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
From- BROOKLYN EAGLE, March 14,190l
Park's 1903 Carousel
Forest Park's Golf House
Horse Stable in Forest Park
Forest Park's Tennis Courts
Seuffert Band Shell (in background)
Located- Myrtle Ave and Park Lane South (109th Street)
Richmond Hill, Queens NY
Photo of Jackson Pond circa
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.
More photos and info on Jackson
Historical Places of Richmond Hill
Noteworthy People of Richmond Hill
Join the Richmond
Hill Historical Society
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.
|More About Forest
From the book, 'Victorian Richmond Hill'
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
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
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
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.
"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
"Chestnut gathering and roasting were popular with everyone."
"I vividly recall watching the horses trot past our home on Park