Queens Historical Society
Serving the Borough of Queens
143-35 37TH AVENUE • FLUSHING, NY 11354 • (718) 939-0647
1968 - 2003
NEWSLETTER Queens Historical Society FALL 2003
“The borough of Queens has a glorious history, and succeeding generations should . . . be given every opportunity to rits past.”
— Charles U. Powell,Long Island Forum, Feb, 1942.
35 Treasures: The Lent-Riker
Celebrating 35 Years Triumph
Today is a great day that we’ve been
To cele b rate QHS’ 35th annive rs a ry looking forward to for many years. It’s been
we are showing off! More specifi c a l ly, quite a few years since we had a tour of the
our Collections Manager, Richard Hourahan Lent-Riker Homestead, and today we have
perfect weather for it. The gods were good
has combed our arch ives and collections to us. I’m sure that Abraham Riker and Mr.
and has carefully selected 35 of our best Lent were looking down from the heavens
and most unique treasures for an exhibition and saying, “We want good weather.” I
think we have absolutely exquisite gardens
of important historical material representing
and a marvelous house, and that everybody
significant aspects of our borough’s rich will be very happy that they were her today.
With these words Stanley Cogan, QHS
Through extensive research by Mr.
President, welcomed some forty-five guests
Hourahan, Ms. Alison Field Ventura and our to an event jointly sponsored by
Vice President for History, Mr. James M i chael and Marion Smith and the Queens
Driscoll, each object in the exhibition tells a Historical Society. This was the first guided
Continued on Page 10 Continued on Page 8
The Flushing Lent-Riker House
President’s Message Executive Director’s Message
. . . An Old House . . . A New Look
Saved for an Old House
Recently it was necessary for me to I am pleased to report that the long-awaited
update my will. As time goes on, such an redesign of the entrance hall at Kingsland
action becomes necessary, as it had for me. I
Homestead, including the exhibition about
had made all of the changes except one, and
the homestead and the people who lived here
that one caused me considerable conflict.
What would happen to my beloved house is fi n a l ly back on tra ck and slated to be
after I was gone? Whoever the new owner c o mpleted this fall! Most of the hallway’s
might be, he or she might very well not have wall space will be devoted to a long-term
the same feelings about it that we have (after exhibition designed by Anthony Max Tung
forty plus years).
t h at will tell the history of Kingsland
Maybe the owner would like it enough to
H o m estead and the stories of the families
let things be, or ... perish the thought ...
who lived here for over 200 years.
maybe, just maybe, the house would be
A highlight of the exhibition will be four
demolished, and one of those contemporary
watercolor renderings by artist, Dale Flick.
ones erected in its place. The more I thought
He has been commissioned to cre ate a
about it, the easier the decision became. And
wa t e rcolor of the sailing ship Silenus,
so, the following covenant became one of the
Joseph King’s transatlantic trading ship of
the early 19th century. Joseph King, who made
The house deed must state that the house
his fortune trading in agricultural commodities
is never to be demolished and replaced by
from Asia to the Netherlands, gave his name
multiple housing or another house, and
to what is now Flushing’s only remaining 18th
must conf orm to the local zoning laws.
century house. No known image of his vessel
This must be signed by the buyer, and any
exists, however ex t e n s ive r e s e a rch by our
other future buyer.
Collections Manag er, R i ch a rd Hour ahan
My lawyer had breezed through the other
has uncovered detailed descriptions and
changes that I had made, but this one really
specifications for a historically accurate rendering.
made him stop and think. He said finally,
The largest of its kind, this 3-masted commercial
“Are you sure that you want to do this? Are
vessel was active during the early Federal
you really sure?”
period when shipping was our country’s most
Continued on Page 12
Continued on Page 12
Isamu Noguchi: The Ultimate Queens Artist
Photos reprinted with permission of Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum
Last May in the NewYork Times art crit- u l t imate Queens artist” in a conversation we
ic Grace Glueck alluded to Isamu Noguchi’s had in early July.
reputation as a rigorous Modernist. Two Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) moved to
decades earlier art critic Robert Hughes Long Island City in 1961. Often when an
re fe rred to him as the “ gre atest liv i n g artist moves he is attracted by lower rents.
A m e rican sculptor”--a bold assertion since Ms. Dixon said that was not Queens’ lure for
Richard Serra and Carl Andre were then at Noguchi: “If he wanted cheap space he would
the pinnacle of their car e e rs. And ye t have joined Agnes Martin, Rauschenberg and
Jenny Dixon, the director of the Isamu Noguchi Johns down on Wall Street. Space there was
G a rden Museum (temporarily located in plentiful and very inexpensive.” Jenny
Sunnyside while its home in Long Island City believes the sculptor was drawn to Long
is undergoing structural stabilizat i o n ) Island City because “he liked the industria l
u n h e s i t at i n g ly termed the master “ t h e a re a , it was away . . . besides Noguchi’s
fabricators were there.”
But why “the ultimate Queens artist?”
Jenny’s answer: “Noguchi was an outsider; to
Americans, he was Japanese, to Japanese, he was
American. He was bicultural, an orphan, very
much a self-made man ... and very much
ahead of his time.” A thought-provoking
characterization of who is attracted to
Noguchi was bicultural by birth and
choice. Ms. Dixon elaborated: “his father
was Japanese and his mother American with
an Anglo background . . . he maintained work-
ing studios in Queens and Japan. He was on
his own most of his life. Jenny said:
“Noguchi was born in Los Angeles but was
reared until the age of twelve or fourteen in
working on Portrait Head the countryside of Japan. Then his mother
Continued on Page 4
Isamu Noguchi: The Ultimate Queens Artist 10
sent him to a boarding school in the United Ju dd - - we re not pers o n a l ly designed. . . .
States. When it folded the headmaster placed Pe o ple come from all over the wo rld to
him with a family until he graduated from Queens to visit the Isamu Noguchi Garden
high school. He then went to Columbia and Museum . . . it is an oasis. Next Spring the
dropped out after one year to attend the LIC building will reopen with a Noguchi
Leonardo da Vinci School of Sculpture in exhibition designed by Robert Wilson and the
New York City. He supported himself by Whitney will h ave, not a retrospective, but a
major exhibition wh i ch is more of a
sculpting portrait heads.” According to Jenny
reconsideration and reassessment of
“[Noguchi] was not a lonely man . . . he liked
Noguchi’s profound contribution to art.
people and admired their struggles, but he
was ‘other’, an outsider.” As Ms. Dixon noted “Noguchi may not bea
In art he was neither an abstractionist n o r home-grown Queens boy but he is the ultimate
a realist--form, space and d i r ect con t a c t Queens artist.” The man and the museum are
with mat erials were his concerns. Je n ny without doubt significant parts of the
pointed to Noguchi’s gardens and playgrounds c u ltural history of the borough of Queens.
as being “years in advance of the earthworks By Richard Hourahan
and other [artistic] movements of the 1970s
Jenny concluded our conversation by
detailing the history of the Isamu Noguchi
Garden Museum and the events which will
commemorate his centenary in 2004:
As Noguchi grew old and more and more
successful he began to think where he wanted
his work to go . . . he wanted to c o n t rol his
own future and in the mid-eighties, estab -
lished the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and
through it, the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum.
[The latter] opened in 1987, while he was
still a l ive. It was the fi rst art i s t - c re at e d
museum in the United States. Museums
d e dicated to one artist--Norman Rockwell,
Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Donald Ford Foundation 1939-40
NewYork World’s Fair
In the upcoming exhibition, “Thirty-five Franklin S t re e t ) , near Union Street. A n
Treasures from the Collection of the Queens 1860 dire ctory revealed that Alexander
Historical Society” a Civil War drum will be Rogers, a drum maker, lived at or near the
displayed. Since 1976 this object has been McCready home. Rogers may have been
s t o red at the Queens Museum of A rt and McCready’s son-in-law. An 1873 map shows
o n ly recently was returned to QHS. On its Rogers still living on Franklin Street, down
i n t e rior is an or i ginal label inscri b e d the block from the McCready home.
“ M a nufactured by A. Rogers, Flushing, According to this map, t h e re was a fa i rly
Long Island.” Hence our question: l a rge building in back of his house which
may have been his workshop.
Q: Who was A. Rogers? The Flushing Journal says that Rogers
A: Directories of Civil War memorabilia list died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1878
Alexander Rogers of Flushing, Long I s l a n d, in his home on Amity Street (now Roosevelt
as a man u fa c t u rer of drums. Harrison Avenue). It states that he had lived in
Hunt of the Nassau County Museums System Flushing “about twenty years and amassed a
informed us that there are several of Rogers’ small fortune during that time--principally as
drums on Long I s l a n d, i n cluding one at a drum maker during the Rebellion.” An
the Society for the Preservation of Long a rt icle in the Flushing Times says that he was
Island Antiquities. Vincent Seyfried mentions involved in the construction trade in his last
R oge rs ’ d rums in his recent book, years, until he became too ill to work.
F l u s hing In the Civil War Era, 1837-1865. Beneath that article is a summons from the
He includes a photograph of one owned by Master of the Cornucopia Lodge, a local
the Chicago Public Library. Masonic chapter, to meet so they could
Harrison also told us that Alexander attend the funeral of “our brother and former
Rogers and his wife Mary were listed in the Grand Master, Alexander Rogers.” Other
US Census of 1860 as part of the h o u s e h o l d issues of these newspapers reveal that his
of a John McCready of Flushing. An 1859 map wife had died a few years before him and that
of Flushing--also recently returned to us by one of his daughters married a member of the
the Queens Museum of Art--indicates that Bowne family.
McCready lived on Franklin Place (now Continued on Page 6
Q&A - Continued from Page 5 At QHS This Fall:
Although we found some basic biographical Program Highlights
facts about Roge rs , we could find no At Kingsland Homestead.
i n fo rmation about either his shop or the sale House Tours.
or manufacture of his drums. We did learn Tues, Sat, and Sun, 2:30-4:30 p.m. or by
appointment. Adults $3, students & seniors $2.
some of our drum’s history from the object
itself. It has been cut down from its original QHS Research Library and Archives.
size. Harrison Hunt says that drums were
quite deep and somewhat hard to handle, so Exhibitions.
Through September 21. Queens Jewels: A
they were often cut down. George Miller of H i s t o ry of Queens Pa rks. Vi n t age and
the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society c o n t e m p o ra ry photogra p h s , p o s t c a rd s ,
a rtwork and other memorabilia highlight the
thinks this might have been done by one of
more than 7,000 acres of green space in
the drummer boys during the war. Many Queens. On loan from the City of NewYork
were very young and would find it easier to Parks and Recreation; curated by Jo n at h a n
Ku h n , D i rector of A rts & A n t i quities.
handle a smaller drum.
Despite this alteration the drum is still a Opening October (TBA). Thirty-Five Treasures
from the Queens Historical Society:
wonderful object and an important piece of Celebrating 35 Years of Collecting.
history, both local and national.
In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the
By James Driscoll,
Queens Historical Society this exhibition
Vice President for History
features some of the best and most unique
treasures in our collection and remind us of
the importance of building a collection which
illuminates the historical significance of our
borough’s rich heritage.
Saturday, September 27. Queensmark Comes
to Whitestone. 2:00 p.m. Grace Episcopal
Church, 151-17 14th Road, Whitestone.
Preservation Ceremony and Reception. Free.
QHS’ Queensmark preservation program
will honor 10 exceptional historic houses and
churches of Whitestone.
Continued on Page 11
Falling In Love With Forest Hills
Before moving to Queens last July I had Eventually the heat subsided and I wiped
only been in the borough once, and that was away my tears and sweat and began to
to see the apartment my husband and I would acquaint myself with my community. The
eventually buy. I moved to Forest Hills from heat wave gone, people turned off their air
Washington DC ignorant of Queens and its c o n d i t i o n e rs and opened their ap a rt m e n t
culture, which in retrospect was probably for w i ndows. Music flowed onto the street: a
the best. Queens, I have learned, is an woman singing arias, a young trumpet player
acquired taste. It took time for me to under- practicing scales. The free concerts cheered
stand and appreciate the rhythms of my me and provided a great soundtrack to my
neighborhood, which can escape a first time Forest Hills exploration.
visitor. I began with the stores on my block.
The first few weeks of my new life in Most were typical--a drugstore, shoemaker
Queens were hot. Temperatures soared above and re a l t o r. But then I found the 24-hour
ninety. I stayed in my apartment with the air t a nning parlor, an institution I didn’t know
conditioning turned up and the shades drawn even existed until I moved to Queens.
and began to unpack and try to settle in. Although I myself didn’t care to tan I became
Occasionally I had to go out, but that wasn’t fascinated with the idea of getting a tan in the
a ny more pleasant. The ga r b age, p i l e d middle of the night. After a late evening out
up on the sidewalk twice a we e k , a n d I would peek in and be surprised to see a few
stunk up the whole neighborhood. People in b o dy - bu i l d e rs waiting for a turn in the
a i r- c o nditioned cars constantly honked at us t a nning bed at 2 a.m. And when I passed by
poor pedestrians walking in the heat. Also, I on my early morning run at 6 a.m. there were
was always moving my sweltering car. I had always a few young women waiting to be
no understanding of the game that is Queens bronzed. It was as if these people, and the
parking. I knew no strategy; all I knew was neighborhood itself, were living a secret life.
that I was constantly driving around the Queens was beginning to intrigue me.Austin
neighborhood competing for a sacred spot. Street, the main shopping thoroughfare in
This introduction to Forest Hills made a Forest Hills, was next. At first glance it
horrible first impression. I was not in love seemed unruly.
with my new neighborhood. In fact, I cried Continued on Page 14
everyday for the first two weeks.
Lent-Riker Triumph fine example of a Dutch Colonial farmhouse,
Continued From Page 1 that the house has excellent stone masonry,
tour involving QHS in six years, and, as such, and that it is once of the very last of the
was an outstanding event. Dutch Colonial farmhouses remaining in
The event itself was divided into two
parts. The first part was a guided tour of the
house and the second part was a self-guided
stroll through the gorgeous gardens and the
solemn cemetery. Arriving guests first read a
NewYork Community Trust plaque honoring
the house and then were warmly welcomed
Lent-Riker was designated a landmark in by Michael and Marion Smith, the perfect
1966 by the Landmarks Pr e s e rvat i o n hosts. Throughout the event Michael greeted
C o mmission. The designation indicated that visitors, conversed and answered questions
it was “built about 1729.”An earlier year, while Marion lectured in the three downstairs
1656, was given by an Historic American rooms. To give details of her lecture would
Buildings Survey. The survey based its be far beyond the scope of this article, but
fi n ding upon an original two-room structure certain details were outstanding.
wh i ch was then incorporated into the Attention was drawn to the two-room
expanded 1729 structure. older part of the house, the central hallway
The Landmarks Preservation Commission
in its Findings and Designations stated that:
On the basis of a careful consideration of
the history, the arc h i t e c t u re and other
fe atures of this building, the Landmarks
Preservation Commission finds that the Lent
Homestead has a special character, special
historical and aesthetic interest and value as
p a rt of the dev e l o p m e n t , h e ri t age, a n d and the kitchen. The beams had been taken
c u ltural characteristics of New York City. f rom a barn on the Riker pr o p e rt y.
The Commission further finds that among its Replaced fl o o rs , historically correct, were
important qualities, the Lent Homestead is a
Continued on Page 9
Continued From Page 8
of wide-planed pine. An original painting
was duplicated in the New York Historical
Society, while the room itself is duplicated in
the Museum of the City of NewYork. A table
contained informational literature. The walls
of the room abounded with aw a rd s ,
m e m o ries of fl ag - raising cere m o n i e s ,
p i ctures of the house restoration, paintings,
and many other important memorabilia. Of particular note was the kitch e n
Both the fi replace and walls had with its antique cabinets, sideboards and
u n d e rgone extensive changes that had been pot-b e llied stove (from the attic). This led
made over many decades. Contemporary into a talk of previous occupants and a caretaker.
alterations had brought back the character of Marion talked of the many treasures
the original room. discovered as the house was being laboriously
restored. These included original Riker letters,
financial records, and house furnishings.
The music room was a perfect setting for
leisure, relaxation and good conve rs at i o n .
It fe at u red ori ginal f l o o rs , silk curt a i n s ,
a ch a n d e l i e r, an old wall map , a n d, a
p ri zed possession, an 1888 ro s ewo o d
At all times Marion went to great lengths
Marion informed the audience that the to explain the restoration process.
Riker farmland originally had twelve farm She concluded the tour with two
houses, of which Lent-Riker was the only n o t eworthy statements. The first referred to
one left, probably saved because of the “the romance and adventure that I feel with
cemetery’s consecrated grounds. She also this house.” The second stated that she and
told of the two boys from Suga rl o a f, Michael were “privileged and honored to be
N ew York, who had greatly aided in the the house’s caretakers,” and that they would
restoration. be buried in the cemetery.
Continued on Page 13
35 Treasures Slocum Survivors dedicated a monument in
Continued from Page 1
honor of the disaster’s 61 unidentified dead. An
annual commemoration, now led by the General
fascinating tale of our heritage and connects each
Slocum Memorial Association, is conducted each
of us to a specific time and place in Queens.
June at the cemetery. 2004 will mark the
E a ch piece speaks to the social, p o l i t i c a l ,
c e ntennial of the tragedy.
e c onomic and cultural history of the borough.
Another object in the exhibition also involves
These treasures are the tangible evidence of what
a steamboat, the Flushing. It is a an oil painting
happened here in Queens and they reveal not
of the vessel which has not only historical but
only its distinctive history but its connection to
artistic significance. The provenance of this
the history of the United States. Collectively
object is impeccable: the widow of the captain
t h ey rep resent the depth and breadth of the
( William H.D. Nimmo) of the Flushing,
h o l dings of the Queens Historical Society.
p re s e n ted the painting to the Flushing Historical
We guarantee a few surprises and expect that
Society. In 1985 FHS donated the painting to
the exhibition will make known the historical
QHS. The steamboat was owned and operated
value of this collective treasure.
by the Flushing, College Point and New York
One of the rarest objects in on exhibit was
Ferry Company, This iron steamer was placed
donated last year by Robert Kuenstner. Small in
into service in 1860, making seven round-trip
s i ze, o n ly 3 inches by 5 inc h e s , it is of gre at
voyages daily in summer and two in winter
h i s t o rical signifi c a n c e. Mr. Ku e n s t n e r ’s
between Flushing and Manhattan. The fare was
gr a n dmother, uncle and father survived the June
15, 1904 fire aboard the steamer General
The Flushing served both belligerents, the
Slocum. This tragedy resulted in the loss of over
Union and the Confederacy, during the Civil
1,000 lives and made it the worst disaster in our
War. While in transport service for the Union
city’s history until the September 11, 2001
during the Civil War, she ran aground off
d e s t ruction of the Wo rld Trade Center.
Fortress Monroe at the mouth of the James River
A c c o rding to Mr. Kuenstner, a fourth family
in Virginia, but was raised, repaired and returned
member was ill and stayed at home, hence one
to service between Flushing, College Point and
unused ticket, number 293, remained with the
family and is now in the QHS collection. Most
Continued on Page 13
of the dead we re bu ried in the Luthera n
C e m etery in Middle Village, Queens where on
June 15, 1905 the Organization of the General
At QHS This Fall to the Queens Historical Society has been
Continue from Page 6 moved twice since its construction in the
18th century. You will walk to its origins in
Bronze plaques will be presented to the what is now the Murray Hill section of East
awardees and enlarged color photographs of Flushing, taking in the surroundings and
the distinctive structures will be on view learning of its historical past in the 18th and
19th centuries--agriculture, nu rs e ri e s , ra i l-
Walking Tours. roads and residential deve lopment.
Saturday, September 6. Vanderbilt Motor Annual Student Art & History Contest
Parkway Tour. 1:00 p.m. Alley Pond Wood-
land Nature Center. Free. All Queens fourth graders are eligible. Draw-
ings should be historic buildings, statues,
Join an Urban Park Ranger for a fascinating trip parks or neighborhoods in Queens. Entries
along the first high-speed, limited access, accepted October 3-31. Contest rules and
crossing-free, dustless, automobile toll road in registration forms can be obtained from
the world. QHS. Rewards are boundless, monetary
Sunday, September 14. Kissena Park His - awards are $100, $50 and $25 for the juried
toric Grove Walk. 12 noon. Free. prize winners. Pa rt i c i p ate and encounter
Queens History fi rst-hand! Entry fe e
Join an Urban Park Ranger for a history wa l k $1. Awa rds pr e s e ntation–November 15,
on the grounds of the fo rmer Pa rsons 2:00 p.m at the Dr. William Benenson Pavil-
Nursery. ion, 36-17 Parsons Blvd., between Northern
Blvd. and 37th Ave. Free.
Sunday, September 21. Beauty for Ashes:
The Story and the Promise of Flushing
Meadows-Corona Park, Part II. 1:00 p.m.
Commences from Passarelle ramp outside ... And Around the Borough
the Willets Point/Shea Stadium station. $3.
Bayside Historical Society.
Parks enthusiast, Richard Post will lead this Nov. 13, “Misconceptions About Native
walk through the largest park in Queens. Americans.” Prof. Laurence Hauptman.
(718) 352-1548. Building 208, Fort Totten.
Saturday,October 4 Whitestone. 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Commences from 38-17 Main Street (one
block north of Main Street subway station)
Long Island Division.Exhibition.
and finishes at the Whitestone bus connec-
“Steamboats in Long Island History.”
Library Gallery. “Painting for Progress: Art
Noted urban geographer, Jack Eichenbaum i s and the New Deal” (718) 990-0770.
your guide through this historic commu- 89-11 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica.
nity. The distinguished structures honored at
the Sept. 20 Queensmark Comes to White - Greater Astoria Historical Society.
stone event are prominent features of the itin- Long Island City Forum. Lecture Series.
erary. (718) 278-0700. 35-20 Broadway, LIC
Sunday, October 19. Tracing the Route of Greater Ridgewood Historical Society.
Kingsland Homestead: Historic East Flush - Tour. Onderdonk House.
ing. 2:30-4:30 p.m. The tour begins at Kings- (718) 456-1776. 1820 Flushing Ave.
land Homestead, 143-35 37 Ave, Flushing.
Continued on Page 14
Kingsland, the historic house which is home
President’s Message Executive Director’s Message
Continued From Page 2 Continued from Page 2
“Why,” I asked. Is there something wrong important industry. Mr. Flick will also create
with my language, or the text?” “No,” he an aerial view of the Murray family’s property
said. “The wording is all fine. No, the problem around 1870 when it was active as King and
is far different. The problem is sale money. If M u rra y ’s Bloodgood Nurs ery. Other
this is part of the sale, your asking amount watercolors will depict Kingsland when it
is going to go down. People don’t like such was newly constructed for Quaker farmer,
restrictions, and want to feel free to do what C h a rles Doughty and as it a p p e a rs today
they want with their property. If this stays in, as an historic house museum and the
be prepared to lower the sale price.” h e a d q u a rt e rs of the Queens Histor i c a l
I thought about it for a while. Perhaps I S o c iety. There will be lots of photogra p h s
should talk with some other knowledgeab l e of the Murray ’s and their descendants,
people and get their opinions. But my original including Edward Murray who died in a
decision remained firm. To thine own self be Confederate prison camp and twins Ernest
true, etc.” After all, my work for y e a rs has and Charnley Murray who served in the
been based on Queens heritage, history N avy during the Spanish-American Wa r.
and preservation. How could I cross them up Little-known turn-of-the-century photographs
now? And I didn’t. I held firm and chose of Aunt Mary’s rooms in the t h i rd floor and
preservation over dollars. I hope that you do also. d ramatic photographs of the 1923 and 1968
And to conclude my tale in a most m oving of the house will continue the
positive fashion . . . Two houses, two beauties. s t o ry line.
fi rs t , the restored Voelker-Orth Museum, The visitors ’ re c eption area and the
Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is now b o o kshop will be completely redesigned
officially open, beautiful, and welcomes you with custom-built ca b i n e t r y. Wa t ch
for a large chunk of Victoriana. Second, we your mail and/or the local press for the
recently had a tour of the Lent-Rike r opening date.
Homestead in Ja ckson Heights. What a Mitchell Grubler
beauty! We don’t have enough of the old treasures
left in Queens, but what we do have . . . Wow!!
Lent-Riker Triumph 35 Treasures
Continued From Page 9 Continued from Page 10
Queens and New York City will always The renewed service did not last long, however,
be grateful for the labor, time, and money and the Flushing found new pr o s p e ri t y
donated by the Smiths in restoring Lent- as a blockade-runner for rebel merchants in
Riker. They have become role models for such Georgia where she met her destruction at the
undertakings. hands of the crew of a Union gunboat. James
After the lecture, guests strolled the B a rd painted the Flushing in 1861. A
grounds and cemetery. the f o rmer w e re s e l f -taught marine artist with a keen interest
u n b e l i evably beautiful with perg o l a , in steamboats and small sailing vessels, Bard
fo u ntain and flowers. The latter, containing completed over 4,000 paintings, the last
132 gravesites, is shared by Riker ancestors dated 1890.
and Irish patriots. The third object in this brief preview of the
exhibition is a late American Empire style
The program concluded with a gro u p
fall-front desk or secretary that belonged to
picture taken in the garden by Bob Berlinski,
the Murray family who occupied Kingsland
who had done a video of the entire proceedings.
Homestead for about 80 years. With its large
The picture-taking was highlighted by the
expanse of mahogany veneer and heavy
presentation of a Queensmark plaque to
molding around the top and bottom, our circa
Michael and Marion Smith by Stanley
1830 desk is an excellent example of this
C oga n , Queens Borough Histor i a n , a n d style. A similar piece from the workshop of
P re sident of the Queens Historical Society. Duncan Phyfe is on exhibit at the Metropolitan
After the presentation, Dr. Cogan concluded Museum of Art. The piece exemplifies the
by saying, “Today’s program has been once fine pieces manufactured when developing
of the finest to which any of us has ever gone. technologies of the Industrial Revolution
the house was perfe c t , the ga rdens w e re made the first mass-produced furniture
p e rfect, and, to the Smiths, ‘Are you perfect, affordable to the middle class.
too?’ (laughter and denial). To see and learn about all 35 treasures and
In response to r e c e iving the plaque, what the excitement is all about visit the
M a rion said, “Michael and I are truly exhibition opening at Kingsland Homestead
touched, happy and elated. It was fun and I in October. Watch your mail and/or your
enjoyed meeting everyone. Thank you all for local newspaper for the opening date. The
exhibition will be on view through September
coming, some from far places. Lent-Riker is
5, 2004. For information on another treasure
a jewel in the crown of Queens landmarks.”
in the exhibition see James Driscoll’s Q & A
Copies of the video are available at the
Queens Historical Society.
By Mitchell Grubler
By Stanley Cogan
Falling In Love with Forest Hills when I feel a little disillusioned, I take a deep
Continued from Page 7 breath, smell the coconut suntan lotion wafting
I was ov e r whelmed with the amount of out of the tanning salon and listen to a little
p e ople on the weekends, the number of live music courtesy of my neighbors.
stores–some meticulous and others run Alison Field Ventura
down, and the traffic. After a few weeks of
visiting most of the stores, regardless of what
they were selling, and acquainting myself
with the daily rhythms of the street I under-
. . . And Around the Borough
stood why so many people were attracted to
Continued from Page 11
Austin Street and it became a huge part of
my Forest Hill’s existence. Twice a week I King Manor Museum.
visited the fish market, with its beautiful House Tour. 718-206-0545. Jamaica Ave.
selection and fishy/leach-water odor. I became between 150th and 153rd Sts Jamaica.
enthralled with the daily sidewalk preparations LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
of supermarkets—the men hosing down the side- Legends of Jazz. Oct. 31. Cecil Bridgewater;
walk, setting up the flower containers and fruit Nov. 21 James Spaulding.
stands, putting each bundle of flowers and (718) 482-5151. 31-10 Thomson Ave. LIC.
carton of fruit in place—and would schedule
Langston Hughes Community Library.
my trips to the market in the morning so I
(718) 651-1100. 100-01 Northern Blvd.
could see this ritual. Anything I needed I Corona.
could find on Austin Street, whether it be a
watch battery, Italian sausage or a copy of Noguchi Museum
Anna Karenina. As the year wore on and I Exhibition. “The Bollingen Journey.”
(718) 204-7088.36-01 43rd Ave. Sunnyside.
became better acquainted with Forest Hills I
discovered more reasons to love it. I love the Poppenhusen Institute.
F train into Manhattan. I love the Italian bakery Memorial Concert. Sept. 11.
and antique shops on Metropolitan Avenue. I (718) 358-0067. 114-04 14th Rd. College Pt
love the rumble of the LIRR and the train-
Queens County Farm Museum.
whistle. I love my doorman who cultivates
County Fair. Sept. 20, 21. (718) 347-3276.
the roses in front of our apartment building. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway Floral Park.
My relationship with Forest Hills is a
tumultuous one, but I suppose that is what Richmond Hill Historical Society.
happens when you love something—it isn’t Walking Tour. Oct. 4. Historic Maple Grove
always easy. I have to work hard to tune out
the incessant beeping and to look beyond Voelker-Orth Museum.
the litter. It took awhile to understand the Victorian Gardens.
eccentricities of my neighborhood and to see (718) 359-6227. 149-19 38th Ave. Flushing.
the sparkle beneath it all. And sometimes
Robert J Berlinski Tel: 718-461-8320
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BOARD OFTRUSTEES QUEENS HISTORICALSOCIETY
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Stanley Cogan 143-35 37TH AVENUE
Vice President for History . . . . . . .James Driscoll FLUSHING, NEWYORK 11354
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda Mandell Tel: (718) 939-0647, ext. 17
Recording Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . .Peter Byrne Fax: (718) 539-9885
PA I D
Membership Secretary . . . . . .Catherine Williams http://www.QueensHistoricalSociety.org PERMIT NO. 639
Bernie Caulfield Bernadette Li e-mail: info@QueensHistoricalSociety.org
Lee Cogan Kay Tinkelman
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Edward M. Murray, In Memoriam
Mary-Jane Boltizar Ponce Vincent Seyfried
Executive Director. . . . . . . . . . . Mitchell Grubler
Collections Manager. . . . . . . . Richard Hourahan
Jack Eichenbaum Richard Gelman
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