It was a standing room only crowd at the Avenue Diner Tuesday Night for a presentation by the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society. The topic was a comprehensive history of Jamaica Avenue (North Side) from Woodhaven Boulevard to Columbia Avenue (91st Street). Please note that the Woodhaven Historians meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 PM at the Avenue Diner -- our next meeting is on Tuesday, October 4th.
It was an interesting look back over the years, starting with the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue:
We were able to trace the journey of this location back nearly 100 years, and found that it had been a drug store for most of that time, starting off with Minarcik's, whose promised that they would deliver to your home in their Orange Car! We also found out that Mr. Minarcik's father served in the cavalry under General Custer. Here is an ad from 1922 in the Leader-Observer:
We traced the history of that one block on Jamaica Avenue all the way back 100 years for every store, all the way to the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Columbia Avenue (91st Street) which today houses McDonald's.
That corner store was once occupied by Julius Friedman's Dry Good Store, who got the nickname "Old Reliable" for their ability to have what you want - basically the 'Lewis' of Woodhaven' of 1916. Friedman's other claim to fame was their large electric light which hung out in front (see the top left image above). Part of the bracket that held Friedman's sign in 1916 can still be seen in 2016!
Many thanks to everyone who came out and had a good time reminiscing. We hope to see you all again in October - there is always one or two presentations about Woodhaven's past - and you always walk away having learned something new. If your group or organization would like for us to give a free presentation, please contact us at email@example.com.
Note - we will be at the Richmond Hill Street Fair on Saturday, September 17th from 10 AM to 6 PM -- look for us up on the hill. We will be selling Home Town Woodhaven T-Shirts, $15 each, all proceeds to go to the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society.
And finally, we will be at the Woodhaven Cemetery THIS SATURDAY - September 10th - from 9 AM to 12 PM. We could use a few hands helping us gather up small rocks and sticks. So if you want to have fun in a piece of Woodhaven that was old when these old stores above were new, come to the Woodhaven Cemetery this Saturday, 96th Street and 86th Avenue, behind All Saint's Church. FREE PIZZA LUNCH Afterwards!