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About Morris Park
"The Early Years of Morris Park" 
Researched by Carl Ballenas


History of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Parish / Early Photos of Morris Park and Richmond Hill / History of Jamaica Avenue


The following article on Morris Park is excerpted from "Historical Notes On Morris Park"
By Herbert Goddard

Morris Park was developed about 1885 by Frederick W. Dunton (for whom the adjoining community known as Dunton was named) and named for a grove of trees on the land of a Mr. Morris. 
As early as the Civil War period, this area, known as Morris Grove was a park that had become a favorite picnic and excursion. (Queensboro Public Library, Woodhaven, N.Y.).

Morris Park was a wooded area extending from Lefferts Ave. east to about 127th St. and south of the L.I.R.R. tracks on Atlantic Ave. to Chichester Ave. (95th Ave.). Some of my neighbors played there as children, before World War I, about 1910-12.

The Morris Park Hook and Ladder Co. adjoining the L.I.R.R. shop office on 121st St. was the first of several Volunteer Fire Dept. units to serve Richmond Hill, organized in 1887.

Its bailiwick was the entire community from boundary to boundary. In those days the eastern boundary of Richmond Hill was a line 100 feet east of Spruce St. (121st St.) and the Morris Park Fire Dept. was not keen about going to fires anywhere but in Morris Park. Also the Morris Park Fire Dept. was protecting the Dunton area.

Still, the areas on the other side of the line had to be protected and the Colombia Fire Dept. was the answer to this need.
The Colombia Fire House Co. was on the west side of 122nd St. was known as Richmond Hill just north of Jamaica Ave. The original home of the Colombia Fire Dept. is now in use as a warehouse.