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Local History Resources: Timeline - Freeport

1659

  • Freeport settled

1686 (circa)

1798

  • Jacob Bedell house built in the woods (near the intersection of Randall Avenue and North Ocean Avenue)

1833

1853

  • Residents change the name of the town to Freeport

Click here for more information related to Freeport's name.

1861-1865

1867

  • (September 23, 1867) South Side Railroad sent first locomotive to Freeport.  The train was the "Charles J. Fox."

 

Source:

"South Side Railroad." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 24, 1867, 3. Accessed August 23, 2016. http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50504912/?terms=south%2Bside%2Bfreeport.

1868

  • Freeport had 118 homes and 51 farms (source: William E. Golder)

1874

  • Excelsior fire company organized

1882

  • Charles L. Wallace created Freeport's first real estate subdivision on the property of Daniel Raynor's farm

1884

  • Grand Army of the Republic, Dandridge B. P. Mott Post No. 527 was chartered on December 2, 1884

Source:

"G. A. R. Recollections." Nassau County Review. May 28, 1920, 1. Accessed July 14, 2017. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071433/1920-05-28/ed-1/seq-1/.

1884

  • First library established by Grove Street School principal

Click here for more information related to the history of the Freeport Library.

1885

  • William G. Miller and John J. Randall purchased a farm from Sylvanus Bedell's heirs in northwest Freeport and began to construct homes.  This northern development was known as "Randall Park."

 

1888

1892

  • (November 29) Village incorporation election held (the People's Party defeated the Citizen's Party ticket)

Click here for more information related to the history of the incorporation of the Village of Freeport.

  • Village board appointed John J. Dunbar as the first peace officer

1893

  • Fire destroyed wooden school building resulting in the formation of Village water and electric departments

1895

1896

  • Freeport Fire Department Band established
  • Village Police issued new blue uniforms with brass buttons

1897

  • First telephone service began
  • Alexander R. Rhodes leased approximately 50 acres of Cow Meadow from the Town of Hempstead for 50 years at a cost of $8,800

1898

  • (November 26 to 27) Blizzard impacted Freeport
  • Electric street lamps installed

1900

  • George Bennett Smith became the first Freeporter to purchase an automobile
  • Grove Park Hotel opened (located today at 98 Rose Street, later called the Imperial Hotel and South Shore Hotel)

1902

  • (March 1) Freight steamer Arcara stranded on sandbar near Jones Beach
  • (October) The Long Island Railroad began the construction of a pedestrian tunnel at the Freeport train station.  It was the first one of its kind constructed by the LIRR

Source:

"Freeport's Rail Road Tunnel." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 29, 1902. 18. Accessed June 18, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50416713/?terms=freeport%2Btunnel%2Brailroad.

1905

  • Village Board granted permission for the removal of the Powell family cemetery on Grand Avenue and Babylon Turnpike.  The remains for the Powell Family were moved to Greenfield Cemetery.

 

1904

  • Chester A. Fulton opened an undertaking business in Freeport

Click here for more information on Chester A. Fulton.

1906

  • Village began negotiations for the purchase of 300 street signs to be placed on the streets of Freeport
  • The north / south dividing line for Freeport becomes the Long Island Rail Road tracks (previous dividing line was Fulton Street).  The east / west dividing line becomes Main Street (previous dividing line was Ocean Avenue)
  • Fulton Street becomes Merrick Road in Freeport

Click here for more information on Fulton Street.

1907

  • Free mail delivery began

1912

1914

  • Woodcleft Bathing Pavilion renovated

1915

  • J. Huyler Ellison Sr.'s Photo Play Company filmed scenes for the movie, The Governor's Boss, in Freeport
  • Florence Carman was acquitted for the 1914 murder of Louise Bailey
  • The women's suffrage organization, the Equal Franchise Club, held meeting in Brooklyn Hall

1916

  • Freeport became the largest village on Long Island with a population of 7,463

Source: 

"Freeport Is the Largest Village on the Island." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 13, 1916, 12. Accessed May 29, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/55294825/?terms=sewer%2Bfreeport.

1918

  • Freeport Police Department began fingerprinting.  Edward Kinlach was the first arrestee to be fingerprinted

Source:

"Finger Prints in Freeport."  The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 27 1918, 59. Accessed September 22, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/55300300/?terms=%22Finger%2Bprints%2Bin%2Bfreeport%22.

1919

Source:

"Freeport American Legion Started." Nassau County Review. September 19, 1919, 1. Accessed April 13, 2018. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071433/1919-09-19/ed-1/seq-5/.

1920

  • (January 17) Eighteenth Amendment (Prohibition) went into effect
  • (September 16) Three Freeporters injured in Wall Street bombing: George Luhrs, 74 Nassau Street, employed at National City Bank; Russell Golder, 30 Long Beach Avenue; Fred Thompson, 216 Roosevelt Place

Source:

"Two Freeporters in Wall Street Horror." Nassau County Review. September 24, 1920, 1. Accessed August 23, 2016. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071433/1920-09-24/ed-1/seq-1/,

1921

  • Police force became a department
  • Robert Campbell was elected Commander of the William Clinton Story American Legion Post (Leo Schloss, vice president; Henry B. Raynor, secretary; and Winfield Raynor, treasurer)
  • B'nai Israel dedicated on Broadway and Mount Avenue
  • Ku Klux Klan held meeting in Freeport
  • (August) Routes for municipal garbage and ash collection established

Source:

"Garbage and Ash Collection Started." The Freeport News. August 5, 1921, 1. Accessed May 25, 2018. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071012/1921-08-05/ed-1/seq-1/.

1923

  • (April) The area north of Seaman Avenue was annexed to the Village of Freeport
  • (December 13) WGBB, the first Nassau County commercial radio station, was established by Harry Carman

1924

  • New York State's first war memorial library dedicated in Freeport

Click here for more information related to the history of the library.

  • East Bayview Avenue was renamed Branch Avenue
  • Ground broken for the new Elks Club building on Merrick Road

1925

  • Bethel A.M.E. Church moved from Henry Street to Helen Avenue
  • Gatter Park (triangle piece of land at the intersection of Miller Avenue and Smith Street) purchased by Freeport for $10.  The owners of the property were William Gatter, a village trustee, and his brother, Irving.

Click here for more information related to Gatter Park.

1926

  • Trolley service ended in Freeport; bus service began

Source:

"Freeport Trustees O.K. Zoning Changes." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 22, 1926, 24. Accessed August 23, 2016. http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/57570236/?terms=Trolley%2Bfreeport%2Bbus.

  • William F. Crevoiserat appointed Freeport's first official historian
  • Conduit Boulevard becomes Sunrise Highway

1927

  • Clinton Flint becomes the first in Freeport to be called "Mayor."  Prior mayors were referred to as "President."

Click here for more information related to Clinton M. Flint.

  • KKK dedicated a clubhouse on Grand Avenue

1928

  • Conduit Boulevard (now Sunrise Highway) was extended through Freeport.  Centre Street, which once linked Bayview Avenue to Long Beach Avenue, was incorporated into the new road.

1928

Anna J. Martin became the first woman to run for trustee in the Village of Freeport

Source:

"Mrs. Martin Is Defeated." The New York Times. March 21, 1928, 4.

1929

  • (October) Stock market crash began the Great Depression (1929-1941)
  • The second First National Bank and Trust Company building was constructed on Sunrise Highway and Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue).  When completed, it was the tallest building west of Jamaica, NY.
  • The Dandridge Mott Post of the Grand Army of the Republic is disbanded and all of the organization's annals and mementos were given to the American Legion
  • The area south of Front Street was annexed to the Village
  • (October) 49 fire alarm corner boxes were approved by the Village board at a cost of $16,775. Gamewell Fire Alarm Company was chosen to install the alarm boxes

Source:

"Freeport Gets 49 Fire Boxes." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 24, 1929, 14. Accessed October 9, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/59852374/?terms=gamewell%2Bfreeport.

1930

  • Freeport boundary runs to bay
  • Women's clothing store, Carol Green's, founded by brothers Jack and Richard Green.  The store is named for Jack's daughter, Carol
  • Freeport Point, an area located in south Freeport under the control of the Town of Hempstead, was annexed to the Village of Freeport.

Sources: 

"Hempstead Board O.K's Freeport Annexation." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 27, 1930, 5. Accessed July 19, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/59904487/?terms=%22freeport%2Bpoint%22.

"Rally Petitions Annexation of Freeport Point." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 16, 1930, 12. Accessed July 19, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/59904487/?terms=%22freeport%2Bpoint%22.

1931

  • (October 20) Freeport turned off the street lights for one minute in honor of the passing of Thomas Edison

Source:

"Freeport to Douse Lights for Edison." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 20, 1931, 27. Accessed April 17, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/59856095/?terms=freeport%2Bedison.

1932

  • Bronze tablet dedicated at the site of Freeport's first school, located at Church Street and Main Street. Tablet was paid for by the Exchange Club

1933

  • (December 5) Twenty-first Amendment is ratified (Prohibition is repealed)

1934

  • Blizzard of 1934
  • The Village Board voted to replace traffic-light stanchions at the center of the intersections of Sunrise Highway with Henry Street and Long Beach Avenue with signal lights at the sides of the highway
  • Glee club started by the Freeport Republican Club

1935

  • Freeport Leader newspaper was founded by George W. Goeller

1937

  • Million-gallon water tank constructed

1938

  • 15 boat yards operated in Freeport

Source:

"Boats Valued at 2 1/5 Million in Freeport." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 10, 1938, 10. Accessed June 21, 2018. https://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/52673064/?terms=%22freeport%2Bpoint%22.

1940

  • Peter E. Elar appointed Freeport Police Chief (he joined the department in 1917 and was made lieutenant in 1920)
  • Interfaith Clergy Council Organized

1941

  • New York State made Sunrise Highway six lanes
  • 7 ½ horsepower air raid siren was added to the top of the Municipal Building
  • John Raynor elected President of P.B.A.

1943

  • Church of the Nazarene purchased property for a church on Atlantic Avenue and 332 Park Avenue for a parsonage

1946

  • Compulsory metering of water enacted

1947

  • Parking changed from diagonal to parallel on Sunrise Highway
  • First television showroom opened in the basement of Sunrise Music Shops (South Main Street and Pine Street)
  • U.S. Navy approves the construction of a Naval Armory at Hanse Avenue and Rider Place

Source:

"Navy OK's Freeport Armory Contract." Newsday. June 17, 1947, 21.

1948

  • William J. Martin elected Chamber of Commerce President

Click here for more information related to William J. Martin.

  • Freeport P.B.A. started softball leagues for boys ages 10 to 14 and 15 to 17

  • General Wickersham, of the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York National Guard, inspected the northeast watershed area as a possible site for a State Armory

Source:

"Gen. Wickersham Inspects Facilities Of M.P. Battalions." The Leader. February 19, 1948, 1. Accessed August 25, 2016. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071064/1948-02-19/ed-1/seq-1/.

1949

  • Village sold three acres of land on Babylon Turnpike for $100 for the construction of a State Armory

Source:

"Village Cedes Land to State for Armory." The Leader. May 19, 1949, 1. Accessed August 25, 2016. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071064/1949-05-19/ed-1/seq-1/.

  • Freeport High School Band invited to perform at Yankee Stadium
  • After 25 years of service, Lillian Steffens retired as deputy Village treasurer

1950

  • Freeport Bay Estates was annexed to the Village
  • Freeport population was 24,680
  • Dial service began for telephone subscribers
  • FR9 (379) telephone numbers issued to telephone subscribers (FR8 telephone numbers already existed)

1953

  • Freeporter John Barbieri (172 Wallace Street) appointed operating and maintenance supervisor of the Holland Tunnel
  • C. Milton Foreman Lumber Yard (located between Main St. and Henry St. and LIRR tracks and Broadway) destroyed by fire

Click here for images related to the Foreman Lumber Yard Fire.

1955

  • William Thompson was elected president of the Hempstead Harbor Civic Association
  • Robert E. Kurz re-elected president of the Chamber of Commerce
  • West Merrick Road from the Elks’ Club property to South Bayview Avenue rezoned to Business “AA”
  • Atlantic Avenue Business Men's Association formed
  • (August 11-13) Hurricane Connie

1959-1960

  • Apartment house boom

1960

  • New Freeport railroad station dedicated by Governor Rockefeller
  • Railroad grade crossings eliminated; Senior High School opened
  • Patricia D. Collins became the first female commissioner in Freeport when she was appointed as Vice Chairman of Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Hurricane Donna

1960-1961

  • Drainage work and road-level raising began in south Freeport

1961

  • National Guard Armory, located at 63 Babylon Turnpike, dedicated a two-story building

Source:

"Freeport Dedicates Armory." The New York Times. May 1, 1961, 32.

1962

  • Freeport is the first municipality on LI to adopt a code of ethics
  • Freeport is the first to create a Police K-9 Unit.  First police dog was a German Shepherd named Mike.  His handler was patrolman Harry B. Nicolino
  • Railroad Avenue renamed Freeport Plaza
  • Village Board adopted the motto, “Freeport--Boating and Fishing Capital of the East”

1963

  • Grove-East Park opened (triangle between Guy Lombardo Avenue and East Avenue)

1964

  • Dedication of William J. Martin Park (located between Guy Lombardo Ave. and East Ave. This park was originally known as the Grove East Park)
  • (January 10)  Freeport Recreation Center, located in the Grove Street School (61 Pine Street), dedicated
  • (June 17) The World’s Fair held a “Freeport Day” at Flushing, Queens and 2,000 Village residents attended
  •  Cornerstone laid for new fire Headquarters1964- Franklyn Square, the narrow one-block road between South Main Street and Bedell Street, was made a one-way street for safer driving to and from the new parking field at the senior citizen housing
  • Substation D at South Ocean Avenue and Front Street completed
  • (September 24) Groundbreaking ceremony for Industrial Park took place
  • 1964 Reverend Mitchell Mallette appointed to Freeport Housing Authority

1965

  • (November 9)  Northeast Blackout of 1965 left NY, CT, VT, NH, RI, NJ, and Ontario Canada without power for about 12 hours. Freeport Electric was able to restore power to the Village within a few hours

1968

  • Funding approved by the Town of Hempstead for a marina at the end of South Grove Street (later known as the Guy Lombardo Marina)
  • Ray Knipe named “Policeman of the Year” by the Exchange Club

1968

  • Power plant No. 2 opened

1969

  • (March 15) Freeport American Legion posts, William Clinton Story Post #342 and Henry Morrison-Deloney Post #785, donated a plaque to the Freeport Memorial Library in honor of the American Legion’s 50th Anniversary

1972

  • Nassau County created Cow Meadow Park and Preserve
  • (June) Hurricane Agnes

1973

  • Municipal Building expanded
  • First fulltime mayor elected (William White, Sr.)
  • (November) Dorothy Storm appointed first woman Village trustee (she took the place of Trustee H. Berkeley Swezey)

1975

  • Village Recreation Center and Town Marina completed
  • (June 21) Open house and dedication of the Freeport Recreation Center

1976

  • Casino Pool torn down
  • (July 4) Freeport celebrated the American bicentennial by burying a time capsule on the lawn of Village Hall on North Ocean Avenue
  • (August 11) Hurricane Belle
  • Village received hydroelectricity
  • New Hose 3 firehouse dedicated

1977

  • Freeport Mall opened on South Main Street

1978

  • (January 27) Freeport Firefighter Jerry Patrick Cotignolo died of injuries sustained in the line of duty

1980

  • Freeport Elks Club demolished

Source:

"Freeport Board OKs Plan to Demolish Elks Lodge." Newsday February, 17, 1980, 18.

1981

  • Freeport Police Department hires first female police officer

Source:

Freeport's Newest Persons in Blue." The Leader. April 30, 1981, 1. Accessed August 9, 2017. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071064/1981-04-30/ed-1/seq-1/.

1982

  • Freeport celebrated 90th anniversary of incorporation

1985

  • Resident Al Grover and son sailed from Nova Scotia to Portugal in a 26-foot outboard motor powered boat
  • Freeport elected its first female mayor (Dorothy Storm)
  • New library addition dedicated on Memorial Day
  • (September 27) Hurricane Gloria

1987

  • End of the Freeport Mall; South Main Street opened to automobile traffic

1988

  • (July 17) Was designated "Edna Beitterick Day" by Mayor Dorothy Storm.  Beitterick and her husband were the owners of the Poop Deck bar and grille on Woodcleft Canal

Source:

Braun, Bill and Norma Braun. "Good-bye, Poop Deck!" The Leader. October 31, 2002, 4.

 

1989

  • Last remaining WWI soldiers from Freeport die; Wallace “Wally” Guest (January) and Frank D. Curley (July)

1990

  • (Fall) Stadium Drive was dedicated.  It was constructed on property that once included the Freeport Stadium.

Source:

"New Police." The Leader. October 4, 1990, 12. Accessed June 16, 2018. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn95071065/1990-10-04/ed-1/seq-12/.

1991

  • (August 28) Hurricane Bob collapsed the Recreation Center’s air supported structure (also known as the “bubble”) covering the ice skating rink
  • (October 30) "The Perfect Storm," also known as the Halloween Nor'easter, of 1991 caused much damage in Freeport, especially on the Nautical Mile

1993

  • Freeport Landmark Preservation Commission voted unanimously to landmark Mill Road site (Village Board did not vote on this issue; buildings on site later demolished)

1994

  • Village Board granted landmark status to the four-sided clock in front of the Meadowbrook Bank building on Sunrise Highway
  • Freeport Landmark Preservation Commission tried unsuccessfully to landmark the Meadowbrook Bank building

1995

  • Nunley’s Carousel in Baldwin closes

1997

  • Seaport Museum opened on the Nautical Mile

1999

  • Freeport began street elevation project on the Nautical Mile
  • Freeport's Community Development Agency acquired Freeport Hospital property
  • Freeport Landmarks Preservation Committee began placing historical markers throughout the Village

2000

  • Revitalized Nautical Mile dedicated

2001

  • Dedication of the Nautical Mile Esplanade

2004

  • The Freeport Historical Society and Freeport Memorial Library joined Long Island Memories digitization project

2005

  • Sister City alliance established between Walldorf, Germany and Freeport
  • New water facility dedicated on the site of the former camp grounds on Prince Avenue
  • Main Street Mews opened on South Main Street

2006

  • Tuskegee Airmen honored at annual Veterans Day celebration
  • Freeport Long Island History Blog created

2009

  • Andrew Hardwick elected Freeport’s first African American Mayor
  • (September 29) South Ocean Avenue dedicated “D’Brickashaw Ferguson Way”

2010

  • Washington Avenue dedicated “Robert Allyn Way”
  • West 2nd Street dedicated “Marion Knoeller Way”
  • Brooklyn Water Works demolished

2011

  • New 9/11 memorial structure dedicated on South Bayview Avenue.  Original memorial moved to the Freeport Historical Society

2012

  • (April)  Freeport book published (Images of America Series) written by Cynthia J. Krieg and Regina G. Feeney
  • Solar panels added to roof of Fire headquarters
  • Freeport Historical Society building at 350 South Main Street granted landmark status by Village Board
  • Lena Avenue (from North Grove Street to North Long Beach Avenue) dedicated “Lt. Col. Ed Monroe Way”
  • (October 29-30)  Hurricane Sandy caused devastation throughout Freeport

2013

  • (February 8-9) Blizzard brought 10-14 inches of snow to Freeport
  • (November)  House located at 92 West Lena Avenue is granted landmark status

2014

  • Village denied landmark status to the Freeport Memorial Library
  • (December) Mauersberger Way (Church Street between Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway) dedicated

2015

  • Matador Network ranked Freeport number seven on their list of the 20 coolest towns in the United States

2016

  • Roadside marker dedicated at Bayview Hose # 3, Freeport Fire Department

2017

  • (August 26) Roadside markers dedicated at the sites of the Woodcleft Inn, Col. James Dean's House, and Bennington Park

2018

  • Village of Freeport awarded $7 million from New York State to replace a cable beneath the Freeport River tht carries power to the Village

Source: 

"With Storms in Mind, $20 Million Goes To LI." Newsday. October 19, 2018, A13.