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The Story
of

Woodhaven
and

Ozone Park
VINCENT F. SEYFRIED

QUEENS COMMUNITY SERIES



A
TheStory ofWoodhavenand
Ozone Park

has been made possible through the sponsorship of
the GreaterWoodhavenDevelopment Corporation

7f $0£-020^



The Story
of
WoodhavenandOzone Park

VINCENT F. SEYFRIED

QUEENS COMMUNITY SERIES



COLUMBIA FEDERAL
SAVINGS BANK

�
OHLERT-RUGGIERE

�
WALSH-LaBELLA & SON

Sponsored the Publication
of this Volume by

Generously Donating
to its Cost



CONTENTS

Chapter Page
Preface 5

1 Colonial Woodhaven 7
II Union Course & Centreville

-The Golden Age of Racing 11
111 John R. Pitkin and the Founding of Woodhaven 21
IV The LaLance & GrosjeanFactory

- Its Impact on Woodhaven 29
V Portrait of Woodhaven - From the Civil War to 1898 45
VI Woodhaven and Ozone Park

-The Development Boom, 1898 - 1920 61
VII Transportation Comes to Woodhaven 73
VIII The Explosive Boom of the 1920s 83
IX The Cyclone of 1895 93
X The Churches of Woodhaven & Ozone Park 97
XI The Schools of Woodhaven & Ozone Park 107
XII Old and New Street Names in Woodhaven 111

Sources 171



Preface
We are celebratingthis year - 1985- the 150th anniversary of the foun-

ding of Woodhaven by JohnR. Pitkin. Pitkin, a Connecticut Yankee,bought
out several farms in 1835and had the land mapped out as the future city of
Woodville. It is fitting that we should mark this sesquicentennial with a com-
memorative history presenting the interesting and as yet untold story of
Woodhaven: how it was founded, howit grew and the factors that shaped the
emerging community into what it is today.

The Bicentennial of our country in 1976and the Queens Tricentennial
of 1983 have togethersparked arenewedinterest in the local past in all quarters
of Long Island. The Legislature of the State of New York has reflected this
renewal of interest in the local past by mandating the teaching of local history
in our public schools so that students will not only learn the originsof the com-
munity they live in, but more importantly, develop a sense of pride in their
local heritage; the landmarks, institutions, etc. that make every community
special and unique.

Thematerial availablefor the studyofQueens County hasadmittedly been
very limited and uneven up to now. This study and others like it represents
an attempt to publicize the rich cultural heritage of Queens and to make it
available to the general public in words and in pictures.
A word as to the title. The names "Woodhaven" and "Ozone Park" have

become in recent years very elastic terms. Historically, all the area around the
Lalance and Grosjean plant from Rockaway Blvd. on thesouth to Jamaica Aye.
on the north has been for a hundred years andmore the traditionalWoodhaven
heartland and the newspapers and maps all bear this out. Ozone Park was at
first only the land east of the RockawayBranch of the Long Island R.R. to 106th
St.and south to Rockaway Blvd. Over the years the name became popularand
developers beganto apply the name to additional tracts: Ozone Park Heights,
OzonePark Homes, etc. SinceWorldWar II there has been a tendency, perhaps
encouraged by the Post Office, to call everything south of Atlantic Avenue
"Ozone Park" and everything north of it "Woodhaven." This would certainly
surprise and confuse the old Woodhavenites of 1900but time andusage often
play strange tricks.Since both communities areclosely intertwined, developed
togetherand arevirtually inseparable, I have includedboth in a hyphenatedtitle.

I am indebted tomany persons for contributingillustrations to this book:
TheLong Island Roomof the QueensboroughPublicLibrary, Robert Stonehill,
Robert Presbrey, JosephR. Brunelle, Ron Ziel, William Christensen, Robert
Friedrich, Edward B. Watson; my special thanks goes to William B. Madden
for copying numerous brochures and newspaper cuts.

June 1985 Vincent F. Seyfried



CHAPTER I

Colonial Woodhaven

Like many other villages on the south side of the
island, Woodhaven occupies the outwash plainat the
foot of the terminalmoraine, the hilly backbone run-
ning along the center of westernLong Island mark-
ing the farthest southern advance of the last glacier.
Most of the outwash plain onwhich Woodhaven lies
is only 20 to 30 feet above sea level, but north of
JamaicaAvenue the moraine ridge rises steeply to
heightsof 150to 170 ft. culminatingat one point in
Cypress Hills Cemetery to 188 ft. Centuries before
the white man came, the Indians of the area, mov-
ing along the base of the high land above, un-
consciously created a footpath extending from East
NewYork east to Jamaicaand on intoNassau Coun-
ty. This Indian track developed in the course of cen-
turiesinto the Jamaica Avenue of today. This ancient
roadwaywhich the Dutch and Englishcolonists found
fully developed and in use, was elevatedby decree
of the royal government on June 19, 1703 to the
status of a king's highway. Because theroad led from
Brooklyn Ferry to the colonial village of Jamaica, it
early became known as JamaicaAvenue.
It was along this colonial highway that the earliest

settlers first found their way to the vicinity of
Woodhaven late in the 17th century. Among the
earliest of thesewasDow Jansen Ditmars, who settled
on a farm east of Woodhaven Boulevard and south
of Jamaica Avenue about 1687. What may be his
or his son's tombstone can still be seen in the old
Wyckoff-Snedicker Cemetery at 96th Street. In the
early 1700'sthere were no stonecutters in business,
so the grave was marked by a rude field stonemark-
ed "D.DA 71", that is, Dow Ditmars, year 1771. A
similar stone marked "G.D.A 22" is that of another
unknown Ditmars. Other than these ancient
monuments thereare no other traces of the Ditmars
family in Woodhaven today.

Starting at theborough line and runningalong the
north side of Jamaica Avenueto near 85thStreet and

extending deep into the present Forest Park, were
thelands ofanother oldDutch family, theLotts, well-
known in Flatbush and New Lots. During the 19th
century StephenN. Lott (1820-1862) and his sons
Nicholas and Charles, still owned estates of several
acres facing the avenue.
The land from85th Street to near 90th Street was

owned by the Wyckoff family, another Brooklynclan
of Dutch descent; the last farm owner was Jacob S.
Wyckoff, a minister in the Reformed Church.
The two blocks from near 90th Street to

Woodhaven Blvd., were held for a centuryand more
by the Suydams, another old Dutch clan well -know
in Brooklyn. Daniel R. Suydam was the last owner.
The Suydams, like theLotts and Wyckoffs, were the
owners of a part of Forest Park.
The Vanderveers, long settled in New Lots and in-

termarried with the Ditmarsand Wyckoffs, owned the
land north and south of Jamaica Avenue from
Woodhaven Boulevard to about 96th Street. This
land, formerly of Ditmars, had passed to the
Snedickersand then to the Vanderveers early in the
19th century; Dominicus, the last owner, himself
broke up the family acres into building lots.
The Napiers, a family ofprobably Scotch origin,

came to Long Island in 1844and owned property
north and south of Jamaica Avenue to about 104th
Street, the beginning ofRichmond Hill. The Napiers,
like the Vanderveers, later took an active part in
breaking up their own farm land into streets and
building lots.
In the 18thcentury the whole Woodhaven area -broadly speaking, the triangle bounded by Jamaica

Avenue on the north, Woodhaven Boulevard on the
east and Old South Road on the south (Pitkin, Albert
& North Conduit Ayes.)- was wholly empty of set-
tlement. Thesole houses in the area were the very
scattered dwellingsof theSnedickers, Lotts, Wyckoffs,
Suydams and Vanderveers that dotted the primitive



TheWykoff-SnedekerCemteryon96thStbehindSt.MatthewsEpiscopal churchistheoldestthingisWoodhaven. ThisistheStoneofDowJansenDitmars whosettledonafarmalong JamaicaAve.&eastofWoodhavenBlvd. about 1687.Beforetombstonesbecamecommerciallyavailable

people had tousefield stoneslike this.



roads at wide intervals. The flat terrain slopinggent-
ly southward to JamaicaBaywas easily cultivated and
withoutanymarked features. It was anenvironment
that made possible a tranquil and simple existence
and thiswas well- suited- to the stolidDutch tempera-
ment of the settlers whose large families by natural
increasespilled over fromFlatlands and NewLots into
the virgin acres of southern Queens. Nearly all of the
farm folkhad tiesto the Dutch Reformed Church and
onSundays they drove in theircarriages to worship
in the old Dutch church at New Lots and Schenck
Avenuesin East New York and tosocialize afterwards
with their friends andneighbors. Some Woodhaven
folkburied their dead in the churchyard,- but about
1785, the Wyckoffs and the Snedickers each deed-
edaplot, about 80 x 266 feet on theborder linealong
their respective farms and established a local bury-
ing ground that still exists at 96th Streetbehind St.
Matthew's Episcopal Church. Between 1791 and
1900, over 200 local residents were buried here.
Though the cemetery is badly neglected today, it is
oneof the few surviving relics ofWoodhaven'searliest
days and marks the resting place of its oldest
inhabitants.

Before the beginning of settlement access to the
territorylater tobeknown asWoodhaven waspossible
by threeroads only, each in useby 1750at the latest.
We have spoken of Jamaica Avenue growing out of
an Indian trail. In 1809, as a means of relieving the
inhabitants of some of the burden and expense of
keeping the public roads passable and in repair, the
Queens County Commissioners of Highways, with
the permission of the citizens, sold the legal title to
JamaicaAvenue to aprivate turnpike company.The
idea was that those who actually used the roads
should pay for them. On March 17, 1809 the
Brooklyn, Jamaicaand FlatbushTurnpike Company
was incorporated and the Highway Commissioners
turned over the road to the company for $50. The
company erected toll gates, one at Cypress Hills
Cemeterygate and one at Van Wyck Avenue and
collected tollswhich varied with the size of the vehi-
cle, number of horses and length traveled. In 1835
the roadpassed into the possessionof theLong Island
Railroad, which sold it in 1851 to the Jamaica and
Brooklyn Plank Road Company. This company in
1879passed to the horse car company and still later
to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. Jamaica
Avenue provedto be the last tollroad in Queensand

toll continued to be collected on thisbusy street until
as late as October 6, 1897.

The Old South Road (Pitkin, Albert&North Con-
duit Ayes.) crossed South Ozone Park from west to
east just at the edge of the meadowland bordering
JamaicaBay. It grew up some time in the 17th cen-
tury and was much used in colonial days for it was
the only east-westroad acrossQueensbelow Jamaica
Avenue.
The third colonial highway throughWoodhaven

and Ozone Park was Woodhaven Boulevard. This
road appears on the 18thcentury maps of Queens
but little is known about it; since the road had no
name, it was vaguely referred to as "the old road
leading to the bay," for it did give sole access to the
marshgrass and shellfish so valued in colonial days.
Later, in the 19th century, it became known as
FlushingAvenue. The modern name, Woodhaven
Boulevard, does not come into use before about
1910.
In the whole firsthalf of the 19th century the only

new road to be laid out through Woodhaven and
Ozone Park was the Jamaica and Rockaway Turn-
pike, today's Rockaway Blvd., in 1806. This was
another private toll road laid out from the Brooklyn
borough line in a straight line southeast to Baisley
Pond and then south across the meadows to
LawrenceandFarRockaway. For many years tollwas
collected at the Woodhaven toll gate at Liberty Aye.
and Rockaway Avenueby Henry Nelson Abrams, a
Woodhaven blacksmith who, in his younger days,
shod horses at the Union Course and Centerville race
tracks. (1) On July4, 1883 the tollhouse burnt down
and the company thereafter bothered to collect toll
only at the Lawrence gate.

1. BE, May 19, 1900 16:6 and LIF Apr. 27, 1900, 1:5.



Anotherveryearlystoneis thisoneforG.Ditmars. Theoldcemeteryhasbeen convertedintoarearyardforSt.Matthew'sepiscopalchurchandthefewstonesthatremainedhavebènheapedupagainstthe churchwall.



CHAPTER II

Union Course & Centerville -
The Golden Age of Racing

Thehistory ofWoodhaven really beginsnot in the
area commonly denotedby the term today - the-
streetsnumbered in the 80s and 90s around Atlantic
Avenue, but rather in the area adjoining the Brooklyn
border near Cypress Hills. Here in the 1830s, arose
the hamlet ofUnionville, later Union Course, and for
the next thirty or forty years this area flourished and
attracted the attention of the outside world until well
after the Civil War, when Woodhaven to the east
came into its own. The key to this early fame was
horseracing and it is interestingto note that this same
Woodhaven area is uniqueamong Long Island com-
munities in having given birth to no less than three
famous race tracks: Union Course, Centerville and
today's Aqueduct. Before the Civil War it was the
pride ofSouthernplanters to raiseblooded horses on
their extensive plantations and to send them north
to race the best horses of the North in the New York
area. Race tracks were established on the edges of
the city and so it happened that UnionCourse came
to be established in 1821 just outside the settled por-
tion ofBrooklyn. Union Course extended from79th
Street on the west to84th Street on the east and from
Jamaica Avenue on the north to Atlantic Avenue on
the south. A substantial fence ran around the tree-
shaded property and there was a grandstand and
clubhouse at what is now 78th Street and 90th
Avenue.
In the 18th century, horse racing had flourished

at the Haymarket Track in the Town of Hempstead,
but in 1821 the NewYorkState Legislature authorized
"trials of speed" inQueens County each May and Oc-
tober for ten years, and in 1834 this term was fur-
ther extended for 15years longer. Union Coursewas
laid out in 1821because of this legislative encourage-
ment, a track nearly oval in shape and just over a

mile in circuit. It sprang to fame quickly on May 27,
1822 when it became the scene of the contest bet-
ween "Eclipse"representing the North and "SirHenry"
representing the South; reportedly, $200,000 chang-
ed hands when the stallions raced for a stake of
$20,000 a side with "Eclipse" the victor. All during
the 1830s and 40s, racingattracted crowds to Union
Course. Interestingly, the first accident on the Long
Island R.R. occurred on May 3, 1836when a train
of flat cars loaded with spectators for the Union
Course crashed into a cow; a second train following
close behind couldn't stop in time and plowed into
the first. The Long Island R.R. had been in opera-
tiononly twoweeks at the time! Another famous race
immortalized in a lithograph by Currier & Ives was
that between "Fashion" of the North and "Peytona"
of the South before 70,000 spectators on May 13,
1845. "Peytona" won.
The rampant betting and dishonesty at the track

gave running racing a bad name and by 1850 this
formof racing succumbed toan aroused public con-
science. The owners of the track tried novelties like
chariotracing andracing with lady drivers for awhile
but failed to attract the public. Then, suddenly, trot-
tingracing caught on, and fromabout 1855to 1871,
Union Course enjoyedprosperity that surpassedeven
the best seasons of the past. To capitalize on this, the
UnionAssociation was formed on July 3, 1858 with
a capital of $100,000 and took over ownership of
the course. The club very soon had 250 members
and its own book ofrules; its clubhouse stood at 78th
Street and 90th Avenue. A number of gifted horse
trainers and drivers, particularlyHiramWoodruff and
John Murphy and a galaxy of exceptional horses
made their own names and that of Union Course a
national byword. "Dexter", "Flora Temple", "William



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CHAPTER VI

The Development Boom:
Ozone Park & Woodhaven

The decades immediately after the CivilWar were
an era of extraordinary quickening of the national
pulse; the stimulus to industry that waralways pro-
duces and the rising tide of immigration fromEurope
were felt nowhere more strongly than in Brooklyn
whichreacted by expandingin the only directions it
could go - eastand south. This natural spilling-over
was checked momentarilyby the Panic of 1873which
graduallydeepened into the real Depression of 1877.
By 1879 thecountry, and Brooklyn inparticular, were
on the mend and the push into the suburbs for new
housingand escapefrom Ihe crowded older districts
gained new momentum. In 1886, Brooklyn annex-
ed the Town of New Lots, today's East New York,
Cypress Hills and Canarsie, and it was evident toall
that once these suburbs had filled up, people would
look to Queens for fulfillment of their dream of a
house of their own in the country.
In many ways, the situation wasmade to order for

real estate developers and land speculators. Pitkin
himself had been one of the earliest of this breed.
These determined men, sometimes with substantial
capitalbehind them, would buy up several contiguous
farms atbetter than market prices and then announce
the opening of a new suburb. The choice of an at-
tractive sounding, euphonious name was all-
important:tf " name had to have a positive ring, andevoke in the mind of the purchaser green acres, lushwithrustic woodlandand pure airandwater. The map
of Queens today is dotted with such developer's
come-ons: Elmhurst with no stands of elm; Forest
Hills which never had either; Kew Gardens which
never had public gardens; and Laurelton with no
laurels.
In Woodhaven, the 1880s and 90s witnessed the

outbreak of a wholerash of "parks" -nine cf them
in fact: Ozone Park, Simpson Park, Wyckoff Park,

Woodhaven Park, Belmont Park, Columbia Park,
Napier Park, Eldert Park and Chester Park. All of
these have faded into the limbo ofhistory except the
first. Why didOzone Park alone survive and, in fact,
flourish so mightily that the name of OzonePark has
todayalmost devoured the Woodhaven that gave it
birth? The answer lies in the fact that Ozone Park
alone had a railroad station and this acted to keep
the name alive by constant repetition in the con-
sciousness of local commuters and travellers for long
decades down to the present day.
Ozone Park was the brainchild of two real estate

developers, BenjaminW. Hitchcock and Charles C.
Denton. Hitchcock was a music publisher in New
York and an experienced land speculator; he had
started Woodside in 1867, South Flushing in 1872,
Garden City Park in 1874and others. The two men
began work in June 1882 and filed a map the next
month of theiroriginal buildingsection, running from
Woodhaven Boulevard to 103rd Street and from 97th
Avenueto 103rd Avenue. The wholepurchasewas
carved up into 316 lots of 25 x 100 each. Why did
Hitchcock and Dentonboom thisparticular tract? The
undoubted explanation lies in the sudden availabili-
ty of easyrapid transit through 100th Street, the heart
of thedevelopment. The New York, Woodhaven &
Rockaway Railroad had opened its new railroad in
1880from Long Island City to Howard Beach and
then across five miles of open water to Rockaway
Beach. The long trestle across the water was the
engineering marvel of its day and crowds of summer
excursionists tookadvantage of the road toenjoy the
novel sensation of riding a train over miles of open
water and of passing a day at the beach. A railroad
station forOzone Park was opened just south of 101st
Avenue. During 1883and 1884, Hitchcock & Den-
ton bought additional ground, extending their new



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"park"on the south from 103rd and Liberty Avenue,
on the east from 103rd to 104th Street, and on the
north from 97th Avenue to 95th Avenue. Theoriginal
lots were all renumbered and the new tract was just
about doubled in size to 630lots. The original Ozone
Park, then, lay on either side of the railroad and was
a kind of buffer stripbetween Woodhaven on thewest
and Richmond Hill on the east. The local press of
the day commented approvingly on all this activity:

Messrs.Benjamin W. HitchcockandCharles C. Den-
ton are improving and selling lots at "Ozone Park"
adjoining the village of Woodhaven on the line of
theNew York, Woodhaven&RockawayR.R. A fine
depot is to be erected at once by the railroad com-
pany. Stone sidewalksare tobe laid immediately and
in the fall, shade treesand shrubbery are to adorn
the lots.Long Islandneedsmen of enterprise to im-
proveand develop its landsandmen with ability and
nerve to create a boom.

-Hempstead Inquirer, July 14, 1882 2:4

The saleof lotsat OzonePark is veryrapid. 270 hav-
ing been disposed of within a short time. The pur-
chasersare, for the mostpart, peopleofrespectability
and have secured their lots for the purpose of
building housesand havinghomesof theirown. The
newdepot is almost completed. It is built witha tower
from the top of whicha fine view of the ocean and
bay canbe obtained. The architectandbuilder isMr.
Thomas Howard ofFlushing. Arrangementsare be-
ing made for a number of new dwellings. Among
those contemplatingbuildings areMr. Van Wicklen,
Mrs. Hitchcockand Mr. Pazine. The foundation for
a large three-story buildingwhich is tobe used for
a store hasbeen laid and the building will be raised
next week. The workof street-makinghasprogressed
with wonderful rapidity; blocks of artificial stone
sidewalkshave beenlaidand the intention is to sur-
round everyblock similarly. The advantage of this
will be fully appreciated by those who live in subur-
ban places wheresuch improvementsare lackingand
the vast expense is fully compensated by the tone
and character given to the property.

-Newtown Register, Nov. 23, 1882 1:2

OzonePark. Thissmall but rapidly improvingvillage
is situated about two miles west of Jamaicaon the
line of the Long IslandR.R. It is also on the line of
the New York, Woodhaven& Rockaway R.R. The
latter company has erected a very handsome station
near the office of the building association, and not-
withstanding the fact that ithasbeen in existence but
a fewmonths, it meetswitha fairshare ofpatronage.
A fewmonths ago, several NewYorkcapitalists pur-
chased a large tract of land, part of which is Ozone
Park. Their object was to lay it out in building lots
and then to sell only to those who would erect

buildings that would add to the adornment of the
place. The association will notallowanybuilding less
than two stories high to be erected and it must be
well painted and the surrounding ground kept in
good order. Onlya short time ago, 14 lots weresold
to New York parties for$275a lot, and previous to
the association owning the property, unimproved
theycould be bought for$75. Among manyothers
who are building are: Mr. Keil, A.H. Collins, S.B.
Hitchcock, Mr. Suydam, Mr. Prall, T.S. Brady,
JamesMcc and Mrs. Sillaway. The groundsare nice-
ly laid out in streets, and sidewalks of concrete
pavementshave beenlaid down. Over 2,000 shade
trees were planted this season.

-NewtownRegister. June 28, 1883 1:5

Ozone Park is the suggestive and euphonious title
of a section of land to the east of Woodhaven and
west of the Woodhavenand Rockaway R.R. where
considerableproperty hasbeen purchasedand villas
are to go up in the spring.

-Hempstead Inquirer, Mar. 7, 1884 4:1

The village ofWoodhaven is growing rapidly and it
has beenstated 40new dwellingsare to be erected
the coming spring at Ozone Park. A large number
ofbuildershaverecently taken up theirresidence in
the village in anticipation of plenty of work for
months to come. The builders have been busy all
through the winter and some fine buildings are now
approaching completion.

-King Co. Rural Gazette. Mar. 22, 1884 2:6

On November 14, 1889, OzonePark wasaccorded
the honorof its own post officewith EnosH. McAr-
thur as first postmaster.
Besides the original Ozone Park, two later

developments borrowed the name: "Ozone Park
Heights", a typicallymisleading real estate name since
the land dropped altitude closer to JamaicaBay, was
launched in June 1896and embraced a small tract
on the south of the real Ozone Park, bounded by
Liberty Avenue, 105th Street, Rockaway Boulevard
and the railroad. Still later, in March 1906, the"Ozone
Park Home Co." opened a small development of499
lots midway between Ozone Park and Aqueduct,
bounded by 108th Avenue, the railroad, Plattwood
Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. Today, this is
where the Liberty Avenue elevated line curves tojoin
the former Long Island Rail Road tracks toRockaway.
Some of thelocally prominentmen in Woodhaven

itself, whose wealth andposition enabled them to deal
and toinvest inreal estate and toundertake building
operations, were responsible for part of the building
boom of the 1880s and '90s. Florian Grosjean was



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the most prominent of these individuals; William F.
Wyckoff, a lawyer and later judge, was another.

The villageof Woodhavenis growing rapidly.W.G.
Piatt is building two residences and Counsellor
Wyckoff and Mr. Prall are building one each. Mr.
Grosjean has sold a large tenement house and will
build several more.

-NewtownRegister, Feb. 11, 1886
Twenty-five housesare going up in Woodhaven. The
most prosperousplace on Long Island isWoodhaven
where 25 new houses are in course of erection and
manymore will be needed to accommodate the in-
flux of population. Mr. Grosjean's factory now
employs about 800 handsand the buildings are be-
ing enlarged to giveemployment to 200 more men.
The village is to be lighted by gas, Mr. Grosjean hav-
ing completedarrangements with the UnionGasCo.
of EastNew York and the workof laying the mains
has commenced. Rapid Transit has done much to
build upWoodhaven and itsneighbor on the south
side. OzonePark. In thislatter place, ten new houses
are being erected. Mr. Cobleigh is building a public
hall inWoodhaven. A residencewith schoolaccom-
modations is nearly completed for the Ursuline
Sisters.

-Brooklyn Eagle. Aug. 31, 1886 2:5
The population is now a trifleover 1,800. Mr. Gros-
jean haspurchased a largetract oflandbetween the
railroad and the turnpike and intends todot it all over
with cottages. Adjoining the trestle workand runn-
ing north to the hills, a Philadelphia syndicate has
paid $100,000 forthe Desraismesproperty of near-
ly 125acres and ishaving a surveymade preparatory
to the erection ofbuildings and offering sites to the
public. Right adjoining are Morris Park and Rich-
mond Hill, twogrowingand beautiful suburbs. In ad-
dition to the accommodation and low faresoffered
by the Rapid Transit trains, these villages will soon
have the additional facilities ofan electric railway run-
ning on the turnpike between East New York and
Jamaica and they enjoy likewise the privilege of
travelling on the through trains. With all of theseaids
to growth and being but a mile from the Brooklyn
line, it would be strange indeed if these villages did
not expand rapidly.

-L.I. City Weekly Star, Oct. 14, 1887 5:6

Twenty houses are in course of erection at
Woodhaven and Ozone Park and the water works
is being extended to every part of both villages.
HenrickL. Van Wicklen and hisnephew have con-
tracted to sell 20 acres of land to Charles Davison
for$20,000, the purchaser intending to lay it out in
building lots as an annex to Ozone Park. Within a
fortnight, 100 plotshavebeen sold to personswho
intend to have dwellings erected. Mr. Grosjean is
building two handsome residencesand houses have

begun to show themselves on land recently laid out
at the Junction.

-Brooklyn Eagle, Oct. 20. 1888 5:8
Mr. Florian Grosjean will commence the erection of
a number ofcostly dwelling houses on his property
on Atlantic Avenue and adjoining the old Union
Course in the spring. Theywill be similar to the one
he has justcompleted andwill be fitted with all the
modern improvements.

-L.I. City Weekly Star. Jan. 4, 1889 3:3
Florien Grosjeanof Brooklyn whoowns a large tract
of land between the railroad and turnpike at
Woodhaven is having it graded and will invest
$100,000 in houses ranging in price from $200 to
$3,500.

-L.I. City Weekly Star. June 20, 1890 3:3

After the Hitchcock development of Ozone Park
in 1882-1884, the next big real estate event was the
breaking-up of the old Union Course or race track
property. After lying derelict for a dozen years, the
old track was sold in June 1888by the two sons of
William I. Shaw, the owner.

It has finallybeen determinedamong theheirs of the
estate of the late William Shawwho owned the old
race track to put the property on the market. This
is a fine tract of landreaching from the JamaicaTurn-
pike to the Long IslandRail Road. It was at one time
a famous resort forsportingmen not onlyofthis sec-
tion but of the whole country and most of the best
horsesofthat day competed over it. The heirs of the
estate propose to manage the sale themselves and
surveyors are now mapping it out in the most con-
venient form for purchasers.- Hempstead Inquirer. Jun. 8, 1888 2:3

This very large property ran from 78th Street to
84th Street and from Jamaica Aye. to Atlantic Aye.
The upper two-thirds from Jamaica Aye. to 91st
Avenue was divided up in 695 lots of 25 x 100 size
and sold to Benjamin W. Hitchcock. The lower third,
inherited by Sheldon B. Shaw, from 91st Aye. to
Atlantic Avenue was cut up into 204 lots of25 x 100
size and sold to Ernest G. Stedman. The whole
desirable tract was thrown on the market and sold
readily during the 1890s.By 1910 it was covered with
private residences.

The next big development in Woodhaven was
"Brooklyn Hills", the creation of the Brooklyn Hills
Improvement Co. This shrewdly-chosen name trad-
ed on the fact that the tract was near Brooklyn and
so would be attractive to Brooklynites, while evok-
ing visionsofwoods androlling country. The first sec-
tion ofBrooklyn Hills was opened in 1889, consisting



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A historic piece of property came on the market
in 1892 - the oldThomas Snedeker propertyadjoin-
ingUnion Course and across thestreet from thelater
horse railroad depot. The estate lay on thesouth side
of Jamaica Avenue from 78th Street tomidway bet-
ween 75th & 76th Streets and down almost to88th
Avenue. In later years, the land passed to Domenicus
Vandeveer and his sons put the property on the
market in 1892, cutting it up into 129 lots of 20 x
100 size.
One of the large and important developments was

"Brooklyn Manor", another of those artfully-contrived
real estatenames, designedto evoke images of estate-
like homes and located very near to Brooklyn. The
tract ran from Jamaica Avenue on thesouth toForest
Park on the north and from WoodhavenBoulevard
on the west toabout 100 feet east of 96thStreet. The
property, which had been successively Ditmars,
Snediker and finally Vandeveer property, was
surveyed in 1892 and then cut up into 603 building
lots of 20 x 100 size. The narrowness of the lots would
have inevitably led toBrooklyn-like crowdingof dwell-
ings but the developersavoided this byrequiring each
buyer to build on two lots, thus insuringhandsomer
and suburban-like homes on roomy plots. A few
showy corner homes were erected or. 80-foot lots.
The lastbig development north of Jamaica Avenue

was "Forest Parkway" in August 1900,an attractive-
sounding name coined by its developers. As a visi-
ble sign of grandeur, Forest Parkway not only had
the sound of a major street but was laid out as an
80-foot road in contrast toall others in Woodhaven
which were only 50and occasionally 60 feet wide.
Besides all this, Forest Parkway was the only street
tobe macadamized right from the start, meaning that
instead of the usual dirt surface, several successive
layers of crushed rock were laid down to assure a
smooth all-weather surface. When one reflects that
Forest Parkway, so pretentiously named, goes
nowhere and is only six short blocks long, it is dif-
ficult to see other than high social aspiration behind
thename. Forest Parkway, alone of the development
streets, still retains its name today, something of a
distinction after all. "Forest Parkway" was the nar-
rowest of all the developments, extending only 100
feet west of the parkway and 300 feet eastof it and
running from Jamaica Avenue toForest Park. All the
houses in the developmentwere largeand werebuilt
on plotswith 40or 50-foot fronts. The property had

formerlybeen part of the largeLott farm in the 18th
century.
The success of the "Forest Parkway" development

spawned three close neighbors, "ForestPark East",
"ForestPark West" and "Forest Park South". "Forest
Park East" extended from 200 feet west of 85thStreet
to 100feet east of 86thStreet and again from Jamaica
AvenuetoForestPark. The tract had in the 18th cen-
tury belongedto the Lotts, but in the 19th century
had come into possession ofHenry L. Wyckoff and
his widow sold it to developersabout May 1906. All
the homes built in the tract followed the pattern set
in "Forest Parkway" - big homesof 40-foot minimum
frontage with some corner homes on lots 100 feet
square.
On the other side of "Forest Parkway" was built

"Forest Park West". This was another very narrow
development centered actually on onestreet - 80th
Street- and extending only 100 feet west and 240
feet east. This hadbeen stillanother piece of the old
Lott farm and was surveyed in October 1905 for
development; its promoters laid out the strip into 198
buildinglots of 20 x 100 size. The housing in "Forest
Park West" made nopretensionsto grandeur; most
of the houses were narrow - either 18-foot detach-
ed or 20-foot attached dwellings.
The third development of the trio, "Forest Park

South" was centered on two streets - 87th and 88th
Streets, runningroughly 100feet west of the former
and 100 feet east of the latter. As in the case of the
others, this tract had been Lott property for a cen-
tury; it was sold in 1903to JamesV.S. Woodleywho
laid itout in 300building lots of20 x 100 size. Large
houses were required in "Forest Park South" occu-
pying at least two lots andsometimes three. This pat-
tern blended in well with the neighboring tract and
attracted substantial upper middle-class purchasers.
By 1913, more than half the tract had been built
upon.

Just about all the developments described so far
grew up one after another all along the north side
of Jamaica Avenue, from the borough line to the
Richmond Hill line. There were a few of some size
also on the south side of Jamaica Avenue and of-
feredon the market during 1906and 1907. "Wyckoff
Park" was first laid out in 1905 and embraced the tract
bounded by Jamaica Avenue, 87th Street, 90th
Avenue and the old Union Course property. This
three-block-long area was laid outinto396lots, each



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CHAPTER VII

Transportation Comes To Woodhaven

The extraordinary and explosive growth of
Woodhaven at the turn of the century was no acci-
dent; all the promotion in theworld would have been
in vain had it not been for the no less phenomenal
growth of the one factor on which all successful real
estate promotion depends-good, reliable, cheap
transportation. We have spoken earlierof thearrival
of the first Long Island Railroad trainatUnion Course
on April 18, 1836. For the next thirty years the Long
Island's threeor four trainsa day sufficed to meet the
needs of the tiny village.

The next transportation facility to arrive in
Woodhaven was the JamaicaAvenuehorse car line;
the "East New York and JamaicaRailroad"as it was
formally known, was the jointventure of two Jamaica
men, Sheriff William Durland who had earlier
operated the "Enterprise" stage coach on the same
route, and Aaron A. DeGrauw, a wealthy banker.
On Sunday, October 21, 1865service opened with
six stagecoach-like vehicles running on a single track
between East New York and 78th Street, Union
Course. The carbarnand shopsof the company were
erected on the southeast corner of Jamaica Avenue
& 78th Street and weare fortunate that a photograph
of the cars and buildings survives.

The cars of 115 years ago were very primitive by
modern standards. A passenger entered at the rear
of the little car by pulling open the door. Then he
deposited his 10C fare (very high for those days) in
abox inside. The driversat high up on a bench out-
side the car, rain or shine, exactly like a stage-coach
drive*-. He had a strap around his foot and when he
felt a tug on thestrap, it meant that a passengerwish-
ed to alight. If the passenger wanted to go beyond
Union Course to Woodhaven, Richmond Hill or
Jamaica, he paid another 10C fora stagecoach ride
the rest of the way. The cars were turned around for
the return trip in an unusual way: the driver would
firstpull a pin near his seatwhichwould raise thebody

of the car from thewheels; then, harnessing his horse
to the car body, he would walk the animal around
and the car bodywould rotate on its wheels, thedriver
would then push down the pin and the bodywould
then lock down onto the wheels.

The horse car line to Union Course proved such
a great success that the line was extended to Jamaica
on Dec. 18, 1866: the fare was also reduced to 8C
per zone. This may have been a mistake, for the lit-
tleroad wentinto bankruptcy in 1872. In 1887a new
company bought out the JamaicaAvenue horse car
line and electrified it. The first electric trolleys through
Woodhaven began running on Dec. 17. 1887,
powered by a steam engine and a generator at the
Union Course barns. In 1890 the line was double-
tracked; in 1893 the company came under the con-
trol of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit system and was
throughly modernized with standard-sized cars and
better power. Trolleys continued operating along
Jamaica Avenue until November 30, 1947.
The next important transit event in Woodhaven

was the extension of the Long Island Rail Road's
"Rapid Transit" service along Atlantic Avenue into
Queens. This was a cheap and frequent local service
operatedby the railroad from Flatbush Avenue sta-
tion to SchenckAvenue, East New York, beginning
July 2, 1877.The service was so well patronized that
the railroad extended it to Linwood Avenue in July
1879 and toWoodhaven on June 4. 1883 and finally
to Jamaica on May 9, 1887. The service was pro-
vided by three-car trains hauled by small steam
locomotives. The trains ran half-hourly from 6:40
a.m. to 10p.m. and the farewas 10C to Woodhaven.
The railroad on June 1, 1888 choseWoodhaven
Junction (100thSt.) as the Rapid Transit center, in-
stalling a round house 30x300 and a turntable. Along
with these new facilities the railroad built a new and
larger railrojid station at Woodhaven in December
1886.



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room for the solid line of commercial structures that
today stretch unbroken from the Brooklyn line to
Jamaica. It was during thisera that the fine old homes
of Woodhaven, never very large in numbers, fell to
the wrecker. The premier mansion of them all, the
Grosjean showpiece on Woodhaven Boulevard, oc-
cupying 110city lots with magnificent mature trees,
artificial lakes, rock ledges and ornamental bridges,
was sold in June 1912 for development and by the
end of the summer the mansion had fallen victim to
the wrecker's ball.

One of the most important institutions in
Woodhaven- St. Anthony's Hospital - got its start in
these early years of the century. In 1900 a search
began by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor for a
spacious and healthful site for the building of a
sanitarium for the tubercular poor. In August 1902
the Sisters managed topurchase from the executors
of the estateof Isaac Vandeveer a largeplot of ground
with 700 feet along 89th and 91st Avenue and 500
feetalong Woodhaven Boulevard and 96th St. The
price was $39,485. The purchase was made to build
aQueens annex for St. Peter's Hospital in Brooklyn
(Congress& Warren Sts.) which was then overcrowd-
ed. The nursing sisters were already operating two
similar hospitals in Manhattan, one in Buffalo, one
in New Jerseyand one in Kentucky. It took twelve
years for the Sisters to get the moneytobuild St. An-
thony's whichwas dedicated on May 5, 1914. At that
time, it was the largest hospital in Queens, a four-
story brick structure occupyinga wholecity block. At
first therewere 400patientsand 15 sisters. Over the
next 30 years many new treatmentswere pioneered
at St. Anthony's. In the late 1940sand early 50's,

although vigorouscase-finding procedures still con-
tributedto maintain a high number ofnew cases, the
introduction of new drugs sent the case-fatalityrates
plunging and there was a steadydecline in hospitaliza-
tion; nevertheless, the hospital managedtocelebrate
its 50th anniversary in April 1964.
By 1966 modern methods of treatment made

specialized TBhospitals likeSt. Anthony's obselete.
On March 15, 1966 Sti Anthony's closed its doors
and the last 260 patients were either discharged or
transferred tomunicipal hospitals. The closingof St.
Anthony'swas no isolated event.When it opened in
1914 tuberculosis was the No. 1killer in the tenements
of the crowded cities; by 1966the diseasehad been
broughtunder control and the elementaryprinciples
ofhealthful living and personalsanitation had reached
a new generation of poor, even those still dwelling
in slums. The number of local TB hospitals in the
United States dropped from412 in 1954to only 185
in 1961. An important local factorwas the policy of
both the city and the State to eliminate hospitals and
to centralize facilities in large medical centers.
At intervals there has been talk of reopening St.

Anthony'sas aSenior Centeror as a specializedburn-
treatment center but the high cost of building con-
version and the astronomical cost of thelatest medical
equipment have prevented the realization of either
proposal. At the present St. Anthony's serves as the
research, accounting and administrative division of
the Catholic Medical Center.

In the years just before World War I all the tradi-
tionalstreet names inWoodhaven and in several other
Queenscommunities were changed twicewithin the
short space of only ten years. In January 1907 the

>erty wenue leva!

Station 1915 (Sept.-Dec. only) 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920

80th St.
88th St.
Rock Blvd.
104th St.

21.102
57,005
84,293
46,054

116.563
266,827
368,541
208,492

119,374
306,581
409,484
249,500

108,441
277,180
378,756
246,902

139,133
335,050
437,033
284,220

139,338
370,374
425,587
305,098

Jamaica Avenue Elevated

1917 1918 1919 1920

Elderts Lane
Forest Parkway
Woodhaven Blvd.
102nd St.

307,126
636,832
524,872
384,250

552,478
1,113,586
855,447
704,755

649,122
1,286,929
990,218
861,154

763,981
1,446,867
1.141,485
992,029



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JamaicaLocal Board voted tonumber all thelotsand
houses throughoutWoodhaven and Richmond Hill
and to adopt some uniform plan of street names
throughout thesection. Over thenext two yearsmany
of the traditional old Woodhaven streetnames in use
for fifty years and more were changed over to
something else with the goalofmakingone nameand
one street continuousall throughOzone Park, Mor-
ris Park, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven. Since the
streets ofone community didnotalways meet even-
ly with the streets of the next community, th is effort
was not always successful. Many people were con-
fused by the new names and many others refused
to accept the change. The Post Ofice was the worst
sufferer since some letter writers used the new names
while others stubbornly clung to the old.
In 1915, onlysix years after the first renaming of

the streets, the New York City Board of Estimate
voted to adopt the Philadelphia system of street
numbering for QueensCounty. Basically, this involv-
ed beginning at the East River with Ist Street and
moving successively eastward to the Nassau Border
(272nd St.) Similarly, the first east-west streeton Long
Island Sound received the number Ist Avenue and
so on south to Jamaica Bay. Important truck
highways that ran through several communitieskept
theiroldnames; if a group of streetsslanteddiagonally
and could not be integrated into the pattern, it was
left unchanged. This drastic overhaul in naming
resulted in the first street insideWoodhaven becom-

ing75th Streetand the last one 103rd Street where
Richmond Hill began. The most northern street in
Woodhaven at the foot ofForest Park became 85th
Avenueand the last streetbefore the SunriseHighway
150th Avenue. Although the change to the new
numbersystem becameofficial on paper, it wasmany
yearsbefore it took root in the public consciousness.
The street signs in Queensall during the 1920sand
1930sbore both the new number and the old name
beneath, and it is only sjnce about 1940that a whole
newgeneration, born under the new system, has felt
entirely comfortable withnames like 97th Avenueand
88th Street.

An interestingnew social phenomenon that grew
up in Woodhaven just before World War 1 was the
movingpicture & vaudeville theatre. By 1913 no less
than six of these were functioning:

1. North side of Jamaica Aye., sixbuildings west of
85th St.

2. South side of Jamaica Aye., four buildings west
of Woodhaven Blvd. (before widening)

3. "TheManor", north side of JamaicaAye. opposite
95-23 96th St. Opened in the springof 1912.

4. South west corner of JamaicaAye. & 104thStreet

There were two in Ozone Park:

1.Northwest corner of 101st Avenue &98th St. The
Empire Theatre.

2. South side of 101stAvenue opposite75th Street.



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CHAPTER VIII

The Explosive Boom of the 1920s
The 1920s were an era of explosive growth in

Woodhaven andOzone Park as indeed theywere for
many communites in Queens. The impetus given the
home building by thereal estate developmentofpre-
World War 1and the valuable work they did in the
openingof streetsand introduction of waterand sewer
lines prepared the way for the army of builders who
took full advantage of all this preliminary work. In
1919 the shortgages of building materials and the
strain and dislocation produced by the war quickly
dissipated and Queens entered upon a wonderful
decade of unprecedented growth in population and
building. The times were ripe for a boom. Many
returning servicemen married and came into the
market looking for a home of their own. Similarly,
a whole new generationof Brooklynites, themselves
broughtup in the older crowded sections of the city,
often in frowning brownstones with dark, gloomy in-
teriors, were ready to start families of their own and
nearbysuburbs like Woodhaven and Richmond Hill
with theirattractive, one-familyhouses on open, tree-
shaded streets exercised a powerful and almost ir-
resistible attraction.
Another factor that was just coming into its own

at this time as an important social force was the private
automobile . After two decades ofbeing a rich man's
plaything, the auto had finally been brought down
in cost to the point where the ordinary familycould
aspire to ownership. This meant that the American
familywas no longerwholly dependenton therailroad
or local trolley line for transportation, and inreal estate
it meant that a family could locate in sub-divisions
beyond the rapid transit area. The housing of the
1920s in Woodhaven reflects this important social
transition; builders began routinelyputting up garages
in the backyard and allowed space for an alley bet-
ween the houses for access.
Once the automobile became a factor in everyday

American life, strong political pressure began to be
exerted to improve local roads. As late as 1920 ail

the roads in Woodhaven were dirt-surfaced with the
single exception of JamaicaAvenue and Rockaway
Boulevard which were "macadamized" or dressed with
acrushed stone topping. The importantroads got the
first attention. In 1922 Liberty Avenue was graded
and sewered from Rockaway Boulevard to Lefferts
Avenue and in 1923paved withasphalt. Eldert'sLane
was similarly pavedwith asphalt in 1923 from Jamaica
Avenue to Liberty Avenue.
The most important street in Woodhaven -

Woodhaven Boulevard-was the only important north-
south street in town andan obvious candidate for ex-
tensive improvement. It was, however, a problem
street for it dead-ended in the marshlands at 149th
Avenue in South Ozone Park, and, south of Atlan-
tic Avenue, it bulged out twoblocks to the east, pro-
ducing an unwelcome curvature. The city administra-
tion made a momentous decision; it decided to con-
vert Woodhaven Boulevardinto a direct access road
to the Rockaways by continuing it through the
meadows and across Jamaica Bay on pile work. In
1922workbegan at Howard Beach where big suc-
tion dredges took up sand and muck from the bay
bottom to form an embankment 100 feet wide for a
roadway. Meanwhile, hundreds of reinforced steel
and concrete piles were driven to hold the fill. The
4V2miles ofroadway between the bulkhead lines took
all of 1923and 1924. At the same time the city mov-
ed toconvert five miles ofWoodhaven Boulevard to
a 150 foot wide highway by condemning property
on either side south from Queens Boulevard. Dur-
ing 1924 much of this work went forward; on the
Jamaica Bay end two large bascule bridges werebuilt
over the channels. The great highway was thrown
open to traffic in December of 1925.
Oneserious problem remained- the narrow road-

way andbulge through the heart ofWoodhaven. To
eliminate this meant tearingdown a large number of
houses and there was strong community opposition
to tearing a gash through the neighborhoodat the



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expense of many homeowners. The problem was
finally solvedby constructinga by-pass through 94th
Street (Walker). This enabled the highway to run
through Woodhaven in a straight line and left the
home owners on the old right of wayunaffected; the
old bulge became 95th St. Unfortunately, Public
School #58 and two churches had to be sacrificed
to obtain the full 150 foot width of road. This final
improvement in Woodhaven Boulevard in 1930-31
eliminated the lastbottleneck in what officially became
Cross-bay Boulevard.
The work ofroad improvementreached Rockaway

Boulevard in 1928& 1929.This importantroad had
formerly been only 50 feetwide with a trolley track
on the north side. The road was now completely
regraded and guttered, the tracks removed, and the
roadway widened to 80 feet throughWoodhaven.
In the fallof 1929the newpavingwas completed from
the borough line to Baisley Boulevard.
Although considerably south ofWoodhaven pro-

per, Sunrise Highway skirted the community and ex-
erted an important influence onOzone Park. It began
not as a road but as a right of way for the Brooklyn
Aqueduct, built in 1858 to tap all the little streams
and brooks ofQueens and Nassau Counties to fur-
nish water for a growing city. The 200 footwidestrip
began at the reservoir in Cypress Hills and ran
southeast, entering Queens County at SutterAvenue
and then continued due east, crossing the head of
all the creeks all the way out to Massapequa. 65%
of the cost was born by the State and 35% by the
City. Construction on the new Sunrise Highway
began in 1924and finally finished in 1929. As com-
pleted, thedriving lanes were40 ft. wide with 27 foot
service roadways separated by malls.
The completionofnew huge highways likeSunrise

Highway and Cross-bay Boulevard completely
transformed Woodhaven and Ozone Park. With
private automobiles becomingmore numerous every
year, the communitybecame moreaccessible and the
great stretches of open land all around far more
valuable. Anexplosion of homeconstructionstarted
that did not cease until every space was filled.
The post-war building began in 1919 south of

Jamaica Avenue with row on row of one- and two-
family houses; by 1922 this area was justabout solidly
built up. Amongthe largest builders in thearea were:
Stenberg Bros. Charles Boos Emerald Building Co.
Oscar Hohenstadt Battmachr-Porth Co.

All of these built several hundred six-room single-
familyhouses. By 1925 the majorpart ofthe building
in the old Woodhaven area was along Jamaica
Avenue wherebrick buildings containing stores and
apartments rapidly took the place of old frame
buildings and old residences. The first apartment
houses began to appear like Woodhaven Court at
JamaicaAvenue & 95th St.
Building land, although soon scarce in

Woodhaven, was available in almost unlimited
amounts in Ozone Park. There had never been any
village here and below Liberty Avenue only an oc-
casional housebroke thegreatexpanseof farmland.
The extension of the elevated line along Liberty
Avenue elevated in 1915withits 5? fare to NewYork
was the first powerful stimulus to home building in
Ozone Park. The extensionofWoodhavenBoulevard
through the heart ofSouth OzonePark further open-
ed up anarea hithertodifficult of access and the open-
ingof Sunrise Highway andConduit Boulevard sud-
denly made the area even more approachable and
interlinked with Brooklyn. Intensive home building
began here as soon as World War I endedand con-
tinuedat a feverishpace down to 1931 when the ef-
fects of the depression began to be felt. Lots on
residential streets could be bought from $500 to
$1500 and houses from $9000 to $20,000. Ozone
Park as early as 1922 developed a business section
along 101st Avenue and along Woodhaven Boule-
vard, each built up with substantial brick buildings.
AnOzone Park Chamber of Commercewas organiz-
ed on March 21, 1922.
The growth of population in the Woodhaven-

Ozone Park area in the ten years from 1921 to 1930
was unprecedented. Careful estimated by the
Chamber of Commerce showed a 300% increase in
one decade:

1920 Jan. 1 40,000
1922 Jan. 1 60.000 (Wdhvn. 40,000 Oz. Pk. 20.000)
1924 Jan. 1 65,000
1925 Jan. 1 80,000
1926 Jan, 1 86,000
1927 Jan. 1 108,000
1928 Jan. 1 109,000
1929 Jan. 1 111.750
1930 Jan. 1 112,950

The Federal Census of 1930 gave these figures:
Woodhaven 65,293
Ozone Park 59,990
So. Ozone Park 26,458




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Again, the riding statistics on the Long Island muters on therailroad at five stations in the area were
Railroad and theRapid Transit lines tell a story. Com- as follows:

On theLibertyand Jamaica Avenue elevated lines
the stations weremoving over a millionpeople a year
as these figures show:

TheLong Island Railroad during the 1920skept track
of all newbuilding activity on the Island and publish-
ed these statistics for Woodhaven and Ozone Park:

Although Woodhaven and Ozone Park were The William Demuth pipe manufacturingplant had
primarily residential areas, they began to attract a been for years the lone factory and traced its origin
small number of light industrial plants as early as 1920. back to 1900. In 1920 a thousand employees work-

Union Course
Woodhaven
Wood. Jet.
Bklyn. Manor
Ozone Park

475
253
129

607
744
372

695
873
390

702
883
509

1068
557
645
1033
847

372
372
467
715
581

1115
573
701
1078
895

822
374
377
765
662

1069
556
654
1154
881

777
249
607
791
615

1032
533
623
1042
947

686
332
449
714
528

Union Course
Woodhaven
Wood. Jet.
Bklyn. Manor
Ozone Park

475
253
129

607
744
372

695
873
390

702
883
509

1068
557
645
1033
847

372
372
467
715
581

1115
573
701
1078
895

822
374
377
765
662

1069
556
654
1154
881

777
249
607
791
615

1032
533
623
1042
947

686
332
449
714
528

Union Course
Woodhaven
Wood. Jet.
Bklyn. Manor
Ozone Park

475
253
129

607
744
372

695
873
390

702
883
509

1068
557
645
1033
847

372
372
467
715
581

1115
573
701
1078
895

822
374
377
765
662

1069
556
654
1154
881

777
249
607
791
615

1032
533
623
1042
947

686
332
449
714
528



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ed in this plant. Some new manufacturers attracted
to the area were:
1. Merit Hosiery Company, manufacturers of silk

hosiery. The organization began in New York
in 1915and came toWoodhaven in 1920 from
the Bush Terminal in Brooklyn. Merit erected
a four-story concrete building at 104th Street
witha floorspace of 45,000 sq. ft. In its first year
the company employed 275 persons and had
an annual output of 100,000 dozen stockings
a year.

2. The Regal Spear Company, founded in 1910,
made straw and cloth hats, and employed
seasonally from 50 to 200 people.

3. D. Nussbaum KnittingMills; employed 100per-
sons and had a building with 20,000 sq. ft. of
floor space.

4. Kops Brothers in Ozone Park manufactured
"Nemo" corsets; came to Queens in 1921 and
established a plant in rented quarters. In 1922
they erected a steel and concrete building on
Rockaway Boulevard which had 100,000 sq.
ft. of floor space andemployed about500 girls.

5. Custen Brothers, button manufacturers. They
occupied 23,000 sq. ft. of floor space and had
100 employees.

By 1925Ozone Park had gained the Scranton &
Lehigh Coal Co., Rubel Coal & Ice Company, Col-
umbia Wax Works, E. R. Gillespie Lumber Company
and theGeneral BakingCo. manufacturers of "Bond
Bread". Woodhaven attracted two garment
manufacturers.
1. Uneeda Garment Co. on 95th Avenue
2. A. &R. Dress Company at 100-1394th Avenue
3. L & M., Druckerman, embroideries; founded

in 1888; had 100employees. The well-known
Anheuser-Busch Companybuilt in 1928 a large
two-storybrick andsteel plant for the manufac-
turer of ice creamat 102-45 94th Avenue; this
was intended as a distribution center for
Brooklyn and Long Island. They began
manufacturing ice creamon June 11, 1929 and
had a capacity of 21,000 gallons per day.

A measure of the maturity of Woodhaven as a
community began to appear as early as 1930 with
the first aparment houses, brought into existence
because of thedisappearance ofbuildingsites and the
need forgreater densityof land use. In 1929 an apart-
ment house was erected at 91st Streetand Jamaica

Avenue large enough to house 126 families. The
"BoulevardArms" on Woodhaven Boulevard follow-
ed in 1930. The process has, of course, greatly ac-
celerated since World War 11.
The population boom of the 1920s spawned a

great many service institutions including banks,
theatres, schools and churches. The new banks were:
1. First National Bank of Ozone Park: chartered

Sept. 23, 1907; opened a buildingat 97thStreet
and 101st Avenue. This was purchased by the
Bank of Manhattan in 1920.

2. The Bank of the Manhattan Company; a New
York institution which entered Queens in 1920
by buying out five local banks. There were
several branches: Brooklyn ManorBranch: 9222
Jamaica Avenue. Opened Dec. 15, 1921.
Woodhaven Branch: at Jamaica Avenue &
Forest Parkway
Ozone Park Branch: at 101st Avenueand 97th
Street
UnionCourseBranch: at 75th Streetand 101st
Avenue. Opened 1926

3. The Ozone Park National Bank: organized by
local menon Dec. 11, 1922; erected a building
on the northwest corner of Woodhaven
Boulevardand 101st Avenue. Thebank open-
ed December 1926.

4. The Richmond Hill National Bank; established
in April 1920; Opened a marble and limestone
branch inWoodhaven at 88th Street& Jamaica
Avenue on February 1, 1925.

5. QueensCounty Guarantee &Investment Com-
pany: 101st Aye. Ozone Park.

The rapid emergence of the motion picture as a
media entertainment form quickly became popular
inWoodhaven-Ozone Park, and when the audience
became proportionate to thepopulation in the 19205,
new and larger theatres appeared to supply the
demand:
1. Forest Park Theatre at 80-14 JamaicaAvenue
2. Lefferts Theatre opened in 1926 with a

2000-seat capacity.
3. Roosevelt Theatre at Jamaica Avenue & 88th

Street, 88-04built in 1921with aseating capaci-
ty for 1700. Bought 1961 by St. Thomas the
Apostle Church for a recreational building.

4. Loew's Willard Theatre, on Jamaica Avenueat
96th St. Opened on Nov. 24, 1924 as a
vaudeville and motion picture house with a
capacity of 2500.



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5. Cross-Bay Theatre: built by the Woodrock
Amusement Co.; corner ofWoodhauen Boule-
vard & Rockaway Road; opened in 1925 with
a seating capacity of 2000. The opening pro-
gramsboasted of a large orchestra, newsreels
and feature movies, and certain nights devoted
to bathing beauty contests and cabaret nights.

6. Ozone Park Theatre at 95th St. & 101st
Avenue; an all-motion picture house with a
capacity of 950.

7. The Queens Theatre; south side of 101st
Avenue opposite Ruby Street

8. Empire Theatre on thenorthwestcorner of 101st
Avenue & 98th Street.

The schools of Woodhaven-Ozone Park had to
adapt to the populationinflux. In 1923 PublicSchools
#46 at North Conduit Avenue & 117th St. was
enlargedby 27 classrooms. This was the only school
in the Aqueduct area. Similarly, Public School #63
on Pitkin Avenue & Sitka Street received a similar
enlargement of 17 classrooms to seat 765 more
students. Biggestand most impressive addition ofall
was John Adams High School, the first in South
Queens, at Rockaway Boulevard and 101st Street.
This new secondary school was completed in May
1930 with a capacity for 3696 students.
Theparochial schools emerged for the first timein

answer to the populardemand for a Christian educa-
tion: in the mid 1920's the following were already
functioning:

1923 enrollment 1927
St. Mary, Gate of Heaven 306 boys 321 girls 342 & 365
St. Thomas theApostle 353 boys 371 girls 351 & 367
St. Elizabeth 175 boys 154 girls 274 & 241
Nativity 114 boys 128 girls 232 & 251
St. Stanislaus - - 112 & 123
Woodhaven and OzoneParkby 1927had no less

than 23 churchesof ninedenominations: 5Catholics,
3Methodist, 4Lutheran, 2 Reformed, 3Presbyterian;
2 Congregational, 2 Episcopal, 1 Baptist and 1
Evangelical. Church building in the area had come
to a halt just prior toWorld War I but despite thehuge
increase in population in the 1920's only three new
churches were built:
1. St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic in 1925on the

northeast corner of 88th St. & 102nd Avenue.
2. Forest Park Reformed at 85-01 86th Avenue
3. First Presbyterian Church ofSouth Ozone Park

in 1921 (now extinct)

Local journalism became financiallypractical for the
first time in Woodhaven-Ozone Park in the 1920s
when thegreat number of new residents guaranteed
readers and advertisers. In 1909 William Ball
established the Leader in Woodhaven as a struggling
paper and for eight years nursed it through difficult
times; it so happened atDennis Conwayin Richmond
Hill was experiencing the same up andstruggle since
he had startedhis "RichmondHill Observer" in 1900.
In 1917 the two struggling journalists pooled their
resources and issued their joint paper as theLeader
Observer. The paper went up to 12-16 pages and
appeared weekly from apress at JamaicaAvenue and
Woodhaven Boulevard. Even OzonePark blossom-
ed forthwith a newspaper of its own TheLong Island
WeeklyNews, published at 113-03Liberty Aye. Rich-
mond Hill. This was a weekly that came out on
Thursdays and in 1930 claimed to a circulation of
12,000 copies through Ozone Park and Richmond
Hill. During the 1920s anddown to the depression,
the Chat a Brooklyn paper, publisheda Queensedi-
tion from 92-06 152nd St. Jamaica that was aimed
at and circulated in Woodhaven, Ozone Park and
Richmond Hill.

The final important, large-scale project accomplish-
ed in the Woodhaven-Ozone Park area before the
Depression closed in and put a stop to all building
activity was the grade crossing elimination of 1931.
Since the coming of the Long Island Rail Road's
Rockaway Branch, 97th, 101st, and 103rd Avenues,
Liberty Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard had always
been grade crossings. As the territory grew, 101st
Avenue (Jerome) had become theprincipal business
street of Ozone Park, while RockawayBoulevard, in
summer, routinely developed long lines of waiting
autos because so many trains, headed for the
Rockaways. kept the gates down for long intervals.
The Public Service Commission observing these con-
ditions ordered the elimination of all five grade cross-
ings on June 1, 1927.The engineering studies took
three years; then in March 1930 the P.T. Cox Con-
tracting Company began the physical work. A
concrete-masked viaduct was constructed all through
Ozone Park at a cost of $2.189,000 and the project
in November 1931.



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CHAPTER IX

The Cyclone of 1895

People who live in a community often ask the ques-
tion: did anythingever really important happen here?
Woodhaven cannot claim any Battle of Long Island
nor even thatWashington slept there, but it does have
the dubious distinction of being the onlycommunity
on Long Island tobe devasted by acyclone, an event
common enoughin the Midwest but a great rarity on
Long Island. July 13, 1895 dawned as a normal hot,
sultry summerday andremained so until 4:30 in the
afternoon. Then a darkcloud formed, as if heralding
a summer shower, over the East NewYork area. For
a few moments the funnel-shapedcloud hovered over
Cypress Hills Cemetery, then struck the earth toppl-
ing dozens of gravestones and leveling trees in a swath
about 200 feet wide. The storm came out of the
cemeteryat Crescent Street and JamaicaAvenueand
then moved along JamaicaAvenue for half a mile
or so, leaving fewtelephone, telegraph or trolley wires
intact along this stretch. Pedestrians, frightened out
of their wits, ran here and there, shrieking andlook-
ing for shelter. Two trolley cars were blown partly off
the rails; though filled with passengers, no one was
hurt. The "New York Herald" printed a graphic
description from interviews with the survivors:

As the cloud reached the TruantHome near En
field Street, it overtook a wagondriven by a baker
named William Johnson, who was out serving his
evening route. The next moment Johnson found
himself on the other side of the TruantHome fence,
while his horse was on the other side of the street.
The wagon was completely wrecked.
AlbertRennels. a blacksmith, employed in a shop

near Crescent Street, was probably the first person
to notice the approach of the cyclone. He said: "I
was cleaning up things before going home when I
noticed that thesky had suddenlyblackened, so that
I could scarcely see. At the same time I heard a dis-
tant noise thatgrew rapidly louder until the atmos-
phere trembled with a noise that 1can only liken to
thatofa thousandcalliopes in fullblast, accompanied
by a crashing sound. 1 thought that the end of the

world had come and ran out of my shop in fear that
it would fallaboutmy ears. I looked in the direction
of the noiseand saw a black, funnel-shaped cloud
traveling in a southeasterlydirection, coming down
from the hills to the north through Cypress Hills
Cemetery.
A strange thing worthy of notice was that no

damagewasdone on the westside of CrescentStreet
although on the other sideall was devastation. A sign
18 feet long and four feet broad in front of Peter
Bauer's saloona block fromGrandAvenuewas torn
off the frontof the buildingand carried threeblocks
away. The ticket agent at the CrescentStreet station
hadher story: "1noticed the skygrown suddenly dark
and looking out of the east window, saw a black
cloudshadowed like an inverted cone travelling ap-
parentlyalong the tops of the trees in Cypress Hills
Cemetery.All the trees in its path wentdown before
it. I also noticed that thecloud went roundand round
at incredible speed. Out of the lower part of the cloud
came a softred glow. Wedidn't feel the force of the
cyclone at the office but the wires suddenly went
down a block away. I left and ran forsafety to the
street."
John Eiseman. superintendent of the Truant

Home, said: "It was the grandest sight I ever saw.
I had a chance to see it all in safety. 1 first noticed
the extraordinarydarkeningof the skyand a tremen-
dous racket as if all the trees in the world were go-
ing down at once. The noise grewrapidly louderand
mywife and I and all the children rushed out on the
stoop. I looked to the cemetery and thereI saw the
cloud. 1 could see it as it traveled through the
cemetery, leveling everything before it.

Afterreaching Jamaica Avenue, it traveledrapidly
to Enfield Street, tearing up by the roots every tree
it met. AtEnfield it tooka sudden turn to the south,
travelling straight away 300 yards to the Rockaway
Road; then, taking another sudden turn, it went
straight up the Rockaway Road to Woodhaven, its
course markedby flyingbranchesof treesand timber.
When the cyclone struck Woodhaven. 1 could see
whole houses go down in a heap.

The brick schoolhouse n0.2 (later 59) at 83rd
Street was struck with terrific force. I could see fly-



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ingbricks and debrisof all kindsand then the whole
landscape was obscured by clouds of dust. Above
all I couldsee very plainly entire tinroofs blownabout
like pieces of tissue paper. Great beamsand roofs
blewabout for the spaceof fully half a minute. It was
a grand sight but the desolation must have been
dreadful."
-New York Herald. Jult 14, 1895; July 15, 1895

It was, in truth, verybad butanother erraticchange
in the direction of the storm took it south and away
from the thickly settled part of Woodhaven, where
it dissipated. The centerof destruction in Woodhaven
centered along the Rockaway Road from 81st to 84th
Streets. Not only was school n0.59 wrecked but so
were manyprivate homes,most of them veryrecently
built. Simonson's Hotel at Atlantic and Rockaway
Avenues was partly wrecked. The blacksmith shop
of Fritz Schiepler and his -home next door were
demolished as was another house next door owned
by John Schneider on 83rd Street. One woman on
83rd Street waskilled when flying timber struck her;

remarkably, only seventeenpeople were injured dur-
ing the cyclone, although many more had narrow
escapes. The total damage was estimated at
$350,000.

The nextday crowds of curious sightseers flocked
toWoodhaven from Brooklynand many Long Island
villages; the police estimated the numbers at 100,000.
The saloon keepers enjoyedone of theirbiggest days
aspeople poured over theruined houses and gazed
in aweat the uprooted trees. Abarrel was set out out-
side the ruins of P.S. n0.59and people were impor-
tuned todrop in dimes forrelief of the sufferers."The
Woodhaven Bank set up anotherstand for contribu-
tions where every penny donated was entered in a
ledger.The cyclone produced one goodpermanent
result for future generations: it induced the
Woodhavenites to take a fair number ofphotographs
of thedamaged houses and streetsof the village which
todaygive us an invaluable picture of theWoodhaven
of 1895.



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CHAPTER X

The Churches of
Woodhaven-Ozone Park

(in order of their founding)

The First Congregational Church of
Woodhaven: Incorporated onOctober 21, 1856 by
some of the original settlers of the village: Phineas
Walker, JamesWiswell, Francis Allyn, Daniel Bergen,
Henry G. Lott and Elisha U. Jones. John R. Pitkin
donated two lots forachapel. On Sunday, Sept. 14,
1862 the chapel, 40 x 22 and costing about $855,
was dedicated. At first it was used by Congrega-
tionalists in the morningand Presbyterians in the after-
noon. This did notworkout well and the Congrega-
tionalists in 1863 decided to build their own church.
John R. Pitkin contributed five lots valued at $500,
and a new church was built in April 1866 at a cost
of $3200 on the east side of 94th Street and south
of 97th Aye.

In October 1888the church wasmoved off its old
site anda largenewmemorial church costing $10,000
was erected on the site in memory of Alfred Gros-
jean, the son of Florian Grosjean. Mr. Wolcott H.
Pitkin, one of the sons of John R. Pitkin, donated
two lots so that the memorial church could be doubled
in size.
The ministers of the church have been:

1863-1893 William James
1894-1898 Frank I. Wheat
1899- JohnKershaw
1900-1911 Richard W. Bosworth
1911-1913 Ray E. Butterfield
1914-1921 William J. Buchanan
1921-1927 David J. Fant
1928-1934 Caleb H. Hodges
1934-1935 W. Alfred Wycoff
1935-1937 Charles E. Wideman
1938-1942 J. Elmer Frazee
1942-1946 Claude Peters
1947-1951 James S. Russell

1952-1955 Wayne Nicholas
1956-1963 Paul B. McCardel
1963- Harold A. Harris

The MethodistProtestant Church: In Aqueduct
on Centreville Avenue at 135th Avenuewas found-
ed in 1857. It was always very small, catering to the
widely-scattered farm folk livingnearOld SouthRoad.
Its congregation never exceeded 50 membersand in
some years this shrank to 15. Little is known of this
church. There is one newspaper notice:

"The Rev. Mr. Holberg, pastor of the Methodist Pro-
testant churchat SouthWoodhaven, will notremain
there another year. Hehas notreceived $300a year
and hashad to use his formersavings to keep himself
from starving. The church was $1700 in debtwhen
he tookcharge; now thedebt is $125. Inannualcon-
ference at Westville last week, he gave notice that
he must have a church with the ability to support
himself or he would decline an appointment."

-Newtown Register, Oct. 22, 1885 5:4
1893- C.P. Tinker
1895-1903 W.E. Blandy
1904-1908 George E. Smith
1909-1910 Jacob Troost
1911-1912 A.V. Vos
1913-1914 C.E Vail
1916-1917 H.K. Carpenter
1918-1925 G.H. Jackson
WoodhavenFirst Presbyterian: On Dec. 6, 1858
A Dutch Reformed church was organized by some
of the old Dutch-descended families: thenames Lott,
Bergen and Wyckoff appear among the 17charter
members. In 1861 John R. Pitkin donated two lots
and in October of that year, the Woodhaven Chapel
Association was formed. The buildingwas shared with
the Congregationalistsat first but in 1863 they pull-



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Ed out, and in 1866 the Association affiliated with
the Presbyterians. The Association erected a building
on the eastside of 94th Street at 101stAvenue. The
ministers have been:
1866-1867 James G. Mason
1867-1869 William W. Knox
1869-1978 J. Abel Baldwin
1883-1885 NicholasPearse
1885- Sidney W. Russell
1886-1894 FrederickW. Cutler
1895-1902 James N. Grace
1903-1904 A C. Watkins
1905-1913 F. Leroy Brown
1915- J. AllisonMacßury
St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic: The earliest
Roman Catholics had formed a looseorganization in
November 1869 and Florian Grosjean presented
them with a buildinglot on the southsideof 95th Aye.
between 86th and 87thStreets. For some reason this
was never used. In 1873Grosjean donated the pre-
sent site on the south side of Atlantic Avenue bet-
ween 84th and 85th Streets and erected a brick
church at his own expense. Because the congrega-
tion was so small, the church was regarded by the
diocese as a mission only: from newspaperswe learn
that the churchwas dedicatedtoSt. Josephandwas
irregularly served by a Fr. Francis Cannon. Between
1873 and 1877the mission was servedby the Fathers
of Mercy from St. Francis de Sales church in Brooklyn
which itselfunderwenta name change in 1897 toOur
Lady ofLourdes. From 1877 to 1885St. Joseph's
was served by priests from St. Monica's in Jamaica.

In April 1885 the church became a parishand Fr.
Alois Steffen was assigned as pastor. He built a rec-
tory behind the church, and, more importantly,
changed the parish name to St. Elizabeth's. (1888)
In March 1886 Mr. Grosjean deeded to the bishop
the church alongwith 8 lots for a payment of$3,800.
Fr. Steffen bought the Woodhaven railroad station
(built 1851) andconverted it into a little school staff-
ed by Dominican nuns.

In 1892 thechurch was converted into a two-story
building, the lower floor to serveas a school with four
classrooms and the upper floor as a church. By the
late 1890's the churchwas toosmall for the growing
population and the building was enlarged and
rededicated on Nov. 19, 1899. The rectory was
enlarged in 1901: a large new brick school was built
in 1913. The final expansion was thepresent greatly
enlarged church, first used on Christmas Day 1930.
It seats 500 and cost $150,000.

The church continued to grow in the 19305,
however. In 1952-3the basementof the church was
converted into an auxiliary church. Then in 1962, on
property opposite the 1913 school, a new 16
classroom school was built, costing $600,000.
The pastors have been:
1885-1895 Alois Steffen
1896-1901 JosephErnst
1901-1910 AndrewKlarmann
1910-1951 Gustav E. Baer
1951-1966 Philip E. Scharfenberger
1967- Joseph A. Arthen
Emanuel GermanEvangelical: The church began
in 1879 whena son ofPitkin, Wolcott H. Pitkin, con-
veyed two lots on 101stAvenue between 92nd and
93rd Streets to the church for $1. Matthew L. Page,
the Woodhaven builder, got the contract to build a
church for $1700. The cornerstonewas laid on Nov.
9, 1879and the church buildingwas erected during
November and December 1879: dedication took
place on Feb. 16, 1880. When a bell was hung in
the steeple, its weight caused the roof to leak and the
steeple had toberebuilt (1888). Gas illuminationsup-
planted the oil lamps in 1898. In September 1910
a Sunday School hall was added to the church. In
1913 two lots on 93rdStreet were bought and apar-
sonage was built, in July 1914. In 1927English sup-
planted German in the Sunday services.
The ministers have been:

1879-1881 C D. Heinrich
1881-1884 A.D. Pfost
1884-1887 J.C. Marquardt
1887-1889 F. Frank
1889-1891 J. Kraushaar
1891-1894 J.P. Luippold
1894-1896 M. Lude
1896-1900 O H Panten
1900-1902 J.M. Hoelzer
1902-1905 C. Benseler
1905-1909 George F. Schmidt
1909-1914 F. Egger
1914-1916 J.P. Luippold
1916-1918 R.J. Lav
1918-1919 G.F. Haist
1919-1920 J. Reuber
1920-1927 O.H. Panten
1927- G.A. Linder

Christ Lutheran Church: On the southwest cor-
ner of 86th Street & 101st Avenue. Organized in
1880 as the "Evangelisch Lutherische Christus Ge-
meinde in Woodhaven." The first serviceswere held
in the home of Henry A. Baumann in December



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man; along with his younger brother, WilliamM. Both
families occupied the same dwelling. John J. had a
wife Catharine and two children, Maria and Eliza;
William had a wife Martha A.
Redding St.: ReddingStreet represents the original

southern end of the Old Flushing Aye., today's
Woodhaven Blvd. When the boulevard was extend-
ed across the bay in the 20's, a new right of way was
cut south of Linden Blvd.

In the southwest corner atRedding St.: S. Brown
1891; no name 1854; B.P. Sturgis 1859; Sherman
& Norfolk 1873
To continue along Old South Road 150 yrs. ago,

one had to go down Redding St. to the cemetery,
wherethe road again started eastward. The maps of
1781, 1837 and 1849 confirm this.To avoid this jog
in the road, a diagonal short-cut was made about
1850and first shows up on the 1852 map.
Just east of the cemetery and on the old colonial

road, one came to the house of M. Uhl 1859and
perhaps Pierce 1891. A little further east and in the
bed of what is now Woodhaven Blvd. was the next
house:
Churchill 1854; no name 1852, no name 1873,

1849; Shuerman 1891.
94th St.: A littlebelow the Old South Road stood

the lone generalstore in the neighborhood. Abraham
Smith 1849. 1852, 1854, 1859. Abraham Smith was
a farmer, born 1793, living here with his wife
Deborah. This store is advertised for sale onaccount
of ill health in the "Woodville Advertiser" of January-
March 1853.
95th St.: Hereabouts two houses appear on the

map of 1854: a little eastand well south of the road
appears the house of Thomas Roney 1854, 1873.
96th St.: A house on the road; no name 1852,

1854, R. Bart 1873. Another stood in the fields well
south; no name 1854.
Centerville Aye.; Southwest corner, no name

1854; J.H. Rust 1873. Southeast corner, R. Cum-
mings 1873.
Wyckoff Aye.: Engine PumpCo. # 1 1907, 1913.
Tahoe St.: Southwest cor. Mrs. Downing 1873.
Raleigh St.: Somewhere between Tahoe and

Downing Sts; Madden 1859 East of Raleigh St.;
Richard Roach 1873.
Huron St.: South of the Old Road stood the pum-

ping station for the Conduit, 1907, 1913.
99th PL: W.S. Conant Est. 1873; L. Horsemann

1891. Midway between CohancySt. and the railroad
there branched off in the old days the "Road to
Howard'sLanding", a path to Hawtree Creek. Apart
of this old roa picks up below the parkway at 155th
Aye. as 99th Street, Howard Beach.
East of RR: land owned by Decker 1891.
West of 114th St.: Ryder 1852 no name 1837;

Abraham Smith 1849; J. Borum 1859.
At 114th St. OldPublic School #46, 1907, 1913.

North Side
SpringCreek crossed Old South Road between 76

and 77th Streets and then forked, the west branch
flowing north along the line of Drew St. and Forbell
Street to near Atlantic Avenue, and the east branch
flowing northeast crossing the corner of Bayside
Cemetery.
78th St.: No name 1781, 1837, A. Linington

1849. 1854, 1873. AbrahamLinington wasa farmer
born Aug. 30, 1817 and died Oct. 9, 1873. He lies
buried in NewLots DutchReformed church cemetery.
80th St.: A Denton 1849; no name 1837.
81st St.: (Inside presentcemetery) No name 1837,

P. Mann 1849, no name 1852, 1854, 1873.
84th St.: J.N. Rhodes 1849, a farmer, born 1826,

lived here with his wife Martha and children, Han-
nah and Maryann.
87thSt.: Luke Emans 1849, Campbell 1859. Luke

Emans ownedall the land north to Rockaway Blvd.
He sold this off between 1794 and 1851 to F.L.
Wyckoff and Abraham Livingston.
Luke Emans was born Jan. 4, 1783and died Nov.

24, 1850. His wife Marthawas born Mar. 19, 1786
and died Aug. 8, 1854Both are buried inNew Lots
Dutch Reformed Cemetery.
Below 133rd Aye.: D. & S. Ryder Smith 1859
Sitka St.: On northeast cornerwas home ofWilliam

Doxsey Sr. 1859, a farmer who lived here with his
wife Mary and his three sons, William Jr., JohnC.
and Isaac L. Doxsey Sr. He was born 1820. A later
Doxsey house appears on Gold St. to the north. The
tractnorth of Pitkin Aye. up to Sutter Aye. and east
to WoodhavenBlvd. appears at first in the hands of
Rapelje who sold it to David Mann in 1830.William
Doxsey later owned the tract 1859, 1891.
Redding St.: Northeast corner: no name 1837,

1849
Northeast corner: no name 1781, 1837, 1849.

This wasa junction of the only tworoads that existed
in this area in colonial days. East of thboulevard the



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at 80-30 opposite Forest Parkway. Building occupied December 1914.



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Ad forDexterPark printed in the "Brooklyn Eagle"Mar. 14, 1909.
The park had justgonethrough anotherchange of management.



Loew's Willard Theatre, named after Willard St.. the oldname of96th St. The building still
stands on the north sideof JamaicaAye. and just east of 96th St. but it is now a catering
hall. Photo Aug. 1926.

The Cross-Bay Theatre, one of the very few still open in
the Woodhauen-OzonePark area. The building occupies
the corner of Woodhaven and Rockaway Boulevards.
Photo dates to August 1926.



The Merit Hosiery Co. plant at 104th St., Ozone Park as itlooked in
June 1926. It wasorganized in 1915 & moved to Queens in 1921.

Ice-cream plant of the Anheuser Busch Co. at 102-45 94th Avenue as it looked in June 1929.



The WyckoffBuilding, one of the finest ever built in Woodhaven, as it looked in 1895 when it was
6 years old. It was originally a real estate exchange and the office of the Woodhaven Bank. It is still
standing at 93-02 95th Aye., but without its cupola.



Dexter Park in its last days - the 1940's and 50s-was a baseballpark only. Note that in 1946every man worea hat to the game.,

W. B . Ireland's WoodhauenPharmacy, 93-01 95th Aye. This isprobably apolitical
rally-every man is wearing a badge. The photo dates to about 1895.



The William Demuth plant on the west sideof 101st Street and south of 85th Avenue. At itspeak it was
the largest manufacturer of smokingpipes &smokers' supplies in the worldand employed about 1000.
The plant is now abandoned & a new use is sought for it.

Ozone Park National Bank at Woodhauen Blvd. & 101st Aue. in January 1930.



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A momento ofthe past- a commutation ticketfor Union Course(Rockaway Blvd.) valid for June 1926. The Atlantic Avenue
local service ended in 1940 and the tracks were put
underground.



A race track special bringing a load of
people for the opening day of the Bel-
montPark trackonMay 15, 1905 derail-
ed at Woodhaven Junctioncreating this
scene.

Rareoldphoto of the "Rapid Transit"train ready topull out of the yard
behind Woodhaven Junction Station for Flatbush Avenue in 1890.



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Frequent trains to the Rockaways created a dangerous crossing on 101st
Avenue near Ozone Park station. Grade elimination took place in 1931.

The building of the Liberty Aye. elevatedline. Looking west alongLiberty Aye. from 78th St. on
June 21. 1914. The trolley has been reduced to running on one track. The heavy building in the
distance is in Brooklyn. Queens on the left is still farmland.



Beginning the extension of the elevated line along Liberty Aye. in June 1914. The first
two bents of the new el have been set up; the houses in the rear are at Grant Aye.



Building the Liberty Aye. elevated line; looking west from 84th St. on April 17, 1914. Holes are
being dug for the el pillars.

The building of the elevatedline onLiberty Aye. Looking westalong
Liberty Aye. from the Acacia Cemetery office, 83-84 Liberty Aye.
The steel is on the ground ready to be erected. July 21, 1914.



JamaicaAvenuewas a private toll road down to 1897, operatedby the Jamaica&Brooklyn
Road Co. Tollvaried depending whether the passengercame by coach, horsebackor on foot.
Here are the president's instructions to the toll-gate keeper in May 1881.



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SOURCES

NEWSPAPERS:

FJ Flushing Journal
FT Flushing Times
HI Hempstead Inquirer
KCRG Kings County Rural Gazette
WH Whitestone Herald
ENYR East New York Record
LIF Long Island Farmer
SSO South Side Observer
WA Woodville Advertiser
BE Brooklyn Eagle
BT Brooklyn Times

CENSUS:
1850 Town of Jamaica
1860 Town of Jamaica
DIRECTORIES:

Curtin's Directory for Queens Co.
1867-8 '1878-9
MAPS:

1781 Sir Henry Clinton map
1837 U.S. Coast & Geodetic survey;
1849 Sidney's Map of 12 m. around New York
1852 Dripp's Map of Kings & Queens Counties
1854Map of the Conduit & Canal Line: Brooklyn Water Works
1859 Walling's map of Queens County
1873 Beer's Atlas of Long Island
1886 J.B. Beer's Map of Kings & Queens Counties
1891 Wolverton's Atlas of Queens County
1907 Belcher-Hyde Atlas of Town of Jamaica
1913Belcher-Hyde Atlas of Town of Jamaica, vol. I
Historical Collections of the Borough of Queens
Vol. XIII - Town of Jamaica

Armbruster, Eugene, Brooklyn's Eastern District, 1942
CharlesU. Powell: Private & Family Cemeteries in the Borough ofQueens, 1932
Vital Statistics Card File, L.I. Collection, Queensborough Public Library
Woodruff, Hiram, "The Trotting Horse of America",How to train& drive him

with Reminiscences of the Trotting Turf. Edited by Charles J. Foster,
J.B. Ford & Co., N.Y. 1869




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