This past Saturday, a megawalk covered several neighborhoods and cemeteries in Central Queens (Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Woodhaven, Forest Park, Forest Hills), and among other things included:
1. Lutheran Cemetery - General Slocum Memorial - On June 15, 1904, a steamboat in the northern East River caught fire, and this disaster was the worst loss of life in New York City prior to 9/11 with over 1000 killed. A memorial was dedicated 1 year later here on June 15, 1905.
2. Maspeth Jewish Center - founded by Jewish dairy farmers in the area in the mid-19th century, now right off the LIE at Grand Ave.
3. Mt. Olivet Cemetery - graves of Helena Rubinstein and Prince Matchabelli (who were both real people)
4. Cypress Hills Cemetery - graves of Eubie Blake, Jackie Robinson, and the Collyer Brothers (do a Google search on who they were)
5. Site of the Union Course Race Track in Woodhaven - and a visit to a local bar that is the sole remnant of that track
6. Forest Park
7. A walk through Forest Hills Gardens, a private community right off of Queens Blvd. and 71st Ave., designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in the late 19th and early 20th century as a planned community of English-style houses. You can see a bit of the main square on the LIRR going eastbound at the Forest Hills Station.
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