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Excursion planned for the City history club of New York online

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lelt a large part of it, including the house, to St. James Episcopal Church, apparently as a rec-
tory. There being no separate rector until 1797 (when Kev. Henry Van Dyke came), it was
probably leased out. The English traveler, John Davis, wrote an interesting de.scriplion in
1798 of the house. The date of its destruction is unknown. The present building is quite
modern (about 1840).


II, 12. The present parsonage (separated by a narrow lane from lo)
and the modern St. James Church, dedicated in 1849, when the old church
(23) was abandoned.

13, 14. Meadow 0/ //ic Church of St. James, and lane leading thereto,
devised to the church by Wm. Sackett in 1761 . Part of the meadow, front-
ing Main Street, has been built on for 50 years or more.

15. Site of the second Totun House of Neivtown, built about 1677, and first used as a parsonage
until 1695, when a house was purchased for the new minister. As the church was frequently
without a pastor, it was probably occupied as a school and for town business. In 1747 it was
superseded by a third Town House immediately adjacent, which was used until 1805, whtn a
fourth was erected on the site of 15, remaining in use until 1851 (24a).

The Newtown Hotel occupies the site of these buildings.

15a. The Little Commons (marked on plan 4- + + + ) remained common until sold at
auction in 1849, most of it being previously occupied by the Town House, etc., and a plot given
the congregation of St. James for its first church; the bulk was leased for pasturage, etc.

16. The Dutch Reformed Chnrch, built in 1733. octagonal in shape,
with a high pitched roof, and used in the Revolution as a British powder
magazine. It was taken down in 1831 and the present building erected in

Go cast on Ujiion A'voiue formerly

17. Dutch Church Latic, or Dutch Lane, leading from the church to
the old Common Field of the first settlers. Widened and extended in 1824-
27 and now called Union Avenue.

18. Negro Burial Ground, set apart by the town in 181 8, now occupied
by an African church. The old lane (17) here took an abrupt turn (19)
and the closed portion with a small grove adjoining was probably given for
this purpose, on the straightening of the lane at the period named.

20. The Comtnons or North Covimon Field iox the heavier crops, grain,
tobacco, Indian corn, etc., where division fences need not be maintained,
and where settlers could work in a body for security against Indian attacks;
the "home lots" of 6-10 acres being used for small crops, houses, barns,
pasturage, etc. It was laid out about 1663, north and east of points marked
on plan. The land was divided about 1700.

20a. Ludlow House, probably the only old house built (about the end
of the Revolution) on the Commons Tract, on land owned in 1738 by
Samuel Fish, who resided in the center of the village.

21. Maj.-Gen. Robertson's ca}np,\\i&^'c\\.\i\\ prmy entering Newtown Aug. 30, 1776, three
days after the Battle of Long Island. At night they are said to have committed great depreda-
tions (Riker, p. 190).

Return to Broad-ivay.

22. Site of old Newtonvn Hotel (about 100 feet from cor. of Cook Avenue and Broadway), a
tavern of the early iQlh century on land now belonging to the Reformed Church.

23. The original St. James Episcopal Chnrch, built 1735 o" 'and
granted by the town. It is well preserved and was used until the present


chuich (12) was erected; still in use on special occasions. The steeple at
the west end was taken down a few years ago.

24. Small neglected Burying- Ground in rear of the church.

24a. Sixth Town Hall (now a police station since consolidation), built
1893 on the site of the fifth Tmun Hall, erected 1851. The latter was an
unpretentious structure, on the south side of which was later erected a small
one-story brick Town Clerk's Office. The lot was originally an open space
in the roads.

25. The Toivii Spring at the rear of 24 (now filleil) and used till 24a was built,

26. Site of the HoioarJ Farjiihousc (removed about 1S86), on ihe home "lot" of John
Reoder, an original settler. It was probably the site of Reeder's house, built toward the end of
the 17th century.

Go east on Court Street.

27. The Horse Brook, where the townspeople watered their horses.

28. Early 19th Century house on the site of the house of Joseph
Reeder, an old inhabitant whose family kept the property till 1736, when
they removed to Orange County.

28a. View of old village from Prospect and Chicago Avenues.

29. Col. Beruardus Bloom's Farinhouse, on the farm composed in part
of 3 home lots bought by Col. Bloom in 1742. The farm originally con-
sisted of 40 acres purchased by John Brinckerhoof soon after 1700. It
was long in the possession of the Suydams and has undergone several

30. Old Town Burial Ground, in which most of the first settlers were
buried. In 1901 the remains of the first three pastors and two prominent
la) men, including Content Titus (see 10), were reinterred in the Presby-
terian burial grouud. Spasmodic, but unsuccessful, attempts have been
made to clear the ground and put it in order.

30a. The so-called Burroug'lis House (about 1700), on the site of the
home of Wm. Stevenson, sold by him to Richard Betts in 1742, and in the
Hetts family for nearly a century. It stands just west of the site of the
house of John Burroughs, an original settler, long the Town Clerk. In
1674, for sending a communication to Gov. Andros reflecting on the Gov-
ernment, he was ordered to be fastened for an hour to the whipjjing |)ost in
frcjnt of the City Hall in New York with a paper on his breast setting forth
his offence (Riker, j). 91).

30b. 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 i66o 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."


Return to Broadway.

31. The Corner House (Broadway and Jamaica Avenue), erected about
1 7 16 by Jonathan Fish, who had here a tavern famous for a century, liis
son Samuel keeping it (1723-67). In 1756 some Acadian exiles were
boarded here by the authorities. During the Revolution it was kept by
Abraham Rapalye, a headquarters of loyalists, refugees and British officers
and men, when its ballroom on the upper floor was the scene of much
gaiety. In 1776 Wm. Sackett, a prominent "rebel" here under arrest,
escaped after getting his guards drunk. After the war it was called the
Union Hotel, but was purchased with 11 acres of ground in 181 7 by the
Presbyterian Church, and used until 1821 as a parsonage, when it was sold
and used first for a store and then for a long period as a private residence.
(There is a modern house on the present corner.)

It stands on the site of the house of Ralph Hunt, an original settler. In 1668 this house and
outbuildings were burned, and in 1671 Hunt gave land for the construction of the first church
building in Newtoiun, services having previously been held in the Town House, which was just
then decided to be private property (see lol.

In this church (enlarged in 1694) Lord Cornbury inducted, against the will of the people,
Rev. Wm. Urquhart, an Episcopal clergyman. For preaching in it in 1707, a visiting Presby-
terian minister, Rev. John Hampton, was by Cornbury's warrant arrested and imprisoned in
New York. In 1715 the church, again in the hands of the people, was formally reorganized as
Presbyterian. In 1716 the new church was built (see 32).

3ia-b. 01(1 Road to the Ferry or Calamus Road (see n-n, p. 14).

Go west oil Calanncs Road to Railroad track.

31C. Farmhouse of Jonathan Hunt [}) dating perhaps from 1700.

3id. Upper Road to the Ferry, laid out about 1696, along which Aug.
30, 1776, Maj.-Gen. Robertson's detachment entered Newtown, "driving
before them large quantities of cattle" (Riker, p. 190).

Return to Jatiiaica Road.

32. The old Presbyterian Church and burial g-round, erected 1716
(see 3T). 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.

33. Presbyterian Parsonage, built 1821 on the site of an orchard be-
longing to the " Corner House " (31), where Whitefiekl preached in 1764 to
a large congregation.

34. Large house end of i8th Century, builder unknown.

35. Horse Brook Road (see 27).


36. Site oi the Bar/c M/// and Pond of Wvi. Vallcnce, 1721. The
house here may be of the same date, but reconstructed. The pond is
now drained.

Return to [ainaica Road.

yj. House of Samuel Keuue, or the Brettoniere House (from a later
owner), now completely modernized, formcrl) of Colonial style and pre-
Revolutionary. It was for a time the headquarters of Sir William Howe,
Commander-in-Chief of the British forces. From this house a week later
he sent an account of the Battle of Long Island to Lord Germain in

38. 'S>\\.e oiihe enca7>!/>)i!ei!t of Royal IVelsh Ft(sileer%, vestiges of whose huts have been
found on the hill behind 37.

38a. Site of the Baptist Church, erected about 1S09, long closed. In 1857 it was removed
to another site and known as "Association Hall."

39. Site of the Quaker Meeting-House, erected 1722 and burned 1844.

40. Site oi \.\\& so-ca.\\ed House of Jacob Field, a. smuW ons-story slone building with loop-
holes in the garret; probably the home of an original settler; removed a few years ago.

41. Road to South Meadows, opened 1668.

42. Modern house on the site oi Jafites Smith's house (an originial settler) built about 1700,
and recently torn down. Several other small cottages stood between this and 43 but were early
demolished, these lands being consolidated to make up the Presbyterian parsonage/arm.

43. The Parsouage Farmhouse (sold 1811 and then called the
T/ioiiipson or Odek/rk House) \waiShvii\t about 1750 on the site of the
original parsonage (purchased by the congregation in 1695 with 12 addi-
tional acres). The Town had previously (1678) set apart 50 acres here for
the minister's use.

N. On Map 2, page 4, is said to have been an artificial lake formed by
beavers and covering the low grounds between Middell)urg and modern
Winfield. It was drained and divided among the inhabitants in 1678, at
which time and long after it was known as Smith's Meadows.




(Figures and letters refer to Map, p. 28.)
Lons; Island or North Side Radroad to Fhnhini^.

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 coniparatively 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 therefor 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 lew years was by water through the East River and Flushing Creek.


a-a. Early road, probably before 1650 (Main Street extended south), to intersect the road
(once an Indian path from the Great Plains to the East River) made by Hempstead settlers to
New Amsterdam. Part of it may have run much to the west of the present road.

b-b. The Rocky Hill Foad (following portions of Sanford. Parsons and Queens Avenues),
leading to the southeast part of Flushing patent, intersecting the path to Hempstead and
shortening the distance thereto.

c-c. Fresh Meadoiv Road, branching south from bb, both being shown
on the Hubbard Map of 1666.

d-d. Road to fF////t'.fAwc' (now Whitestone Avenue), one branch con-
tinuing east to several farms along shore at " The White Stone; " the other
branch is the

e-e. Road to Lawrreiice Neck, now College Point.

1. First Landing Place, later site of the Town Dock. A crooked lane (now Old Lawrence
Street) led to the same and to

2. Ltiwrence Homestecd, supposed to have been on or near the site of the present Lawrence
residence west of (New) Lawrence Street.

3. The first diuellings, south side Bridge Street (originally the upper part of Lane to the
Town Dock) and on both sides of Main Street near its head.

4. The 7Vzy« /'(?««' originally on the site of the Public Square and vicinity; used for water-
ing the cattle, etc. It received several springs east of Main Street, and ran oflf through swampy
woodland to the north. It was filled up about 1843.

5. The Block Mouse (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.
Herein 1704 the Rev. Wm. LIrquhart held the first Episcopal services in the town. In 1776
the British pulled it down for firewood. On its site in 1827, the Orthodo.x Quakers (as opposed
to the Hicksites, whose meeting-house stands still a little to the west) built their first place of

6. Site 0/ Prince's Nuncry (1737, see Waller's History of Flushing), in 1750 famous and
known as the Linnaean Botanic Garden (consisting of eight acres) forming part of Farringlon's
Neck on which (site unknown) stood the earliest tide mill ol the town.

During the Revolution the Garden was preserved by special efforts of the British officers.
It was visited by Washington in the fall of 1789. In 1841 Linnafus (now Prince Street) was
opened and the land given up to building.

7. Site of the British Beacon or signal pole, line of Washington Street, west of Bowne
Avenue. It was in Ime with one ten miles east on Sutton's Hill, Cow Neck (Manhasset) and
another on Norwich Hill, south of Oyster Bay, eighteen miles distant.

8. Site of British Battery, commanding the village on high ground
opposite Bowne Avenue.


Itinerary begins at bridge of the Whitestone Branch of the L. I. R. K.

9. Prince Mansion (later i8th Century), well preserved, corner Bridge
Street and Lawrence Avenue.

10. Hamilton Hall, southwest corner Washington and Garden Streets,
built originally at Main and Locust Streets, in 1803, as a parish academy
by St. George's Episcopal parish, but, not meeting success, it was removed
in 1 8 10 to its present site.

Go East on Broadway.

11. Old Qnaker Meeting-House, Broadway above Main Street, built
1694-5, on 3 acres bought 1692 by the Quakers for this purpose and a
burial ground. In 1696 they held their Yearly Meeting here for the first
time, and in 1702 the Rev. George Keith of the Church of England at-
tempted to preach here, but was prevented. The building was shingled,
plastered and repaired in 1704, and the Quaker records say a new building
was erected in 1 719,— meaning probably some addition. The British used
it as a barracks, hospital and store-house, but in 1783 it was repaired and
restored to its original use (Onderdonck " Friends in New York and Long
Island," pp. 04-95).

Go IVeslon Whitestone Avetiue.

12. Mitchell House, pre-Revolutionary, headquarters of Col. Hamilton
of the British army, at the southeast corner Whitestone and Bayside

Return to Broadway.

13. Aspinwall House, south side of Broadway, east of Union Street,
probably built by John Aspinwall (about 1760), a New York merchant,
and a British headquarters in the Revolution.

Go east on Bowne Avenue (formerly Bowne's Lane).

14. 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 conventicles he was arrested by the Dutch authorities in 1662 and
sent, in 1663, for trial to Holland. But he was soon released, and he re-
turned in 1665 (after the surrender to the English), and his house con-
tinued to be used for Quaker meetings, the celebrated George Fox being en-
tertained here in 1672 on his visit from England (see 15, Sect. VIII). It is
now a historical museum under the care of Miss Parsons,* and con-
tains much colonial furniture, copper, silver and brassware, wearing ap-
parel, etc. The sides of the house are covered with hand-made shingles.

15. Fox Oaks, once nearly opposite the Bowne House, now marked by
a tablet on a boulder at the edge of the street (erected by the Flushing
Historical Society, October 12, 1907), stating the fact that George Fox
(founder of the Society of Friends) preached here in 1762.

Go down IVas/n'/igton to Alain Street and ivalk south.

16. Old house (end of i8th century), 27 Main Street, raised and a
modern story placed beneath It. Other old houses similarly disguised may
exist in the neighborhood.

17. St. (ileorge's Episcopal Church (about 1850), opposite 18 and in
front of the church built in 181 2, still used for church purposes. The tirst
Episcopal services were held in the Block House (see 5); 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 (13).

Tablet (erected in 1803) within the church, in memory of Francis
Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was church
warden here in 1765-90.

18. Garretson House, east side, between Lincoln and Locust Streets
(latter 17th Century), a well-preserved farm house.

19. Flushing: Institute (Amity Street), built in 1827, later known as
St. Ann's Hall, and in 1845 turned by Ezra Fairchild into a famous board-
ing school for boys for almost 50 years.

20. St. Thomas Hall (corner Jamaica and Parsons Avenues), built
1838-9 ; became known later as St. Joseph's Academy for young ladies.

21. Sanford Hall (Jamaica Avenue south of Franklyn 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 posses-
sion of Dr. John Macdonald, who here established a celebrated private in-
sane asylum.

♦ Fee for admission, 25 cents; address for information Miss Parsons, 371 Broadway, Flushing.


(See Map, p. 3.)

B. South of F"lushing Village.

22. Tract of tJie M'illctt fajitzly (southwest of the village and extending to the Jamaica line),
separated from its outlying farms by Kissena Brook. The site of the homestead is not known ,
but Thos Willett, an English soldier in the Dutch service at New Amsterdam, left two children ,
William and Thomas, by his wife Sarah, who later married Charles Bridges, an English officer
under the Dutch, and called by them Caret van Brugge (New Amsterdam, p. 192 et seq.). Bridges
and his family became early residents of Flushing and he was one of the patentees named in
the Flushing town patent in 1664. He claimed some interest in the above tract of land whether
in his own right or ihat of his wife. Alter his death in 1682, a patent was issued to his brother
Thomas and to Ihos. Willett, stepson of Charles Bridges.

23. Willett Burial Groniul is at north end of Cedar Grove Cemetery.

24. Spring Hill Kstate (Remsen Avenue and Mill Read), of Lieutenant-Governor Cadwal
lader Golden, part of the Willett property bought by Golden in 1762. He held the office of act
ing Governor of New York more than si.x years, between 1760-1775, and spent his last days here.
His son David aiding the British, the farm was sold under forfeiture after the war and has
passed through several hands, not being well kept up of late years.

Fresh Meadow Tract (south of Flushing Ceinetery), was settled in
early days and many British troops were quartered here in the Revolution.

24. Diiryesi Farm House, near the south end of Flushing Cemetery, serv-
ing as British headquarters.

25. Lawrence House (Lawrence Road, east of Fresh Meadow Road).

26. West House (west of Fresh Meadow Road, south of North Hemp-
stead Road).

27. Old house (corner Black Stump Road and Fresh Meadow Road).

28. Wrig-lit Homestesid (?) half a mile west on the Jamaica Road
(south of North Hempstead Road), small, and perhaps dating back to the
early i8th Century.


Bat reached from Floral Park Station, L. I. l\. R.

2g. Dongan or Earl 0/ Limerick'' s Plantation, granted to Gov. Dongan in 1683 and including
400 acres of woodland, Hempstead adding 400 acres of woodland and prairie north of Floral
Park and Hyde Park. He spent some time here and planned to entail it to his nephews, but
it was sold after his death to pay his debts. Peter Smith, in 1720, bought the part containing the
house, which lay on the east side of the road leading from Floral Park.

30. Farm house of about 1750, well preserved, half a mile north of
Jericho Turnpike, the only ancient house site on Dongan tract. Probably
Dongan's house was of a similar type, stories of his living in state in his
" Manor of Queens Village" to the contrary notwithstanding.

31. StriclilancVs Tavern: site (Jericho Turnpike and Rocky Hill Road) antedating the
Revolution and plainly depicted on Stewart's Map of 1797, even the wagon sheds and sign boards
being shown.


Reached froDi Murray Hill Station, L. I. R. R.

32. TheW. Bowne residence (see Map, p. 3, Mitchell Avenue and 4th
Street), formerly a stately mansion in a large grove, approached from
Broadway by a wide drive shaded with tall elms. But streets have been
cut through^and small houses erected near by, destroying the original pic-

33. Murray Homestead, of Dutch Colonial style, built about 1775,
south side of Broadway, east of Murray Lane, Murray Hill, and the home
of the family connected with the Murrays of Murray Hill, Manhattan
(Exc. V, Sect. 4) ; present Mr. Joseph K. Murray is a great-grandson of the
famous Mrs. Murray, who aided in the saving of Washington.

{Reached from College Point Station, L. I. R. R.)

34. Lawrence Farmhouse, on the Lawrence Neck Road (f-f) now
3d Avenue and 2ist Street, College Point, east of the railroad crossing.
It is of the 1 8th Century ; in fairly good condition.

35. Wolf Pit Hill Farm, of the Powell family, in Whitestone, on the
same road, east of Whitestone Road (probably about 1750).

36. IStli Century House, on the same road (here called Haggerty's
Lane), east of nth Avenue, in good condition and owned by S. D. Smith
about i860, and later by J. D. Locke, a large landowner in this vicinity.

37. Old Landing and Ferry to Westchester, reached by a lane, traces
of which remam west of the railroad, called Ferry Road. Here, Deceinber
15, 1708, Governor Lovelace landed on his arrival after a rough passage
from England. He reached New York by land two or three days later.
June 17, 1726, Francis Doughty and others received a patent for the ex-
clusive right of maintaining a ferry from here to the mainland, although
it had probably been a crossing-place for some time.

38. Fort Hamilton, shown roughly on the Stewart Map as on the low
bluff just east of the L. I. R. R. sheds. It was built by the British during
their occupation of Long Island and named for Colonel Archibald Hamil-
ton, of Flushing, a prominent British commander. Remains consisting of
brick, inasonry, etc., were unearthed here in December, 1907.




(See Map p. 34.)
Take L. I. R. R. to Jamaica.
As no complete history of this town has been written, the chief facts
must be gleaned from memorials of the several churches, scattered rec-
ords and old maps. The first settlers, all English, purchased the land
from the Yemacah Indians (hence the name) and made the first settlement

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Online LibraryFrank Bergen KelleyExcursion planned for the City history club of New York → online text (page 3 of 4)