Homepage of the
Locustwood / Gotham Civic Association
Elmont, Long Island, New York 11003

Next Meeting:

December 18
7:30 PM



1905 Photograph of Belmont Park

Our History

This section is inspired by an e-mail from Robert Murphy, a former resident of Elmont from the 40s. Elmont, and particularly the Locustwood and Gotham areas has a rich and vibrant history that deserves to be recognized.

We hope to continue to share memories from current and past members in order to promote history, reunite old ties, and to understand what our community really is about.

Feel free to contact us at to share memories with us.

My students have many times asked me why we must study history when the things going on around them affect them a great deal more. My answer, I hope, will have a great deal more meaning now after they read the fruits of their labor. My answer is that the study of history teaches one to cope with the present and build for the future.

-Marc I. Greenberg, teacher, Sewanhaka CHSD.(1971)

Looking Back. . .

February 24, 1882 Foster's Meadow Renamed
A meeting to rename the northern extremity of Foster's meadow took place. Proposed by Mrs. Henrickson was the name Elmont. Farmer's Valley and Belle Font were other options. With twenty-nine votes casted, Elmont Received 22 and Belle Font 7. The membership at the meeting then petition the Post Master General to establish a Post Office, with the name Elmont.

1900-1920 Belmont Train Terminal
Did you know, that at one point Elmont had a Train Terminal South of Hempstead Turnpike? Read more.

April 23, 1899: Elmont Became Part of Nassau County Expansion
The bill signed in Mineola, changed the boundary line between the borough of Queens and the County of Nassau to include the village of Elmont. 100 Students from Elmont and Floral Park were attending school at Creedmore, had to go to the Nassau County Schools.

November 26, 1902 Plan for New Race Track was Approved at Belmont Park

April 20, 1903 Historic Posts for Belmont Park
August Belmont was presented the posts from the South Carolina Jockey Club. The posts have brass and bronze ornaments and will have a tablet describing briefly the history of the turn in South Carolina. Belmont with honor accepted them, and placed them at the entrance to Belmont park.

May 4, 1905 Belmont Park opened.

July 8, 1905 Belmont Park Fence
On July 7, 1905, the SK Carpenter Company of New York built an ornamental iron fence for the Westchester Racing Association. The next night the fence was torn down by unknown individuals. The constructor proceeded to sue Nassau County due to their refusal of police protection.

1906-1907 District 16 School Budget
The total was $1,927.70, of this, $525 went for the salary of teachers.

November 7, 1909: Aviation Races for Belmont
Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss to Defend Michelin Prize from Henry Farman. MEETING IN DECEMBER Last Week of Year Selected for Competition for International Trophy Won by Orville Wright.
Via New York Times.
(Requires Adobe Reader)

1910: Community Development
Elzey Meacham, a Tennessee builder started operations. His first two avenues were Elzey and Meacham. Afterwards, he is more well known as the "brainchild" of Newspaper Row in Eastern Elmont.

January 26, 1913 Hempstead and Jamaica Turnpike Company Abolished
By order of Queens County court, the toll trolley line instrumental to Long Island's development during the colonial area, was ordered to be abolished and its shares dissolved to its shareholders.

September 20, 1932: Handel's Duck Inn Destroyed
Elmont's duck farm, and one of the best known road houses of Long Island at the time was completely destroyed by fire. Frank Nozeki, the lessee of the inn was arrested on Federal charges for the discovery of a complete distilling apparatus and system of pipes leading to other nearby buildings.

1920 Man o' War
Click here to read.

December 27, 1925 Ludlam Farm Sold
The farm adjoins Belmont Park and consisted of 104 acres and close to one half mile of frontage on Hempstead Turnpike. The property had been in possession of the Ludlam family for over 150 years and was sold for $750,000 to develop over 1,000 low-priced homes.

August 13, 1927: Locustwood Estates Houses Sold
E.A. White Organization, Inc. sold homes at Locustwood Estates, a development project opposite Belmont Park. In the last quarter of 1927, the plots valued of $1 million were sold. The Fulcher Construction Company and the Silwynne Building Corporation have contracted to build groups of homes to sell for $12,000 to $13,500 each.

March 10, 1929: Locustwood Estates Formed.

March 11, 1929: Locustwood Estates to be built by Fieldmere Realty
The sale of Locustwood Estates, has been taken over by the Fieldmere Realty Corporation of which Major Frederick A. Crooks is president. The property consisting of about 146 acres bordering Hempstead Turnpike had been held by the Westchester Racing Association for possible use in conjunction with its activities at Belmont park. In order that the development might be under their own supervision, a subsidiary corporation known as Locustwood Estates, with Thomas J. Regan president, Joseph E Widner, vice president and John J. Coakley secretary and treasurer was formed.

November 21, 1939 Vanderbilt Succeeds Widener as Belmont Park President
Locustwood Estates' own Widener, resigning after illness was succeeded by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt who was also the President of the Maryland Jockey Club.

July 8, 1940: Locustwood Estates Taxpayers and Civic Association incorporated.

December 19, 1940: Elmont To Buy Five School Sites
At a special election in the Belmont Boulevard School, a vote of 259 to 216, with a small majority of 43 votes approved the passage to purchase using $150,000 of funds 5 school sites. Locations would be to purchase property in Alden Terrace, Locustwood Estates, Ste2wart Manor and sites on Hempstead Turnpike and Covert Avenue. This was done to lay the foundation for a long range planning system to provide the district with sufficient schools.

May 17, 1946: 450 GI homes to be Built in Locustwood Area
Tract of 850 lots near Belmont Park, owned by the Westchester Racing Association was sold to build to build homes for veterans. Property about two blocks south of the Belmont Race Track takes in all the land on Huntley, Wellington, Heathcote, Locustwood, Sussex, Sterling, Warwick, Essex, Fieldmere and Hathaway.

August 9, 1951 Sewanhaka Secession Rejected
Despite the Elmont School Board favoring secession of Floral Park - Bellerose District 22 from Central High School District, ballots tallying 8,788 against and 4,760 in favor were casted. members of the Locustwood Estates were instrumental to Elmont's 4,804 against to 153 in favor outcome. Locustwood Estates later continued ahead with the impeachment of the Elmont School Board.

October 5, 1955 Belmont Park Under New Management
The Greater New York Association Inc. took over the operation of the thoroughbred racing in the state of New York that also included Belmont Park. Previously the Westchester Racing Association operated the sport at Belmont since 1905.

October 27, 1962 Racing was Stopped at Belmont Park
For the first time in its history, there was no racing of any kind at Belmont Park, since it opened in 1905. Original Belmont Park was demolished by the NYRA to create a larger and new Belmont grandstand.

1943-1963:    Conversations with Robert Murphy
E-mail conversations, from a former resident shares memories, and hopes to reunite old ties, which leads us to understand, what a community really is.
Click here to read.

May 20, 1946: Builders Buy Land From Belmont
839 lots held since 1907 by the Belmont Racing interests has been sold by Locustwood Estates, to the Warwick Manor Realty Corporation. The property is in Elmont, LI, and is bounded by the Cross Bay Boulevard, Fieldmere Street, 109th Avenue and the Hathaway Boulevard. 400 brick bungalow homes each on a plot 40 by 100 feet, and a total investment of $4 million.

October 20, 1974: Belmont Seen as a Transportation Hub
Plans by Nassau County and New York City foresaw using the race track's parking area as a collection point of automobiles and as a versatile distribution hub for a wide variety of mass transit services, bus, subway, train and airport limousines.

NOVEMBER 19, 1974: Locustwood Civic formally incorporated.

August 12, 1984: If You're Thinking of Living in Elmont
Since Elmont's boundaries were established at the turn of the century, two aspects of life in this bedroom community just across the New York City line in Nassau County have remained constant. Via New York Times.

AUGUST 09, 1989: Locustwood / Gotham Civic Formed
Locustwood Civic and Gotham Civic formally merged together.

January 24, 1990: Home Depot Came to Elmont
TSS-Seedman's Department Stores, Inc., which is liquidating under Chapter 11, has gotten bankruptcy court approval to sell the lease for its Elmont, NY, store to Home Depot, Inc., a home improvement company, for $10 million.

July 12, 1998: Diverse Community, Moderate Prices
WITH an award-winning high school where 30 percent of its students are foreign-born, the Queens-border hamlet of Elmont is among the most diverse communities on Long Island. Via New York Times.

April 2, 1999:  Property Tax Assessment
On April 2, 1999, a reflection statement on the proposal of reassessment was printed in the Three Village Times.
Click here to read.

April 21, 2001:   Locustwood Boulevard Beautification
On April 21, 2001, a reflection statement was printed in the Three Village Times. Click here to read.


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