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Historic Richmond Hill Photographs Rediscovered!

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In The Loop

History is alive and well at Richmond Hill Archival Museum! 

The Richmond Hill Archival Museum is located inside the Leo F. Kearns Funeral Home at 85-66 115th St. 

Maintained by Richmond Hill Historical Society, the one-room exhibition space displays archives, documents, maps, photographs, and other memorabilia that depict the central Queens neighborhood's journey from farming community to urban center. The Richmond Hill High School section has old banners, pompoms, awards, yearbooks, and even maroon beanies dating back to the 1940s. A music area displays sheet music from Ernest Ball, a local who wrote "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." Literary items include books by local writers, such as Amelia Edith Barr's "Remember the Alamo," and an encyclopedia on the Marx Brothers, who lived there in the 1920s. A large framed print contains small photos of local heroes who died during World War I. Dedicated on Oct. 5, 2002, the museum's goal is to educate future generations about the area's heritage. Admission is free, but attendance is by appointment only. (Try 262-686-RHHS or Richmond Hill Plus, financial and item donations are accepted.

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HPF People - Celebrating the Historic Properties Fund's 40th Anniversary - Sue Nanka Bruce


Welcome to HPF People, a video series celebrating the 40th anniversary of our loan program, the Historic Properties Fund. We will introduce you throughout the year to dedicated New Yorkers we’ve met through our work. 


This month we are featuring Church Warden Sue Nanka Bruce from Church of the Resurrection, Richmond Hill (Kew Gardens, Queens) a repeat Historic Properties Fund borrower.

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Featured in "Best Old House Neighborhoods" on This Old House


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Richmond Hill, Queens, New York
Richmond Hill is as peaceful and laid back as Manhattan is chaotic and fast paced. That's why it's hard to imagine these two places are less than a 45-minute subway ride from each other. Established in the mid-1800s as one of New York City's first planned communities, Richmond Hill was once home to thousands of Italian, Irish, and German immigrants looking to escape the crowded living conditions of the city. That escape was made all the more pleasant thanks to Forest Park—a 600-acre Frederick Law Olmsted urban retreat with horse trails, golf courses, and gardens —which borders the neighborhood.

The Houses:
The largest, most detailed homes are in North Richmond Hill, bordering the park, where many homes designed by famed New York City architect Henry Haugaard are located. His Queen Annes and Classical Revivals are known for their unique built-ins, enormous front porches, inlaid floors, and multicolored shingles. More modest Craftsmans and Victorians in the southern part of Richmond Hill start at about $550,000.

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Historic Richmond Hill Photographs Rediscovered!

Carl  Ballenas - Richmond Hill, NY

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Two vintage photographs, showing an important historic event that took place in Richmond Hill 110 years ago, were recently rediscovered! The unknown photographer attended the July 4th, 1910 dedication of a new sixty-foot flagpole, that was erected for the town of Richmond Hill. A committee of local townspeople came up with this patriotic idea, raised the money, and conducted the dedication ceremony. The head of the committee and a major moving force was long time town resident Jacob Riis.
The flagpole was located on the lawn in front of the Richmond Hill Library aligned next to Lefferts Blvd.


This wide-open lawn space in front of the Richmond Hill Library was once known as Library Square and a focal point for many town events. The negatives for these images where stored away and later mislabeled. A slight connection to Jacob Riis had been retained but other facts about the images were invented and it was thought that the pictures were taken in the 1930s and showed some type of dedication ceremony at Riis Park in Far Rockaway. They were recently placed on eBay, but fortunately the truth about the photographs were discovered by a keen eye.  There were several clues in the photographs that leave little doubt these images were taken in Richmond Hill in 1910 and had been forgotten for over a century!

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