Queens Historical Tid-Bits Part II

 
 
16. The Wolf Swamp, a wet woodland until 1866-7, in early days infested by wolves. It is now drained in part and divided into lots forming part of Woodside.

17. Jackson Mansion (corner Jackson Avenue and Bowery Bay Road), in large grounds, surrounded by the remains of an old forest. The house was built about 1802 by Wm. Paynter, owner of the estate.

18. Woodside: The old Town Spring or Watering Place (Woodside and Betts Avenues), on high ground 125 feet to the west of the road. Originally it was known as Rattlesnake Spring, then Newton's Spring, from Captain Bryan Newton, in the Dutch service at New Amsterdam, who had in 1652 a patent for the land running up to it. It still has a large flow. There was once a large tank or pool by the roadside for public use, but this plot, 100 feet square, has been enclosed as private property, whether without extinguishing public rights is not known.

19. Middle Village: Van Duyn Homestead. The Van Duyns were original settlers here, Captain Dow Van Duyn being active in the Royal service during the Revolution. In consequence the farm was confiscated by the state government after the war and sold to Thos. McFarran, a New York merchant. The house passed through several hands and for a time was untenanted and considered haunted. In 1778-79 it was the guardhouse of the Royal Highlanders. Later, it was for some time used in connection with a large dairy.


20. The Village of Newtown called Middelburgh by the Dutch: This village was settled early in 1652.That It " was begun upon the street where the Presbyterian Church now stands, on both sides of which lots were laid out " is so inaccurate as to be entirely misleading. The house lots were laid out on the south side of the street (now Hoffman Avenue), and on the north side of Court Street, the intervening space being occupied by a wet tract traversed by the small Horse Brook. The lots laid out in this space (about an acre or two each) were intended only for pasturage, and were so used for nearly a century. Then some small houses were built, a few of which have survived, giving an antiquated air to the neighborhood, while most of the other old houses have disappeared.

21. Newtown: The original St. James Episcopal Church, built 1733 on land granted by the town. It is well preserved and was used until the present church was erected; still in use on special occasions. The steeple at the west end was taken down a few years ago.

22. Newtown: Col. Bernardus Bloom's Farmhouse, on the farm composed in part of 3 home lots bought by Col. Bloom in 1742. The farm originally consisted of 40 acres purchased by John Brinckerhoof soon after 1700. It was long in the possession of the Suydams and has undergone several changes.

23. Newtown: Colonial House (about 1750), on the site of the house of Edward Jessup, an original settler, whose extensive farm was considered to mark the end of the town, as in 1660 a thief was sentenced to walk from the Town House through the village " with two rods under each arm, and the drum beating before him until he comes to Mr. Jessup's House."

24. Newtown: The old Presbyterian Church and burial ground, erected 1716. After the British entry much damage was done
this church by the loyalists, because the Presbyterians as a rule favored the American cause. Part of the steeple was sawn off and lowered to the ground at night by a band of young men; the building was then used as a guard house and military prison, and afterward demolished. The present structure was built 1787-91 and is still used on special occasions. The stone church opposite was made possible by a special bequest in 1893.

25. Flushing: Settlement begun, spring of 1645, by a small band of English colonists, given permission by the authorities at New Amsterdam. Although later a few Dutch arrived, the English always predominated. These settlers came to possess com-
paratively large tracts of land, but settled together upon their "home lots" in the small village of Flushing. Unfortunately, the Town Records were destroyed by fire in 1789, together with the house of the Town Clerk, Jeremiah Vanderbilt, through the act of a negress slave, who was hanged therefore in the following year. The nearest village in early days in this part of Long Island being Hempstead, 15 miles distant through the forests, the only access of the settlers to the outside world (chiefly, of course, to New Amsterdam) for a few years was by water through the East River and Flushing Creek.

26. Flushing: The Block House (in 1704 called the Guard House) about on the present site of the New Armory, built for defense against the Indians in 1645. It was employed for town meetings and here, in 1646, the Rev. Francis Doughty
preached until 1648, when, for derogatory remarks against the Dutch authorities at New Amsterdam, it was closed against him by the Schout.

27. Flushing: Site of Prince's Nursery (1737, see Waller's History of Flushing), in 1750 famous and known as the Linnaean Botanic Garden (consisting of eight acres) forming part of Farrington's Neck on which (site unknown) stood the earliest
tide mill of the town.

28. Flushing: Site of Prince's Nursery in 1750 famous and known as the Linnaean Botanic Garden (consisting of eight acres) forming part of Farrington's Neck on which (site unknown) stood the earliest tide mill of the town.

29. Flushing: St. George's Episcopal Church (about 1850), and in front of the church built in 1812, still used for church purposes. The first Episcopal services were held in the Block House then a church was built here in 1746. the land being given in 1749 by Captain Hugh Wentworth, and the original building completed in 1761 through the liberality of John Aspinwall.

30. Flushing: Bowne Homestead, on an old lane now widened and called Bowne Avenue, corner Washington Street, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of buildings extant in the vicinity of New York. It was built by John Bowne, an English Quaker, who settled here about 1655. For opening it for the Quaker conventiclers he was arrested by the Dutch authorities in 1662 and sent, in 1663, for trial to Holland. But he was soon released, and he returned in 1665 (after the surrender to the English), and his house continued to be used for Quaker meetings, the celebrated George Fox being entertained here in 1672 on his visit from England. It is now a historical museum under the care of Miss Parsons, and contains much colonial furniture, copper, silver and brassware, wearing apparel, etc. The sides of the house are covered with hand-made shingles.

31. Flushing: St. George's Episcopal Church (about 1850), and in front of the church built in 1812, still used for church purposes. The first Episcopal services were held in the Block House, then a church was built here in 1746. the land being given in 1749 by Captain Hugh Wentworth, and the original building completed in 1761 through the liberality of John Aspinwall.

32. Flushing: Flushing Institute (Amity Street), built in 1827, later known as St. Ann's Hall, and in, 1845 turned by Ezra Fairchild into a famous boarding school for boys.

33. Flushing: St. Thomas Hall built 1838-9; became known later as St. Joseph's Academy for young ladies.

34. Flushing: Sanford Hall (Jamaica Avenue south of Franklin Place), originally the stately mansion of Nathan Sanford, Chancellor of the State of New York, who in 1822 bought up several farms fronting on the present Jamaica Avenue and built this house in 1836. Dying soon after, the house, with its park-like grounds, running back to Parsons Avenue, came into the possession of Dr. John Macdonald, who here established a celebrated private insane asylum.

35. Jamaica: The King Mansion (incorrectly called " Manor," as there never was a "manor" in Queens County it being inconsistent with the township system, under which this part was settled), erected about 1750, and in 1805 becoming the country seat of Rufus King, one of the first two New York senators; also of John A. King (son of Rufus), governor from 1856 to 1858. Though severely simple, this house formerly presented a very imposing appearance, owing to its extensive grounds, surrounded by a thick hedge of large forest trees.

36. Jamaica: Site of the first Presbyterian Church building (middle of Fulton Street, southwest of the present structure), a stone church with a high spire and a bell," erected in 1699, but seized (July, 1703) by the Episcopal rector, the Rev.
Mr. Bartow, who was backed by Lord Cornbury. The latter forbade the Presbyterians to use it, but in 1708, after Gov. Lovelace's appointment, the two sects used it alternately, by advice of the colonial authorities. In 17 10 the Episcopalians were excluded, and in 1727 the Presbyterian claims were confirmed by the Court, and they used this building until the present church was built.

37. Colonial Hall opened in 1843 as a female seminary, under Miss Mary Adrain, remodeled about 1897 by Ex-Sheriff Wm. C. Baker, to be used as a public hall and for club rooms, and now used as a boarding house.

38. In 1865 a movement was inaugurated for the building of a Soldiers Monument by popular subscription. The monument was designed by Orange Judd of Flushing and erected at the apex of Flushing Park under the auspices of the George Huntsman Post, G. A. R.

39. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, on Hillside Avenue, at the intersection of Bergen Avenue, was erected by voluntary subscription collected under the auspices of the Alfred M. Wood Post, No. 368, Dept. N. Y., G. A. R. F. W. Buckstuhl was the sculptor. It was unveiled on Memorial Day, 1896.


 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Queens Historical Tid-Bits Part II
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Historical Guide to the City of New York; Anonymous, New York., F.A. Stokes Co, 1913.
Time & Date Stamp: