Photo by Dennis Doyle ©
Photo of the "Steel House",
now "Once Upon A Time" Nursery School on 111th St. South of Jamaica Ave.
in Richmond Hill, NY.
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87-61 111th St., Richmond Hill, NY
Courtesy of Carl
From the HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
BORO OF QUEENS- Queens Boro Public Library
Jamaica, N.Y., 1938
THE STEEL HOUSE
Daniel Eldridge of the Tweed
Ring, purchased the land on which this mansion was erected, at 111th St.
south of Jamaica Avenue, from one, Charles Paulson for $600 in 1867. The
building was 40 by 60 ft.
He was arrested on the property,
charged with embezzlement. (Its been told that Daniel Eldridge after hearing
that the police were on their way to arrest him, and with no place left
to hide, simply sat up in the widow's peak and watched with binoculars
as they came to arrest him.) He then sold it to James Fowler, and in 1880,
it was sold to Alexander Steel. At his death, the heirs sold the property
to the family of Kassman, who now occupy it. (Later, it became the "Tilmar"
kindergarten and nursery school. circa 1974). Presently it is "Once Upon
A Time", a Day Camp/Nursery School located at 87-61 111th St., Richmond
No consideration is mentioned
in the original deeds, a copy of which is in the hands of Mr. John W. Magee,
Mr. John W. Magee, attorney,
of 112-08 Jamaica Ave. is the Dean of the Queens County Bar Association
and Chairman of the Committee of the Bar Assoc. of Queens. He has been
practicing law since 1898 and has a very extensive practice. Mr. Magee,
when a young man, lived with his mother for a period of 15 years, from
1880 to 1895, in what is known as the Steel House, which now stands on
111th St. south of Jamaica Ave. on a 200 ft. lot by 150 ft. deep.
This immense building is
but a ten room house 40 ft. wide by 60 ft. deep. It was built by the corrupt
Tammany politicians, namely Eldridge of the notorious Tweed ring, years
ago and used as a hangout for politicians.
Fifty-eight years ago this
mansion was purchased by Alexander Steel an Englishman who came here from
the Island of Jamaica, British West Indies, and who had just disposed of
two large plantations, he had owned in that island. He purchased this property
as an investment, calling it the Steel House.
He lived there with his
daughter till his death in 1882, when it was rented to Mr. Magee's mother
Mr. James F. Deehan says,
- The Steel House is standing on the eastside of Greenwood Ave. (111th
St.) at about no's 87-63 to 87-69 (87-61 111th Street) north of Lexington
St. (91st Ave.)
Steel married the widow
Magee, mother of John Magee.