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Photo of Forest Park
Forest Park's Pine Trees
536 ACRES OF LAND PURCHASED FOR $1,152,000
"Due to adroit and skillful private negotiations, options at very low rates were obtained in advance on practically all the land required; the inducement held out to each owner being the great advantage which would accrue to the surrounding if the total cost could be brought within an amount which would tempt the Park Commissioner (Squier) to establish a park."
From- BROOKLYN EAGLE, March 14,190l

Forest Park's 1903 Carousel
Photo of Forest Park's Golf House
Forest Park's Golf House 

Horse Stable in Forest Park

Forest Park's Tennis Courts

Seuffert Band Shell (in background)
Photo of The Buddy Monument
The Buddy Monument
Located- Myrtle Ave and Park Lane South (109th Street)
Richmond Hill, Queens NY

Photo of Jackson Pond circa 1916

Jackson Pond
Photo of Jackson Pond circa 1916 
courtesy of Hank Schaumloffel

The photo was taken from the east end of the pond near Memorial Drive and Park Lane South facing west towards Glendale. Myrtle Avenue can be seen on the left going through the park as it still does today. This wonderful photo captures a moment in time when the residents of Richmond Hill can be seen enjoying themselves ice skating on the pond. However, note the danger sign in the foreground.
Rumor has it that the reason Jackson Pond was years later filled-in was not so much that it was drying up of water but that there was growing fear from some community leaders that Jackson Pond posed a safety hazard for the children of the community and deemed that it was better to fill it in rather than continue its use as a pond. 
 

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  • More About Forest Park
    From the book, 'Victorian Richmond Hill'
    Located- Queens, NY at Myrtle Ave., Park Lane South, Park Lane; Union Tpke, Kew Gardens; Cypress Hills Cemetery; Metropolitan Ave, Forest Hills. 

    This information has been supplied by the Publication "Victorian Richmond Hill", Published by The Richmond Hill Chapter of The Queens Historical Society ©1980 and made possible in part by grants from The Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City, The Richmond Hill Savings Bank, The Columbia Savings and Loan Association, and the Consolidated Edison Company of New York.

    Looking at the park from a naturalist's point of view, we see the last undisturbed, densely forested area in New York City. No other park within the City limit enjoys the primitive status of Forest Park. Rabbits, woodchucks, chipmunks and raccoons live in its woods. Among the trees are oaks, walnuts, birches and cedar beeches. Flower and berry varieties include dogwood, mulberry, viburnum, spice bush, grapevine, Japanese holly, rosa rugosa and azaleas. All have reached a state of equilibrium at its highest stage of development. 
    These 536 acres of wilderness offer a source of relaxation and recreation to thousands. Miles of walks lined with iron lampposts are used daily in every season by sweethearts, mothers and fathers with carriages, senior citizens, joggers and competitive runners. Cyclists jam park roadways on weekends, while meandering bridlepaths are one of the park's most unique features. The Audubon Society conducts regular bird-watching tours of the more than 50 species of birds already sighted there. Available seasonally and popular with small children are the carefully restored 1903 carousel and pony cart rides. The golf course, handball and basketball courts, 440 yard cinder track, soccer field, enclosed baseball diamond and stands, two regulation asphalt softball fields, clay and asphalt tennis courts, children's outdoor shower and ice skating rink complete the recreational picture of Forest Park. 
    To tell the story of Forest Park accurately, we must report the realities of modern times. Fire in the park is a frightening fact and is always a major concern. Vandalism to the park's beauty is also an unfortunate reality. But this disturbing information has its silver lining. Residents are responding to this deterioration of Forest Park in positive ways. In spring, groups such as Scouts are seen almost every weekend tending some park problem. Richmond Hill Citizens are encouraging local planning boards to address the needs of the park. The return of mounted police patrol of the park, and the interior of the park, as well as a new police bicycle patrol help a great deal. Environmental education grants are areas also being pursued. The Parks Dept. Rangers have established a Hot Line for people to call if they witness vandalism being commited to Forest Park. The Residents of Richmond Hill also volunteer to help patrol the park area. 
    Finally, the City of New York had earmarked $700,000 in funds for Fiscal '81 to undertake some needed restoration of the park. 
    With increased citizen involvement, the deterioration of the park will not only be stemmed but reversed, and we will be able to pass on to future generations the legacy we have received. 

    The essence of the park is to improve and embellish the quality of life for local residents. It seems to have done exactly that for many of Richmond Hill's families because interviews with the original residents bring glowing faces and gleaming eyes as they share their recollections of Forest Park. 

      "My brothers and I had wonderful times riding our pony cart through the park."

      "The pond provided great enjoyment for us, fishing in summer and ice skating in winter. The Scotch immigrants who came here at the turn of the century to engineer the tunnel under the East River brought their own game of curling. They took over the frozen pond with this fast-paced Sport." 

      "Chestnut gathering and roasting were popular with everyone." 

      "I vividly recall watching the horses trot past our home on Park Lane South."

     Although the Historical Society can't locate anyone who participated, a ten mile foot race is also recorded in papers at the Queens Borough Library with someone capturing first place in 59 minutes and 48 seconds. Other anecdotes reveal similar cherished thoughts of Forest Park and its role in the history of Richmond Hill. 

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