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Freeport History Encyclopedia: Z

Freeport History Encyclopedia includes authoritative information about Freeport's past. This guide is perfect for anyone wanting to know more about our village.

Zimmerman, Charles J.

Charles J. Zimmerman was the Village of Freeport historian during the 1990s. He was preceded by Clinton Metz and succeeded by Cynthia J. Krieg.

Zimmerman also served as the curator of the Freeport Historical Society.

Zimmerman presented a compilation of his writings to the Freeport Memorial Library: The Historical Writing of Charles J. Zimmerman. As Curator of the Freeport Museum and Appointed Historian of the Incorporated Village of Freeport, Long Island. (1994).

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, June 28, 2016.

Zipper's Pharmacy

Zipper's Pharmacy was located at 55 South Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue) near Pine Street. It operated from the 1940s through the 1970s.



Zipper's Pharmacy [advertisement].  The Leader. December 30, 1943, 3.  Accessed March 20, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, March 20, 2018.

Zippy the Chimp

Zippy the Chimp was the name given to several trained chimpanzees from 1952 until the late 1980s.  The chimps lived with their trainer, Lee Ecuyer, at 439 South Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue).  Before a chimp could don the trademark sweatshirt emblazoned with the word "Zip," he was trained to perform several amusing acts, such as roller skating, dancing, bike riding and painting.  When a chimp got too old to continue performing, there was another trained chimp ready to take his place; the older chimp would be put in a zoo to live out his remaining years.
Zippy appeared on television with various celebrities, including Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar, Captain Kangaroo, Arthur Godfrey and Mike Douglas, and also lent his talents to a number of commercials.  He appeared for five years on the Howdy Doody childrens' television show, and in movies as well.  His services as an entertainer could also be rented for children's parties, and he appeared at fairs across the country. 
Zippy's career was not without its problems: in 1956, Zippy was embroiled in a contract dispute against a comic named Harvey Stone for top billing in the advertising for the Boulevard, a nightclub in Rego Park, NY.  An arbitrator decided in favor of Mr. Stone, since the contract granting him top billing was signed two weeks prior to the contract signed for Zippy's services.  Reportedly, Zippy did not bear any ill will over this incident, and shook hands with Mr. Stone after the dispute was settled.
When Zippy was not working, he could often be found at Randall Park, which was across the street from his home; he would spend his time there participating in arts and crafts alongside the neighborhood children.  
Zippy and his antics were memorialized in several children's books and comics in which he was the main character.  Zippy stuffed animals were also available for purchase.  Zippy left Freeport in 1987 when his owners moved to Rockland County.


“Chimp’s Not Champ; Comic Gets Top Bill.” Newsday. April 7, 1956, 8. Accessed July 15, 2016.

“Fun for Junior Has High Price Tag.” Newsday. January 16, 1964, 47. Accessed July 15, 2016.

“LI Monkey in Hot Water Over Swim Pool.” Newsday. April 29, 1959, 4. Accessed July 15, 2016.

 “Life With Zippy And Friends.” The New York Times. February 19, 1978, LI19. Accessed July 15, 2016.

“Long Island Journal.” New York Times. August 30, 1987, LI3. Accessed July 15, 2016.

“There’ll Always Be a Zippy the Chimp.” Newsday. April 9, 1973. 2A. Accessed July 15, 2016.

Researched by Denise Rushton, July 18, 2016.

Zoning in Freeport, History of

Zoning pertains to local laws that establish building codes and land usage regulations for properties in specified areas (i.e. residential, industrial, recreational, and commercial).  In addition to limiting land uses, zoning laws can regulate the dimensional requirements for lots and for buildings on property located within a community, the density of development, and if livestock can inhabit the parcel of land.  Zoning laws were introduced to Freeport in the early 1920s.  Before this time, land use was often regulated through restrictive covenants.  

In 1921, the Village of Freeport established a committee to confer with the Board "as to the advisability of establishing a zone for the limitation of manufacturing industries and other lines of business, as in their judgement they may deem advisable."  The committee, comprised of two members from the northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest sections of Freeport, included: Theodore H. Vought, chairman; John H. Mahnken, Wallace Young, William E. Crevoiserat; Dr. F. A. Myrick; and Alfred T. Davidson.  The committee used zoning ordinances from other communities including Yonkers, White Plains, Mount Vernon, Pelham Manor, and Great Neck Estates as guides for Freeport.

Though creation of zoning laws was supported by residential civic associations, it was met with great opposition from Freeport's business community. Herman Kerr, a local merchant and outspoken critic of zoning, said that zoning was unnecessary to protect residential areas of the village since these areas were already protected by restrictive covenants, "Every owner of real estate in Freeport knows that all the high class residential sections of Freeport are securely protected by permanent restrictions which cannot be violated except by a zoning law."

In 1922, many prominent business owners expressed their displeasure with the zoning initiative in an article in the Daily Review.  President of Citizens Bank, Stephen Pettit, is quoted, "If this zoning measure is passed you might as well build a fence around Freeport and call it an old womans [sic] home."  David Levy, clothing merchant, said, "I believe that certain portions of the zoning plan will thwart the interests and growth of Freeport."

Despite the criticisms, the zoning commission continued with its task.  Under the chairmanship of Theodore H. Vought, the commission divided Freeport into residential, industrial, and business centers. Before the commission submitted its zoning suggestions, the Northeast Civic Association made it clear that they opposed any factories or industrial buildings in northeast Freeport.

The Zoning Committee developed a preliminary plan (the result of five months and 20 meetings) and the village organized a mass meeting of residents and business leaders at the Grove Street School.  After public comments, the village board ultimately rejected the plan, saying, "...that we are in favor of the zoning project, but not in its present form."  A month later, the Zoning Committee held three public hearings to discuss amendments and alterations to the proposed zoning plan. 

After one of the public meetings in December 1922, the Northeast and Southside Civic Associations threatened to block sewer plans if the village board failed to adopt zoning laws.  At subsequent meetings, the business community pushed for making the area of East Merrick Road an industrial district.

Eventually on March 2, 1923, the Village of Freeport officially adopted zoning laws.  The only trustee who voted against them was Hilbert Johnson; he stated that he was in favor of zoning but wanted more time for the village to review the current proposition.  

The adopted zoning laws created four districts: residential, industrial, business, and villa. Apartments were allowed on both sides of Merrick Road from Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue) to the westerly village limits.  Businesses were permitted on both sides of Olive Boulevard (now Sunrise Highway) through the entire length of the village west of Main Street, except the portion occupied by the power plant, which was considered industrial. Almost all of Bennington Park was designated industrial.  Atlantic Avenue was zoned as residential except for the area between South Bay Avenue and Locust Avenue, which was zoned as business. The "Randall Development" (south of Atlantic Avenue and west of Bedell Street) was zoned business. One block, at the head of Randall Bay, Casino Avenue also zoned as business. Both sides of Smith Street, between Church and Bedell Streets were zoned as business, and both sides of Bedell Streets, from Smith Street to Raynor Avenue were zoned as business.  Both sides of sides of Church Street, from Merrick Road to Smith Street were designated business.

Today, the Village of Freeport Building Codes are publicly available online.

See Also:

Restrictive Covenants



"Civic Body in New Resolve for Zoning." The Daily Review. September 29, 1922, 11. Accessed December 23, 2021.

Freeport Village Board Adopts Zoning Ordinance at Special Meeting." The Daily Review. March 3, 1923, 1. Accessed December 23, 2021.

"Freeport Zoning Commission Eager to Adopt Best Laws." The Daily Review. January 21, 1922, 1. Accessed December 9, 2021.

"Freeport Zoning Commission Ready to Make Report." The Daily Review. March 24, 1922, 1.  Accessed December 14, 2021.

"Proposed Zoning Law Will Destroy Value of Freeport Property--Herbert Kerr." The Daily Review. July 26. 1922, 4. Accessed December 9, 2021.

"Public Hearings of Zoning Comm. Now Finished." The Daily Review. December 9, 1922, 1. Accessed December 23, 2021.

"Reject Plan to Let Buses on Merrick Road." The Daily Review. The Daily Review. September 23, 1922, 1. Accessed December 22, 2021.

Village of Freeport Board Minutes, 1921, 1922, 1923.

"Zoning Law for Freeport Would Stabilize Property Values, Says Business Man." The Daily Review. September 26, 1922, 12. Accessed December 22, 2021.

"Zoning Project Menaces Freeport's Industrial Life Mr. Kerr Tells His Critics."  The Daily Review. August 7, 1922, 1-2. Accesses December 9, 2021.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 23, 2021.