History of Forest Hills
Walter E. Drummond, a bank clerk in Manhattan, purchased a home at # 3 Portsmouth
Place in 1907, and became Forest Hills' first commuter. He induced the Long
Island Railroad to sell him a monthly ticket with the provision that it
would be honored at either the Elmhurst or the Richmond Hill stations both
equidistant from his home. When he left the office at night he "would
take a squint at the wind." If it was blowing hard he would get off
at Richmond Hill so that the wind at his back would push him up, but if
the wind blew from from another direction he would alight at the Elmhurst
As more people were attracted to Forest Hill, the railroad mad it a flag
station and put up a shanty. Early residents still recall the many time
the engineer failed to see their hand signals when small boys had stolen
- This from an article by Fred Hulbert of Forest Hills for the October
1941 issue of the Long Island Forum.
Local Native Americans
Local indian tribes, belonging to the Algonquin linguistic segment and being
of Leni Lenape background, were generally friendly. The large tribal grouping
south of the Newtown Creek and west of the present-day West Queens, cementary
area were the Canarsee. The Rockawegs inhabited most of Queens, although
I feel that the Matinecoc, with their burial ground being on a rise above
the Douglaston shopping center, occupied more of Queens than historians
By Jeff Gottlieb (an excerpt)
One particular Indian contribution was the use of their language: Kissena
meant cold water; jameco, the local dialect for heaven; while Paumonok was
their descriptive name for Long Island.
*I want to thank Mr Gottlieb for permision to use this and other materials
that he wrote.
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