 
and robbed of the goods to the value of 
full $2,000.00 as nearly as can be 
estimated. The thieves forced open the 
grating of the cellar window by which 
they obtained ingress and carried off 
black and colored silks, fancy cashmeres, 
silk vestings, ladies' and gentlemen's 
merino shirts, woolen shawls, fine cutlery, 
etc. A $200.00 reward has been offered for 
the recovery of the goods and the detection 
of the thieves." (19) 

"The merchants in Bridge Street 
have employed private watchmen to patrol 
that street at all hours of the night." (20) 

Just three months before marketman leaving Jamaica 
at 7:30 p.m. was attacked and killed by highwaymen as he drove 
through Hollis; the men wayla id him, smashed his head with a 
club and left him dying in the snow. A $500.00 reward was posted 
by the sheriff but the murderer was never found. (24) 

39 



Charles Richmond Lincoln, owner and editor of the Flushing Journal. He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1809 and 
came to Flushing in 1839. When he died in December 1869 his son took over the paper. A daily edition appeared in 1879. 

40 



Rape was an infrequent crime in old Flushing. 
On October 9, 1853 Catherine Quigley, age 13 years and 
9 months, was raped and killed and her body dumped 
on Parsons Boulevard near 73rd Avenue The murderer 
was never found though $1,500.00 reward was put up. (25) 
The fact that the crime was committed against a child 
and resulted in death gave the crime a notoriety beyond 
all other cases. Another assault in the same lonely Black 
Stump area occurred in August 1856 when a widow 
woman was raped and badly beaten while berry picking. 
The woman refused to appear against her black assailant and 
the court discharged him. (26) Abraham Conover, the rapist, 
was later arrested and questioned also on circumstantial 
evidence in the Quigley case. (27) He was tried and 
convicted in October 1857 and sentenced to twelve years 
imprisonment at hard labor in Sing Sing. A third attempt 
at rape, again in the same Black Stump area, occurred 
in October 1858, this time on a servant girl, Selena 
O'Connor, but the girl, in spite of injuries and torn clothes, 
foiled her attacker. (28) The last and oddest case we 
hear of took place during an Irish picnic on August 27, 
1860. William Patten took his girl, Ellen Reilly, berry 
picking into the woods, and after an hour's dalliance, 
had his way with her. Shortly before the arraignment on 
rape charges, the matter was settled in the judge's 
chambers by Ellen marrying her impetuous lover. (29) 

The last criminal case - one of abortion - was 
handled so discretely as to occasion only the merest 
mention in the press. Madame Restell, one of the most 
celebrated abortionists of the day, paid a very quiet visit 
to Flushing on September 5, 1847, driven in her "splendid 
carriage and horses." Who summoned her and where 
she went no one ever knew, but considering that the 
lady catered only to wealthy patrons and took the trouble 
to drive out to then-distant Flushing suggests that one 
of the best families had need of her professional services. (30) 

(1) 

(2) 
(3) 
(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 
(8) 
(9) 
(10) 
(11) 
(12) 
(13) 
(14) 
(15) 
(16) 
(17) 
(18) 
(19) 
(20) 
(21) 
(22) 
(23) 
(24) 

(25) 
(26) 
(27) 
(28) 
(29) 
(30) 

Flushing Journal, November 23rd, 1853; and 
November 23rd, 1850 

ibid., November 14th, 1857 
ibid., February 7th, 1846, 2:4 
ibid., August 8th. 1857, 2:2 
ibid., March 17th, 1860, 2:3 
ibid., September 15th, 1855, 2:5 
ibid .. January 9th, 1858, 2:2 
ibid., February 13th, 1858 2:3 
ibid. , October 11th, 1851, 2:4 
ibid., September 16th. 1854, 2:3 
ibid., September 16th, 1854, 2:3 
ibid. , August 28th, 1847, 3:2 
ibid. , February 2nd, 1856, 2:3 
ibid., May 1st, 1858, 2:2 
ibid., May 1st. 1858. 2:2 
ibid., August 14th, 1858, 2:3 
ibid., January 16th, 1858, 2:3 
ibid., January 9th, 1858, 2:4 
ibid., November 18th, 1854, 2:2 
ibid., November 25th, 1854, 2:6 
ibid., February 6th, 1858, 2:3 
ibid .. September 24th, 1859, 2:3 
ibid., April 18th. 1857, 2:3 
ibid., January 17th, 1857, 2:1 and 

January 27th, 1857, 3:2 
ibid., October 15th, 1853, 2:1 
ibid., August 9th, 1856, 2:3 
ibid., January 3rd, 1857, 2:2 
ibid., August 21st, 1858 
ibid., September 8th, 1860, 2:4 
ibid., September 11th, 1847, 3:1. 

41 



·-... _; - "'-·· 
r .. . 

(;: .. --.~ 
\,..::::.:.:::.-, 

....., ---~ 
I 

~-~i 
J 

'ltj 

The only other stereoscope photograph surviving of Main Street as it looked about 1870. This is a corner furniture store 
on the west side of Main Street at 37th, 39th or 40th Avenue. The firm of 0. C. Smith produced this view, one of an 
original dozen; stereoscopes of Long Island are extremely rare. 

42 



Chapter 7 

Culture 

When the first public school opened in Flushing 
in 1814, under the care and patronage of the Flushing 
Female Association, It contained a small library and 
a paid librarian. In August 1842, $92.24 was expended 
on the library. 

"There is a District School library at 
the same place (District School) 
comprising 366 volumes of the best 
standard: historical, biographical and 
miscellaneous works. To the use of these 
every family in the District is entit led 
and can obtain it by application to Mr& Strale, 
the librarian, at the school every Friday 
afternoon between the hours of three 
and five, except for the week ensuing 
when she will be absent, the school 
being vacated as usual. In a few weeks, 
as soon as the library money of the 
present year is expended, a catalog of 
the volumes will be published. 
It is unnecessary now to expatiate on 
the advantages of this library, as an 
article on the subject appeared some 
time since in the Journal; suffice it , 
however, to say that it is selected with 
great care and comprises a collection of 
standard literature equaled by few 
village libraries. It is to be hoped that a 
taste for reading will increase in our 
village and its inhabitants will feel more 
desirous than hitherto of enjoying the 
privileges before them." (1) 

During the same year, 1842, two attempts were 
made to establish a "Reading Circle" in Flushing, but 
both died after a very brief existence. Later in the year, 
Mr. Strale, husband of the school librarian, began to solicit 
subscriptions to establish a permanent "Reading Room" 
and, if successful, to add a Circulating Library and 
Bookstore. (2) This attempt also failed. 

In 1844, the District made changes; the public 
funds were withdrawn from the jointly-managed school 
and another school set up in a new school house. 
The two cents tuition per week was abolished and taxes 
raised to support the larger school. People rebelled and 
withheld their children. Things went from bad to worse 
during 1844 to 1848. From a letter of January 1847 we 
learn that the orderly management of the Library by 
the Ladies Female Association was sorely missed; there 

was now no librarian and books circulated casually with 
no check-out and no fines for late return. School became 
intermittent and the Library mostly closed. (3) 

In 1847, after many public meetings, it was voted 
to sell the school house, raise $6,500.00 by taxes and to 
erect a large new school house. In June 1848 a site was 
purchased on Union Street and 38th Avenue and on 
November 27, 1848, the new school opened. (4) By 1852, 
the Public School had over 1,000 volumes, mostly 
standard works, and which were open for distribution 
every Thursday afternoon from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. (5) 

In January 1855, another effort was made to 
form a library apart from the Public School. A strong effort 
had been made in the fall of 1854 to build a Public Hall 
and Library Room, but it had proved impossible to get 
enough support. Now, in the course of organizing a Fire 
Company - Mutual Company #l - some library advocates 
saw the chance to form a parallel organization, the Mutual 
Literary Association, for the improvement of the firemen 
through the establishment of a library and reading room. 
This would be financed through a course of public lectures 
in the winter season, with the money going to buy books 
and subscriptions to periodicals. (6) In late March, steps 
leading to a reading room were taken. (7) The Flushing 
Board of Trustees, as the result of a favorable vote, 
authorized a general meeting of the citizenry to vote on 
forming a Library and Reading Room Association on 
September 3rd, 1855. (8) 

Three more years dragged by, and in June 1858 
the backers of the Circulating Library adopted a 
constitution. (9) On August 27th, 1858, they opened the 
facility with hours on Tuesday evenings from 8:00 to 
9:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. 
The annual subscription was only one dollar. (10) 
As of May 3rd, 1859, the Flushing Library Association 
moved to a room over the drug store of Dr. Hedges on 
the west side of Main Street between 37th and 38th Avenues. 
Tuesday hours remained the same but Friday changed 
to 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (11) 

The new society held its first annual meeting 
on June 7, 1859. The Report said: 

'The Flushing Library Association 
is no longer an experiment it is a fixed fact, 
an institution. Its success us no longer a 
matter of conjecture - no longer a subject 
for argument - the past year has proved 

43 



ii~;~ 
§~ 

1-~Jm 
..... -

""'"'=°"'==~~~--'"'-- ~ 

"~·-. 
\. -· rs.:::--,_~ • 

.., . ..,;;:-.. ).,· . r . 
.. , ... ~.-..-..·-"···: ~~· 

... '· 

Thomas Gosling's house painting and paper hanging store on the east side of Main Street at 41st Avenue opposite the 
railroad depot. On September 27th, 1866 a customer demonstrating a lighter set fire to the store and burnt it out. 
Gosling then moved into a new store near the old; photo about 1870. 

44 



not only that our citizens are ready to 
sustain such an institution but (what a 
year ago was much more uncertain) that 
they will make use of the advantages it 
affords them; that apart from donations, 
from all extraordinary and occasional 
aid the subscription of those who belong 
to the Association for the good which 
they derive from it will be sufficient to 
support it in the future; in a word, that 
it is a self-sustaining institution." (12) 

The same Report tells us that there were 283 
members, of which 240 drew books and that there were 
available 1.000 volumes. Some of the support for the 
library was derived from a series of ten lectures, most of 
them donated. (13) At the October monthly meeting, 
the association took steps to organize a Debating Society. (14) 

The Annual Report of June 1860 was also full 
of optimism; no money had to be borrowed, and all expenses 
were paid thanks to the happy inspiration to run one 
steamboat excursion on August 14, which had proved a good 
fund-raiser. The members now numbered 219 and the 
number of books had increased to 1,116. Eight lectures 
had been delivered, one of them by the novelist Herman 
Melville, but the association barely broke even on the 
effort. (15) More promising was the Debating Society. 
At first, the meetings were private but when the sessions were 
thrown open to the public, they attracted large audiences 
requiring a move to the Congregational Chapel. (16) 

We have mentioned lectures as a factor in 
out lining the history of the library in Flushing. 
Because of their importance as an educational tool in 
upgrading the cultural level of the community, they 
deserve more careful scrutiny. Lectures were always given 
in winter and provided a diversion when outdoor 
recreation was impossible. To attract as large an audience 
as possible, the admission price was kept very low, 
generally 15 or 25 cents. The organizers were always 
faced with two handicaps: Flushing lacked any kind of 
public hall and it was always necessary to rely on the 
kindness of the local churches for the use of a chapel or 
Sunday School; the other major problem was finding 
good speakers. Professional lecturers could be imported 
from New York City or even more distant points, but 
their fees were prohibitive. As a result local talent had to 
be relied on, generally the better-educated clergy or the 
faculty in the local academies. The relative speaking 
abilities of the various ministers were well known to the 
townspeople and this affected attendance at the lectures. 
The constant complaint of the organizers, reiterated year 
after year, was that not enough people turned out to attend 
the lectures to the embarrassment of the speaker and 
the chagrin of the sponsors. The lecture topics seem to 
our modern taste too often vague and abstract and verging 
perilously close to sermons; only a few bring the vision of an 
exciting scientific world then emerging to rural Flushing. 

The idea of presenting public lectures first 
surfaced in Elmhurst and Manhasset in the early 1840s. 
In Flushing, a committee for "People Lectures" was first 
organized in January 1853. (17) Five lectures were scheduled 

at 25 cents per lecture or 75 cents for all five. Two speakers 
were prominent: Henry Ward Beecher and Horace Greeley; 
another was exotic, an Ojibway Indian. (18) In 1854, the 
Young Men's Christian Association sponsored a more ambitious 
program - seven lectures or all seven for 50 cents. There is 
some record of the topics and speakers: (19) 

1. Bayard Taylor 
"The Arabs" 

2. Honorable John P Hale, 
"A Day in the Senate" 

3. Reverend R. M. Hatfield, 
"Formation of Character" 

4. Reverend Dr. Bethune, 
unknown topic 

5. Reverend Dr. Vinton, 
'The Opening of Japan" 

6. Elias Fairchild, 
"Trial Scene: Merchant of Venice." 

In the 1855 season , th e Mutual Literary 
Association, the adjunct of the Fire Company, presented 
a series of eight lectures. Tickets were 15 cents or $1.00 
for the season. We have evidence of four: (20) 

1. E. H. Chapin, 
"Modern Chivalry" 

2. Reverend Samuel Osgood, 
"Old & Young America" 

3. J. H. Wainwright, 
"Politics & Patriotism" 

4. George W. Curtis, 
"Success." 

The most ambitious and successful lecture series 
was organized and presented by the Flushing Library 
Association from 1856 through 1860. All of these were 
given in the Congregational Chapel on the southwest corner 
of 38th Avenue and Bowne Street. The Library Association 
undertook to enlarge the chapel to seat 300 people, install 
furnace heat and light the room with gas jets. Each series 
offered eight lectures; 25 cents for a single admission or 
$1.50 for the series. (21) The speakers and topics are 
fairly well documented: 

1. Reverend John Lord, January 5th. 1857, 
unknown topic 

2. J. M. Macdonald, 
"Battle of White Plains," 
sponsored by the 
New York Historical Society 

3. E. F Hall , 
"Political & Social Institutions 

in Germany" 
4. Doctor Thompson, 

"Algernon Sydney and His Times" 
5. George W. Curtis, 

"Dickens" 
6. George Sumner, 

"Spain and Her Revolution" 
(separate lecture outside the series) 

7. Henry Ward Beecher, 
unknown topic 

8. Park Benjamin, March 23rd, 1857, 
"American Traits" 

9. Park Benjamin, Fashion, April 6th, 1857, 
"Fashion." 

45 



Henry Clement and Frank Bloodgood's opened a store in March 1847 on the southeast corner of Northern Boulevard 
and Prince Street an old-fashioned country store where you could buy anything. Henry Clement came to Flushing in 1834 
and entered into partnership with Isaac Bloodgood in 1836. Frank Bloodgood, younger brother of Isaac, opened the first 
drug store in Flushing in this building. The two combined their separate business into this very successful partnership. 

46 



We hear that attendance varied, some sparse, 
some good. However, the series broke even financially. 
The new series of Home Lectures was as follows: 

1. Samuel B. Parsons, January 19th, 1858, 
"Poetry" 

2. Reverend Dr. Strickland, January 25th, 1858. 
"Lectures & Lecturers in the West" 

3. Reverend G. H. Mandeville, February 1st, 
"Flushing, Its Local Traditions 
and History of Churches" 

4. Rev. Dr. James Strong, February 8th, 1858, 
"Mental Independence" 

5. Reverend S. Bourne, February 15th, 1858, 
"Why Not Marry" 

6. Professor Peter Winter, 
unknown topic 

7. Orange Judd, March 8th, 1858, 
"Chemistry of Common Life" 

8. Reverend G. H. Mandeville, 
"Flushing, Part Two" 

9. Reverend John Knox, April 5th, 1858, 
"History of the Bible." 

The lectures by the Reverend Mandeville on 
Flushing and Orange Judd on Chemistry were reportedly 
the best attended. 

In the fall of 1858, the Young Men's Christian 
Association presented a short series, the proceeds to go 
for the benefit of the association. All the speakers were 
clergymen donating their services: 

1. Unknown speaker and topic; 
2. Reverend Dr. Tuthill, November 29th, 1858, 

"Books" 
(very small audience) 

3. Rev. William Adams, December 13th, 1858, 
"Daily Wonders" 

4. Rev. E. W. Clark, December 27th, 1858, 
"The Mission of Luther." 

The Flushing Library Association came out with 
its usual full schedule of speakers and topics for the next 
two seasons: 

1858-59 season: 
1. William Prince, December 6th, 1858, 

'Tune and Place; Then and There" 
2. Honorable Caleb Lyon, January 10th, 1859, 

"Egypt" 
3. Donald B. Mitchell , January 19th, 1859, 

"The Spending of Money" 
4. Professor Youmans, January 31st, 1859, 

"Chemistry of the Sunbeam" 
5. George W. Curtis, March 2nd, 1859, 

"Democracy & Education" 
6. Peter Winter, 

unknown topic 
7. W. A. Fitch, 

unknown topic 
8. Reverend Mr. Tuthill, 

unknown topic. 
1859-1860 season: 

1. Herman Melville, November 7th, 1859, 
"Travel, Its Pleasures, Pains and 

Profit" 

2. N. J. Gates, November 21st, 1859, 
"Unrealities" 

3. Mrs. E. Oakes Smith, December 5th, 1859, 
"The Poet" 

4. R. J . DeCordova, December 19th, 1859, 
"Arabian Nights" 

5. John G. Saxe. January 25th, 1860, 
"Love" 

6. Professor L. Youmans, February 7th. 1860. 
"The Masquerade of the Elements" 

7. R. J. DeCordova, February 13th, 1860, 
"Wall Street" 

8. Charles Lever, February 20th, 1860, 
'·A Day in Pompeii." 

Closely related to the lecture scene in terms of 
outreach to the public was the Lyceum attempt. Newtown 
(Elmhurst today), a much smaller place than Flushing, 
had successfully launched a Lyceum in 1851 - a hall for 
public discussions and meetings and thus a vehicle for 
popular education. The Flushing Lyceum was organized 
in 1855 and the members rented a Reading Room over 
Charles Walker's store; the room opened for the use of 
its membe rs on January 7th , 1856. There was a 
volunteer librarian to staff the room from 8:00 a.m. to 
10:00 p.m. daily, except on Sundays and holidays. (22) 
The trustees furnished the room and subscribed for 
newspapers, magazines and reviews to create interest 
and convey information. 

As the months passed. the members began 
increasingly to slacken off in paying their dues until by 
September a deficit of $125.00 had been accumu lated. 
Saddest of all was that very few of the members ever 
visited the room - in fact. three quarters of the members 
failed to visit. In view of these very discouraging facts , 
the trustees resolved to disband and to sell the furniture 
in order to pay off the indebtedness. (23) So a 
promising civic experiment came to an end after on ly 
e ight months 

Music was another important component of the 
cu ltural scene in pre-War Flushing. In the 1840s and 
early 50s, Flushing was treated at wide interva ls to 
occasional concerts generally performed by traveling 
artists from New York City's concert halls. The lack of a 
hall forced the artists to perform in the Methodist church 
or the Congregational chapel. The principal of the 
Flushing Institute fortunately was a devotee of music, 
as was his assistant Allen Northrop, who was fond of singing, 
and these gentlemen on occasion put at the disposal of the 
visiting musicians their large salon in the Flushing Institute. 

The earliest surviving notice of a concert in 
Flushing in the 1840s is for a vocal and instrumental 
concert in the Methodist Church on May 23rd, 1842. (24) 
Doubtless there were others earlier that have left no trace. 
On December 2nd, 1850 there was a "musical soiree" at 
Haver's Flushing Hotel featuring Mr. Griswold from New 
York and his pianist George H. Curtis. (25) On November 
13th, 1851, Miss Derwort, one of three ladies, a brother 
and a father, a member of the New York Philharmonic 
Society, put on a "Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert" 
in the Flushing Institute. (26) 

47 



The Flushing Hotel at the head of Main Street, occupying the site of the former Keith's Theatre. John and Martin Maher 
owned and managed the hotel after their purchase in September 1853. Martin died on May 14th, 1858 at the early age 
of 29. The mortgage was foreclosed on September 13th, 1858 and the hotel was sold to Mrs. J. B. Boerum and six months 
later to Isaac Edward of Brooklyn. In May 1859 John Maher began managing the Flushing Pavilion for Gilbert Hicks and 
bought it from him in September 1859. 

48 



Music really came alive in Flushing beginning 
in 1855. The first stimulus to this was the opening of 
William Baldwin's music store on Main Street, selling 
sheet music and musical instruments, especially the newly 
perfected piano. That such a store could open and 
prosper for years suggests that there existed an emergent 
affluent society in the village; Mr. Baldwin was himself a 
singer and performer which certainly must have helped 
to stimulate patronage. 

The most important musical event in town was 
the founding of the Harmonic Society in February 1856. 
The society was a group of music lovers who enjoyed 
singing for its own sake; they were not trained singers 
but induced the local church choirmasters and music 
teachers in the academies to coach them and refine their 
technique. They had two goals: to foster and improve a 
taste for music, and to improve the level of music and 
singing in the church choirs. 

The Harmonic people put on their first concert 
on September 24th, 1855 in St. Thomas' Hall. (27) 
Very aware of their amateur status, they kept the concert 
private and closed to the public, and even denied that 
the effort was a concert by labeling it a "rehearsal." 
News of the Harmonic Society's expertise got about, and 
in December 1855 the members reluctant ly let 
themselves be persuaded to go public as long as the 
concerts were still billed as rehearsals. (28) The first public 
recital was on February 11th, 1856 in the Congregational 
Chapel and was very well attended. Admission was set at 
fifty cents. (29) A third "rehearsal" was presented in the 
Reformed Church on July 16th, 1856. (30) Delighted by 
the warm public acceptance, the Harmonic Society 
organized a class to give elementary instruction in vocal 
music to the public; a teacher was secured and a course of 18 
lessons offered. (31) 

The society performed sparingly in 1857, but 
undertook to master serious musical compositions. 
On July 1st they presented Schiller's Song of the Bell 
and on December 23rd the Cantata for St. Cecilial's Day 
to benefit the poor of Flushing. In 1858 there were no 
public performances at all. The silence was broken with 
a concert on February 9th, 1859, which attracted a full house 
despite snow and very bad weather. On March 7th, the 
singers gave another benefit concert to help the poor. 
The society is last heard of on April 11th, 1860 in the 
Congregational chapel. Itinerant musicians did continue 
to make several intermittent appearances in Flushing. 
The Tremaine Family - parents and several children -
gave an old-fashioned parlor concert on May 3rd, 1858. (32) 
On a higher plane was the concert of Miss Dingley from 
New York with backup singers given in the Methodist 
Church on March 23rd, 1859. The church, under its pastor, 

the Reverend Frank Gilder, added to the repertory. (33) 
Not to be outdone, the Congregational Church hosted a 
"Grand Concert" on Ju ly 20th, 1859 featuring George 
Simpson, a prominent tenor, and Mr. Baldwin, the store 
owner, singing bass. (34) 

The gathering clouds of the Civil War cast a 
shadow over the musical scene in the Flushing of 1860. 
Only one concert is known, an ethnic one featuring 
Professor Geary and his daughter, Miss Mina, singing 
favorite pieces and gems of Irish melodies. (35) 

(1) Flushing Journal, August 13th, 1842 2:4 
(2) ibid., December 17th, 1842, 2:5 
(3) ibid., January 30th, 1847, 2:1 
(4) Mandeville, op. cit., pages 129 and 130 
(5) Flushing Journal, January 12th, 1852, 2:3 
(6) ibid., January 6th, 1855, 2:2 
(7) ibid., March 31st, 1855, 2:4 
(8) ibid., September 1st. 1855, 2:6 
(9) ibid., June 5th, 1857, 2:4 
(10) ibid., September 4th, 1858, 2:6 
(11) ibid , April 30th, 1859, 2:4 
(12) ibid , June 18th, 1859 
(13) ibid., June 18th, 1859 
(14) ibid., October 1st, 1859, 2:4 
(15) ibid., June 2nd, 1860 
(16) ibid., December 22nd, 1860, 2:4 
(17) ibid., January 22nd, 1853, 2:5 and 3.2 
(18) ibid., February 19th, 1853 3:1 
(19) ibid., January 13th, 1854 2:4 

January 21st, 1854 2:3 
February 18th, 1854, 2:6 
and May 1st, 1854, 2:6 

(20) ibid., January 6th, 1855, 2:2 
January 13th, 1855 
and February 24th, 1855, 2:6 

(21) ibid., November 15th, 1856, 2:1 
and December 6th, 1856, 2:1 

(22) ibid., January 12th, 1856, 2:6 
(23) ibid., September 6th, 1856, 2:4 
(24) ibid., May 14th, 1842 
(25) ibid., November 30th, 1850, 3:1 
(26) ibid., October 25th, 1851, 2:5 
(27) ibid., September 29th, 1855, 2:3 
(28) ibid., December 15th, 1855, 2:1 
(29) ibid., February 9th, 1856, 2:3 
(30) ibid., July 12th, 1856, 2:6 
(31) ibid., November 29th, 1856, 2:5 
(32) ibid., May 1st, 1858, 2:2 
(33) ibid., March 19th, 1859, 2:3 
(34) ibid., July 16th, 1859, 2:6 
(35) ibid., September 15th, 1860, 2:5. 

49 



This 1859 ad of Clement and Bloodgood presents a side view of the store contrasting with the frontal view in the above 
view. Both men moved their former separate business into the store formerly owned and operated by William B. Frey, 
and incorporated as partners in March 1847. The second story balcony of this building was a highly unusual feature. 

50 



Chapter 8 

Public Spectacles 

The most visible feature of the public life of 
Flushing was its military organizations. The earliest was 
the Flushing Guard, a volunteer outfit commissioned on 
November 1, 1839, as a Light Infantry. It was attached 
to the 93rd Regiment, New York State Militia as a flank 
company. The Guard held its first parade with 26 men 
on January 16th, 1840. (1) At its head was Captain 
Charles A. Hamilton; under his direction the Guard 
earned a reputation for being very well-dressed and well-
drilled and for having its own brass band. The Guard 
paraded in Jamaica on October 7th, 1841, after having 
staged several appearances in Flushing during the 
preceding spring. (2) 

In these early years , every adult male was 
required by law to put in at least one public appearance 
during the year, dressed in something passing as military 
and bearing some kind of arms. The odd ragtag costumes 
and the general awkwardness of the men who were 
required to drill in public till sunset of Militia Day excited 
much merriment among the townspeople who knew 
personally or were related to every militia man present. 
The Flushing Guards were a cut above the common 
militia, having been commissioned, but they were not 
alone; there were also unofficia l groups like the Jamaica 
Volunteers, the Flushing lnvincibles, the Jamaica 
Scorchers, the Little Neck Squeelers, the Newtown 
Pippins, the Astoria Beauties, the Springfield Roarers 
and the Black Stump Bushwhackers. (3) 

The official status of the Flush ing Guards 
required them to meet and drill monthly. In December 
1842, we read of target excursions and prizes awarded 
for proficiency. Afterwards there was always a dinner at 
Hover's Hotel. (4) 

In February 1843, the Guards were briefly 
changed to Artillery, and in June 1845 to the Light Horse 
Artillery, First Company of the 93rd Regiment. (5) 
They had a drill room at Hover's Hotel to which Captain 
Hamilton summoned them with orders to bring a musket, 
bayonet, belts and cartridge box. (6) In 1846, Captain 
Hamilton was promoted to colonel and the Guards got a 
new captain, William Augustus Mitchell. (7) The Guards by 
this time had reached a commendable state of military polish: 

"Its brilliant appearance excited the 
admiration of its old commander, Major 
General Jones, who, seeing it with 
harnessed battery careening over the 
fie ld of a review, turned to his Brigadier 

and exclaimed, "You have lost the flower 
of your Brigade." In 1848 it had attained 
a statewide reputation for excellency in 
the Light Horse Artillery evolutions. 
Its parades ca ll ed together the most 
celebrated tacticians in the Army who 
styled it "the incomparable" and gave it 
the name of Bragg's Battery after the 
hero of Buena Vista. At the breaking out 
of the Mexican War, its services were 
unanimously tendered to the 
government but not accepted". (8) 

The year 1849 witnessed the organization of 
Flushing's most famous military group, the Hamilton 
Rifles , officially Company A, Fi rst Battalion, 15th 
Regiment, and commanded by Colonel Charles A. 
Hamilton with George P. Roe as Captain. (9) An armory 
was opened for drilling on Lawrence Street, and here, 
on February 23rd, 1850, Captain Roe was invested with 
his officer's sword. (10) The monthly drills were held 
indoors through April; then from May to December there 
were periodic displays of parading in full uniform through 
the streets of Flushing, preceded by a military band . 
After the parade, there was always a dinner at the 
Flushing Hotel and, on some important occasions, a ball. 

Saint Ronan's Well, a rocky outcrop on the East 
River shore about a quarter-mile west of Flushing Creek, 
played an important role in the life of the Hamilton Rifles. 
The outcrop was at first owned by Charles Parshall of 
Ravenswood , a wealthy steamboat operator, who 
probably acquired the place because he saw in it 
possibilities as a resort and steamboat landing. It was 
probably Parshall who changed the old name of the place, 
Yonker's Island, to the more romantic Saint Ronan's Well. 
Parshall died in June 1851 and the property fell into 
divided ownership. Eventually Matthew Gooderson 
acquired control and brought the place to the peak of its 
reputation as a resort. The Hamilton Rifles made its first 
visit in September 1851: 

"In the afternoon, we went over to 
Sa111t Ronan's for a few moments to 
obse rve the place, now that it is 
completed and open to military 
companies and picnics and were highly 
pleased with the admirable manner in 
which everything has been perfected for 
the accommodation of visitors. The Saloon 
was open and the Rifles with a great 

51 



GRIFFIN'S . ~:(,, ~·,. 11 
. ~ I 
I s tli e Place ! There yo n can got yo nr ~ · 

•:' Sugar, Cured Hams, Choices~ Smoked Be~f, ~~~ 
· Cheese, the best of Coffee without Rye in ~ 'i 
, I\ it, Orange County Butter.~ __ ~ _j 
· Xo. 1 :Mackeral, Su_~/trS and Teas, of all prj ccs n,11c1 W,~it j 
rpulitios , Dry (foods, Boots & Shoes, Hardware, On ts, Corn ani-
Yincgar and )[olasscs, Coal l>y the ton or buohel. 1 

Store, Corn-er of Main and Washington Streets. 

An advertisement for Griffin's General Store on the southeast corner of 37th Avenue and Main Street. Note the wide 
variety of merchandise that is available. The ad also tells us that the location served as the terminus of the Flushing and 
Jamaica stage coach line (1859). 

52 



number of visitors and guests, among 
the latter of whom we observed Colonel. 
Hamilton and Adjutant Rickey, were 
participating in a most sumptuous 
dinner provided on the spot by Mr. 
Smith. We are satisfied from this visit 
that St. Ronan 's must shortly become 
the favorite resort of innumerable 
companies and picnics from New York. 
They have only to realize its beauty and 
extent of prospect and th e shady 
arcades and promenades, excellent 
water and shelter in case of rain and its 
proximity to the village and steamboat 
to be satisfied that it embraces all the 
advantages sought for by those who love 
rural excursions." (11) 

The corps visited thereafter several times a year 
for target practice and on festive occasions like its third 
anniversary: 

'The Target Excursion and Cotillion 
party of the Hamilton Rifles came off 
Thursday last at Saint Ronan's Well with 
all the eclats we predicted and all who 
participated are loud in their praises. 
The afternoon was occupied in firing 
at the target, the distances marked out 
by the judges being 95 yards. A well-
riddled target was the result of the 
practice and displayed numerous 
instances of sharpshooting. The prizes 
were: 

1. Silver Cup and medal 
presented by Jacob B. Boerum 
and won by Private George 
Porter. 

2. Gold pen and pencil 
presented by Lieutenant Pople 
of the Bragg Horse Guard won 
by Sergeant Quarterman. 

3. Gold coin presented by 
Colonel. Charles Hamilton of 
the 15th Regiment won by 
Pioneer Jonathan Sherman. 

Having finished firing at the target, 
both successful and unsuccessful 
competitors for the prizes, invited guests 
and all commenced "firing" with hearty 
good appetites at the good things 
provided at dinner by Mr. Gooderson. 
After the "feast of reason and flow of 
soul", the company dispersed and with 
hearts that beat high in anticipation of 
the evening's entertainment, made their 
preparations and impatiently awaited the 
signal of their reorganization on the "Floor''. 

The large ballroom has been 
appropriately decorated with evergreen 
and flags. At 9 o'clock the presentation 

of prizes came off, afte r which the 
dancing commenced in good earnest, 
the room being fill ed to repletion with 
fair ladies and gallant gentlemen, and 
was kept up in the most joyous manner 
until the small hours stole imperceptibly 
on the numerous throng who were still 
"tripping the light fantastic toe." (12) 

On occasion the Commanding General and his 
staff made visits of inspection to Flushing or Jamaica 
and then the companies from all six Towns of Queens County 
assembled for a grand review replete with military pomp .(13) 

Captain Hamilton attracted national recognition 
in 1854 when he sent to Washington for review a copy 
of his textbook, The Neophyte, a manual of drill and 
marshaling of troops. The book was the best and most 
up-to-date text on military tactics and had the honor of 
being accepted fo r general distribution by the Army. (14) 

A smaller and parallel force of Flushing-based military 
men formed the Bragg Horse Guard, created in 1849 along 
with the Hamilton Rifles and trained regularly with them .(15) 

An astonishing number of Guard companies 
from outside Flushing came year after year to visit the 
village. These out-of-town Guards arrived as guests of 
the Hamilton Rifles and were always hospitably received 
as comrades in arms. They usually came by steamboat 
so as to enjoy the fine weather and scenic ride from 
New York. They then paraded in all their military finery 
through the principal streets of the vi llage, while savoring 
the exclamations and admiring comments evoked by their 
manly bearing and precision movements. The officers 
were often received by the first families, notably by Jacob 
B. Boerum of Carolina Hall, who regularly wined and 
dined his guests and sent his daughters to escort them 
along the garden paths around the estate. The visitors 
then adjourned to the Flushing Hotel where they enjoyed 
a hearty supper and toward 6 p.m. returned to the 
steamboat landing for the voyage home. 

The press of the day records the names and 
visiting dates of a few of these summer guests: 

Tompkins Blues (New York), June 21st, 1852 
City Tigers (ex-Blues), June 25th, 1857 
Astoria Guards, October 1st, 1852 
Brooklyn City Guard, September 17th, 1857 
Tinker Guards (colored), August 9th, 1853 
Tarrant Guard (Bayside), July 19th, 1858 
State Cadets (New York), June 9th, 1854 
Boatmen Guard, July 27th, 1858 
Tinker Guards, July 3rd, 1854 
Brooklyn City Guard, August 25th, 1858 
State Cadets, September 4th, 1854 
Washington Volunteers (Williamsburgh), 

October 26th, 1858 
Bininger Guards, September 7th, 1854 
Tompkins Blues, June 21st, 1856 
Washington Greys (New York), June 17th, 1859 
5th Company National Guard, August 11th, 1856 
Independence Guard, June 11th, 1860 
Protection Guard (Astoria), October 4th, 1860. 

53 



()f crery des·eription. 
All work w:1rr~l ltl•'ll ,, , 

---.......-..~- re p1p(}! 1_!_,::2 .. 
H1':PAlf{L\'G DOSE. .. J. E~)\ETCIL\.\L 

Ad for J. E. Ketcham's Carriage Manufactory at the southwest corner of Northern Boulevard and Union Street. Carriages were 
as important in their day as cars are today, and, like modern private cars, they reflected the affluence of their owners. 

54 



Nothing could quite compete with the pomp and 
panoply of military parades with their colorful uniforms 
and shining arms, but the Fourth of July in Flushing 
came close in terms of noise and spectacle even though 
it occurred only once a yea r. The 1844 Fourth of July 
began with a salu te at sunrise by the Flushing Guards, a 
Grand Fish Chowder & Clam Bake at noon, and in the 
afternoon a steamboat excursion to Fort Schuyler. The 
day ended with the thunder of artillery and a grand 
display of fireworks. (16) 

By 1852, besides the dawn artillery salute, there 
was a Grand Parade of the Hamilton Rifles, Sons of 
Temperance and the Mutual Buria l and Benevolent 
Society to Parsons Woods at the head of Sanford Avenue 
where orations were delivered. The steamers Island City 
and the George Law brought thousands of visitors from 
the city while the evening was made festive by private 
displays of fireworks. (17) The Fourth of July in 1860 is 
vividly described: 

"Ou r citizens had no regula rl y 
organized program for the celebration 
of the day ... the mass of celebrators had 
it pretty much thei r own way but 
executed their patriotic enthusiasm in a 
moderate and generally unobjectionable 
manner .... The village did itself credit 
with cannons, guns, pistols, crackers, 
bells, shouts and hurrahs, with good and 
bad rum, beers, lemonades, ice cream 
and a ll that sort of thing and hosts went 
to bed delighted and in the full 
enjoyment of fou l stomachs, head and 
other aches, having in all sorts of funny 
ways expressed their thankfulness for 
the enfranchisement of their thralldon of 
a fore ign constitution and prince .... The 
steamboats brought a large company of 
visitors to the village but to College 
Point and Strattonport, they poured in 
a fl ood .... In the evening the private 
display of fireworks by sundry 
gent lemen in th e vill age and 
neighborhood were unusually brilliant. 
Mr. Degen in Union Street gave a fine 
display of fireworks that was not only 
a most pleasing sight to his family and 
friends but a perfect delight to hundreds 
of others who were attracted to the 
neighborhood." (18) 

There were a few other occasions marked by 
public demonstrations. The funeral of the great statesman 
Henry Clay in 1852 was observed on June 20th by 
resolution of the Flushing trustees. All the stores, draped 
in black, closed and at 10:00 a.m. the bells of all the 
churches tolled a requiem and at 12 noon the Bragg 
Horse Guard marked each of the statesman's 75 years 
by a volley. A military parade led by Colonel Hamilton 
wound its solemn way a long Northern Boulevard and 
37th Avenue to the Reformed Church trailed by the 
Clergy, the trustees and the village officers, the firemen 
and school children .. The church service included hymns 
and a eulogy by the Reverend G. H. Mandeville. (19) 

A more pleasant occasion was the great turnout 
to celebrate the successful laying of the Atlantic cable 
on August 18th, 1858. The committee in charge put on 
a display that surpassed anything ever witnessed before 
in Flushing. From noon till 1:00 p.m. the bells of the 
vi llage rang a merry peal; at 7:00 p.m. the ringing of the 
bells and a salute of 100 guns of the Bragg Horse Guard 
brought crowds into the streets. A flight of rockets 
signaled the start of the general illumination of the public 
buildings, stores and residences in the village. A parade 
then made its way through a ll the principal streets to 
Trustees Hall on Northern Boulevard at Main Street, now 
brightly lighted and in front of which blazed barrels of tar. 

Colonel Hamilton led the procession with men 
bearing illuminated transparencies reading "Nation Speaks 
to Nation and The Forces of the Age - The Press, Steam 
and E!ectricitv " The Horse Guards, the Rifles, the Flushing 
and Strattonport Engine Companies, the village trustees 
in a carriage, and finally the citizens, followed. The boat clubs, 
Lawrence and Naiad, had mounted their craft on wheels 
and carried fireworks which they shot off, adding brilliancy 
and excitement to the occasion. Al l the store windows 
were lit up and the buildings draped in flags, while the 
bigger mansions glowed with light and bore transparencies: 
"The Ocean Cable - A Girdle of International Brotherhood" 
and "The Civilized World Now Beats With a Single Pulse." 
After the band played God Save the Queen and Hail Columbia, 
orators marked the occasion with suitable speeches. (20) 

The other occasion which brought out the 
citizenry en masse foreshadowed the coming Civil War. 
Senator Sumner of Massachusetts denounced on the floor of 
the Senate the violence in Kansas, occasioned by clashes 
between pro- and anti-slavery mobs. Senator Brooks of 
South Carolina, in reply, angrily attacked Senator Sumner 
with his cane and beat him into unconsciousness (May 1856). 
The act made a deep impression all over the country; 
the Flushing Journal was moved to comment prophetically: 

"The privileged class of the South 
are bent, judging from a whole series of 
events, on driving the country into a civil 
war on t he question of slave ry. 
There seems no possible way of escaping 
a final settlement of the question in any 
other way than by accepting the issue at 
either the ballot box or the arsenal. The 
South seems to prefer the latter." (21) 

Public feeling was intensified in Flushing on J une 
4th when the Reverend Isaac L. C. McDaniel, formerly a 
slave in Palmyra, Missouri, preached in the Methodist 
Church and after the services took up a collection to 
purchase h is wife a nd family st ill in s lavery. (22) 
On June 7th, 1856, at the Flushing Hotel, a mass meeting 
was held in the street to express public indignation at 
the attq.ck on Senator Sumner and the feeling in the 
South that Northerners are cowards and slaves to money. 
The Honorable John A. King, ex-Governor of New York 
State and first citizen of Queens County spoke, as did as 
other notables, deploring the Southern press for backing 
Senator Brooks and the Southern meetings that lionized 
him as a hero. (23) 

55 



·-
Ad for Ebenezer A Lewis, manufacter of driving equipment and horse supplies, next door to the Flushing Hotel on fue 
north side of Northern Boulevard at the head of Main Street. John and Martin Maher ran the hotel from 1853 to 1859. 
The very heavy transient partonage enjoyed by this first-rate hotel ensured a lively business for Ebenezer Lewis. 

56 



One of the most important public cultural events 
in the life of pre-Civil War Flushing was the Queens 
County Agricultural Fair; today it is the Mineola Fair. 
The purpose of the Fairs was to encourage and reward 
excellence in a wide variety of horticultural and 
agricultural endeavors. The exhibits included livestock, 
farm implements, carriages, fruits, vegetables, flowering plants 
and trees, handiwork, preserves, needlework, cooking and 
baking, etc. Gathering and displaying this material 
required much time and an experienced organization, 
knowledgeable in the logistics of transportation and 
showcasing of the thousand and one items selected, plus 
diplomacy in balancing the friendly rivalry of the 
exhibitors of the six Towns comprising Queens County. 

The Fairs were put on annually in the fall of the 
year, beginning in 1842. After 1844, the Fair rotated 
regularly between Hempstead, Jamaica and Flushing, 
because these villages were the centers of population in 
the county and more or less centrally located. Flushing village 
played host to the Fair in 1846, 1849, 1852, 1855, 1858 and 
1861. After 1865 the Fair stayed in Hempstead permanently. 

Some accounts of Flushing's participation 
survive in the contemporary press. The 1852 event took 
place on September 29th and was the best ever held by 
the society up till then; upwards of 10,000 reportedly 
came to Flushing to view the exhibits. (24) For the 1858 
event, we are fortunate to have some detailed information: 

"The 17th annual exhibition of the 
Queens County Agricultural Society was 
held on September 22, 1858. The 
exhibition was held on the land of 
Thomas Leggett Jr. at the head of 
Farrington Street. An area of some ten 
or a dozen acres were enclosed with a 
high board fence. An ample track had 
been graded and roped in within the 
enclosure for the exhibition of horses 
which gave great satisfaction to the 
exhibitors. On a gentle eminence a large 
tent was erected which was tastefully 
decorated by the ladies' committees with 
wreaths of evergreen and flowers and 
appropriate devices. At the entrance of 
the tent in large characters was the 
inscription from the Proverbs: "Honor 
the Lord with thy substance and the first 
fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy 
barns be filled with plenty." At one time 
during the day it was computed that 
there were not far short of 7,000 persons 
on the grounds and that at least some 
twelve or fifteen thousand were 
temporarily added to the population of 
the village. We heard of no accidents or 
of any unpleasant circumstances to cast 
gloom upon the general joyousness of 
the multitudes. Th e pickpockets, 
however, reaped a harvest in a small way 
as may be gleaned from our advertising 
columns. The whole receipts were as 
follows: members dues taken in, $798.00; 

tickets sold, $659.72; total: $1457.72. 
This was a sum nearly double that of 
any other exhibition, and after payment 
of the expenses, will enable the society 
to enhance and expand their list of 
premiums for the next exhibition. (25) 

The spectacle generating the most excitement 
and expectation in old Flushing was the annual visit of 
the circus. The circus went out of its way to make as 
spectacular an entrance into a small town as possible to 
attract customers to the show. In Flushing the top 
performer rode into town in a Roman chariot, dressed 
in a toga and holding the reins of four horses. Behind 
came the colorfu lly decorated cages with the menagerie 
of bears, camels, etc. and bringing up the rear, the clowns, 
jugglers, tumblers and gymnasts. Performances were 
given in a tent , and an afternoon and evening 
performance was given; admission was always 25 cents. 
The financial backing of the circus organizations must have 
always been precarious, for each of the seven appearances 
recorded was given by a different organization: 

June 1852 
Robinson and Eldred Southern Circus 

April 6th, 1855 
Sands, Nathan and Co. American Circus 

October 24th, 1855 
G. P Bowes Menagerie and Circus 

September 4th, 1857 
Great Northern Circus 

September 22nd, 1857 
Dan Rice Circus 

April 20th, 1859 
Nixon and Company 

October 11th, 1860 
Lent's Great National Circus. 

Most of the circus performances consisted of 
feats of horsemanship, often with lady riders, with a backup 
of clowns, acrobats and gymnasts. Tropical animals were 
rare; only the Sands, Nathan and Company Circus offered 
elephants, and lions and tigers are not mentioned at all. 

Circus personnel - the trainers and roustabouts 
- had a bad reputation: 

"Following in the train of the circus 
which performed in this village Friday 
last, there were the usual 
accompaniment of sneak thieves and 
pickpockets as last year. They made 
several attempts to enter the dwellings 
of citizens but were baffled in their 
designs by the watchfulness of the 
people in their neighborhood. 
These circuses are becoming positive 
·nuisances and our magistrates should 
refuse them the licenses required by law 
or deputize special police and impose 
on the circus managers the obligation 
to pay them for their services in order 
that our people may be protected in 
their property". (26) 

57 



T'HEALL'S 
$ ~ ~r D ~D 

.CE LEBRATED FOIL C ~AM BAKE§. 
The Bayside House on the shore of Little Neck Bay and just north of 35th Avenue in Bayside was the oldest and most 
popular resort for Flushing families both before and after the Civil War. Built probably in the 1840s, it combined the 
facilities of both a hotel and a bar and offered boating, bathing, clamming and fishing besides. Its clam bakes were 
legendary and drew crowds. The building pictured here in 1865 is the original; it burned down in March 1878 but was rebuilt. 

58 



(1) 
8 
(2) 

(3) 
(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 

(8) 
(9) 
(10) 
(11) 

G. H. Mandeville, Flushing, Past & Presen~ 1860, page 

Flushing Journal, October 9th, 1841, 2:5 and 
June 4th, 1842, 2:3 

ibid., October 8th, 1842, 2:4 
ibid., December 3rd, 1842, 2:5 
Mandeville, op. cit., page 81 
Flushing Journal, June 1st, 1844 3;3 
ibid., November 7th, 1846, 2:2 and 

November 28th, 1846, 3:2 
Mandeville, op. cit., pages 81 and 82 
ibid., page 82 
Flushing Journal, June 14th, 1851, 2:3 
ibid., September 13th, 1851, 2:1 

-- f" 

(12) 
(13) 

(14) 
(15) 
(16) 
(17) 
(18) 
19. 
20. 
21. 
22. 
23. 
24. 
25. 
26. 

J . :~--:i?/::>:'tt;~~t~-"- ~ .. 
S/1NFORO hi·L!_ 

Allnn Macdonald Proprietor. 

ibid., October 23rd, 1852, 2:4 
ibid., October 18th, 1851, 2:1 and 3:4 and 

November 5th, 1853, 2:5 
ibid., December 2nd, 1854, 2:5 
ibid., September 7th, 1850, 3:1 
ibid., June 28th, 1844, 3:2 
ibid., July 10th, 1852, 2:2 
ibid., July 7th, 1860, 2:2 
ibid., July 24th, 1852, 2:1 
ibid., August 21st, 1858, 2:2 
ibid., May 24th, 1856, 2:3 
ibid., May 31st, 1856. 2:6 
ibid., June 7th, 1856, 2:1 and June 14th, 1856, 2:1 
ibid., October 2nd, 1852, 3:2 -€:__ 
ibid., September 25th, 1858, 2:4 
ibid., September 12th, 1857, 2:3 

Sanford Hall, built in 1836 as the home of Nathan Sanford, Chancellor of New York State and twice a senator, at a cost 
of $110,000.00, passed to Doctor James Macdonald and his brother General Allen Macdonald in 1844. They operated 
the mansion as a private asylum till 1903, when the grounds were sold for the Waldheim development. 

59 



WHOLES.ALE 

OF 

1\I\iERICAN 'rREES, SHRUBS_, 
' 

~~~DU'~~ A~~ a~~~;~ 
CULTIVATED AND FOR SALE AT THE 

LJNNJEAN BOTANIC GARDEN AND NURSERIES) 
NEAR NEW -YORK. 

-
WILLIAM PRINCE, Proprietor, 

C. M. nf the Li nm1~ ~n Society of Paris, of the Horti cultural 
Society of London, and of the Imperial Society of the 

Georgofili at Florence, &c. &c. 

-
o::J The Botanic Names generally are according to Pw·sh's Flot•a of 

North-.!lm~rica, and other& to ,)J!Iichaux, N uttall, Torrey, 
Elliott, Hortus· Britannicus, Uc. 

TWENTY·FOURTH EDIT ION, 

.NEW-YORK: 

PRTNTEU BY T. AND J . SWORDS, 
No. 127 Broadway, corner of Cedar-street, first doo·1' 

north of the City Hotel. 

Title page of William Prince's Catalogue of Trees, Shrubs and Plants. The work is undated but the notation of "24th 
Edition" dates the catalogue to the late 1830s, and is probably the handiwork of William Robert Prince III (1795-1869). 

60 



Chapter 9 

Public Facilities: 
Gas, Fire Department, Water, 
Newspapers and the Post Office 

Gas 

The first movement toward introducing gas into the 
village came from the visit of a promoter, a Mr. B. H. Bartol 
of Philadelphia, who made a proposition to the Board of 
Trustees. Since then, other propositions were received from 
other sources, but they did not seem feasible. On August 12th, 
1854, the board drew up a contract requiring Mr. Bartol 
to erect a gas works in the vi llage by November 1st, 
1855; in return, he would get the exclusive right to build 
the works equal in quality to any in the United States 
and lay gas pipes, the contract to be for a period of five 
years, from May 1st, 1855 to May 1st, 1860. If there were 
fewer than 200 subscribers, his charge would be $4.00 
per 1,000 cubic feet; if over, then $3.50 per 1,000 cubic 
feet. The gas had to be of the first quality and in sufficient 
quantity on pain of forfeiture of the contract. The contract 
would go into effect September 1st, 1854. (1) 

The question now arose - are there enough 
customers? It would not be prudent to undertake the 
work unless a definite number signed up. (2) The initial 
response was mostly indifference, and this amazed and 
disappointed the forward-looking citizens and the 
Trustees, who had hurried into a contract. 

"Gas was thought to be one of those 
public measures plainly necessary; that 
argument was useless in pointing out its 
benefits or in illustrating how much 
more cheap, cleanly, brilliant and safe 
was gas burning; that the present mode 
of lighting our stores and dwellings by 
camphene fluid, of phosgene, putting 
the dimness and dirtiness of oil entirely 
out of the question." 

The cost of installing a plant and pipes was 
thought to be from $15,000.00 to $20,000.00. (3) To stir 
up public interest, a public meeting was scheduled for 
March 3rd, 1855 at the Flushing Hotel. (4) This must 
have been a further disappointment, for in May 1855, 
Mr. Bartol informed the Board that he was abandoning 
the whole project. (5) 

The Board then appointed a committee to look 
into the question; the committee reported that cost of 

the works with land, 2-1/2 miles of pipes, meters and 
20 lamp posts would come to $16,000.00; that the 
number of houses and stores would be 132. but even at 
100 subscribers, the venture would turn a profit. The president 
of the Board then urged that a company composed of 
Flushing men should be formed. (6) The desired company 
did materialize: James M. Lowerre, Gilbert Hicks and 
Charles A Willetts incorporated the Flushing Gas Light 
Company on October 6th, 1855. with a capital stock of 
$20,000.00. On September 16th, 1855, the village Board 
awarded the contract to these petitioners on the fo llowing 
terms: 20 years exclusive franchise; begin work in six 
months; lay down at least two miles of pipe; charge $4.00 
per 1,000 cubic feet to residents and $3.50 to the village. 
with such rates to continue for ten years; if the company's 
dividend should exceed 15% per annum, then to reduce 
the charge to $3.50. The company must restore the 
streets after laying pipe; they will be free of taxation for 
three years; they must keep at least 15 lamps burning at 
night. The village will have the right to buy out the 
company at any time within the 20 years contract. (7) 

'The three investors in the Flushing 
Gas Light Company engaged James 
Clements as engineer to erect the new 
works on the north side of 32nd Avenue 
just west of Farrington Street, and to 
install the gas pipes in all the principal 
streets. Mr. Clements ran his first ad on 
October 13th, 1855. offering to supply 
pipes and fixtures to stores and 
dwellings on the lowest terms. He also noted 
"of all work done by him, 25% can remain 
on all bills until the work are in operation 
and the pipes and fixtures proved." (8) 

The works began operations on January 1st, 
1856, and for the first time illuminated the stores and a 
few of the homes. 

"Our village is now lighted by gas 
and the company are giving us an 
article, if not superior, not a whit inferior 
to the best manufactured anywhere. 
The contractor, Mr. James Clements, 
under whose auspices the works have been 
erected, and under whose superintendence 

61 



.. , 
' ' ~J~ LINN~AN BOTANIC &ARDEN AND NURSERY, 
"""" fb"(:J .FLUSHING, L. I. NE:\ R NEW-YORK, Y'.' 

(L.11.TE OF J;fESSRS. PRINCE,) ·.:.z,.;, 
~' . ·.· 1 tr.~~~;istJVVINTER & co., PROPRIET9Rs, ~ '" 

. . :~ ~1 -~7-{<.2!~/J/~~S?1f":·~1··1 b::.~0 ~@3)~~-4-o- Ii 
·:..._ v..-4~.Y«"~~v:;·~~ ·,·~'(Y:»~~~ ~ 

. ~: :! The :\E\V PROPRfETOnS ll avc pcr~nnall)r :GSumcd the charge of this long established and ( 
:::'. ·: _. m:U known I'\l.JW:31·:H.Y, late the property of Wi lliam Prince, dccca.<;cd 1 nnEST COMMUTATiON TICKET 0 :-\ 1n:1·0Rll 

The earliest known Commutation Ticket, issued to Charles B. Baker, and entitling him to six months transportation on 
the cars of the Flushing Rail Road, from November 1st, 1855 to May 1st, 1856. 

74 



There was an underlying and less noble motive 
for the city's purchase as well. The city owned the old 
College Point pumping station east of the lake and the 
acquisition of the large amount of pure water in the lake 
would enable the city to show its independence of some 
of the private water companies, notably the Citizens Water 
Supply Company, that had been furnishing Flushing's 
water supply for years past. The lake thus became a 
potential reservoir as well as a scenic and historic park. 

The Nurseries 

Flushing has the unique distinction of being the 
home of the first commercial nursery in America, laid 
out in 1737 in the neighborhood of Northern and College 
Point Boulevards. In this first pioneer garden, Robert 
Prince propagated trees and shrubs from seed stock and 
slips brought over from Europe. 

William Prince I (1725-1802), son of Robert, 
continued the sale of seedlings, and as early as 1771 
advertised for sale various varieties of cherries, plums, apricots, 
apples, peaches and berries like currants and strawberries. 
When the British occupied Flushing in 1776, General Howe 
thought enough of Prince's gardens, which he named 
the Linnean Gardens, to station a guard to protect the 
grounds. William is credited with being the first to graft 
cuttings and so to produce new varieties. (16) 

The Linnean Gardens prospered until the 
outbreak of the Revolution, but the war halted all business 
activity. The firm was left with 3,000 unsold cherry trees, 
so they were cut down and sold for hoop poles. The end 
of the way in 1783 revived the nursery business because 
people needed new trees to restore their ravaged orchards 
and to repair the raids of the British soldiers who had 
burned every tree for firewood. On August 7th, 1782, 
Prince William, later King William IV, visited Flushing 
especially to see the famous gardens. More impressive 
was the visit of George Washington on October 10th, 
1789, who commented in his diary: 

"! set off from New York about 
9 o'clock in my barge to visit Mr. Prince's 
fruit garden and shrubberies at Flushing. 
The vice-president, governor, Mr. Izard, 
Colonel Smith and Major Jackson 
accompanied me. These gardens, except 
in the number of your fruit trees, did not 
arouse my expectations. The shrubs are 
trifling and the flowers not numerous." 

Washington was a Virginian; any native of Long 
Island could have told him that mid-October was not 
the ideal time to view flowering plants and blossoms. 

About 1793, William I retired and left the 
business to his sons William II and Benjamin. William 
Prince II (1766-1842) continued the family business and 
by 1828 the nurseries covered thirty acres. Each brother 
established gardens: Benjamin called his The Old American 
Nursery and William the Linnean Botanical Garden out of 
admiration for the great Swedish botanist Carl von Linne 
(1707-1778), who used the Latinized form of his name in 

his writings. Linneaus was the inventor of the system of 
classifying all of nature into genus and species, the system 
universally used today. In 1842, both William and 
Benjamin's gardens were combined into one. William 
imported and introduced many varieties of fruits and 
ornamentals and exported American stock to Europe; 
two varieties, the Catawba grape and the Bartlett pear, 
are still familiar today. In 1828, he published The Short 
Treatise of Horticulture. Then, in collaboration with his 
son, William Robert Prince, he published two books: in 
1830, A Treatise on the Vine, dedicated to Henry Clay, 
whom he admired, and in 1831, the Pomological Manual. 
These books were comprehensive treatments of their 
subjects and far superior to contemporary manuals. 
About 1835 he retired. 

In 1823, Prince was honored when a meeting of 
foreign and American scientists of international repute met 
in his Flushing house; the highlight of the meeting came 
when DeWitt Clinton of canal fame crowned with laurels 
a bust of Linnaeus imported from France for the occasion. (17) 

Also in 1823, Prince published the 22nd edition of 
his catalog. The brochure listed 70 kinds of grapes, 114 apples, 
107 pears, 58 cherries, 74 peaches, 48 plums, 55 gooseberries. 
254 roses and 330 ornamental trees and shrubs, an 
astonishing variety of nursery stock for so early a period. 

About 1829, Prince took into his employ a 16-
year-old Flushing boy, Garret R. Garretson. The youth took 
enthusiastically to his new life and some years later was given 
entire charge of the Prince nurseries. After Garretson retired, 
he became a seedsman on his own, obtaining widespread 
recognition in Flushing and countrywide. In September 
1887, at age 74, he died in his century-old house on 
Main Street between 37th and 38th Avenues. 

In 1837, Prince turned his attention to silk culture, 
and about 1840 this rather exotic interest gained sudden 
national popularity. Mansfield, Connecticut had been cultivating 
silk worms for half a century and even Auburn Prison had 
dabbled successfully with sericulture. In May 1843, Francis 
Trowbridge of Mansfield came to Flushing and preached 
the merits of silk culture to Long Islanders, stressing the 
advantages of our milder climate and easy cultivation of 
mulberry trees. (18) William Prince was won over and even 
built a "cocoonery" to raise silk worms behind a shop on 
Northern Boulevard, just east of Old Lawrence Street. 
The cocoonery produced many cocoons, and Prince arranged 
for gloves and silk stockings to be woven for his own use in a 
manufactory in Philadelphia. The silk venture did not pay and 
Prince lost so much money that he took the fatal step of 
mortgaging his Linnaean Gardens to a wealthy Flushing man, 
Gabriel Winter, who, in 1851, foreclosed on the Gardens and 
began to develop the property for residences by extending 
North Prince Street through the Gardens and building 
houses on the side streets. (19) Prince, in disgust, moved 
his horticulture business to a new 51-acre tract south of 
41st Avenue, extending from Main Street to Flushing 
Creek. New trouble developed when the Flushing 
Railroad was laid out through the Prince tract, cutting 
the garden in half for the right-of-way and terminus. 
Prince was well paid for his land and the railroad, for its 
part, sold off his nursery stock to recoup its cost. 

75 



The bridge over Flushing Creek, which was built in July 1866. Over the roadway is the sign "$ ... fine for driving over this 
bridge faster than a walk." Successive bridges were built at this same location in 1848, 1866, 1892, 1906 and 1938. 

76 



By mid-century, there were five or six nurseries 
in Flushing, all competing with essentially the same product. 
Apparently, some of the smaller businesses became overly 
aggressive at times in their competition with Prince and 
stooped to somewhat unethical practices to make a sale. 
Prince lost his temper one day and dashed off this angry 
letter to the Flushing Journal: 

"I should like to know who it is in 
the nursery business that pays some 
loafing boys for hanging about the depot 
and telling strangers that my trees are 
inferior, but kindly offering at the same 
time to show them where they can get 
good ones" .(20) 

Before and during Prince's troubles, he did not 
allow himself to be turned from his lifelong obsession 
with horticulture. In 1846, he published his Manual of Roses, 
an enlargement of an earlier work on the subject. During the 
California Gold Rush of 1849, he journeyed to California 
to examine western plants and trees, and, in 1851, to Mexico 
for the same purpose. In 1854, he imported the Chinese yam 
as a potential foodstuff by paying $600.00 for tubers. (21) 

About 1855, Prince turned over the nursery to 
his son William IV, born in 1833. At the outbreak of the 
Civil War in 1861, young William enlisted in the Union Army 
and was wounded in the Battle of Antietam. When the 
war ended in 1865, Prince took a commission in the 
Regular Army, having n·o inclination to take a place in 
the traditional family business. He died unmarried in 
1880 and with him ended five generations of a notable 
family and a long Flushing tradition. 

The other big name in Flushing in the horticultural 
field is that of the Parsons family. Samuel Bowne Parsons I 
and his grandfather, James Parsons, were natives of New York 
City and for many years were prominent merchants at 
267 Pearl Street in the city. Samuel I left New York while 
relatively young and settled in Flushing. He opened the first 
Parsons Nursery in 1838. He died in 1841 at age 70. (22) 

Samuel II was born in Flushing in 1819, educated 
in private schools, and in 1845 crossed the Atlantic Ocean 
to study the field of horticulture of the old world. 
In 1846, opened a plantation in Florida. In 1854, he was 
back in Flushing dabbling in real estate; he bought a 
plot on the north side of Northern Boulevard at the head 
of Bowne Street and advertised it as "Superior Villa Sites.". 
When nobody showed any interest in the property, 
Parsons erected the house which became the home of 
the Parsons family. The house had 18 rooms and occupied 
a plot 319 feet long on Northern Boulevard with a depth 
of 356 feet. Years later, in March 1912, the house was sold to 
John D. Welles for $40,000.00. (23) The land is now part 
of Flushing High School. 

In 1859, Samuel Parsons again crossed the Atlantic, 
having been commissioned by the United States 
Government to investigate the agriculture of Sicily and 
the Ionian Islands, and to obtain living specimens of the 
Italian honey bee, a much less irritable domesticated type 
unknown in America. 

Samuel and his brother James started in the 
nursery business together and kept up a thriving trade 
until 1871, when they dissolved the partnership. In 1872, 
Samuel started the Kissena Nursery north of Kissena Lake; 
the older one in the square block bounded by Parsons 
Boulevard, Northern Boulevard, 38th Avenue and Bowne Street 
(now the location of the Bowne and Kingsland Houses) 
became very well known for the family 's efforts to 
introduce rare trees and shrubs and to improve grape culture. 
The nursery sold stock extensively, and imported just as 
intensively, particularly from Japan. The Parsons brothers 
were the on ly propagators of rhododendrons and 
Japanese maples in the United States. In Florida. Samuel 
successfully introduced the Brazilian Navel Orange, now 
a major commercial crop. (24) In September 1893, 
George Nicholson, curator of the Royal Gardens at Kew, 
who spent more than two months in America before he 
sailed for home, paid this tribute to the Parsons: 

"Another notable town is Flushing 
which I visited for the purpose of 
inspecting the Kissena Nurseries of 
Parsons and Co. because here were 
cultivated many of the plants which 
were introduced to cultivation by Mr. 
Thomas Hogg , Dr.Hall and other 
American travelers in Japan. In this 
town on a piece of ground which once 
formed part of the old Parsons Nursery 
(near the Bowne House) are three trees 
of exceptional value: the largest plant 
of the Golden Larch of China which I 
have ever seen, a remarkably fine Purple 
Beech, and an American Beech with a 
greater spread of branches and larger 
in every way than I had ever seen before. 
These noble trees should be preserved, 
it seems to me, for future generations 
for I do not think they can be duplicated 
anywhere in America. The streets of 
Flushing are better planted perhaps 
than those of any country town which 
I have visited here and I particularly 
admired the rows of pin oaks which 
have been largely used here." (25) 

In 1893, Samuel and his brother James exhibited 
at the World's Fair in Chicago. In Flushing, Samuel served 
as president of the Flushing Bank for some ten years 
and was also a member of the Village Board of Education. 
He had the satisfaction of seeing his son, Samuel III 
become New York City Commissioner of Parks and so 
continued the family tradition. A note in the Journal 
informs us that the brothers devoted particular attention 
to camellias and azaleas. (26) James Parsons died in 
Flushing in 1895 and Samuel in 1906, when the Kissena 
Nursery closed. None of the trees and shrubs were 
removed when the city bought the nursery for inclusion 
in Kissena Park. 

As if the accomplishments of the Prince and 
Parsons families were not enough, Flushing produced 
two or three other lesser commercial operations in the 
field of horticulture: 

77 



!"lushing, Newtown A 1'tew- . 
York._ 

~~·~·~nl'~@) ,. I • 
. Fall Arrangement. 

T HE Flushin~ and Newtowri STAGE . _leaves BenJ. Lowerre's, and Cu~tis 
Flushing Hotel, Flushing, at -seven o'clock 
and John Dodge's Hotel, Newtown, at 
half past seven o'clock, in the morning, by 

'. way of Willramsburgh; ai:i!G.0 Ili!Nbd 
~~mu.·lte!l.'§' ~1lll!id l'j-HU  heath. 1·opes. slides, and gu t snare 
ac r oss the bottom a1·e all 0 1·iginal. This is one of the best-
p1·ese1·ved Feden:il infant1·y drums in existence . The twenty-
seven stars in the blue f-ield do not correspond to the num-
ber of states in the union at the time the drum was made 
because it is ob\·iouslv of the Civ il Wai· per·iod. Florida be-
czime the twentv-se\·ent h state in March l 84S and Texas be-
L' '1t11l ' the t\,•e1i.t\·-e i11;hth in Dec e mhe1· of 1he same vear·. 
1)1hcT Roge1·s d1.-11111::- <1 1·e knn\,·n 1h;11 h e a1· l\\'e 111 .\·-011e. ;1nd 
11i11 t· iec·n st<..11·s. h111 1hc\· wt:·i-t:· also m;1<.k d111·ing 1htc' Ci\·il 
\\';1r C:ru11d 1\r11n· /full 011d .\J,.111oricil . \ "u1 ·iorio11 collecriu11. 
I "11i1·11-..:u P11hlic l .ih r 111 _1 -. 



By late October 1864, enough recruits had been 
rounded up to make the September draft unnecessary, 
and the draftees, to their relief, were released. (19) It is 
interesting to note that by 1864 the ardent patriotism of 
the early war years had waned; the Supervisors of each 
Town were now under political pressure to keep the local men 
whose names were on the draft rolls spared from actual 
induction .. Substitutes from every possible source were hunted 
up in New York; this explains the North Carolina expeditions. 
There was hot competition among the Towns and each tried 
to outbid the other by offering more and more money. (20) 
On December 15th, 1864, the Town of Flushing voted to 
raise another $80,000.00 to procure recruits in the event 
of another draft and the need to meet another quota, 
the money to bo raised by selling bonds. (21) The new 
inducement in bounties offered was the highest ever: for 
non-Queens men: one year, $75.00, two years $175.00 
and three years $250.00; for the Town of Flushing men: 
one year $100.00; two years $200.00; three years $300, 
and "Hand Money" $400.00. (22) Even these high rates 
failed to attract volunteers; other Towns were offering as 
much and more, and most painful of all, the bonds issued 
to pay the cash were selling very slowly or not at all. (23) 

The final call from Washington for men came in 
February 1865, three months before the end of the war. 
The quota for Flushing was only 102 men and the date 
due was February 15th. This number was so small that 
it was met without too much difficulty. (24) The six Towns 
of Queens County were ·fortunate that the war ended 
when it did; the mounting cost of the bounties through the 
issuance of county bonds was becoming burdensome and 
straining the limited resources of the local exchequers. 

The four years that the Civil War lasted cost the 
lives of 48 men in the Town of Flushing; some half-
dozen lie buried in Flushing Cemetery and the remainder in 
church and county burial grounds. A high proportion of men 
died not from wounds but from sicknesses, chiefly pneumonia, 
diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid fever from drinking 
polluted water. Others perished from infected wounds; 
two died of starvation in the prisoner-of-war hell-holes 
of Andersonville, Georgia and Salisbury, North Carolina. 

The ladies of Flushing, though far from the battlefields 
and living decades before military nursing became 
organized, worked hard to improve the daily existence 
of the soldiers by supplying clothing and food. In 1861, 
a Mrs. Treadwell on Northern Boulevard ran a sewing 
circle in her house every Friday afternoon. Other ladies 
collected boxes of clothing, cotton cloth, calico and money 
to buy cloth. (25) By the end of 1861, the Flushing Ladies 
Union Aid Society had come into existence and within 
weeks forwarded to Washington six comforters, 25 
hospital shirts, ten flannel drawers, five dressing gowns, 
23 pairs of mittens, 30 pairs of socks, 14 pairs of shoes 
and a box of books. (26) In 1862, the same society hired 
35 or 40 poor women of the Town to sew garments and 
so increase the society's output, a portion of which was 
donated to the local poor. To the soldiers went towels, 
standard household remedies and more wearables. (27) 
The hospitals, just beginning to be established in 1862 
in various states, called for old linen for bandages, linen 
and muslin sheets, cast-off shirts and soft towels. (28) 

Non-perishable food was another effort on the 
part of the Ladies Union Relief Society; we read with 
some astonishment a list of the items sent: vinegar, farina, 
maize, gelatin, cheese, cocoa, dried fruit, sugar, nuts, sardines, 
pickles, tea, crackers, flour, rice, jams and oatmeal. (29) 

To buy all these comforts for the men cost money 
and the ladies embarked on a vigorous program of fund-
raising. A Strawberry Festival was held at Little Neck 
on July 5th, 1863. The barn where it took place ·was 
decorated with flags and flowers and the ladies sold cake, 
ice cream and lots of strawberries. (30) Even Bloodgood 
Cutter, the poet, was dragooned into declaiming a poem 
on the Sanitary Commission on February 5th, 1864.(31) 

Besides these activities, the ladies put in many hours 
visiting the hospitals, talking with the wounded, spooning food 
into the mouths of the injured and writing letters for the 
handicapped. In June 1863, the Federal government set up 
a new hospital at Willets Point for wounded and convalescent 
soldiers with a capacity of 1,410 patients; in August it 
became Grant General Hospital. (32) On June 30th, 1864, 
a Visiting Board was organized to learn the needs of the soldiers 
and to disburse the funds raised for their relief; twelve 
prominent women and five men composed the board. (33) 

One of the first acts of the Visiting Board was 
to plan a festive Fourth of July dinner. Elaborate 
preparations were made for the event. Some ladies 
cooked a joint of me'lt while others prepared puddings, 
pies and delicacies of every kind. Wagon loads of food 
were brought up from Flushing and the soldiers, all of 
them on their best behavior, ate hungrily, affirming that 
this was their best meal in three years. (34) This same 
scene was repeated at Christmas time on December 28th, 
when another holiday dinner was put on. (35) 

The Flushing ladies not only ministered to the wants 
of the Flushing soldiers, but visited other military hospitals. 
A group of ladies visited Bedloes Island in October 1862, 
where they found long rows of tents with sick and wounded, 
a civilian nurse and two resident physicians. (36) On October 
30th, 1864, seven ladies of the Aid Society paid a private 
visit to Fort Schuyler, bringing with them some delicacies. (37) 
The government had established this hospital on Throggs 
Neck in October 1862. Eight hundred sick and wounded were 
there, some recovering from amputations, some from 
gunshot wounds and some were sick with influenza and 
pneumonia, contracted from dampness and long marches. 
Though the government was giving good care, shirts, drawers 
and socks were much needed and little luxuries much 
appreciated. On later visits, on November 7th and December 
9th, some of these wants were met. (38) The ladies even 
visited more distant David's Island, but found only Rebel 
prisoners there who, they ascertained, were well cared for. (39) 
Even at the very end of the war, the ladies' efforts to help 
the soldiers never flagged, During April 1865, two weeks 
after Lee's surrender, the ladies were still going through 
the wards at Grant Hospital on Tuesdays bringing 
delicacies that they had collected from the generous 
Flushing householders. (40) 

Fortunately, one photo of the Grant Hospital 
survives, and it appears in this book. 

117 



A portrait of William R. Prince III (1795-1869), who was a nurseryman, traveler, silk culturist and prolific writer on 
horticultural subjects. 

118 



(1) Flushing Journal, July 5th, 1862, 2:4 (18) ibid., December 24th, 1864, 2:2 
(2) ibid., July 19th, 1862, 2:2, 2:3 and 2:5 (19) ibid., January 14th, 1865, 2:2 
(3) ibid., August 9th, 1862, 2:2, 2:3 and January 21st, 1865, 2:2 
(4) ibid., August 16th, 1862, 2:3 (20) ibid., February 11, 1865, 2:3, 

and August 9th, 1862, 2:3 February 18th, 1865, 2:2 and 
(5) ibid., August 16th, 1862, 2:3 February 25th, 1865, 2:2 
(6) ibid., September 6th, 1862, 2:3 (21) ibid., August 3rd, 1861, 2:5 

and August 16th, 1862, 2:2 (22) ibid., December 28th, 1861, 2:3 
(7) ibid., May 9th, 1863 2:4 (23) ibid., March 1st, 1862 
(8) ibid., July 11, 1863, 2:1 (24) ibid., May 24, 1862, 2:5 
(9) ibid., July 18th, 1863, 2:3 and 2:4 (25) ibid., August 9th, 1862 

and July 25th, 2:2 (26) ibid., July 4th, 1863, 2:4 
(10) ibid., July 9th, 1864, 2:1 (27) ibid., February 20th, 1864, 2:1 
(11) ibid., July 9th, 1864, 2:3 (28) ibid., August 6th, 1864, 2:2 

and July 23rd, 1864, 2:3 (2.9) ibid., July 2nd, 1864, 2:2 
(12) ibid., July 30th, 1864, 2:2 (30) ibid., July 9th, 1864, 2:2 
(13) ibid., August 20th, 1864, 2:3 (31) ibid., December 24th, 1864, 2:1 

and September 3rd, 1864, 2:4 (32) ibid., October 25th, 1862, 2:4 
(14) ibid., September 24th. 1864, 2:2 (33) ibid., October 25th, 1862, 2:4 
(15) ibid., October 22nd, 1864, 2:3 (34) ibid., January 16th, 1864 
(16) ibid., December 3rd, 1864, 2:4 (35) ibid., January 16th, 1864 
(17) ibid., December 17th, 1864, 2:2 (36) ibid., April 29th, 1865, 2:1. 

-----

:-=.. \ \i! "l I. 1: 1· \\{:-'t 1>:--

l 'blC\- '90 b 

Samuel Parsons II began studying horticulture at 25. In 1854, h_e _dabbled in real estate in Flushing, but in 1859 
he returned to plant study for the government which sent him to Sicily. In 1872, Parsons started the K1ssena Nursery. 
With his brother James, he sold nursery stock and introduced rare trees and flowers. In 1906, New York City bought the 
nursery and added it to Kissena Park. 

119 



A portrait of Gabriel Winter (1783-1862) at age 75 on February 5th, 1859. He was one of the prime movers in the 
movement to incorporate Flushing as a village in 1837. William Prince III borrowed money from Winter to keep his 
Linnaen Gardens going and when he was unable to pay, Winter foreclosed in 1851, took over the Gardens and ran the 
business under his own name; he also opened North Prince Street and built houses on the property. 

120 



Chapter 18 

The Civil War Monument 

Even a year and more before the close of the Civil 
War, a movement began in Flushing to erect a monument to 
the men who had given their lives to the Union cause. 
Sentiment gave way to action in the spring of 1865, when the 
Soldiers' Monument Association was organized to solicit funds. 
In the winter of 186~, the Legislature had passed an act 
authorizing incorporations of fund-raising bodies. Money 
trickled in rather slowly while efforts were made to compile 
a complete and accurate list of the fallen. (1) To increase 
collections, the Monument Association decided to sponsor 
a course of Home Lectures and to give a concert. (2) 

In late May, the contract for the monument was given 
to R. E. Launitz and Company of New York City, one of the 
most respected firms in that field The monument was to be 
of the best quality Quincy granite, 32 feet high and to have 
inscribed on it the names of every soldier of the Town of 
Flushing who perished in the war. The cost was $4,500.00. 
The site selected for the monument was the grassy mall 
in the middle of Northern Boulevard and opposite the 
Town Hall. (3) On July 4th, 1866, the monument was 
solemnly dedicated in the .presence of a large crowd. (4) 

To meet the high cost of the Civil War monument 
required a major effort on the part of many different Flushing 
groups. At a concert by the children for the Orphan Home 
for the benefit of the Soldiers' Monument Association, 
photos of the home itself were auctioned off at high prices 
of $55.00 and $12.00 (5), with the money going to the fund. 
When the actual ceremony of laying the cornerstone took 
place, Sylvester Roe, Flushing's only photographer, made 
several different views and made prints, again for the benefit 
of the monument fund (6) Many organizations and societies 
ran fund raisers for the cause. The Watson & Harris Minstrels 
performed at Town Hall to a crowded house on February 
13th and 20th, 1866. (1) Men on lecture circuits did their bit to 
raise money. On February 26th, 1866, Orange Judd lectured 
to a very large audience on the "Electric Telegraph." (8) 

The Cornucopia Lodge of the Masons donated the 
proceeds of a talk on Freemasonry at the Town Hall in March 
1866. (9) The ladies of Flushing organized a Strawberry Festival 
a popular seasonal event of that day, on June 15, 1866, to 
swell the coffers of the Monument Fund (10) Besides the fruit 
offered for sale in many forms, the ladies decorated Town Hall 
with garlands and spring flowers. (11) The affair netted $614.52, 
a very substantial sum in that day. (12) A group of amateur 
musicians, inspired by the patriotic efforts of their fe llows, 
put on a concert, again at Town Hall, on June 26th. (13) 
Not only was the musical evening a success, but all the reserved 
seats were taken several days in advance and were filled 

with the elite and beauty of the village. The sum of $150.00 
was the net result of the memorable evening. (14) 

Flushing was not alone in offering to display support 
for its Monument Association. The people of Little Neck staged 
a "Sociable" on August 9th, 1866 at the most popular and 
heavily-patronized resort within its boundaries, Lynch's North 
Shore House. To everyone's dismay, the weather was stormy 
and disagreeable, but those who attended had a most agreeable 
evening, enjoying the lively music of Rosenberry's Band. (15) 

Besides donations of time and talent of local 
entertainers to fund the monument, contributions both large 
and small went to pay for not only the monument itself, but 
also the stone base and plants. William F Douglas, the wealthy 
founder of present-day Douglaston, personally contributed 
$300.00 to the cause. (16) Other contributions were modest: 
$76.50 from 14 donors, all in two, five and ten dollar bills. (17) 

The Flushing Association raised money by granting 
Certificates of Membership for two dollars, along with a fine 
lithograph picture of the monument itself. (18) Members, in 
turn, worked to procure new members. Theron Robinson of 
Little Neck procured about sixty names of new members. (19) 
The last press notice concerning the activities of the 
Monument Association appears in April 1867; at that time, 
the fund was down to $167.00 and this was allocated to erect 
a mound and enclosure of the monument by a fence, 
and also for the gilding of the letters of the inscriptions. (20) 

(1) 
(2) 
(3) 

(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 
(8) 
(9) 
(10, 11) 
(12) 
(13, 14) 
(15) 
(16) 
(17) 
(18) 
(19) 
(20) 

Flushing Journal , September 15th, 1865, 2:3 
ibid., December 9th, 1865, 2:4 
ibid., May 26th, 1866, 2:3 

and June 30th, 1866 2:2 
ibid., August 25th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid. , January 6th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., August 25th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid , January 27th, 1866, 2:1 
ibid. , June 16th, 1866, 2:3 
ibid., June 16th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., June 30th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., June 16th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., March 3rd, 1866, 2:4 
ibid., May 26th, 1866, 2:5 
ibid., June 9th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., June 16th, 1866, 2:3 
ibid., June 16th, 1866, 2:2 
ibid. , September 29th, 1866, 2:3 
ibid., June 9th, 1866. 2:2 

121 



Orange Judd: (1822-1892) prominent Flushing builder, graduated Wesleyan University in Middletown, Massachusetts and 
taught there. He was the publisher of the American Agriculturist (1855-1871). Mr. Judd first came to Flushing in 1862, 
was President of the Flushing and North Side Rail Road in 1869, and founded a publishing firm 1871. He resided in New York City 
from 1871 to 1892, and built houses in Flushing from 1867 to 1870. 

122 



Chapter 19 

The Patriot Orphan Home 

In addition to the monument, Flushing created 
another memorial of the Civil War, this time not one in 
stone, but to the soldiers who never came back, leaving 
sons and daughters fatherless and with no families to 
care for them. This was the Patriot Orphan Home. 

In April 1864, the C. Miller house (on 1859 map), 
at what is now the northwest corner of 33rd Avenue 
and Downing Street, some distance east of College Point 
Boulevard, was purchased for $20,000.00 for a public 
institution. As soon as renovations could be made, some 
200 children would be moved in. (1) To create a pleasant 
and comfortable home environment, much money and 
labor would be necessary and calls went out for 
contributions of money, vegetables, meats and edibles of 
any kind. (2) One anonymous donor presented the newly 
named Patriot Orphan Home the sum of $2,500.00, 
to be paid in three annual installments. (3) 

In the first week of August 1864, the home was host 
to a distinguished visitor, General George B. McClellan, 
ex-commander of the Union Army, and in 1864, he was 
the Democratic candidate for president, running against 
Abraham Lincoln. His visit was quiet and unostentatious 
and known on ly to a few . (4) General McClellan 
remembered his visit to the orphanage some months later. 
When a patriotic group in December 1864 raised $602.00 
to give him a sword as a tribute, the general requested 
that the money be turned over instead to the orphanage. (5) 

In this same month of August 1864, the home 
learned that it was the recipient of a bequest of 
$20,000.00 from the estate of a Mr. Rose of New York. 
This handsome gift paid up all the debt on the real estate and 
left something for a permanent endowment. (6) Since no part 
of the money could be allocated towards paying for the clothing 
which the children would need for the approaching winter, 
some young ladies of Flushing took it upon themselves 
to run a Fair as a fund-raiser. The Trustees of the village 
consented to the free use of the Town Hall for the day 
and evening of Friday, September 9th, 1864. The affair 
turned out to be a complete success and raised $1300.00. (7) 
A summer visitor, a member of the New York Board of Brokers, 
induced his fellow brokers to donate $500.00 to the cause 
as well. (8) The young ladies were successful in charming 
Mr. Frank Gilder, Flushing's premier musician and orchestra 
conductor, to give one of his popular concerts in the 
Town Hall in late September for the Patriot Home's benefit. 

By November of 1864, the Home had been fully 
organized. A Mr. Steele had been hired as general manager, 

and one of his first acts was to discontinue indiscriminate 
visiting and to establish specific dates for this purpose; 
evidently callers wandering about at all hours was 
disruptive to discipline. (10) 

The people of Flushing , always generous, 
continued to remember the orphanage in various ways. 
The Zion Church at Little Neck donated the proceeds of 
a collection and the Sunday Schools of the Congregational 
and Episcopal churches contributed their mite, $25.80, from 
the former and Sll.00 from the latter. (11) In February of 
1865, a public meeting was held at the Cooper Union in 
New York to aid the Patriot Orphan Home. We learn 
that a Board of Counselors, consisting of the most 
prominent ministers of the day, was now associated with 
the Flushing ladies. Addresses were delivered by the 
div ines who made stirring appeals to the audience for 
sympathy and support. (12) 

Thanks to the Federal Census taker of 1870, 
who took the time to enumerate not only the personnel but 
also the names and ages of the children, we have a detailed 
knowledge of the Patriot Orphan Home just five years after 
its founding. The superintendent, Joseph Bodine, and his wife, 
Jane, apparently lived in the institution; there were two 
young teachers, both 23, two seamstresses, English born, 
four young Irish domestics and one middle-aged nurse. 
The children ranged in age from fifteen to one with a sex 
ratio of 73 boys and 19 girls. The age breakdown was as follows: 

Age Boys Girls 
15 years 1 0 
14 2 1 
13 5 3 
12 7 4 
11 7 2 
10 12 5 
9 7 2 
8 11 0 
7 6 0 
6 6 0 
5 3 0 
4 1 1 
3 3 0 
2 1 0 
1 l l 
Totals 73 19 

Just about all the children came from the metropolitan 
area, with the overwhelming number from New York State, 
three from Pennsylvania, five from New Jersey, nine from 
Connecticut, and one each from Massachusetts and Ohio. (13) 

123 



An Orange Judd-built middle-income house, erected on the south side of Barclay Street between Parsons Boulevard 
and Bowne Street in March 1867. Artist's rendering courtesy of American Agriculturalist, March 1867. 

Another Orange Judd-built upper class "French" style house with Mansard roof and tower, erected on Sanford Avenue 
in March 1869 and sold to Mary H. Morris. Artist's rendering courtesy of American Agriculturalist, March 1869. 

124 



(1) 
(2) 
(3) 
(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 

Flushing Journal , April 16th, 1864, 2:1 
ibid., May 14th, 1864, 2:4 
ibid., May 21st, 1864, 2:2 
ibid., August 13th, 1864, 2:1 
ibid., December 24th, 1864, 2:2 
ibid., August 20th, 1864, 2:3 
ibid., August 20th, 1864, 2:3 

( 8) 
( 9) 
(10) 
(11) 
(12) 
(13) 

ibid., September 17th, 1864, 2:3 
ibid., September 17th, 1864, 2:2 
ibid., November 26th, 1864, 2:3 
ibid., January 14th, 1865, 2:1 
ibid., February 18th, 1865, 2:2 
1870 Federal Census, New 'r6rk County of Queens, 

Town of Rushing, Microfilm M-593, Roll 1078. 

cll~~©® fIDo OO©ffi'.OOM~ ffi'.~CQ1@ 
· ~ Supervisor, Town of Flushing,L.1. 

. I 

A portrait of Jacob B. Boerum, the former supervisor of Flushing Town, who died April 6th, 1861 of typhoid pneumonia 
at the age of 52. 

125 



FOR INFORMATION leading to the CONVIC-
TION of any PERSON 

fJIJTTl1'G Tlll]IS 
STEALIN.G. EARTH 

.,., 

. ;.; . 

. :.:; 
•· 

A "broadside" (poster) affixed to trees and buildings some time after 1855, when the title of a nursery business had been 
changed to "Prince and Company." Vandalism and theft were commonplace in Flushing in these days. 

126 



Chapter 20 

The Sanitary Fair 

The women of the home front made their biggest 
and most organized contribution to the welfare of the men 
in the field by their participation in the Sanitary Fair. 
The name is misleading, as the Fair had nothing to do with 
sanitation. The Federal Government, lacking a Medical Corps 
or a Nursing Corps, found itself early on burdened with great 
numbers of sick and wounded men and they were dependent 
on volunteers for nursing care. In 1863, the government set 
up the United States Sanitary Commission, whose function 
was to raise money to pay the expense of care of the increasing 
flow of sick and wounded, and to build hospitals and buy 
medical supplies. In many large cities around the nation, 
Sanitary Fairs were set up, organized and staffed by ladies to 
collect and often to create goods which could be sold to 
raise money. This was a very responsible job for it meant 
manning tables, keeping track of merchandise, making financial 
reports, recruiting and assigning women volunteers, etc. 

Flushing joined the Sanitary Fair effort in 
January 1864; a meeting was called to explain the work and 
a committee of five was appointed to start a subscription 
list and to take any other action. The members also voted 
to unite with either the Brooklyn or New York Fairs. A group 
of fourteen local women were appointed to canvass the Town 
for subscriptions; at the meeting itself, $1100.00 was raised (1) 
By the 23rd of January, this sum had risen to $1450.00. (2) 

To get the ball rolling, a social evening of dining 
and dancing, a "Grand Re-Union," was scheduled at the 
Town Hall on January 26th, 1864; tickets were set high 
- $5.00, admitting a gentleman and his lady. Support for 
the affair was stressed as a patriotic duty. (3) The affair 
turned out to be a grand success: $3500.00 was raised, 
the largest amount ever before collected by similar means. (4) 

On February 22nd, 1864, the great Sanitary Fair 
opened in Brooklyn. All contributions were to be received 
from Long Island only. Many other Long Island villages, 
large and small, joined the effort to make the Fair a success 
and to compete with one another to enhance their good name 
and reputation. (5) For the week of February 22nd, the Brooklyn 
newspapers carried vivid descriptions of the crowds of visitors. 
The stage of the Brooklyn Academy was assigned to 
Long Island. On the right of the Kings County table was the 
space devoted to Flushing, well-stocked with a ll manner 
of fancy goods: artificial flowers, carved woods, baskets, etc. 
The chief concern was to keep the table filled for the 
immense numbers of people who thronged the Academy 
and snapped up everything. Beyond the Flushing table 
were those of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Jamaica, 
Newtown and Suffolk. Some distant villages, like 
Southampton and Sag Harbor, had their own Fairs and 
sent the proceeds to Brooklyn. Farm and garden produce 

at the Fair was a heavy seller; everything was cooked 
and served, and the ladies had to make special appeals 
for wagon loads of produce to meet the demand for meals. (6) 

As the days wore on, all articles brought in at the 
beginning of the Fair were sold off, and it was necessary to 
scrounge around Flushing to locate more salable material. (7) 
Ads were run in the newspapers soliciting long lists of articles 
needed for the Fair. (8) By March 5th, the total receipts 
at the Fair passed the quarter-million dollar mark. The most 
notable contribution in later days was a large and varied 
assortment of India rubber goods, the plastic of its day, from 
Conrad Poppenhusen of College Point; also a magnificent 
doll house, carpeted, papered and furnished and worth 
in the hundreds of dollars. The Brooklyn Union and 
Brooklyn Eagle ran columns specifically noting and 
praising the quality of Flushing merchandise. (9) 

While the Brooklyn Fair was going on, squads 
of prominent men and women, specially deputized, 
collected money contributions in each of the villages to 
swell the final grand total of the Fair effort. (10) 

Sanitary fever still ran high in March 1864, and the 
Flushing ladies decided to hold another benefit fair in 
Town Hall on March 22nd, offering articles origina lly for 
the New York Fair. To add to the appeal of the Fair, they 
proposed to set up a refreshment table at which all the friends 
of the Sanitary Fair would take their evening meal. (11) 

On March 28th, 1864, the great Metropolitan Fair, 
arranged by New York City, opened. This quickly became the 
excitement of the day and was continually thronged with 
Manhattan's people and visitors from nearby New Jersey. 
By April 16th, the receipts totaled $824,431.59. One week 
later, on April 23rd, 1864, the New York Fair closed. (12) 
This terminated the Sanitary Fair campaign and 
demonstrated what a united civilian effort could 
accomplish to back up the fighting men at the front 

(1) Flushing Journal , January 16th, 1864, 2:2 
(2) ibid., January 23rd, 1864, 2:3 
(3) ibid., January 16th, 1864, 2:3 
(4) ibid., March 26th, 1864 
(5) ibid., February 6th, 1864 
(6) ibid., February 27th, 1864 
(7) ibid., February 20th, 1864, 2:1 
(8) ibid., February 20th, 1864, 2:3 
(9) ibid., March 5th, 1864, 2:2 
(10) ibid., February 6th, 1864 
(11) ibid., March 12th, 1864, 2:6 
(12) ibid., April 16th, 1864, 2:2. 

127 



A stereoscope view of the front of the Flushing Institute with the faculty and the whole of the student body assembled 
before an athletic game; note the curious wooden clubs the boys are carrying. This is the oldest known Flushing photograph, 
dated November 24th, 1860. 

128 



Chapter 21 

Village Growth During the War Years 

The great strides in physical betterment that Flushing 
accomplished in the 1850s continued during the Civil 
War years. The Minutes of the Trustees for the 1861-
1865 era are full of public works contracts for paving, 
lighting , well-digging , well cleaning and pump 
maintenance. As late as 1860, paving was a rarity. Main 
Street was the principal thoroughfare and periodically a 
mud hole. In late 1862, it was recommended that gravel 
be added to the bed and to macadamize 25 feet of the 
center. At that time, the village treasury was low, and 
this seemed a cheap solution. Business had been slack 
in 1861, and there were many unemployed men about 
who would be glad to break stone; farmers could similarly 
cart stone and gravel. (1) In February 1863, the Trustees 
applied to Albany for a special Act permitting the village 
to spend $1000.00 a year till the full paving cost was 
paid. (2) It took until April of 1864 to get the Act through 
the Legislature authorizing the paving or macadamizing 
of Main Street and Northern Boulevard from the railroad 
depot to the steamboat landing. (3) In the light of this 
much effort to improve the principal street and to raise the 
money to pay for it, then if was understandable that lesser 
streets got no paving at all or just a thin dressing of gravel. 

Another improvement in the heart of the village 
was the joining of portions of streets separated by old 
estate boundaries. In May 1863, William R. Redwood 
conveyed to the village the bed of 40th Avenue and 40th 
Road from Main Street to Lawrence Street. In later years, 
this good example was followed by other estate owners. 
In November 1862, Ann Bowne conveyed the part of 
41st Avenue running from Union Street to Parsons 
Boulevard with a width of 80 feet. (4) 

Installing sidewalks was a major accomplishment 
of the 1860s. In November 1862, about a mile of flagging 
was in the process of being laid: 

"The north and south side of 
Northern Boulevard from Main Street to 
Bowne Street, along the west side of 
Union Street from Northern Boulevard 
to Sanford Avenue, and the north side 
of 41st Avenue from the railroad depot 
to Bowne Street." (5) 

Many short sections of flagging were laid by 
private individuals at their own expense. In these early 
days, there was no such thing as poured concrete for a 
sidewalk; instead stone slabs were used, often slate or 
bluestone that had to be cut and laid to fit. 

Street lamps were another area that received 
increasing attention in the 1860s. The Flushing Journal 
commented: 

"We are much pleased to notice 
from the proceedings of the last meeting 
of the Trustees that we are likely to have 
some more street lamps. They are 
unquestionably needed. The number of 
lanterns glimmering through the streets 
on a dark night gives our rapidl y 
improving town a decidedly primitive 
appearance. We would suggest the 
lighting of Ailanthus Place first (38th 
Avenue east of Union) Groping one's 
way through that street to a concert or 
lecture is attended with some 
difficulty and uncertainty." 
January 31st, 1863, 2:2 

Individual lamps were installed in Roosevelt 
Avenue and one each in Prince Street and 35th Avenue 
in November 1862, and one at the corner of Northern 
Boulevard and Farrington Street in December 1862. 
Then, in February 1863, the Trustees outdid themselves 
with nine: 

•South side of Northern Boulevard, 
opposite Quaker Meeting House; 
•Corner of Northern Boulevard and 
Union Street; 
•Corner of Northern Boulevard and 
Bowne Street; 
•41st Avenue, halfway between Union 
and Main Streets; 
•Corner of Sanford Avenue and Union 
Street; 
•Corner of Sanford Avenue and Bowne 
Street; 
•Corner of 38th Avenue and Prince 
Street; 
•One in College Point Boulevard, between 
32nd Avenue and Northern Boulevard 
•One in 38th Avenue. 

This was the greatest lighting extension in all 
five years of the war era, and raised the village gas bill to 
$868.00. When we begin to understand how limited 
municipal lighting was, even when supplemented by 
domestic illumination, we can begin to appreciate just 
how dim and shrouded the average Long Island vi llage 
must have been a century or more ago. 

129 



l 'roulitn.H,•·h ll«,_IJ,.d lmd, from the huihling line f>r l.in!'.'oln i.tr.-et, F!uJ>.bini:;. iK thi><. lwad11uar1t>r .. of tr 
l' iti,1''""• l 'imil<' '\s.-o<'.'i:i.iio-11 • .:-onsldt-red the oldf'sl n1tn.reliizinu11 c1f1l'llnh.1tion in Que1·n~. It h;i- i«'l 

1tdi~f' for l:.?1; years. 

The Flushing Female Association School House, built in 1861 and opened February 3rd, 1862 for the education of blacks 
in Flushing. It was located in downtown Flushing on the south side of 38th Avenue, midway between Main and Union Streets. 
The building was demolished to build the a parking lot for the lnterborough Rapid Transit's Flushing Line subway to Manhattan. 
Photo from the April 24th, 1940 edition of the Long Island Star- Journal. 

130 



The physical face of Flushing changed hardly 
at all during the war period. The population had by 1865 
grown to 4410, an increase of 396 over 1860, when the 
total was 4014. (6) The townspeople took a good deal of 
pride in their village; shade trees were planted in 
profusion along all the streets and attracted New Yorkers 
to spend their summers in town. 

"Flushing is looking its loveliest in 
this June and July and is attracting the 
tastes of a great many who are in search 
of rural quarters for the summer months. 
An infusion of more wealth and taste is 
an inevitable sequence of our fittings-up 
and surroundings." 
Flushing Journal, July 12th, 1862, 2:4. 

When the Town Hall opened in 1864, making 
the old Trustees Hall surplus, the old building was sold 
off and the mall area converted into a park. Northern 
Boulevard was filled up and graded and the mall area 
enlarged and planted with shade trees. (7) Many of the 
new plantings were donated: 

"The Trustees of this village are 
moving in the matter of embellishing 
the irregular plot of ground known as 
the Park. The enclosure is to be 
extended as far east as the Town Hall 
and is to be planted with lindens and 
maples which we believe have been 
gratuitously tendered to the village by 
public-spirited citizens, the Messrs. 
Parsons and Co. The improvement, 
when completed. we doubt not will add 
largely to the beauty of the locality". 
Flushing Journal, April 30th, 1864, 2:3. 

To keep the village attractive, the Trustees made 
an effort to abolish some nuisances. In April 1861, an 
ordinance was passed prohibiting cattle from running in 
the streets. (8) Some persons had been in the habit of 
releasing their cows to graze along the streets and even 
on front lawns overnight, much to the anger of home 
owners. This was followed in July 1865 with an ordinance 
against goats. The running of goats at large had become 
a positive nuisance; the animals damaged lawns and 
threatened pedestrians when chased. (9) The State added 
to animal control in May 1862 by enacting the first dog 
license law. The assessors of each Town were ordered to 
take a dog census and then issue licenses to each owner 
at $3.00 for each female and $1.00 for each male. Failure 
to pay the license permitted the assessor to kill the animal 
as well as any wild or abandoned in the streets. 

Another quality-of-life improvement at this time 
was street sprinkling. Several public-spirited citizens 
subscribed liberally to have Main Street and Northern 
Boulevard, the two principal thoroughfares, sprinkled 
during the months of July and August to keep down the 
dust stirred up by the heavy wagon traffic. (11) 

Commercial life was lively in Flushing, seemingly 
unaffected by the war. The nurseries continued to prosper 

with business increasing slightly better each year. (12) 
Some even got into the spirit of patriotism: 

"Thomas J. Quarterman will have 
for sale a choice variety of flowering 
plants and particularly of the colors of 
red, white and blue. Persons planting 
out verbenas, petunias, heliotropes, etc. 
should call at the Favorite Market before 
making selections elsewhere." 
Flushing Journal, April 27th, 1861, 2:5. 

One old-time trade survived in Flushing into the 
Civil War era: the miller. There were three mills st ill 
functioning: The first was Hamilton's Mill, owned by 
Charles A. Hamilton, commander of the 15th Regiment. 
The mill abutted Flushing Creek at the junction of the 
College Point Boulevard and 32nd Avenue. Behind it 
was a large mill pond created by impounding the waters 
of Mill Creek. A newspaper account of July 20th, 1865 
tells how burglars blew up the safe in the mill office and 
escaped with $90.00 in cash. (13) 

Next was Ireland Mill; it was put up for sale in 
June 1863, and the advertisement provides the best 
description we have of its appearance: The well-known 
Ireland Mill property is offered for sale. 

"The premises consist of a four-story 
Grist Mill with four run of stone in good 
order and doing a profitable ousiness. 
The dwelling house is built of t-rick and 
is as good as new and cost nearly as 
much to build as is asked for the whole 
concern. The property is situated; one 
mile south of Flushing village ai a place 
known as Ireland .... For further particulars 
call on or address Thomas J. Thorpe 
on the premises who will give full 
information concerning the same and 
the motives for selling together with the 
capacity of the mill for all sorts of work. 
Two-thirds of the Purchase money can 
remain on bond and mortgage if desired. 
Bradley Thorps, Huntington, Conn". 
Flushing Journal, June 13th, 1863, 3:3. 

Last, there was the Kissena Mill, at the southwest 
corner of Kissena Lake, owned by John J. Willets. The mill 
had been built some time during the Revolution and 
was still grinding grains in the 1850s. When the ice house 
was later built on the lake, the old mill building was 
converted into an engine room to supply power to haul 
up the blocks. When a fire broke out in 1900, the old 
mill was destroyed. 

It is interesting to note that disputes over 
Saturday and Sunday operation and closing hours of 
the stores raged in old Flushing just as today. An angry 
correspondent complained to the Journal that a new 
fashion was being introduced by newcomer storekeepers 
of keeping stores open on Sunday. This was regarded as 
a violation of the Sabbath day, and the editor suggested 
that a boycott of the offending store on the other six 

131 



The first Public School grew out of a series of public meetings in 1847 and 1848; the Legislature authorized an assessment 
and approved the site and plan. On July 18th, ground was broken and the school opened on November 27th, 1848 on the 
southeast corner of Union Street and 37th Avenue. The building was torn down in 1897. 

132 



days of the week might cure the evil. Consideration for 
employees was a hallmark of the downtown stores in 
the Flushing of 1865: 

"The merchants of Flushing to the 
number of 35 have resolved to give their 
clerks as well as themselves a breathing 
spell by shutting up their places of business 
at 7 PM. during the months of January 
and February. It does really seem that 
our overworked clerks should have some 
chance for amusement or mental 
improvement and our merchants 
deserve credit for their thoughtfulness 
in regard to this matter". 
Rushing Journal, December 16th, 1865, 2:3 

In the area of communications, Flushing in the 
1860s was lamentably lacking. The telegraph had been 
invented in 1844, and was in regular use during the Civil 
War, yet as late as 1865 Flushing had no telegraphic 
communication with New York. (14) This left on ly the 
Post Office and the railroad as outlets to the world beyond 
Long Island. Such backwardness was a reproach to the 
village and it was remedied in May 1868 when telegraph 
office was opened for public use. (15) 

The road pattern within Flushing Village 
underwent no changes or additions of consequence 
during the war years. However, Flushing people 
themselves noticed a shift in the flow of traffic within 
the village; this was the decline of Bridge Street (as 
Northern Boulevard was then called) from the steamboat 
landing to Main Street, and the increasing importance 
of Main Street. For a century and more, the dock area 
had been the commercial center of the village, with 
travelers hurrying to and from the steamboats, and goods 
shipped and unloaded; the stores, the hotels and the bars 
lined the street on both sides. The arrival of the railroad 
in 1854 set in motion a rapid change. Year by year, the 
passenger and freight service improved and drew away 
all the New York-bound traffic simply because the railroad 
provided a more direct route, a faster service and a more 
frequent service (9 trips a day each way in 1861). By 1855, 
the steamboat was down to two trips a day. By 1864, 
passenger service ceased and by 1865 even freight service 
was abandoned. When the boats no longer came to 
Flushing, commercial life died away on Bridge Street, 
the stores closed and most moved to Main Street, which 
now became the lifeline of the village. 

The Town did embark on the construction of 
one important road in the Civil War era. For many years 
townsmen had felt a real need for a road that would 
connect Flushing directly with Queens Village and points 
east. Existing roads all ran north and south or east and 
west but there was no road cutting diagonally across the 
Town. Farmers in eastern Queens would benefit by a 
shorter market route to New York via the 34th Street 
Ferry instead of the long haul via Jamaica, East New 
York and Brooklyn. The other advantage was a shorter 
route to the Queens Court House, then located in 
Mineola, when it became necessary to register property, 
serve on juries and for voting. 

A bi ll to construct this "Queens Road" was 
making its way through the Legislature in February 1861 
and was backed by nearly unanimous public sentiment. (16) 
The bill passed easily, and commissioners were appointed 
to lay out a route. The result of their deliberations was a road 
beginning at the junction of 4 7th Avenue and Holl is Court 
Boulevard and running diagonally southeast to 73rd Avenue 
(old Black Stump Road). Here the Town of Jamaica was 
to continue the road south to Jamaica Avenue. 

Neither the Flushing nor the Jamaica Supervisors 
acted on the road in 1862 or most of 1863, but finally took 
action in November 1863. (17) The right-of-way was then 
condemned and awards made to the farmers through 
whose farms the road passed. (18) Bids to build the road 
were invited from contractors with a deadline of March 
26th, 1864. (19) The contract went to John Higgins of 
Flushing and, thanks to his experienced hand, the road 
opened on November 1st, 1864 as far as 73rd Avenue. (20) 

The Jamaica Supervisor sat on his hands and did 
nothing all through 1865, so that the road remained of very 
limited value. (21) The explanation came out in March 
1866, when a new bill was filed in Albany. 
It appeared that the original bill of 1861 did not provide a 
sum large enough to pay for acquisition of the right-of-way to 
Queens Village and to pay for the expense of construction. 
The bill asked to raise $2,000.00 from Jamaica and 
$3,000.00 from Flushing. Behind the delay. there lurked a 
political motive. As the new Queens Road would shorten the 
distance to marketmen from Queens to New York some three 
miles, they would save time but would also bypass Jamaica 
completely. The Jamaica people. faced with a loss of income. 
fought the passage of the bill. (22) Despite this opposition, the 
bill passed both houses and received the governor's signature 
in April 1866. (23) The Supervisor of Jamaica simply ignored 
the legislative mandate all through the years 1867, 1868 
and 1869. (24) In May 1870, the stub end of the road. 
dead-ended at the Jamaica Town line, was bent east to 
join Rocky Hill Road, today's Braddock Avenue and 
ending at Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park. In this way, a 
continuous road was effected but not at all as originally planned. 

Real estate activity in Flushing was in a healthy 
condition during the Civil War years. The newspapers record 
a steady flow of affluent New Yorkers either taking over an 
older house, or, more frequently, contracting with some builder 
to erect a "villa residence" in the latest style. The heaviest 
activity was south and east of the railroad station, particularly 
along Kissena Boulevard and Sanford Avenue. This was prime 
property, only three or four blocks from the depot and hitherto 
very lightly built up. Development to the east of Bowne Street 
had been held up for years by the Parsons estate, but even 
here the family was beginning to release land for building. 
Samuel B. Parsons sold a 10-acre tract along Northern 
Boulevard for $1500.00 an acre in March 1865. (25) 

The old steamboat landing area was also changing 
hands. The Peck owners sold a tract to Dr. C. P Leggett, who 
purposed to sell the larger portion in lots. (26) The whole 
steamboat wharf and dock was sold at auction to George 
B. Roe and Co., the coal and stone dealers, for $11,700.00. 
(27) This was historic property and its sale demonstrated 
that the steamboat age was gone forever from Flushing. 

133 



/o 

'ff-iol;tltcm/ /o P ~.,_ /u7r1ltt,1? ul/{I' j1wd11al o/!(11t!t/110Y 1t11tiR 1.wi;;d1 
rlfNlm.e;u?' ,,&tcP ,.cltltjtY/l.I/ ;alk1tl1(;.11/ /o ::.-:, .. _._1/11,/r;!'1 .t!tu1~111 .1/rv ' 

~. ;-- <" • • / f ,>j 

'(J5u~ .1;~1· 11l, 

Ornate certificate awarded by the school Trustees to Jane Lawrence for her "regular and punctual attendance, correct 
deportment and diligent attention to her studies" in November 1851. These commendations were awarded on the 
recommendation of the teacher whose signature is not provided for on this form. 

134 



(1) 
(2) 
(3) 

(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 
(8) 
(9) 
(10) 
(11) 
(12) 
(13) 

Flushing Journal, December 6th, 1862, 2:1 
ibid., December 20th, 1862 
ibid., February 13th, 1864, 2:3 and 

April 16th, 1864, 2:2 
Minutes of Trustees, November 17th, 1862, page 235 
Flushing Journal, January 31st, 1863, 2:2 
ibid., August 26th, 1865, 2:1 
ibid., November 21st, 1863, 2:2 
ibid., August 17th, 1861, 2:4 
ibid., July 1st, 1865, 2:3 
ibid., May 10th, 1862, 2:3 and May 17th, 1862, 1:3 
ibid., July 1st, 1865, 2:3 
ibid., May 3rd, 1862, 2:2 
ibid., July 22nd, 1865, 2:2 

(14). 
(15) 
(16) 
(17) 
(18) 
(19) 
(20) 
(21) 
(22) 
(23) 
(24) 
(25) 
(26) 
(27) 

ibid., May 24th, 1862, 2:2 
ibid., May 24th, 1868, 2:3 
ibid., February 16th, 1861, 2:4 
ibid., November 14th, 1863, 2:4 
ibid., January 23rd, 1864, 2:3 
ibid., March 26th, 1864, 3:6 
ibid., November 5th, 1864, 2:5 
ibid., December 2nd, 1865, 2:2 
ibid., March 31st, 1866, 2:2 
ibid., April 21st, 1866, 2:3 
ibid., July 24th, 1869, 2:3 
ibid., March 11th, 1865, 2:3 
ibid., November 21st, 1863, 2:1 
ibid., February 11th, 1865, 2:2. 

Plain certificate awarded in September 1851 to L. Bradford Prince for attendance, good conduct and application to 
studies. Born in 1840, he became an Assemblyman in the 1870s and then a Senator, a public speaker all over Long 
Island, co-founder of the Flushing Library and the Long Island Historical Society; he was appointed by President Hayes 
Governor of New Mexico. 

135 



This is the only known picture of St. Thomas' Hall, a private school designed in the Gothic style, and built by the 
Reverend Francis L. Hawks in 1839. A circular building with eight classrooms and a dome formed part of the complex. 
Financial failure forced its closure in 1848. The Sisters of St. Joseph acquired the site in 1866 and built their brick 
Academy on the site. 

136 



Chapter 22 

Economic Conditions in Wartime Flushing 

The Civil War years were a stressful time for 
Flushing merchants. In July 1862, President Lincoln 
imposed a whole set of new taxes on the country to 
finance the high costs of the Civil War. These went into 
effect on August 1, except the income tax, which would 
become due on May 1st, 1863 and applied to 1862 
income. These special war taxes would all cease in 1866 
unless the war lasted longer. All incomes below $600.00 
were exempt from taxation. The taxes were of the 
following general classes: 

1. A tax on persons and corporations engaged 
in certain pursuits for licenses; 

2. A tax on manufactured articles, products, etc. 
to be paid by the manufacturer or 
producer when he sold such articles or 
products; 

3. A duty on income of individuals, railroad and 
steamboat companies, public officers 
and others; 

4. Duties to be paid for stamps which the bill 
required to be affixed to certain papers, 
medicines, documents, etc.; 

5. The setting up of a Bureau of Internal Revenue 
with commissioners, collectors and 
assessors. (1) 

In addition to these Federal taxes, the Towns 
levied higher-than-usual property taxes in order to pay 
the substantial bounties to soldiers; in December 1862 
the rate per $100.00 of assessed valuation was as follows: (2) 

Flushing Sl.20 
Jamaica Sl.26 
Newtown Sl.32 
Hempstead Sl.57 
North Hempstead $1.33 
Oyster Bay Sl.22. 

One of the most unpleasant side effects of every 
war has been inflation, and the Civil War was no exception. 
Flushing people seem to have first become aware of this 
in early 1863, when the price of household necessities 
began to rise; by 1864 workmen began charging more 
for their labor and the cost of building became prohibitive. 

"At a meeting of the Boss Horse Shoers, 
held at Edwin Wright's Hotel in the 
Village of Flushing, on Monday evening 
November 13, 1863, the following 
resolution was passed: Resolved: that in 
consequence of the high price of all 
kinds of material and the advance in the 

wages of mechanics, that hereafter the 
lowest charge for shoeing horses will be 
Sl.75 for each new set of shoes." 
Flushing Journal, December 5th, 1863, 2:5 

"Kissena Lake Ice: The subscriber 
having this year to contend with greatly 
enhanced prices in the prosecution of 
his business in its various branches, has 
found that in order to sustain himself 
and obtain remuneration for his outlay 
and risks connected therewith, he is obliged 
to present to his customers the following 
scale of prices for the present season: 
12 pounds daily - 50 cents a week 
15 pounds daily - 65 cents 
From 25 lbs. and upward - 50 cents per 

100 lbs. 
Hotels and Butchers supplied at reduced 

rates." 
Flushing Journal, June 4th, 1864, 2:5 

"There never was a time in the 
history of this village when there was a 
greater demand for improved property 
than for the last few months. Cottages 
built in modern style and in great demand 
and scores go away disappointed in not 
finding such for sale. At one time 
this spring there was an inclination to 
put up buildings to supply the demand 
but the sudden rise in building materials 
has put an effectual stopper upon such 
enterprises, at least for the present" 
Flushing Journal, September 9th, 1865, 2:2 

The building of the Town Hall was caught by 
inflation; the contractors suddenly found they could not 
buy raw materials at a price within their bid. The Town 
had to advance $6,484.00 over the original contracts to 
get the contractors to finish the building. (3) 

One of the most financially unsettling effects of 
the Civil War was speculation and the resultant 
disappearance of specie coined money. In mid-1862, the price 
of silver rose above that of the value stamped on the coin, 
as it did in our own time in 1967, and the result was that 
people began to collect silver coins, take them to New York 
and sell them to speculators at a 10 to 15% mark-up. 
In Flushing, persons having small purchases to make 
handed the storekeeper a dollar bill, receiving silver coins 

137 



This large handsome house was built as a school building in 1856 by the architect Gilbert Hicks for the "Linnaean Hill Seminary". 
It was used by the Seminary from 1857 to May 1859; then it became the "Select School" of Sarah K. Roberts until 
May 1st, 1861. In February 1867, the building was leased by Reverend Mr. Drumm for his "Saint Mary's School." 
Between 1873 and 1891, Gilbert Hicks owned it. In 1892, Professor Paul Kyle ran the place as a military school. 
The building was razed in the 1930s. 

The Gilbert Hicks residence on the northwest corner of 35th Avenue and Farrington Street, leased in February 1867 by 
Episcopal minister Thomas Drumm for his Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies. He named it Saint Mary's Hall , 
home to 12 boarding and 12 day students. The school rooms, parlor and library open onto the porch; upstairs were seven bedrooms. 

138 



in change. As more and more people did this, the supply 
of specie began to disappear and transactions began to 
become increasingly difficult. (4) Storekeepers began to 
consider demanding sales in silver money only or adding 
10% to the price. (5) 

To compensate for the countrywide speculation 
in silver coins, Congress passed a law on July 18th, 1862, 
making postage stamps legal tender in smal l sums, and 
a lso forbidding the issue by banks of bills of less than 
Sl.00 face value. (6) 

Even copper one-cent coins were hoarded by 
many people, and the government compensated for this 
by printing small bills roughly the size of a playing card 
and bearing the image of a one, two, three or five-cent 
postage stamp. Tokens minted in bronze by private 
companies also began to go into circulation and gained 
general acceptance for values of one or two cents. 
Probably at no other time in United States history was 
there such a variety in coinage and legal tender. 

In 1864, the government began a determined 
campaign to regularize the chaotic situation in money 
by issuing all new currency. The Indian Head copper 
coin began to be minted as a copy of the nickel Indian 
Head coin of 1860; two-cent pieces appeared in 1864 

and the three cent piece in 1865. The treasury set a 
fixed value on silver in relation to gold, ending the 
wartime speculation, and began circulating new dimes, 
quarters and half-dollars. 

The rising confidence in the economy of the 
country in the closing years of the war was reflected in 
Flushing with the appearance of the first two commercial 
directories: Andrew Boyd's directory covered Long Island 
from East New York to Sag Harbor, li sting the inhabitants 
of the principal villages, including Flushing. (7) It appeared 
in May 1864, along with the first edition of Curtin's 
Directory. Curtin put out an improved and updated 
edition in July 1865 and almost 100 copies of this second 
edition were sold to Flushing subscribers. (8) 

(1) Flushing Journal, July 12th, 1862, 2:2 
(2) ibid., December 13, 1862, 2:3 
(3) ibid., January 23rd, 1864 
(4) ibid, July 5th, 1862, 2:4 
(5) ibid., July 12th, 1862, 24 
(6) ibid , July 19th, 1862, 2:2 
(7) ihid., February 6th, 1864, 2:2 and 

May 7th, 1864, 2:2 
(8) ibid., July 1st, 1865, 2:2 

A Certificate of the Flushing Female Institute, Saint Thomas' Hall, awarded to Jane Lawrence in 1852 in recognition of 
her regular and punctual attendance, correct deportment and diligent attendance to studies. 

139 



The Prince Homestead on the northeast corner of Northern Boulevard and Lawrence Street. It was built by the Embree 
family in 1827 and not long afterward it was acquired by the Prince family. The house occupied a lot 100 X 100 and was 
set in the middle; it was in the colonial style with a center hall. A porch ran around the front and west side; an iron railing 
ran along the roof peak. In the 1920's a gasoline station was built in front of the house and the old mansion itself was 
razed in January 1943. 

140 



Chapter 23 

Flushing Town Hall 

When Flushing was first incorporated in 1837, 
no provision was made in the charter for a Town Hall. 
In the first few years or so of the village's existence this did 
not matter; in 1842, the village fathers themselves felt the 
need of a Trustees Hall to transact village business and erected 
a small building in the mall of Northern Boulevard. By 1844, 
the want of a hall for lectures, concerts, etc. had become 
painfully apparent. 

Any such function was wholly dependent upon the 
good will of the Congregational Church, which happened to 
have a rear chapel behind the church proper and which was 
capable of accommodating about sixty people. The church 
used the chapel for its Sunday School and socials, so that the 
facility was not always available. The only other meeting 
space was the salon of the Flushing Institute regularly used 
by the resident students and so only intermittently available. 

A number of citizens determined to obtain a hall 
by voluntary subscription. Gabriel Winter (1783-February 
1862), one of the wealthiest men in town, took an active part 
in this campaign, the same as he had done to get the village 
incorporated. After obtaining subscriptions to the amount of 
three or four thousand dollars, it became evident that a 
sufficient sum was not going to be forthcoming and the 
effort was abandoned. At intervals later similar efforts were 
made, all equally ineffective. (1) Finally, in 1860-61, it was decided 
to appeal to the Legislature, and thanks to the support of 
Senator Edward A. Lawrence of Flushing, a bill was introduced 
in February 1861. (2) On March 13th, 1861, the Town 
Hall bill passed the Assembly with 84 votes for approva l. 
(3) On March 19th, the bill passed both houses as Chapter 
55, Laws of 1861. The Act allowed the Trustees to borrow 
$20,000.00 and issue bonds at 7% interest to purchase a 
site, contract for a building and require a SS,000.00 bond. 
The building might be rented out when not needed. 

The Supervisors of the Town and the Trustees were 
named Commissioners and would be paid $2.00 per day. (4) 
There was strong sentiment to begin the work in the coming 
winter to stimulate business and to give employment. (5) 

In late October, the Commissioners selected a 
site on Northern Boulevard on the northeast corner of 
Linden Street, with 100 feet on Northern Boulevard and 
125 feet on Linden Street. (6) The selection met with 
general approbation. By December, the lot had been paid 
for and stone purchased and delivered and the excavation 
contracted for. The building was to be 55 by 90 feet with a 
rear entrance in addition of 12 by 26 feet , the first story 
to be 13 feet in the clear and the hall 22 feet in the clear. (7) 

William Post, perhaps the best architect and builder in 
the village, was selected as the Town Hall architect. (8) 

By February 1862, the plans and specifications 
were ready. The bids were opened on February 24th 
and accepted. Things moved rapidly in the spring; by May 
the foundation had reached the surface of the ground and 
all was in readiness for the cornerstone. (9) A committee 
of five selected Saturday, May 31st, 1862 for a formal 
ceremony with appropriate speeches and the burying of 
a box filled with papers and small objects. (10) 

The ceremony drew out a large concourse of people; 
several prominent men spoke, among them ex-Governor King, 
and the list of articles to be put in the cornerstone was read. 
These included lists of members of many organizations, 
coins, catalogs, newspapers and documents. General 
Charles A. Hamilton then sealed the box. (11) 

Construction continued steadily throughout the 
summer and fall of 1862. In December, the Commissioners 
petitioned the legislators for permission to issue a bond 
for $2000.00, payable in 10 years with 7% interest, for the 
purpose of completing the Town Hall. (12) Wartime inflation 
had raised the price of building materials and this may have 
been the motive behind the request. Besides overruns, 
the carpentry contractor had failed to comply with the terms 
of his agreement. By the time a successor was found 
and hired, valuable time had been lost. (13) Then, in the 
last days of 1862, there was a fatal acc ident: 

"On Monday afternoon, the 15th, 
Mr. Charles Park of Brooklyn, brownstone 
setter, while employed on the roof of the 
new Town hall, fell a distance of about 
45 feet to the ground and was so 
severely bruised that he expired the next 
day. The accident occurred by the 
giving-away of one of the braces. 
A plank struck th e deceased and 
stunned him and consequently he reeled 
from the stage and fell as described. 
Deceased is a married man and was 
esteemed as an intelligent and worthy 
workman." 
Rushing Journal, December 20th, 1862, 2:2 

The village was shocked in February 1863 to 
hear that all work on the Town Hall had been suspended; 
it turned out that the Commissioners had just barely 
enough money to pay current debts but nothing left over 

141 



to incur new liabilities. (14) We hear that in March, a bill to 
rescue the Town Hall was up for a reading in the Assembly; 
a week later the bill passed. It authorized the Commissioners 
to borrow $6,000.00, to be repaid over three years, the 
amount to be used to finish and furnish the building, 
build a stone stoop, and to flag, curb and gutter the street 
and to fence the premises. (15) 

Work on the Hall resumed and continued through 
the spring and summer of 1863. In November, a Flushing 
man, J. R. Brewster, donated a fine painting of "Justice" 
for the alcove back of the rostrum in the great ha ll. (16) 
By December of 1863, the Town Hall was rapidly 
approaching completion and all that remained to be done 
was the furnishing of the several public rooms. (17) 

A large ceremony was planned for the opening of 
the new Town Hall, with eleven men on the Committee of 
Arrangements. (18) The day selected was January 8th, 1864. 
Grafulla's Seventh Regiment Band, the top military band 
in New York, was hired for the occasion. Proceeds from 
the concert were earmarked for furnishing the hall. (19) 
Great numbers of people turned out for the occasion. 
Everyone seemed delighted with the building, the 
furnishings and the entertainment. (20) The old Village Hall 
in the mall between the lanes on Northern Boulevard was 
sold at public auction on June 23rd, 1864, and knocked down 
to Dr. J. H. Vedder for $430.00. (21) The Honorable John W. 
Lawrence, one of the Commissioners, gave a talk a week 
after the opening, revealing some unpleasant facts. The 
total cost of the Town Hall had come to $26,000.00. 
There had been irregularities; the contracts to the mason, 
carpenter, tin roofer and painter had never been signed and 
had been awarded without security bonds. When this was 
discovered and signatures sought belatedly, the 
contractors refused to sign because the materials had 
advanced so much in price beyond their bids of 1862. 
The window frames delivered had been so inferior that 
they were rejected and various labor disputes became so 
heated that an arbiter had to be engaged. Because of 
wartime inflation, the Town Hall had cost $6,484.08 more 
than the amount of the original bids of February 1862. 

The village got some fine facilities for its money: 
an office for the Town Clerk and the security of his papers in 
a fireproof vault, a Trustee Meeting Room, above-ground cells 
for prisoners, a large court room, and above all, a Main 
Hall capable of seating 800 persons, the rents for which 
would support the building. There were also rooms ready 
for immediate lease to the Queens County Savings Bank, 
and another for the Flushing Library Association. There 
was also a basement, light and dry enough for occupation. 
There were even rooms for those homeless persons who 
regularly presented themselves, demanding a night's 
lodging, and a spacious apartment for the janitor. (22) 

Some parsons wanted to turn the Town Clerk's office 
into a museum for mineralogical specimens and curiosities: 

142 

"A number of our publlc-spirited citizens 
suggest the formation of a Mineralogical 
Cabinet in the Town Hall. The Town Clerk's 
room is admirably contrived for the 
accommodation of a series of glass cases 

in which may be deposited minerals, 
curiosities and which will not only be 
instructive but interesting to all classes of 
people. We presume that there is scarcely a 
Flushing man who has been abroad who 
will not take an interest in contributing 
something to this purpose. We recommend 
the project to the attention of our people 
and that steps be taken to provide the 
cases by private subscriptions". 
Flushing Journal, February 27th, 1864, 2:4 

We can imagine that the reaction of the Town Clerk 
to this suggestion was something unprintable; he had 
just secured spacious working conditions after years of 
cramped quarters and now the townsfolk were being 
urged to make the office a junkshop! 

Although the building was now comple ted, 
apparently the landscaping was not. People were 
inquiring more and more insistently why the money for 
flagging the sidewalks, for fencing, etc. which had been 
available since February, had not been spent; the village 
Trustees were responsible by law for this unexplained 
omission and were wasting fine summer weather. (23) 
Tempers cooled in September when the flagging slabs 
were delivered alongside the hall. (24) 

The last we hear of the Town Hall was in June 1865. 
After furnishing the hall and flagging the sidewalk, some 
$700.00 of the bond funds remained unexpended. One 
notable improvement remained undone: fencing the hall 
premises. Since the money could not be diverted, we 
presume the Trustees were shamed into contracting-out 
this one last touch. (25) 

(1) Flushing Journal, January 23rd, 1864 
(2) ibid., February 23rd, 1861, 2;4 
(3) ibid., March 23rd, 1861, 2:2 
(4) ibid., March 30th, 1861 
(5) ibid., August 3rd, 1861, 2:5 and 

August 17th, 1861, 2:3 
(6) ibid., November 2nd, 1861, 2:3 
(7) ibid., December 28th, 1861, 2:3 
(8) ibid., January 25th, 1862, 2:3 
(9) ibid., May 3rd, 1862, 2:3 
(10) ibid., May 24th, 1862, 2:2 
(11) ibid., June 7th, 1862 
(12) ibid., December 6th, 1862, 3:1 
(13) ibid., November 13th, 1862, 2:4 
(14) ibid., February 28th, 1863, 2:2 
(15) ibid., March 21st, 1863, 2:3 
(16) ibid., November 21st, 1863, 2:2 
(17) ibid., December 19th, 1863, 2:1 
(18) ibid., December 26th, 1863, 2:1 
(19) ibid., January 2nd, 1864, 2:6 
(20) ibid., January 9th, 1864, 2:2 
(21) ibid., January 30th, 1864, 2:3 
(22) ibid., January 23rd, 1864 
(23) ibid., July 9th, 1864, 2:3 
(24) ibid., September 3rd, 1864, 2:3 
(25) ibid., June 3rd, 1865, 2:3. 



Chapter 24 

The Public Schools 

Down to the consolidation of the Town of 
Flushing into New York City in 1898, there was only a 
single public school in Flushing Village, and that was 
the building on the southeast corner of 37th Avenue 
and Union Street, built in 1848. There were eight school 
districts in the Town and Flushing Village constituted 
District #5. Each of the other villages and hamlets in 
the Town - Little Neck, Whitestone, College Point, 
Bayside, Black Stump, Head of the Vleigh and Fresh 
Meadow - also had one school building apiece and 
drew students from a wide area, much of it which was 
very thinly populated. 

With a census return of 4114 persons in 1860, 
Flushing Village was by far the largest population center. 
We have school statistics as of January 1st for 1860 and 1861: 

White Schools: 1860 1861 
Numbers of pupils on register 337 359 
Admitted during the year 74 38 
Discharged during year 52 41 
Number on register 

as of January 1st, 1861 359 356 
(October 1st, 

1861) 
Average daily attendance 244 257 

Colored Schools: 
(In 1861, the Flushing Female Association took over) 
Number on register 55 
Admitted during year 32 
Discharged during year 37 
Number on register 

as of January 1st, 1861 50 
Average daily attendance 30 

Night School 
(1861 figures unknown) 
Number of nights when instruction 

was given 
Total of students on register 
Average nightly attendance 

44 
59 
24 

We would expect that for a village of 4,114 
people, the number of pupils in school would be much 
higher, but we must remember that education stopped 
at twelve years of age for the vast majority of boys and 
girls. Not till 1873 did the Town erect a high school, and 
this was a first in all of Queens County, and widely 
regarded as a preparation for ent~ance to college and a 
career in the professions. 

Regrettably, we have no eyewitness account of what the 
Flushing school looked like inside, the appearance of 
the rooms, the names and number of the school marms, 
the daily schedule and the curriculum. The statistics give 
us food for thought: a daily attendance rate of only 72% 
seems low for an affluent village like Flushing and a 
discharge rate of 14% of the enrollment seems rather 
high. The night school is not too different; almost half 
the students are absent for any one session; 44 days of 
instruction are too little to impart much more than the 
bare basics of any subject. 

We have a little more information for the colored 
school. On July 8th, 1861, the colored citizens held a 
meeting in their old school in 37th Avenue to petition 
the Trustees for a new school house: 

'The present dilapidated condition 
of the school house in Liberty Street is 
becoming unsafe because of its decaying 
timbers; the adjoining property is 
exposed to the caprices of those who 
may and do choose to make the school 
yard a place of resort because of broken 
fences. Because of the decayed state of 
the building, the winter winds have free 
access through the same, subjecting not 
a few of the pupils to chilblains and 
frosted feet, though the efforts of the 
teachers are encouraging as regards the 
intellectual, moral , physical, social and 
religious education of the former. " 
Flushing Journal, July 13th, 1861 

Because of these conditions, the citizens urged 
the Trustees to erect a new school house on the same 
site. The citizens also recorded a vote of thanks to the 
ladies of the Female Association for providing competent 
teachers, and to the Trustees for providing teachers and books. 
Seventy persons signed the petition .. (1) 

Over the summer, the Board of Education 
demolished the old building. The Female Association, 
which owned the lot, then supplied the means for the 
erection of a fine brick school house from funds left them 
for the education of black youth. (2) 

The opening exercises for the new school took 
place on February 3rd, 1862. (3) A large number of the 
citizenry was present and several speeches were delivered. (4) 
The first graduation in the new building took place in 

143 



ls ''ome $90 
which they carried off. The valuable 
papers in the safe, we learn were left 
undisturbed. The burglars left a sledge 
and some of their tools behind. It has 
subsequently appeared that Welch's 
blacksmith shop was broken open and 
the sledge taken from there." 
Flushing Journal, July 22nd, 1865, 2:2 

"Shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday 
morning last the depot office of the 
Flushing Railroad was entered by 
burglars. The thieves, instead of drilling 
over the lock of the safe. used a punch 
and a sledge hammer with which they 
made an aperture large enough to 
enable them to deposit a charge of 
powder sufficient to blow the door of a 
Wilder's safe from its hinges. The thieves 
made a glorious haul of some $7,000.00 
in U.S. Bonds and greenbacks with 
which they decamped. It is the opinion 
of detect ives that the job was executed 
by experts of the first class. The frequent 
explosions of safes of late in this village 
suggest some curious theories as to the 
parties engaged in these operations." 
Flushing Journal, October 28th, 1865, 2:4 

The meanest thief on record is the one who robbed 
the few coins in the poor box in St. Michael's Church: 

"One evening week before last just 
before the devotional exercises had 
commenced in St. Michael's Church. 
Some two-penny thief broke open the 
poor boxes which are placed in the 
church for the receipt of the gifts of the 
charitable and appropriated the 
contents. Subsequently a few evenings 
later, the church was robbed of several 
pieces of plate and other articles. From 
certain circumstances, it is presumed the 
thief secreted himself in the church and 
allowed himself to be locked in until a 
favorable opportunity occurred for him 
to carry off his ill-gotten loot." 
Flushing Journal, June 1st, 1861, 2:5 

Crimes against property took several other forms 
that were particularly aggravating to homeowners. One of 
the most frequently mentioned is fence stealing. There was 
a substantial underclass in Flushing at the time who lived 
in chronic poverty and even dire want and coping with 
the problem of heating their flimsy habitations in winter 
posed a recurrent problem. Fences cut into convenient 
lengths for firewood and conveniently available proved 
temptation to the less law-abiding boys in town and too 
often they raided the village after dark: 

"The destruction of fences by thieves 
for the purpose of firewood is becoming 
alarmingly prevalent. Not only in the 

153 



f1ushkg L I. 

The Methodists first erected a building on the south side of 37th Avenue, midway between Main and Union Streets, but 
in 1843 built a larger church on the east side of Main Street just north of 37th Avenue. In 1875, the church building was 
moved to Roosevelt Avenue , on the north side, between Main and Union Streets; it opened on November 28th, 1875. 
The chapel alongside the church was dedicated on January 16th, 1876. 

154 



neighborhood of the village does this 
evi l prevail but some of the laborers at 
Willet's Point have the reputation of 
helping themselves to rails on their way 
home. The evil has become so great that 
arrests are about being made with a 
view of deterr ing others from repeating 
the offense." 
Rushing Journal, December 5th, 1863, 2:2 

"The Town is overrun with rail and 
fence thieves and the utmost severities of 
the law should be meted out to offenders." 
Rushing Journal, December 19th, 1863, 2:5 

"We do not suppose that there is a 
community that is so much afflicted 
with mischievous juveniles as this village 
and where so little is done to arrest the 
current of mischief. The amount of petty 
thievery perpetrated is growing into 
dimensions positively alarming. During 
the past winter miles of fencing in the 
vicinity of the vi llage have been taken 
away and used for fuel. On the premises 
of R. T. Lynch fences to the amount of 
$800.00 have been taken away. On the 
Texido Farm whole fields have been 
str ipped of fencing. The Macdonald 
Farm, the Parsons Farm, the farm of 
Henry Lewis and various other 
properties have suffered. This mischief 
has been done by juveniles and even by 
grown people and the time has arrived 
when the citizens of the town are 
imperatively required to take steps to 
arrest the progress of an evil which, 
from the impunity which it has hitherto 
received, is destroying and confounding 
the usual recognized rights of property." 
Flushing Journal, June 4th, 1864, 2:3 

Closely allied to this was orchard theft. This was 
a seasona l thing but again juveniles were the chief 
offenders in stripping trees of apples, pears and cherries, 
often before the owners could reap their own harvest. 

"Numerous compla ints are made 
concerning fruit thieves and a clean 
sweep wil l soon be made of a number 
of these gentry. A colored boy by the 
name of Crooke was arrested this week 
for stealing apples from the orchard of 
Pearsall Wright and sent to jail." 
Flushing Journal, August 15th, 1863, 2:3 

"We must have the Metropolitan 
Police. The people are beginning to see 
the necessity of having the Metropolitan 
Police. The young thieves who steal fruit 
and every little article within their reach 
are witnesses that the village is in need 
of the Metropolitan Police." 
Flushing Journal, May 21st, 1864, 2:3 

Equally obnoxious to homeowners were the 
poultry thieves. Men and boys were not the on ly 
perpetrators; women had the advantage in this era of 
wearing voluminous clothes in the pockets of which many 
birds cou ld be secreted. A husband and wife often 
operated as a team, the man breaking into the henhouse 
and the woman concealing the loot in her skirts. To the 
eye, the pair seemed to be innocent peddlers and they 
could travel about without arousing suspicion. By day 
they could reconnoiter the neighborhood and return at 
night to rob the best prospects. 

"On Friday night last Margaret 
Malone was arrested by John Doughty 
on a charge of stea ling pou ltry. It 
appears that Margaret had carried on a 
wholesale business in poultry during the 
past winter which she sto le from 
different persons in th is vi llage and 
vicinity. She has been in the habit of 
going down to the city on the railroad 
with her ill-gotten ga ins in a large 
basket, claiming that she bought them. 
A few mornings since, she got on the 
cars, and on being questioned where she 
purchased her poultry. stated that she 
bought them from Mr. Hawkins living 
in that vicinity. (It happened) that Mr. 
Hawkins was in the cars and denied 
having sold any chickens and said they 
must have been stolen. Mr. H. had her 
arrested and brought to this village. The 
prisoner was taken before the Justice 
and sentenced to the County Jail for 
six months. She confessed after 
conviction that she has stolen the 
chickens from three places. She had 
been in jail several times before and the 
Justice sentenced her to the full extent 
of the law. At the time of her arrest she 
had ten fullgrown fowl in her basket and 
on her arms". 
Flushing Journal, May 17th, 1862, 2:5 

One major difference between the Flushing of the 
1860s and today is that there was almost no crime against 
persons. We read of only a single instance of mugging: 

"Persons coming up by the late 
trains should have their ears and eyes 
open for there are garroters about. Late 
on Saturday night a gent leman who 
came up in the 12 o'clock train and 
living in the upper part of the village 
was suddenly tripped up and thrown to 
the ground and robbed of about $100.00 
only a few rods from his residence. He 
was rendered insens ible for minutes 
enough to allow the thieves to escape. 
Only a few days since, a soldierby the 
name of JH Smith was robbed late at night 
on the arrival of the train under pretty 
much the same circumstances of $60." 
Rushing Journal, December 16th, 1865, 2:1 

155 



Closely akin to crime in the 1860s was vandalism, 
some of it malicious but almost always the outgrowth of 
juvenile delinquency. Occupying the lowest stratum of 
Flushing society were the immigrant Irish, many of them 
refugees from the Great Famine of 1847, and like all 
new arrivals, trying to get a foothold on the economic 
ladder. They were the laborers of the community and 
their teenage children the most likely to get into trouble. 
Their religion, their poverty and their minimal education 
set them apart from the rest of the community and they 
took out their resentment in drink, random vandalism 
and petty crime. The war siphoned off many of these 
youths and opened up to them a wider and better world 
via military service. 

156 

"A few nights ago some scoundrel 
entered the marble yard of Mr. George 
Weaver and mutilated severa l 
monuments and among others, the 
figure of a lamb intended for an infant's 
monument. We are also informed there 
are miscreants who visit the Flushing 
Cemetery and indulge in acts of 
desecration that are a shame to a 
Christian. Affection decorates the last 
homes of the departed with flowers, and 
in some instances funeral urns are kept 
supplied almost daily with tokens of 
affections, but not only are graves 
robbed of the flowers but also of the 
vessels which contain them." 
Flushing Journal, August 8th, 1863, 2:2 

"The vinery of one of our most 
respectable citizens was forced open a 
few nights since and the vines, loaded 
with the most luscious grapes, severed 
in twain and the crop destroyed." 
Flushing Journal, August 8th, 1863, 2:2 

"Some scoundrel one night a week 
or two since broke down some 15 young 
shade trees lining the sidewalk on the 
south side of Madison Street east of 
Bowne Street They were broken off short, 
about four or five feet from the bottom 
and evidently by a strong-fisted rascal , 
but whether from wanton mischief or 
personal malice it is impossible to tell." 
Flushing Journal, September 7th, 1861, 2:4 

"Some malicious persor. on 
Wednesday night broke the stop-cock 
of the gas lamp on the corner of Sanford 
and Jamaica Avenues and set fire to the 
gas. The consequence was the utter 
destruction of the lamp." 
Flushing Journal, February 28th, 1863, 2:2 

Street rowdyism was a frequent evil and attracted 
strong condemnation simply because it was public. There 
are recurrent instances in the papers and evoked the 
greatest outrage when it even invaded the concert hall: 

"Cannot efforts be made by the 
proper officers of our town to arrest 
and severely punish some of the half-
civilized boys who invariably congregate 
around the Congregational Church 
when concerts are given there and 
annoy the audience by their low vulgar 
shouts and laughter? On the occasion 
of Miss Greenfield's concert, some 
miserable scoundrel, not satisfied with 
making all the noise he possibly could, 
deliberately threw a large stone against 
one of the windows breaking the glass 
and scattering it among the audience. 
Had not the window been protected by 
the blind, a serious injury might have 
been the result. This is an outrage and 
should not be tolerated; such 
contemptible villains should be handled 
without gloves." 
Flushing Journal, January 24th, 1863, 2:5 

"Great complaints are made 
respecting the young rowdies who 
assemble at the street corners and 
particularly of Sunday evenings. 
Instances are numerous where both 
gentlemen and ladies have been most 
grossly insulted by them. We are urged 
by quite a number of respectable citizens 
to call the attention of the Trustees of 
the village to this growing enormity." 
Flushing Journal, March 16th, 1861, 2:3 

"The concert given by Mr. Gilder 
on last Tuesday was in every respect a 
success and would have been heartily 
enjoyed but for the continued whistling, 
screaming and hooting of a few half-
grown boys the off-scouring of our 
village who were allowed without 
interruption to indulge in this 
amusement destroying entirely the 
pleasure of the evening, and disgusting, 
no doubt, the performers.... The lady 
who sang was repeatedly insulted and 
the moment she emerged from the 
dressing room was received with the most 
vulgar and low-bred demonstrations ... 
The ushers and the constables .... made 
no attempt to quell the disturbance and 
stood gaping at the boys". 
Flushing Journal, February 6th, 1864, 2:2 



Chapter 27 

The Music Scene 

The outbreak of the war seems to have put an end 
to the musical activities of the Harmonic Society, active in 
Flushing since 1856; the last mention is a patriotic concert on 
June 4th, 1861; proceeds went to the relief of the destitute 
families of volunteers. The cause of music thereaher was kept 
alive in Flushing by the efforts of one man, Frank Gilder. 
an accomplished pianist and a well-known figure in New York 
and Flushing music circles. He organized concerts, engaged 
orchestras and singers and regularly acted as accompanist. 
Gilder was wise enough to realize early that music for its own 
sake might have been regarded as frivolous and out of touch 
with the seriousness of the war and the melancholy tidings 
of deaths and wounded, so he adapted music to the support 
of the war effort and a way of maintaining civilian morale. 

"Grand Concert: for the benefit of the 
15th Regiment .Military Fund. Mr. Frank 
Gilder, assisted by eminent singers from New 
York and elsewhere, will give a Grand 
Concert on April 30th, 1861 at the 
Congregational Chapel. All proceeds go 
to the 15th Regiment Military Fund." 
Flushing Journal, April 28th, 1861, 2:6 

"Mr. Frank Gilder has the honor of 
announcing that he will give a concert 
of vocal and instrumental music at the 
Congregational Chapel on November 3rd 
1862 for the benefit of the needy 
families of volunteers from Flushing." 
Flushing Journal, November 1st, 1862, 2:5 

Benefit concerts were a regu lar feature in Flushing, 
a lways for some charitable cause: 

"Grand Promenade Concert: Opening 
of Town Hall. Grafula's 7th Regiment Band, 
January 8th, 1864; 12 selections by Military 
Band. The proceeds of this concert wi ll 
be applied towards furnishing the hall. 
Tickets $1, to admit a gentleman and lady". 
Flushing Journal, January 2nd, 1864, 2:6 

"We trust that our readers will not forget 
the concert to take place at the Town Hall 
on April 6th, 1865 by several lady graduates 
of the New York Institute for the Blind. The 
program is a good one.... No 1:iains, we are 
assured, will be spared making this entertain-
ment very interesting and amusing". 
Flushing Journal, April 1st, 1865, 2:4 

The Institute for the Blind made a return engagement 
on November 14th. A second figure on the music scene 
is J.M. Hager who spent the early part of 1862 in Flushing. 
Nothing is known about him other than that he had a 
daughter who acted as his pianist and that he made a 
living by teaching music classes and choral singing. Mr. Hager 
gave concerts from time to time to advertise his classes 
and exhibit to the public the results of his teaching. 

"J. M Hager will give a grand entertain-
ment of vocal and instrumental music at 
the Congregational Church on January 
24th, 1862. The program will consist of a 
pleasing selection of choruses, semi choruses, 
duets, solos, etc. by the class, numbering 150, 
with a thorough examination in the 
rudiments of music. Miss Hager will 
perform three piano solos. Receipts go to 
defray the expenses and tuition of a second 
term which will commence soon after the 
concert. thus giving pleasure to the citizens 
but also contributing to the education 
of the children and youth in music." 
Flushing Journal, January 18th, 1862, 2:6 

"J. M. Hager gave his "Grand Floral 
Concert" on April 23rd at the Congrega-
tional Church, which was crammed and 
jammed with an audience more numerous 
than was ever before collected in this 
village. People by scores were obliged to 
leave for the want of room. The 
entertainment consisted of the beautiful 
operetta "Flora's Festival" in three parts: 
morning, noon and night, which was 
represented in the most admirable 
manner; The characters appeared in full 
costume and the stage was most 
appropriately and brilliantly decorated. 
presenting one of the most beautiful scenes 
ever witnessed by our village public. The 
whole thing not only reflected credit upon 
the rare talent, taste and industry of Mr. 
Hager but upon the youthful participants. 

Mr. Hager has been among us for about 
six months and by his tact, skill and 
indefatigable industry has not only created 
a taste for singing, but has laid broad, 
deep and extensively the foundation of a 
musical education. He is a genius in his 
way and deserving not only for the 

157 



laurel crown but also of a large 
pecuniary testimonial for his services, yet 
services, we regret to hear that after his six 
months' services among us and full y 
discharging every pecuniary liability, he had 
literally nothing to show for his time 
and services." 
Flushing Journal, April 26th, 1862, 2:2 

These last lines suggest why we h'ear nothing 
further of Mr. Hager after his 1862 triumph. 

That there was a substantial audience in Flushing 
for good music of high quality is evident from the 
repeated performances of artists from New York: 

"Concert: Miss Maria Brainerd has 
the honor to announce to the citizens 
of Flushing and vicinity that she will 
give a concert of vocal and instrumental 
music at the Congregational Chapel on 
December 20th, 1861. The following 
performing artists will appear: Miss 
Maria Brainerd, soprano; Mr. George 
Simpson, tenor; Mr. Frank Gilder, 
pianist; Mr. Clare W. Beams, conductor. 
Tickets: 50 cents." 
Flushing Journal, December 14th, 1861, 3:1 

"The Black Swan's Concert: Miss 
Greenfield's concert on January 26, 1863 
was fully and fashionabl y attended, a 
convincing proof that talent, irrespective 
of color, is and will be duly appreciated by 
our music-loving citizens. Miss Greenfield 
was in capital voice and all her solos 
were sacred. Her own accompanist being 
absent, and that the audience might hear 
Miss Greenfield's wonderful voice to the 
best advantage, Mr. Frank Gilder kindly 
offered to accompany her in her own solos 
for which he was much applauded." 
Flushing Journal, January 31st, 1863, 2:2 

"Mr. Frank Gilder will treat the 
Flushing public with another recherche 
concert at the Town Hall on March 17th, 
1864. Madame Bishop is announced as 
the star of the evening, This lady is well-
k nown in musical circles and th e 
announcement that she is to be present will 
awaken a very general anxiety to hear her". 
Flushing Journal, March 12th, 1864, 2:2 

"Gra nd Ballad Concert: Mr. 
Gustavus Geary, Town Hall, May 31st, 
1864. Charming ballads of Thomas 
Moore, Irish melodies." 
Flushing Journal, May 21st, 1864, 2:6 

One of the best-loved features of 19th century 
entertainment was the family singing troupe who made a 
living by traveling from village to village, giving performances 
of comic routines or sacred music. These were relatively rare 
in Flushing but at least two such groups passed through town 
in the mid-1860s: 

158 

'The Alleghanians: This famous band 
of vocalists will give a musical entertainment 
on May 13 and 14th, 1862 in the 
Congregational Chapel. They perform on 
the Swiss bells in a marvelous way. They 
are too well-known to the musical public 
to require us to say more than that the 
entertainment is worthy of the attention 
of the entire public". 
Flushing Journal, May 10th, 1862, 2:3 

"We are to have a concert at the 
Flushing Institute on April 7th, 1863 from 
the celebrated Hutchison Family whose 
fame has gone out into both hemispheres. 
That the concert will attract a great 
concourse there can be no doubt." 
Flushing Journal, April 4th, 1863, 2:5 

"The celebrated Hutchison Family are 
to give a concert at the Town Hall April 
23rd, 1864. The Hutchisons - Asa, Lizzie, 
Fred, Chase and Little Dennett are very 
popular and undoubtedly they will meet 
with a warm and appreciating reception." 
Flushing Journal, April 23rd, 1864, 2:3 

The war seems to have put a damper on non-
musical entertainment; not a single circus came to town 
during the war years a nd the showy military and 
municipal parades, a feature in the 1850s, were likewise 
absent. The very few entertainers that did come to town 
were a success because of their rarity: 

"Bowe's American Troupe: Town Hall, 
March 8th, 1864. 18 star performers; Old 
Bobby Williams, L, I. Favorites. Messrs. 
Penny and Ashton, the celebrated gymnasts 
in their wonderful performance and J. 
Delani, champion juggler, late of Howe's 
Circus One night only. Admittance: 25 
cents." 
Flushing Journal, March 5th, 1864, 2:2 

"Willis and Fontain's Great New 
York Stereoscopticon and Shadow 
Entertainment. Town Hall , May 7th, 
1864. This popular exhibition is still a 
popular success affording to all classes 
a happy relaxation from the ordinary 
cares of life. It is a Fairy Realm of Travel, 
History, Literature and Song, revealing 
to the de light ed visitor the most 
e nchanting scenery and the most 
exquisite statuary and architecture of 
ancient and modern times." 
Flushing Journal, May 7th, 1864, 3:1 

"Mir th , Wonder and Fortune: 
December 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th 1865. First 
appearance of the original Fakir of Vishnu 
in hi s Gift Mag ica l Soirees. 
As performed by him at the Academy of 
Music, New Theatre Roya l, Montreal , 
Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and 
New Orleans. 100 beautiful presents 
given away nightly. Every feature of the 
entertainment new. Admission: 30 cents". 
Flushing Journal, December 2nd, 1865, 2:6 



Chapte r 28 

Lectures 

Aside from the musical scene, the other biggest 
source of cultural enrichment in wartime Flushing was 
the library and the programs it sponsored. The library 
itself was open to the public on what we would call a 
very limited basis: Tuesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and 
Fridays from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (1) The library charged a 
fee of $1.00 a year and held an annual meeting of its 
trustees every June. Fund raisers like an Annual Fair 
and the liberality of wealthy citizens enabled the library to 
purchase new books and to build up a bank account. (2) 

The greatest impetus to the library's success was the 
opportunity to move into spacious quarters in the new 
Town Hall. On September 23rd, 1863 the old library shut 
down and began packing its books preparatory to moving. (3) 
In the week of November 16th, 1863 the new quarters 
opened to the public. The room had been elegantly fitted 
up at the expense of the president of the Board and 
other public-spirited citizens. The books were in cases 
made of black walnut and having glass doors. The Journal 
was moved to comment that "the room was very neatly 
furnished and reflected great credit upon the taste and 
libera lity of those who had the matter in charge." (4) 

A recurren t source of fu nds fo r the library and 
a great contribution to the intellectual level of the village 
was the Lecture Series of the Flush ing Associat ion. 
In the spring of 1861 these were: (5) 

January 18th, 1861, Peter Winter: 
"The Scrap Book of History and 
Her Magic Mirror" 

February 1st, 1861, Benjamin W. Downing 
February 15th, 1861, Cullen L. Carter 
March 1st, 1861, William K. Murray: 

"Representative Women on Flushing" 
March 8th, 1861, Reverend W. W. Holloway 
March 15th, 1861, L. B. Prince: 

"Rienzi" 

January 27th, 1862: Reverend Edward 0. Flagg, 
"The Outward or To Be and Not To Be" 

April 4th, 1862: 
Washington Van Zandt, Editor of the 
Suffolk Union, 

January 7th, 1863, Nelson J. Gates: 
"Triumphs of Astronomical Discovery" 

January 21st, 1863, Reverend Thomas A. Jaggar: 
'Fairy Wonders - Steam, Ligh~ Electricity" 

1863, Reverend J. Carpenter Smith: 
"Influence" 

February 10th, 1864, Reverend R. M. Hatfield: 
(topic unknown) 

February 15th, 1864, Mr. De Cordova: 
"Surprise Party" 

January 23rd, 1864, Reverend R. M. Hatfield: 
"Our Present National Sacrifices and 
Their Compensations" 

January 30th, 1865, Major P Haggerty: 
(topic unknown) 

February 6th, 1865, Reverend W. H. Milburn: 
"S.S. Prentiss, Thunderer of the Southwest" 

February 13th, 1865, Honorable D. S. Coddington: 
(topic unknown) 

February 20th, 1865, Thomas F. Harrison: 
"The Eastern Question" 

February 23rd, 1865, Wendell Phillips: 
"The Lost Arts" 

February 27th, 1865, Professor E. F. Youmans: 
(topic unknown) 

March 27th, 1865, Charles H. Whitney: 
"Our Country and Its Defenders" 

April 1865, L. B. Prince: 
"Queen Fashion" 

December 9th, 1865, Miss Anna Dickinson: 
"Home Thrusts" 

December 20th, 1865, Nelson J. Gates: 
"On the Rise and Progress of the 
Useful Arts." 

159 



.---~ ;·1· 
1 · ' ' ( • ·~' 

The Congregational Church, located on the southwest comer Bowne Street and 38th Avenue, was built in 1856 and 
was one of the few to always remain on the same site. It was burned on December 23rd, 1970, and is now the site of a 
nursing home. 

160 



Chapter 29 

The Lyceum 

The most intellectually stimulating organization 
functioning in the Flushing of the 1860s was certainly 
the Lyceum , former ly the Literary Union. 
The word Lyceum is by definition an institution for 
popular education, and that describes very well the 
activity of the group: debating popular issues of the day. 
The small size of the society in 1861 made it possible 
to hold sessions in a meeting room over a drug store, 
but within three years' time the increase in new 
residents and the enhanced reputation of the debates 
soon forced a removal to the Town Hall. The debating 
teams consisted of three or four men, and the captain 
would normally meet his opposite number in another 
village and come to an agreement as to the topic for 
debate. A date and place would then be fixed on. 
The topics favored were mostly controversial issues of 
the day, although ethical and scientific issues could also 
be handled. There were no money prizes or trophies 
for the winning teams; applause seems to have been 
the sole reward. Almost all debates were scheduled 
during the cool months ·since air conditioning did not 
exist as yet and the summer months made indoor 
gatherings impractical. 

A substantial number of debate topics are known 
along with the date chosen. The Lyceum was very act ive 
in 1861 and 1862, and then seems to have stopped for 
the remainder of the war. 

January 8th, 1861: 
"Are Men Responsible for Their 
Religious Beliefs?" 

January 22nd, 1861: 
"The Fugitive Slave Law" 

October 29th, 1861: 
"Should the Laws of Justice Ever Be 
Sacrificed for the Principles of Humanity?" 

December 10th, 1861: 
"Should the Union Be Preserved at the 
Expense of the Unlimited Extension 
of Slavery?" 

December 24th, 1861: 
"Should the Government Dictate the 
Immediate Emancipation of Slaves?" 

February 18th, 1862: 
"Does the Mosaic Record Conflict with 
Modern Science?" 

March 4th, 1862: 
"Spiritualism - Is It Valid for Belief?" 

April 22nd, 1862: 
'The Suffrage Should Be Extended to 
the Colored in New York State.'· 

June 10th, 1862: 
"Are Sunday Cars and Boats Unjustifiable?" 

October 4th, 1862: 
"Was the Late Emancipation 
Proclamation Expedient?" 

161 



The first Baptist Church, built in 1857, on 37th Avenue between Union and Bowne Streets. It was moved in 1872 to Main Street and 
Kissena Boulevard. In 1891, the Flushing Library purchased it from the Baptist Association for $6,000.00. A new large 
brick library was built on the site in 1912. The old building was moved to Bradford (4lst) Avenue on the north side. 

162 



Chapter 30 

The Skating Pond 

During the long winters in old Flushing, ice 
skating was a favor ite sport. In the 1830s and 40s skating 
was necessarily limited to the village pond because that 
was the only body of water close to the settled part of 
town, and its modest dimensions could accommodate only 
a handful of people. As the populat ion grew in the 60s, 
and with it a growing desire for outdoor recreation and 
an outlet for the ebullient spirits of the youthful 
population, talk of a skating pond as a village project 
began to be heard. The churches lent their support to the idea 
because the ministers regarded skating as a wholesome 
and innocent recreation for both young men and women 
and a safe outlet for high spirits. The old-fashioned 
winters of the 19th Century provided another st imulus; 
low temperatures and lots of snow were frequent and an 
annual fact of life from December to March. There was 
only one problem: a suitable pond would have to be 
created and a site found. 

In February 1862, Mr. Samuel B. Parsons offered 
to present to a public body some acreage at the head of 
Leavitt Street, roughly where 34th Avenue is today. This 
was a swampy tract with fresh-wat er spr ings but 
convertible into a shallow pond. A public meeting was 
held on February 7th to consider the matter (1) and it 
resulted in popular approval. The summer of 1862 passed 
with no action. The pond site, formerly Nell's Spring (2), 
was in the minds of some persons the home of fever and ague 
and an unfit place for public assembly. Others thought 
that a pond would add to the picturesque effect of the locality 
and be a sanitary benefit in keeping down mosquitoes. (3) 
When December 1862 passed with no movement, 
advocates began to look south of the village to a 200 acre 
tract of meadow land south of Franconia Avenue. (4) 

In January 1863, the objections to the Spring Lane 
(Nell's) pond were declared overcome by the skating fraternity. 
Nothing came of this but some of the ardent advoca tes 
of a pond succeeded in coming to an agreement with 
John J. Willets, owner of Kissena Lake, to rent his property. 

"It may be interesting to our readers 
to learn that quite a large amount has 
been raised among the skating fraternity 
and those who are fond of seeing others 
enjoy themselves, for the purpose of 
keeping Kissena Lake, the property of 
J. J. Willets free from snow during the 
win ter. Mr. W. with his usual liberality 
has already erected a neat building with 
a ll necessary comforts for ska ters. 

The sole care of the lake has been 
kindly assumed by him. We have heard 
that arrangements have been made for 
lighting the lake during evenings when 
the ice is in fine condition - of this due 
notice will be given. The managers a re 
a ll active stirring gentlemen and as we 
can boast of more beautiful ladies and 
lady skaters than any other town in the 
State, we expect Kissena Lake will be 
visited by hundreds from a ll parts, if for 
no other purpose than to witness the 
array of beauty gathered there." 
Rushing Journal, January 10th. 1863, 2:3 

Within a few days of the agreement with Mr. 
Willets, the public was surprised •o hear that the 
objections at first raised to the pono at Spring Lane 
(Leavitt Street) had been overcome and that the original 
project could now proceed. (5) 

In the meantime, no one wanted to waste 
the clear winter days and Kissena Lake saw heavy use: 

"Kissena Lake was gay and brilliant 
on Tuesday evening last. It was the gala day 
of the skating season and numerous were the 
participants in this excellent sport. 
Stages and wagons of all sorts were brought 
into requisition, loaded down with boisterous 
and exultant humanity, all hieing to the grand 
center of attraction. Howard's Patent Signal 
Lanterns were used for lighting the pond 
and their powerful rays turned darkness 
into light and lent great brilliancy to the 
scene. The ice was in splendid condition 
and merrily the crowd swept to and fro 
over its flinty surface and numerous 
were the "pigeon wings" and "outside edges" 
that were executed and numerous the 
downfalls of the inexperienced imitator." 
Flushing Journal, January 17th, 1863, 2:2 

With the arrival of fall 1863, negotiations for the 
Spring Lane site resumed, but struck a snag. (6) A month later 
(October 1863), agreement was reached with the three owners 
of the land, Messrs. Leggett, Parsons and Leavitt; a survey 
of the property was completed and specifications readied 
for the contractor. (7) In November, the contract was 
given out and it was hoped that the pond would be ready 
for flooding twenty days after November 23rd. (8) 

163 



Early in November, the men behind the skating 
pond formally incorporated themselves as the "Skating 
Park Association" with five prominent men as directors. 
The directors then secured title to the land which was 
described as eleven acres and embracing land both north 
and south of 32nd Avenue. The next step was to issue 
proposals to excavate and embank the lake. (9) By the 
end of 1862, the contract for the embankment and 
culverts was complete. The Stock of the association was 
$5,000.00 of which two-thirds had been subscribed and 
paid in. It was hoped to build a rest house also and a 
fence around the whole 11 acres; the association appealed 
to the villagers to subscribe to the remaining stock. (10) 

By mid-January, the water in the pond was 30 
inches deep and within a few inches of the top, and the 
surface was ice covered. During the week of the 11th, 
skaters turned out several hundred at a time to enjoy 
the new facility. Decorous conduct and language were 
demanded and the legislative act incorporating the pond 
empowered any stockholder to arrest violators. Two local men 
were responsible for the pond: Mr. Coles, the contractor, 
and Mr. Nimmo, the engineer. (11) 

Disaster overtook the pond on January 28th. 
The earth embankment on the 32nd Avenue side collapsed 
and all the water drained out. (12) However, by the time 
of the next cold spell the damage was repaired. 

"The youth of both sexes are having 
a very agreeable time of it on the new 
skating pond. The skating is pronounced 
to be excellent, nay, beautiful, and so are 
many of those who participate in the 
amusement. The skating pond directors 
have purchased two lots on Linden 
Avenue on which they intend to erect a 
building for the convenience of skaters. 
From these lots will be the principal 
entrance to the pond." 
Flushing Journal, February 13th, 1864, 2:3 

In the spring of 1864, the directors released 
perch and some trout into the pond, both very unsuitable 
for a still shallow pond. Fishing was forbidden and 
shooting of small birds by trespassers prosecuted. (13) 

Over the summer of 1864, the directors made 
strenuous efforts to induce Flushing people to take the 
balance of the stock necessary to finance the completion 
of the original design. The directors - liberal and energetic 
men - agreed that if the sum of $1,500.00 could be 
borrowed upon the credit of the association in sums of 
$100.00 or more; that money would be sufficient to erect 
a suitable fence, clear the pond from hummocks and 
place it on a self- sustaining and dividend paying basis. 
The capital stock was $5,000.00, of which $3,000.00 had 
been paid in, including $1,000.00 for the purchase of the 
land. Selling off the remaining stock would be ideal as it 
would make borrowing unnecessary; a degree of apathy 
and want of pride in improvement up to the present 
made the borrowing plan necessary. The amount was 
small and could be paid off in one or two seasons. (14) 
The Flushing Journal added a note of encouragement: 

164 

"Will not our public-spirited citizens 
give a little attention to the skating pond 
at the earliest practicab le moment? 
An infusion of dimes into the exchequer 
of the Association is in every respect 
desirable and we hope that efforts will be 
made immediately to effect a worthy 
and noble object." 
November 19th, 1864, 2:2 

To encourage patronage, the directors arranged 
to hoist a red ball on the Liberty Pole of the village. (15) 
The idea worked. During mid-December, there was high 
carnival on the skating pond; the ice was thick, the area 
enlarged and the skaters numerous. But there was still 
no fence, no screen of evergreens to break the force of 
the wind and no club house with facilities . (16) 
The directors called attention to the popularity and 
usefulness of the current season to remind the citizenry 
that the five directors alone were keeping the skating 
pond functioning and that if public support in subscribing 
to the small amount of stock was not forthcoming, 
they would withdraw and abandon the pond. (17) 

The weather remained clear and cold over New Year's 
and drew out skaters in the hundreds; the officers seized 
the opportunity to make personal application to the 
affluent of the village to come to the aid of the hugely-
popular recreation spot that their own sons and 
daughters were enjoying. (18) 

The strenuous effort turned the tide; the roughly 
$2,500.00 needed was somehow raised. In September of 
1865, the Flushing Skating Park Association began to 
enclose the pond with a substantial fence and to make 
other important improvements. (19) An ad appeared in 
the Flushing Journal: 

"Locust posts wanted by the 
Flushing Skating Park Association: 175 
posts 14 feet long. 350posts10 feet long. 
275 posts 6-1/2 feet long. To be about 
three inches at the small end. To be 
delivered in Flushing. Benjamin W. Downing; 
John J. Willets." 
September 22nd, 1865, 3:1 

When the skating season opened in December, 
the pond management was well organized: 

"Flushing Skating Park Association 
Tickets can be procured at the drug 
stores and post offices at the following 
named prices: Season Tickets $5.00; 
10 Tickets for $1; Single Admissions: 
Adults-15 cents; Children under 12-10 cents." 
Flushing Journal, December 30th, 1865, 3:2 

The skating pond reached the zenith of its 
prosperity and popularity in the winter of 1865-66: 

"The skating park is now in full 
blast, with the "ball up" and the "gay 
gamboliers" in the height of their enjoyment 



of this now fashionable recreation. The park 
is completely enclosed, a tariff of charges 
fixed and a comfortable building erected 
at the entrance of the park where ladies 
and gentlemen will find comfortable fires 
and such simple refreshments as seem 
to be needful for those who indulge in 
skating exercises. The skating park has 
crowds of visitors." 
Flushing Journal, J anuary 12th, 1866, 2:3 

"The skat ing season has fairly 
commenced with the present week and large 
numbers of males and females are daily 
visiting the skating park and indulging in 
this healthy and innocent recreation." 
Flushing Journal, December 15th, 1866, 2:2 

This idyllic winter scene might have been 
enjoyed for years more had it not been for the 
organization in Flushing of the Drainage Commission. 
From primeval times, large tracts north of the present 
Northern Boulevard were bog land and swamps, low-lying 
and draining through meandering streams into the East River. 
As Flushing grew after the Civil War, these green slime-
covered expanses became notorious as breeding grounds 
for mosquitos and a source of malaria. In 1868, for the 
first time, a Drainage Commission was formed to 
undertake the elimination of the meadow lands. 
Recovery of the waste lands would provide more tracts 
for development, and eliminate Flushing's reputation for 
mosquitos and sickness. 

The first step was a conference with the owners 
and stockholders of the Flushing Skating Pond, who were 
induced to surrender the pond provided a public park 
might be laid out on the site. (20) The park would not be 
possible without fi lling in the grounds and the will ingness 
of adjacent property owners to cede their holdings. The area 
for reclamation would be 18 to 20 acres and the springs 
wou ld provide water for scenic brooks and pools. (21) 
By the end of 1868, the prospect of abandoning the 
Skating Pond and fil ling it in had become a reality. (22) 
The village engineer presented maps showing 137th Street 
(Old Congress Street) projected to a width of 60 feet through 

the pond and making this the adopted line for a sewer. 
John Higgins was engaged as contractor for the work 
and the price of 85 cents per cubic yard was agreed 
upon for the necessary fil l. (23) 

In March 1869, the Drainage Commission 
reported the acquisition of the pond property and the 
land west of it for $3,750.00. All the grounds within the 
surrounding streets would also be acquired and covered 
with four to six inches of earth and sown with grass. (24) 
The end for the Skating Pond came in July and August of 
1868, when gangs of men spread fi ll over the site. 
No ceremony is recorded to mark the end of this fine 
old recreational facility, so we must assume that the 
winters of 1867-68 or, at the latest, 1868-69 witnessed 
the last Currier and Ives-like scenes of youthful gayety. 

(1) 
(2) 
(3) 
(4) 
(5) 
(6) 
(7) 
(8) 
(9) 
(10) 
(11) 

(12) 
(13) 
(14) 
(15) 
(16) 
(17) 

(18) 
(19) 
(20) 
(21) 
(22) 
(23) 
(24) 

Flushing Journal, February 8th, 1862, 2:5 
ibid .. February 15th, 1862, 2:5 
ibid., October 4th, 1862, 2:3 
ibid., December 6th, 1862, 2:3 
ibid., January 17th, 1863, 2:1 
ibid., October 10th, 1863, 2:2 
ibid., October 31st, 1863, 2:6 
ibid., November 21st, 1863, 2:1 
ibid., November 7th, 1863 
ibid., December 26th, 1863. 2:1 
ibid., January 16th, 1864, 2:3 and 

January 2nd, 1864, 2:1 
ibid., January 30th, 1864, 2:3 
ibid., May 21st, 1864, 2:2 
ibid., October 8th, 1864, 2:5 
ibid., December 17th, 1864, 2:2 
ibid. , December 17th, 1864, 2:2 
ibid., December 24th, 1864, 2:4 and 

December 31st, 1864, 2:1 
ibid. January 13th. 1865, 2:1 
ibid., September 9th, 1865, 2:2 
ibid .. August 29th, 1868, 2:4 
ibid., September 12th. 1868, 2:1 
ibid., November 14th, 1868, 2:3 
ibid., January 9th, 1869, 2:5 
ibid., March 6th, 1969, 2:5. 

165 



CAROL !NA lAY. ,JUN'.E 14, 1856. 

> R ~,(} s ~ Lynch's 
:DIIJINES , 

·:: ·po fl L r }'. I~~ iul111.ln1icm -0f poi~u. At tl1at Hrr.e I  t\Jl"nkfo!J:(J(A IUJ'PT ho~e. nothing f11tUser. 3 ~II 

TUEOLJ) STA~Q 

Blo~dgood, 
'I' Rl.UST(J,\'(Jfhl. 

&w;L. I'Elt, 

\\1~~11;~:~~~~~;~~~.~~~·I~~ liritllt bird.• cit~:hu~1~~~= i~~l11:u~bw\!clw::;fo~c~0~1!~; lo!'L'i~ .~nif1:ivicn.mt ln!l..-.d"1o·trt>61:1.:l1'>· tnm:iller. 1 lookud up, imd wns il the tlnu~. ~ 
r 11:;.!i°.;.~,~~ .. ~t~:a~~~.i~~~ ~~te~i:ll- . 
oru..- . 1u1 .. 1(b.\io tb2t;1;N1:nd_11,rn.w, 
Th.: :¥OY w111Ur 1 ... ~~d '"" w~i:-

t!.oughL &f 111y friend tti:il l>CG!lpictl me too "I ref 

;,":113 1J~t 0bu;r~ !:,~~1}5~?;1~ftl~~lt~:,~b~ :~~HI~~ 
~J:c~::J';~:j i;;~l~t~:n~!;t:::~ 111~1~e:;:1~~'~ :i~~)f~; 
dnrk lh1shini; <:JM, the ~mooih brow :mil so oft.;;~ 
Rotwl11 N11ac-y~, even hi~ w11.lk- rcrnind· OJ~ bo~ 
to atnmgdr Hk~11"i~o li;.)ked up, :lnll ~nd- b;: :in 1 
1lei1!y, wllh 11a 1:i:Clnin:11ion of j.:iy, thrc\t rtnsc 1111 
himt.e! f into lll,1' atm,. •·Hu.lolph ! lt11· "W~1 
t• m.>~ rcoe>,::uim HU' , or wilt "\Yirndr 
t!.0 :1 no:! l "'n truly I.illj~~ u..,nry Lill· r-e~d j.:~ ~" J ~lnrt(;() l>:uJlr in •·oltrnhuHy - fo11l1ol "I h 11·e 
{d·~;; ~~l)}::~-:~~~?.'u 0~~~:~~1;~:1.~Li1t~::;; r;o.:;;- 1!;{ 
d<.:~d. blr .; hut.- who n~ y.:iu I' unlly th' 
"l fitJ c! -" Ho appc:1r~d per1,bii:11d, lc·t 11$ 11·ty 

/,;. nrn:s ~iul.:, 1m~lrnd tli~ li ;;ir ll:id.: from "Belo 
hi• hr (lw; "'lltlllt 1bou n&t 1 ~oo~«ito th!"/ 1~ill li r ot 
(<.:J:t r t!ul.l I r'ccohN Crvin ou r mill·ivorks 1 n•~ •ph 
1·11011 :Ila<> \?nt not rH:og,,iz..: met 1 feel I would I 
trnly th:11./ii11Yhovp1AOllCb~ll .. le tlnit thou /h·ett I' !hon:i:I~ 
I~ wn~ 11iy turn 110 1v h,> op~n my arm• tul t111IJ', iii 
!um. ~110<.hng 
"Thou do~t not recoil (rnn1 me lYi l b !wt· • l!CCM~ 

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TH~~ TIMES1 FLUSHING, MARCH 3, 1864. ,.,~~"--:"" 

:;,,-~--~~ii'.·~~~:~\~.~.~;;":~~{;0~~.~ -=-=-_!r_avel~~;~~:~~~~- __ I=- __ R_~-~1 E~_ta~~=-=-=l==~:~~ines~-C~_;:d~ _ 
I ctt'11! The be... '\ Qur .t"o:nhrr 0·1u~ fur ,:\:• ~ Civil En1Y1Ueer & Surveyor · · !l !1d roi1 1 111e :..~ t~1t}r~ w~1i,~it:l;i~J~ to :\n - NFW" YOHR .tFf.t:BHrNG H\lf HOAD,~1 FAR:rl FOIL SALE-~, -=' ... t. 1JO::;.F.:PH ~~nnw J.: ,, ( 1 , ;ca.rv11~~ l ig~·1y\\ nh:hcfl•brd-lour ~""",..,,,."'"-~~ - -i , 'tM' ' hut1'f'f:.m1.,:wne•l1a : b .. ·z1'"~:, : tt.'\'JJHE.A.l.h'f!'l:4.JV1f/' E 'ST ' ~ 

• r , " l ·~ ~.;.01~ ~ • t-1.to.Qk \"0 ~1 ! t,,-t..;,.,,,l fla~h nt a.i, ~ I ~ " • ; ~ - '°'" ~.r ~ ' 
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') Eh•.:rc 1S •J1)~ h . o.~d grnnd pa.th : o tho go:.i.I f'_j£(. .&./lR -LYOE}lF.~'r'l'. i.u r .. eJo.u c-lt1n. tJ '-'"' l.:l.>rut ~:i.rrlcn {Jn 1!,. ---------,--. 
: t iduug whit;h ll •>li1ing: bnPo <:au :nvt:l. n If\ . ' -:- • ~ - . 1· :t: 1),~~·~~"~,:~7~t: ;:·i,;~,~;;,~tl>llrt~i~(}o::t~:~i'.:;,;id .. ~~. R fOfIA:RD ~A~u1mt-:. 
: ' the p3th i;eth a~11u-t. foe .1-he iu:uc:1 o f taih!1! ,. 0 • aud •ftc r llCHDH, ·' "'" 9, 1863• ;, ,,"" ,.,. '""'" •"'''"""~'"· ' >•" "' "" · House and Sign Painte-r · ' ~ 111'1"i·=t · :llld 1iutdn purp<~:.~, 1'\t.,J,, ih~ugb , Ti~iniso!l thi il f!o:i.,}rr~lll ru:i ~ gfo!l1Hu~ ~;'.;~J~~d i:>;•;:~,'t~•~l~;:-!6;~~:~~1ti;:~., .. ~;~~;h: 1 1t'" ... ~/1~ P.\.1~t-~U.-Ut\rH• ~\\ ~ &\'.. ~~ ' ~ · ! Ill! of ohi;t, de$1 it co11brns n crn~ ':11h 11 , _"' . , _ _ • . n:J"lt i.' .BOlTS iiu-n u .. -! t~ ro~ hr~11 . l"i ·fo-~, ... m b" ac.~"nb! .. {Uppo:oih ::' lu~!iil!I> Ja.~:H1t-to:,) M.>. I!\ sr. i-~u::,gg~i ~ i ~K r r:i.t !n:ln Ct. ; Y·uDcR' Sil 1 · ' WJ! ,1' f':t;n &::"1~ ,\!lU .. , ~"ll ~bt• J. 1 c.n !.~ . DA:S!EL LAE-DLn~N 1 "' ? < 6: !~ tll:C 11 , L s:t1t1 few lllO L' U fo r c:ib!J lh;Ht!O GJ: ill 1- : '"' ~ ~~ - p Hu11hi~g.'Feb . l~. J SM . 40f> : THF.O'Nf.YPRA<'TiGJ.T. jllt("c~rcero;"Ilqcro;i.Uo 1 .1.ow.1.."r!, o fLondot1. 1 • ' • ; 6-.30 A..:tf. : ·'1 _ ---·------·----··---·------1 GE!\'·'H·\J l)['JIOJ '-TPHBR --~ . , ~~Q r 1we1~ f ;·.fivo v•::tu L1>mayLe.~aitlt:o l "I' ' 7.90 ' " ;3.f thStrcet . TOLF i $f~FOP \'f'F.RV OPY!£/.t. HS J•.:: _,, .. . : ... " ~ • '' 

[ j have l;..:eu ~liu;l;ii;g ·. , 8 '' ~ f),30 , ; ; 6 ,\ , !t[ , . - :n~ u(lr F•O~l\. S: l~l;, o::orne : o~i3f:!!;;~~r111:/~r;~1~:.!oi:"i~' l:l~xb!oor 
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• ! sc:.1i •1:ri11).: lJ.lt::S"\inuat 9 Ai::n~ OF L J.~D J.. r I JO l:b.~ s.. P J 'r'r\1.AN''~ -~ 
f i p<1; : r~ :u bvt'l rf.!p.ZJ11:d th.~ i.ummit. :H la~ t ! J r . !I ~ .2 ·~op n : l~ :: I - LITTLE· BAY S!l>E. I' J..\RG.S: nK~ .... rn&c.ua;p,EroT . . ~ Tho at:dl' ttp1111 wbich he li:\.'S h!ancd iu hlli J 3 " • ' .. ' 0 ,·. • : ·• i~ n ! A EF.,, l"OPl: LJ.Y ~1:HA7fSI . ~01tAGi':. Ii t; otal!r lt14io ,. ndWa!!hio,gt:oD 11ts., F lo.abfar •~<.: t!n t ba.3 l»:en .rn~·v. n ni-n:rnfnnd ~y lh-ai.id : " ( ·: , : i i ;1, ' ! ~;~;~~te~;~i~~ I/ <:'~,: ·y~~~',' !'~~~~~; ~1::."~ ~~ ~ :~ t".un i1 1 >h\ld·1~ .. t 'l .. ud .. o_ t 1; • : Hh ,,. ., 0,u. ~) iq 

l:.M nu~ 0 •1ty r t .\l·z~d a wc.o1 Id w1 1 l ~ c~ie- 1 S s ... O : ~ H 1 u.,w Crik. On the ;n ~11.iio u~ a 1'•ri~t,. ol a ~ , --- -----------~·· -- ·-··"~· hntv ~wd1\i'.1Jh• 1 JCl1d f 111 tu11u bm!u1.iibth'n l (S ' ' ) C.30 ' ' : l} '' }\:•~t Kn..fi.,~!'rai~~l'>'~-f!n ... prin;i:infr11H lll "' t"CJ F A . DEJt.IJY 111.~i:ihJt 1>1111~Hh.~~~r:~l:~::~i • ' .... r . 
\\ill' tl1t; ht'>:.i.lwg: p! u ;: t?r t n~u or lu 11 l't!IK 1111 .J I < c c \ L \irJI f .... flt~r. r ;irh·•'I- •l/)c-n110:.t . The vattr !;onl I D ent al S'\..1.._ geon;r 0111t i .1~nr. "'. h r, .,,, ;mid :w 't" er ~~1hert:1~e tuiye I ;: \ opp :ig 'a-~~~~~~:-c~~Q~~~\' ::-rY ~· t"~~~~~~~ · ' · ~"lU.D, ~~7~·~1·;~! :~!',~~::.,t-·;~=;tot;; ~;~~~'~;h~:~~/;;!~~1 ;):~,;~o~ t or. llr~dge ~ 1Ialn Stg.~ 
h.cc11 :.>e.nf'.hlc~ I . tl1et e.: y . 1 :i~ v~i.;i 1 me of , - 1oe~ ~ting ,,,,•j11inir.g thv i·ubl!c 'll'url.. ' J9r G'>1~r · tli~• t .1 6: } J. li~HiNQ 
d Jhj) l) IJMa :n tll1S Cl)lll\tfy ~ and U1110rtu1mt e~ j B.ah~s o f Fare, -.1 Wlilc:-:·,. )'{•::lt, r•r ~s ,,. fiuv .::M:•maudh1,: .~e:i ~mo .,.....,.._.... 
lv th~ir !11.l!lcl td ll"gio11 ba. vu. giHJd C{l.U.'1.0 t() .i"P:Oll • ),, 'J"S' s· P' '1'0' ,. nn..,·u,;p,'. POt :"'!O(I 0 11. : ld1a·,i t:~~l:i,. BB~ ,J .d.M 1 (\ \'{ . IJU 'W 1\11" l.;l. 
,:.j 11ic~ lh :-. t ·130 .wido ... 'fit .I i!li1:1t).. lill~ b&fln I " ! ~.;.hi~;;·:.,:.· ... .". :'. .' .~o!, ~ ·~;i~i.i:.~ . : ,:~, .... ~ .. .. ~. flc. i}i rr~~~~!~;~.!~~r~~~'\ ... ~di~1z~~u{.~~~ '\~1 .. ~1 ,1~t~ u:f;. ~'\ l.ttw ccy :& Couu~:l1 o r at !~::. '¥\',, 

i g-n·t::1 to tho v 1rtue1S o f r:t'5 Ptlll\ th t"_oug_h ~;~~:,;~~~.'.:i.~:·. ::: .:~i; :, ~:;!.:::~~.t~-~: ::: ::: i~~·I ~:'~~l~~.l:~d;~r;:~i~ .. 11;~..:bbo ~:i..,~d. Hrw• •"•J' . ht N'o . U1TAl;1 ST., flu~blng, 
, ttm 1..:ol~11_rn:~ of _ihu A:11 ... r1c:a.11 f'r,oJlJ~ i t1sr , tf: \'fic:\ot!.1.1i•1~u . I .. ?. -u- . 
. '. wi: l\i'C rig:i11y 1_1: formud, tho.r ll.:\YO :11:-~d r a.~B r'f t:~:ue-~ny .... ?Un. , C.:i;lrc::-: t:cm11t"rJ .... Sc.· 1-·-y- , -_ , ~ ! 1:0:01;i atto0n Uoci;:v11.n tc to ll a.11. .. l.nou•1 :1;.,~ 
! r.'~'.)~I ~- 1·c,. 1 1o w e11r.1t,~ nw re: t~~d: <>f :h ~~·d. 1 1~ - ,.. 1:;'rr./,'.~r; fe't.:~:; ~~l~;:t;~;~\:~1~~.,t~;r'=~·~\-\"~:-~~·~£}:~ FOR SALK-Tmi Y~rrr n1Pt';t.AJH.1ta·s ·~~~~~~-- ... 1 j t_1 _c~1:11g. CU1of~l i'• 1.Jt ~ h ~11;\ , l ti.llt.:r_m~du.:111e rh ... ,,..i! lO.ch . .:-seif. ' BVCSA ... :i.d.LJJ'r,.1i!,nt•doo. .i;_l:l itJSt("';· 1 LA.~tB J·~HSQ.N & O~D&:HDO~'X ,._~ 
! ! :~n 1 ~ · 1 '.t:d "' ~ ~·'"'ar ~ : .:>o, ~·;r i.;nr~Jo\ of. c;rn . .,ru·~ .~n tl 'i . r ic.!if:'!< Ti!! 'oe l•1oQ;>d ~M11) tbu I ~t;r ~~~:i.; ";::i~"rn 1~h · J'n"~{! b;.\~;;;~;~ i .. ~ W O l:' P lCI?.. ' 
1 j :.1,;ro . ul.~ and 0?. 1:• . ~:t.'?: n"! (J.:\?r;\.,rc hy ;,:•t '111-T.''! ·:•~h ;1'"nfti.(vtl_?: "n•I !.;l\ut !ieOl" not , .ir e tb~ -J •. 11 .. C!I) or 'I~ :wn::.l: , !,.ill. \•;;i };oo;n •• I!. ('lo•et i-:ir f'~~u r Ot·~: ·Tb~ Li;it I~ J OU·:-.· G. L.U1.SF.lt$t.)!f , 
vnu chcU for ny Lh!! Lc('\<.111 •itl:i a c.r.r ... 1111!1 , .. l~l.-c \; ' :.L n . nxnt~f)(.JX.Sl: . 

: f ~!Ji . uid ·i1r o1101111cl, incrotli\Jle, 'l'hkfiO m.~(~i~ 1 rc:f,.~r~(T:~!~io~~~~J~~:d..:~~::~~l~; ~!~,11~.; ~·~~!(t :~~t .. ~r·~f:tr~::~~fi::~~;~:,~~;.~":_.:'~~;~ ~:;1 ~~ ~:~;; : 3·p~~ml ~UcoH~n ,;,..,0 to s~ .;1 r:i.tat• bn•im~_&tt 
! c.i,es 1'.ee1u t o du what IH> o ~ iter ~rl n~n1~:d ! :i~ :u n O·eioc.);:. f'.X. ,. 0 \! P.uaie-r'~f~ iint r.t l !! . ~::. m ., oe.a.r tb',. floe,. .. . J'o·~ ~t•lio:"? (fT" " i~l'IH'd i1tdy . Ap · I ~0:1_1'. 1 1!:i.~.•n:: cl th;,., 1-n~ l.o~m»)!OJl"'1' ""1 my_d.1 i >.: 1edic~ 11~~ ha.vi;: ef'er c.l{)(r(l b ..,,forn--/!{!jc/.j 'I ou 1 hio ~T:iY:o.1 o ~ lhv I'.! ., ·c1v.:k 3~ :th ~ L 1-~r r ... Rntt , pl}' to-£. U GP.13W()J.l1, on tbt 11rcn:i • rJ< , M ~o • rl " ' ·:l4-gc., io ·"11" Mkt'hf 'Jb~:l !!-;,~ !."'•

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.! r1, 0 f'.J..R ~f ti;n .. ~ G \ I!DE:'fERS A ND e<.\/ut.r.t0n;;bl;o.r.<\.~n_mt1~& 1 roml~n)o)lyn_ 11 At.tlorue.r ,'\; cun nstl\1>1' a\ 1...o.w -
I.!. 1~~'lr.?.s. FREJGUT.BQ.\.TFORFJXS8 I~Q ! ! 9'od :!rrt11Ulll,r,u;; lkliur11 ~r•A a ..... t•" .r-"1ft_r j -•J-
. j X ,\f;llfr:u-..-i~~ ,r~~Jt\'.,~~ c;t;;°,;~(~){:;; '"Jf,;·oxa(j}"~I; re · ~-~ ~ ll~:"<"~ tH IL1e hnirl 'li ,'uhu\ ~ht: bt.1Hd1ug.• . ll"Oltloi ho • ••Ir\ ~ Prr.mp t.nte:J\ioG g!no \ll all b1.1~fot11 t,J1t'.T1U 
; ~r:J ·~ ~\:~' ~t:..~1 r.-1~:-11 st:0n:H1;:ai"~Y of' · ~ ~ .. · 1~~~J '!·m.1·':!;;;;,:r~}~?~~:~: 1~',;,e :i~.:~~~;;';;~, r~~'::!~ t~:~.~.::. ·-·~-----·--~ -~---":al 
i 6RUCE::>'S Tho Steainboat Crnlb:la.uk._s·~ fkCJ!\•l v•1 , <>q •i ZP.lJt'l.OX SE1i.Rl~G. r'.[1fO'JA~ C PI'.'\CK"\FY 

1 ! Concentrated ?itfanu.re, M A R y vv r N s L o \/\/ :f' 0si tile r~t..inu.::IJ. · .\ · ... · . · . · · , 
l l)u:- a.!lnl:..,r r .. rtili. .. u ; lf'• i•Ho ... (;1 .. p ir"~ fr <"lm l:H•1 Gtv.n HlillLl:\G , TO J ~.-'1:1.rnt !! u e la.rg-e )!iLns:on, m Attor~cy , '\ii c.onns.t.Uor :r.t L it.w.,: '. I ~?"(. ... ,.· :;;o"'; .. T:t~~~:·c~ ~~:· • r~~~;;:ct;;~t~~i :~:~;~~ Wu: 1~;1.,,. T'IfR ~~ R, R. (~ul•un ~t•1~..,t ~iq• ,) nf J~~~;ni.! · :.:.,~Jul!.~ ~' ~ !';:~:~? :i1;~1 f:~~:~~;·! : J~l OIDu, No . ?! lfu&:an St r t e1, 
• !='l)r 1,..,, ~- M .. ~'.V~··:. >t !I"" .:ir no fAf _lh':I~·!. ·•tJ~f.) rll."\I D!JLi, (SWJd:tn e:ue-pted,, fIJ\O BE1\'J .. '.. ~1 LN G. FIELD, 1: ~i:rr~<~~~:u\~f;;:fl c~1~rn·~n~~~:.;r~t ~;:~ 1~.:;r'rl!~~~1: :;~l;·:~h;~~ i:;w.:i :!l:uc ft.Jur•ble ...r · :1ii; .-m~:it• bJ wi:t~·:;r~~ 1~· .. ::~1~\1t, 'l'4"'/ , COPP.EH, AND Slh;ET !RON WOilKl 
: ! ;~;~~r!'.1r)t~::f·:/6~i~~,~~ ;1Mh~~1~,~~'.~r:::·\:1~~ J.. Jt wn.1rnL~·~ n!ll w1wt1 . Apri l : o, IM~. ll.r< iu :-1 .. t-'1 1.1 .. hiag. Cnion-st:, near Public Sdkoot, 
. j l'ROUr.n.n. ,. - -- y.1.1,UAllLt;; llcfl, Dl'.\G SJTE . FLU$llHIG. ,_ 

I 
l'.~>.d tb ~ foll<'l •tiot >.1Hl ~:i.1 ll ib• Ji\1-o.,-,. b rio: tnur. 'l' l:t.IF" TltflLF: FOll. ~t!Ul(;.H 1864. ' I I 

t !~,:r':~,~~~tllr:1~\\\c;; ::O il<\ BIMd. • .. L'!:..Ln: HJ.."i-l;f l~G , • . p \) R s A. LE . QO~T~~l;~nt:o· ~~;~~t~=!~:~i.Jes, ~~~.~d lO..a-~;4 
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c1•nt 1hdie• .. Your 1L~11b1vous "1'an 1421 •II< .L -·- " 11,. •uh;..,.u., •>ffor• ror ••l• "> Civil Engineer&; Surveyor, 
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