Important Historical Facts on Woodhaven

The Woodhaven Post Office which had opened in 1855 and then closed in 1857 for lack of business. In the winter of 1866 Application was made to the Post Office Department in Washington for reopening the office, and after due time, this request was approved. The new Woodhaven office opened on Wednesday, May 23, 1866 with Joseph A. Page as postmaster.

The first bank to be established in Woodhaven was the Woodhaven Bank, incorporated in April 1891 and established in a brick building at the corner of 95th Avenue and 93rd Street. It was then only the fifth commercial bank in Queens County. The founder and president, William F. Wyckoff, was a scion of one of the old Dutch families and was the first lawyer to practice in Woodhaven. Within a few years the Columbia Building and Loan Association founded in 1889, opened a branch at 101st Avenue & 98th Street.

In 1853 the Woodville Advertiser appeared but lasted only a year.

In July 1883 a second attempt at journalism was made with the appearance of the Quiver. It was issued monthly and supposedly had a German edition: in the summer of 1884 it disappeared and no copy is known to exist.

The Woodhaven Journal and Ozone Park Advertiser was the next candidate for public patronage, edited by John B. Merrill and first issued on March 1, 1884. It was published at monthly intervals, contained 16 pages and cost 50 cents per annum. In July 1886 Charles B. Welling of Jamaica bought out the paper and began to issue it weekly, just when the paper ceased publication and no copy is known to survive.

About 1885 another paper appeared at Woodhaven catering to the German speaking population; it was called the Queens County Deutsche Zeitung." The first issue was published in mid-January 1885 and attracted notice as a "sprightly, newsy, readable journal." Unhappily, this paper, like the Journal, could not survive financially and today no copy is known to exist.

The fifth venture in Woodhaven appeared in 1894 under the name of the "Independent." The first issue came out on April 20, 1894 and one copy of this first edition survives. Unfortunately, the "Independent" met the fate of its predecessors in a year's time.

The Leader Observer is the home-town paper that took firm root in Woodhaven and has continued publishing to the present day. The Observer began publishing in Woodhaven in 1909 and, in order to widen its coverage, bought out the Richmond Hill Observer of Michael Conway in January 1912. In December 1914 the combined Leader Observer moved to its new building on Jamaica Avenue opposite Forest Parkway, across the street from the original office. The Paper came out every Thursday and for years cost only 2 cents.

In Woodhaven the earliest school was a small private dwelling on the west side of Woodhaven Boulevard at 89th Avenue and in use in the 1840s and 50s. The first real school building was the Walker Avenue school on the west side of 94th Street between 97th and 101st Avenues. This three room wooden frame building was erected in 1859; in 1893 it was torn down and reconstructed as a large brick three-story and basement edifice costing $28,000. On May 1, 1893 the work began and the corner stone was laid on May 29th in the presence of many dignitaries. In the fall of 1897 this school #1, as it was then called, was fitted with an addition which opened on March 9, 1898.

The next school structure was School #2 (later #59) at the west end of the village on Rockaway Boulevard between 82nd and 83rd Streets. The two-story brick structure was built in the late 80s. On July 13, 1895 a cyclone swept over the village, completely wrecking the building; after some discussion the school board decided to level the old structure and build a new and larger one. Work on the replacement building was begun Feb. 17, 1896; the cornerstone was laid with imposing ceremonies on April 29th and the new building was opened for use Sept 8, 1896 with accommodations for 700 students.

Website: The History
Article Name: Important Historical Facts on Woodhaven
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Story of Woodhaven and Ozone Park by Vincent F. Seyfried; Queens Community Series; 1985
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