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Freeport History Encyclopedia: R

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

R. M. Weiss

R. M. Weiss was a tailor and furrier whose storefront was located at 10A West Merrick Road.  This business also provided French dry cleaning.



Voyageur, 1929 (Freeport High School Yearbook).

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, March 4, 2017.

Ragamuffin Parade

Ragamuffin Parade (also known as the Calithumpian or Callithumpian Parade, the Rangers' Parade, or the Mardi Gras Parade) was an annual tradition in Freeport for many years that took place on Thanksgiving Day.  Participants dressed as hobos and would go door to door and ask, "Anything for Thanksgiving?"  The parade also raised money for the poor.  In 1915, $46 raised by the parade, was distributed to those in need.

Ragamuffin Day started soon after Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday.  

The Nassau County Review in 1914, defined a "callithumpian" as "a noisy parade or serenade, in which horn blowing, the beating of tin pans, and the use of other discordant instruments are the principal features."

William "Barney" Bornscheur is created with bringing the Rangers' Parade to Freeport around 1893. The parade attracted many people with crowd sizes reported to be equal to that seen when the circus came to town.  In 1915, there was a Callithumpian Association that organized the parade, games, and a ball. Committee members included: Jack Mauersberger, William Pearsall, Otto Gottschaldt, Bernard Loonam, Jr., Angley Preziosi, Bert Haff, Russell Randall, Albert Forbes, Wilfred Smith, Anthony Fedden, Norman Dean, Harold Loonam, Jule Raynor, Mervin Schloss, Clarence Trubenback, Harry Kerley, Waldo Wufling, Oliver Golden, Frank McKeon, George Preziosi, Thomas McCaffrey, George Wufling, William Bornscheur, William Enkler, Frank Moran, Gordon McCarthy, and Sylvester Greenblatt.

Beginning in 1922, the Callithumpian Parades were organized by the Henry Theodore Mohr VFW Post 1310 under the direction of Bornscheur. Bornscheur was made an honorary member of the post and the permanent chairman of the parade committee.  In 1943, the parade was canceled due to World War II.

The last documented Thanksgiving Ragamuffin parade in Freeport was in 1966.  For 25 years, during the summer there was a Ragamuffin Parade for children ages 4 to 7 on the Nautical Mile.  That tradition ended around 1995.



"Callithumpian Parade." Nassau County Review. November 19, 1915, 1.  Accessed November 24, 2021.

"Callithumpian Parade Dropped." Nassau County Review-Star. November 6, 1943, 10. Accessed March 11, 2023.

"Freeport." South Side Observer. November 16, 1894. 1. Accessed March 11 2023.

"Freeport." South Side Observer. November 22, 1894. 1. Accessed March 11 2023.

"Happy Paraders Amply Rewarded." The Nassau Post. December 13, 1915, 1. Accessed March 11, 2023.

Metz, Clinton E. "It Happened Years Ago." The Leader. March 25, 1982, 7. Accessed November 24, 2021.

"Parade Next Thursday." South Side Messenger. November 18, 1914, 8. Accessed November 24, 2021.

"Ragamuffin Roundup." The Leader. August 17, 1995, 1.  Accessed November 24, 2021.

"What Door-to-Door Tradition Came Before Trick-or-Treating?" The New York Times. October 23, 2016, MB 4.

"What is a Callithumpian." Nassau County Review. December 4, 1914, 1. Accessed November 24, 2021.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, November 24, 2021.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, March 11, 2023.

Rainbow Room

Rainbow Restaurant was located at 33 South Main Street.  In 1929, John Johnson was the restaurant's manager. In 1944, James Karam was the proprietor. 



"Hit Employee, Is Charge." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 30, 1929, 9. Accessed November 3, 2017.

"News and Views." The Leader. May 5, 1966, 6. Accessed November 3, 2017.

Rainbow Restaurant [advertisement]. The Leader. May 11, 1944, 3. Accessed November 3, 2017.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, November 3, 2017.

Randall Avenue

Randall Avenue was named for John J. Randall, real estate developer and "Father of Freeport."

See Also:

Jay Street

Overton Street

Randall, John Jay

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 27, 2016.

Randall, John J.

John Jay Randall (1846-1924) was the president of the Freeport Bank; Ross and Randall Lumber and Coal; Randall & Miller Real Estate; and the Freeport Land Company, among many others. He is considered the “Father of Freeport” and financed the excavation the Woodcleft Canal. He was prominent in Long Island and Brooklyn real estate. Part of his house, “Woodbine,” still stands on West Woodbine Avenue.

In 1885, Randall purchased 80 acres of land known as Oak Tree Place or the Bedell Farm in northwest Freeport.  Randall called this section Randall Park. He laid out many of the streets, measured off 100 foot plots, and planted 1000 maples and 1800 evergreens. At one time he was the largest taxpayer in Freeport because of the amount of land he owned. In 1900, his company excavated the channels and canals on either side of Woodcleft Canal.  

Though Randall never held political office, many in his family served as mayors of the Village, including: brother-in-law William G. Miller; son Ernest S. Randall; nephew Raymond J. Miller; and grandson Russell Randall.  Many streets in Freeport have a connection to Randall and his family: Randall Avenue; Ernest Street (now North Long Beach Avenue) named for his son; Jay Street, which took its name from Randall's middle name; Lena Avenue, named for his granddaughter Lena Randall Willetts; Overton Street, named for his second wife Mary Overton Randall; Miller Avenue, named for his brother-in-law and business partner, William G. Miller; and Woodbine Drive (East and West) that was named after Randall's home. 

Click here for images related to John J. Randall.

See Also:

Ernest Street

Miller Avenue

Miller, William G.

Miller, Raymond J.

Oak Tree Place

Overton Street

Randall, Ernest S.

Randall Park (North Freeport)

Randall Park (South Freeport)

Randall, Russell




Portrait and Biographical Record of Queens County (Long Island) New York Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County.  New York: Chapman Publishing Company, c.1896.

Ross, Peter. History of Long Island: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 3. New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.


Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, June 16, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, August 14, 2018.

Randall, Ernest S.

Ernest Sturgess Randall (1873-1934) was the twelfth president (mayor) of Freeport (1916 to 1917). He studied architecture at Columbia University. Randall organized the First National Bank and Trust Company and was its president for 14 years. In addition to serving as mayor, Randall served several terms as a Village trustee.  His father was John J. Randall.

Randall's first wife was Bertha Randall, whom he married in 1892. They had three sons and a daughter: Russell, Leslie, Clyde, and Alma.  The couple divorced in 1922 after their son, Russell, gave testimony concerning his father's infidelity.

Randall was a member of the Elks Club, Odd Fellows, and the Junior Order of United American Mechanics.

In 1934, Randall died of pneumonia during a cruise through the Panama Canal on route to his winter home in Santa Monica, CA with his second wife, Lucy.  He is buried in Greenfield Cemetery, Uniondale, NY.

Randall lived at 56 North Long Beach Avenue. At the time of his death, he lived at 394 South Ocean Avenue.

As mayor, Randall was preceded by Roland M. Lamb and succeeded by Sidney H. Swezey.

See Also:

Lamb, Roland M.

Randall, John J.

Randall, Russell S.

Swezey, Sidney H.


Click here for images related to Ernest R. Randall.



"Ernest S. Randall, Freeport Banker, Dies Aboard Liner." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 1, 1934, 15. Accessed July 19, 2016. 

"Son Helps Mother Get Divorce from Ernest S. Randall." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 11, 1922,  Accessed July 19, 2016.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 29, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, July 19, 2016.

Randall Park (North Freeport)

Randall Park was a real estate development established by John J. Randall around 1885 in northwest Freeport.  Randall purchased land from the farm of Sylvanus Bedell from his heirs, John R. and Elbert Bedell, as well as portions of the farms of John Mead, Robert Porterfield, and Samuel Smith.  Later, the lands of A. Tredwell, Kate Lennon, Leander Losee, Daniel Smith, and Charles Bedell were added to Randall Park.

Randall and his business partner, William G. Miller, developed this area for residential purposes. Streets were laid out, 100 foot plots were measured off, and 1000 maples and 1800 evergreens were planted.  In the northern section of the the development, Randall built his home, Woodbine.  By 1900, 60 "suburban residences" were constructed in Randall Park.

See Also:

Oak Tree Place

Randall, John J.



"Four Generations Present at Randall Celebration." The Nassau Post., October 15, 1915, 5. Accessed August 18, 2016.

Freeport: Past and Present, with a Prospect of Its Future. Freeport, NY: Freeport Methodist Church, 1900.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 25, 2016.

Randall Park (South Freeport)

Randall Park (John J. Randall Memorial Park) was donated to the Village of Freeport in 1924 as stipulated in John J. Randall's will.  It was to be used as a public park and a high school recreation center, and no admission or usage fees could be charged.  The park is bounded by Cedar Street, Guy Lombardo Avenue, South Ocean Avenue, and Front Street.  When the Woodcleft Inn was torn down, its property was added to the park.

Click here for images related to Randall Park.

See Also:

Randall, John J.



Krieg, Cynthia J. and Regina G. Feeney. Freeport. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg and Regina G Feeney, August 25, 2016.

Randall Park Tennis Club

Randall Park Tennis Club was located on Florence Place (now Lena Avenue) and Pennsylvania Avenue between 1914 and 1916.  Players included: Fred Staats, Bert Earl, William D. Finch, Irving Dimelow, C. E. Cross, Bert Earl, Elvin N. Edwards, and Eleanor Finch.  It was reported that Eleanor Finch was one of Freeport's best players.

In January 1916, the courts were flooded to create an ice skating rink.



"Freeport Mention." The Nassau Post. January 21, 1916, 1. Accessed December 7, 2018.

"Freeport Personal Mention." The Nassau Post. October 29, 1914, 7.  Accessed December 7, 2018.

"Randall Park Tennis Opening." The Nassau Post. June 13, 1914. 1. Accessed December 7, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 7, 2018.

Randall, Russell S.

Russell S. Randall (1893-1966) was the twenty-second mayor of Freeport (1931 to 1933).  His father was Ernest R. Randall and his grandfather was John J. Randall.

Randall was known as the "boy mayor" when he took office at the age of 38 in 1931. He left office in 1933 after failing to win the nomination by the Citizens' Party. He worked for 10 years in the Nassau County Welfare Department.  During World War II, he assisted the rationing office.  In 1942, Randall was sentenced to nine months in prison on federal charges of illegal possession and distribution of gas ration coupons.

Randall was preceded by Clinton M. Flint and succeeded by Robert E. Patterson.

Click here for images related to Russell S. Randall.

See Also:

Randall, John J.

Randall, Ernest R.



"R. S. Randall, 'Boy Mayor' of Freeport in '30s, at 73. Newsday. October 13, 1966, 72. 

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 29, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, June 9, 2020.

Randolph Street

Randolph Street was renamed Wallace Street.



Zimmerman, Charles. "Strolling the Archives." The Northwester [newsletter of the Northwest Civic Association]. January 1991.

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

Ray Nathan Oil Company

Ray Nathan Oil Company was originally located at 124 Greenwich Avenue in Roosevelt and was relocated to 410 North Main Street in 1953.  Its motto was "Our Customer is a neighbor not a number" or "Where you are a neighbor not a number."

Owner, Ray Nathan, began his career in the fuel industry around 1939.  Nathan served as president of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island and president of the Roosevelt Kiwanis Club. He was also an advocate for and donor to the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt. 



"Bringing Her Hope." Newsday. October 16, 1958, 45.

"Good Citizenship." Newsday. June 9, 1952, 18.

"LI Business Briefs." Newsday. December 6, 1974, 39.

"Oil Burner Supply Seen Meeting Greater Demand." Nassau Daily Review-Star.  January 14, 1947, 24.  Accessed August 13, 2020.

Ray Nathan Oil Company [advertisement]. Merrick Life.  October 6, 1955, 11. Accessed August 13, 2020.

"Two Sides of the Story." Newsday. December 5, 1949, 27.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 13, 2020.

Raynor and Mead

Raynor and Mead (Raynor & Mead) was a store and tavern/inn located in Raynor South (now Freeport) operated by Riley Raynor and James Mead.  In the early 1830s, a stage coach operated between Raynor South and Hempstead.  Passengers were picked up three times per week from the Raynor & Mead storefront.  At Hempstead, a connection could be made to Brooklyn. In a history of Freeport from 1900, the store was described as follows:

As far back as the memory of my informant 1837, Raynortown had two general stores.  The larger of the two was that kept in the building still standing in what is now Pine Street, between Church and Main Streets.  It was kept by Riley Raynor and John Mead.  Its stock was not large but answered the people's necessities: dry goods, boots and shoes, hardware, etc., and last but not least, we are sorry to say, the indispensible [sic] annihilator, liquors.

The tavern was later acquired by Michael and Abraham B. Edwards.  In February 1841, a fire destroyed the structure.  It is unclear if the business was rebuilt, however, a 1846 article mentions a hotel in Raynor South owned by Michael Edwards. 



"Fire at Raynor South." Brooklyn Daily Evening Star. February 18, 1841, 2. Accessed January 5, 2017.

"Gleamings." Brooklyn Evening Star. September 3, 2016. Accessed January 5, 2017.

"Hempstead Stages." Long Island Farmer and Queens County Examiner. December 18, 1833, 3.  Accessed January 3, 2017. 

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 5, 2017.

Raynor Avenue

Raynor Avenue was renamed Church Street.



"Fourteen Years Ago." Nassau County Review. August 26, 1910, 1. Accessed May 28, 2016.​​​ ​

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

Raynor, Martha

Martha Raynor (1836-1924) lived in the last private home on Main Street between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road.  She was the daughter of Captain Thomas Raynor and Miriam (nee Pettit).  

The Main Street property had been in the Raynor family since 1839.  Between 1864 and 1870, the original farm house was replaced by a home that was later described as a mansion.  Around 1837, Henry Street was cut through part of the east side of the Raynor property.  Martha Raynor was known for her gardening skills, especially for cultivating Night Blooming Cereus.  

In 1914, it was reported that Raynor sold a piece of property on South Main Street with a 22-foot frontage for $7,500.  At the time, it was said that this was the highest price for a piece of property in the area.  The property was purchased by Morris Jacobson.

Three years after Raynor's death in 1924, the house and remaining property was sold to Hustle Realty Corporation for $125,000.  The house was torn down and replaced with a retail business building, Williams Furniture Company, Inc.; later, Forest Jewelers occupied this location.

Raynor is buried in Greenfield Cemetery.

See Also:

Jacobson, Morris



"Freeport." South Side Observer. October 2, 1896, 3.  Accessed July 24, 2019.

"Freeport Mid-Victorian Mansion, Long Home of Pioneer Family, Is Sold." The Nassau Daily Review. April 15, 1927, 24. Accessed July 24, 2019.

Metz, Clinton. Raynor Family History, circa 1973.

"Miss Raynor's Night Blooming Cereus." The Brooklyn Public Library. July 14, 1895, 9. Accessed July 24, 2019.

"Night Blooming Cereus." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 16. 1898, 11. Accessed July 24, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, July 24, 2019.

Raynor Rock Smith Homestead

Raynor Rock Smith Homestead was located on the eastern border of Freeport close to Merrick, probably east of the Freeport Recreation Center today. The house was built in the early 1800s and was destroyed by fire in 1900.



"Smith Homestead Burned." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 7, 1900, 13. Accessed January 20, 2023.

"Today's Old Photo." Nassau Daily Review-Star. October 19, 1937, 3. Accessed January 20, 2023.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 20, 2023.

Raynor Street

Raynor Street was named for the original settlers of Freeportwho were baymen. Edward Raynor settled in Freeport around 1659.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 27, 2016.

Raynor Street Field

Raynor Street Field, also known as Raynor Field, was open land located on the north side of Raynor Street between Church Street and Bedell Street.  In 2003, the land became the site of the New Visions School School of Exploration & Discovery, Freeport's first magnet school.

Originally, the land was occupied by four houses. These houses were purchased by the school district between 1930 and 1940, and each was demolished. The homeowners and respective purchase prices were as follows:

  • #78, Mrs. Richard Bedell, $7,650
  • #80, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bedell, $8,125
  • #86, Mr. Andrew Taft. $8,000
  • #94, Mrs. Charles (Ann) Reynolds, $5,150

These properties each had a depth of 200 feet.

Mr. Israel, who owned a strip of land along the back of the Raynor Street properties, received $5,000 for his property.

In 1927, Freeporters approved a measure to build a new grammar school.  Though the property was purchased for this school, the district enlarged Archer Street School instead of constructing a new building.

Until the New Visions School was constructed, the site was used for sports including tennis, soccer, football, and baseball.  It also was used as practice field for the Freeport High School marching band.



"It Happened Years Ago." The Leader. May 26, 1983, 4. (Accessed April 6, 2017)

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, May 6, 2017.


Raynor, Washington

Washington Raynor (1827-1892) was a farmer and oysterman in Freeport.  According to Village Historian, Clinton Metz, he was named Washington to commemorate the fact that his grandfather saw America's first president ride along Babylon Turnpike during Washington's tour of Long Island in 1790.

Raynor lived in a house that faced a street that became known as Uncle Wash's Lane (later Franklyn Square).

See also:

Raynor Family History



"Pocket Picked." South Side Observer. December 21, 1883, 1. Accessed September 30, 2021.

Metz, Clinton E. "Yesteryear." The Leader. October 9, 1969, 3. Accessed September 30, 2021.

Metz, Clinton E. "Yesteryear." The Leader. October 23, 1969, 5. Accessed September 30, 2021.

"Freeport." South Side Observer. December 23, 1892, 3. Accessed September 30. 2021.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, September 30, 2021.

Raynor, William

William Raynor (1826-1886) Born in Freeport to Daniel and Mary Ann (Bedell) Raynor, at about 20 years old he went to Brooklyn to work as a clerk at Valentine and Bergen, a firm which sold groceries.  He later returned to Freeport to work in the lumber business with Mr. Carman for approximately 15 years.  After that, he owned a boot and shoe store in Freeport in the 1880s.

In 1854, he married Catherine G. Smith, who was the daughter of Willet and Phoebe Smith.  Their marriage produced no children, and William predeceased his wife in 1886.



History of Queens County New York with Illustrations, Portraits, & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1882.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, June 25, 2016.

Updated by Denise Rushton, August 1, 2016.

Raynor's Hall

Raynor's Hall was located on Merrick Road near South Main Street.  In this venue, Freeport's Episcopal parish organized in 1892 and the Freeport Republican Club was formed in 1896.



"Freeport Republicans." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 17, 1896, 5. Accessed August 5, 2016.

"History of the Episcopal Church." Nassau County Review. September 19, 1919, 9. Accessed August 8, 2016.

Raynor's Neck

Raynor's Neck was an early name for the area of Freeport on South Main Street below Mill Road. The earliest recorded usage of this name appears in the Hempstead Town Records from 1659.  This same document also mentions a section known as Washburn's Neck.   Daniel M. Tredwell, an early Freeport chronicler, claimed that due to the number of Raynors (or Rainers) who settled in this area, the area referred to Washburn's Neck was absorbed into Raynor's Neck. 

See Also:




Metz, Clinton E. "It Happened... Years Ago!," The Leader. August 9, 1979, 5.  Accessed November 23, 2022.

Tredwell, Daniel M. "Raynortown--Freeport: Then and Now." Long Island Historical Bulletin. 1, No. 4, (October, 1913), 37-42.

Winsche, Richard A. The History of Nassau County Community Place-Names. Interlaken, NY: Empire State Books, 1999.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, February 1, 2017.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, November 23, 2022.



Raynorville was an early name for Freeport.



History of Queens County New York with Illustrations, Portraits, & Sketches of Prominent Families and Individuals. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 1882.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, June 25, 2016.

Realty Buidling


Recorder was a newspaper in Freeport that was published on Fridays around 1927. Their offices were located 7 Railroad Avenue. Charles Burleigh was the newspaper's editor.  No copies of this newspaper are known to exist.

See Also:




"Newspaper of Nassau and Suffolk Counties." Long Island Almanac and Yearbook. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1927.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 6, 2019.

Updated by Denise Rushton, October 10.2023.

Recreation Center

Recreation Park


Hanse Park


Reed, Lou

Lou Reed (1942-2013) was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in Freeport at 35 Oakfield Avenue.  He graduated from Freeport High School in 1959.  During those years, he played in a number of bands and made his first recording as a member of the doo-wop group The Shades.  He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in 1964 where he expanded his interests to free jazz and other experimental types of music.  He moved to New York City and took a job as a songwriter with Pickwick Records.  After playing with a few groups, he formed the Velvet Underground in 1965.  His solo career started in 1971.  He became a widely respected member of the music industry and was inducted, in 1996, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2010, Reed was inducted into the Long Island Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Reed enrolled in Hebrew classes at Freeport's Congregation B'nai Israel before his bar mitzvah.

Reed's named his music label after the street he grew up on in Freeport, Oakfield Avenue Music Ltd.

Lou Reed died in Southampton, NY on October 27, 2013.
See Also:
Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 16, 2016.
Updated by Regina G. Feeney, October 27, 2021.

Reiss, Sigmund

Sigmund Reiss was involved in the insurance industry. The Reiss family lived at 17 Pearsall Avenue.  Sigmund's wife was the first vice president of the Daughters of Israel in 1926. He was a member of the Elks Club.



"Elks' Circus -- Freeport" [advertisement]. Nassau Daily Review.  August 1, 1930, 11.  Accessed February 14, 2023.

"Freeport." Nassau Daily Review.  September 4, 1926, 5.  Accessed February 14, 2023.

"Freeport Pair Host a Party." Nassau Daily Review.  August 24, 1927, 2.  Accessed February 14, 2023.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, March 14, 2023.

Remsen Avenue

Remsen Avenue was named for the Remsen family, who were original settlers and baymen in Freeport.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 28, 2016

Remsen Canal

Remsen Canal (formerly Fourth Canal) is the waterway located north of West 4th Street.  In 2016, the canal was renamed the Remsen Canal in honor of John Remsen, a life long Freeporter whose family, for many generations, called Freeport home.



Robert Fisenne (email, September 5, 2019).

Schoffer, Laura. "Two Canals Named to Honor Renowned Freeporters." The Leader. September 29, 2016, 3. Accessed September 7, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, October 27, 2020.

Remsen, John Jr.

John Remsen Jr. (1933-2020)  comes from a long line of Freeporters with a connection to the village and its waterfront. He is a member of the fourth generation of his family to work on the bay, catching bait fish using handmade killey traps, a skill he learned from his grandfather.  Remsen is also one of the few Long Islanders with the skill to build a traditional flat bottom boat with a square bow known as a garvey.  Garveys have been used by baymen and local fisherman for generations, especially in the shallow waters of Long Island's South Shore. He credits his high school shop teacher, John Devlin, with piquing his interest in woodworking. He made his first boat in 1954.  "I started it as a hobby," said Remsen, "and it turned into a vocation."  Over his lifetime, ​Remsen estimates he built over 100 garveys.

In 1957, his parents built a bayhouse opposite the Town of Hempstead Marina where Long Creek meets Woodcleft Canal. For 30 years the family ran a successful bait station from the bayhouse.

After his father convinced him that being a bayman could never be a full time job, Remsen took a job with the telephone company.  However, Remsen never gave up boat building and, in fact, considered this hobby a form of therapy, "to relieve the stress and aggravation of supervising people."

After retiring in 1991, Remsen devoted his time to maritime pursuits including boating, fishing, crabbing, supplying bait to local fishing tackle and supply stores, and boat building.  Remsen maintained a woodworking shop on Southside Avenue where he built garveys with his son, John III. 

Remsen, along with his wife, Grace, were active in supporting the preservation of maritime culture.  They were also members of Operation SPLASH (Stop Polluting, Littering and Save Harbors).

On September 9, 2016, the Village of Freeport honored Remsen for his service to the country and community by naming canal number 4, Remsen Canal.

Click here for images related to John Remsen.



"Bayman Dies at 82." The Leader. January 27, 1983, 10. Accessed September 7, 2019.

Braun, Bill and Nora Braun. "Remsen on the Waterfront." The Leader. March 18, 1999, 1. Accessed September 7, 2019.

"Long Island Traditions Exhibit Profiles of John Remsen of Freeport." The Leader. June 20, 2013, 13. Accessed September 7, 2019.

Schoffer, Laura. "Two Canals Named to Honor Renowned Freeporters." The Leader. September 29, 2016, 3. Accessed September 7, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 30, 2023.

Republican Club

Republican Club in Freeport was organized in 1896 at the Raynor's Hall.  Raynor's Hall.  Its first officers included James B. Raynor (president), and Platt Conklin, William B. Osterhout and George W. Bergen (vice presidents). H. Asa Nichols, William F. Tredwell and Smith Cox were on the club's executive committee.

In 1913, there was an African American Republican organization called the "Freeport Colored Republican Club," which had its headquarters at 12 South Columbus Avenue.  Members included: John J. Irons, Robert B. Fludd, Hurbert Furmer, and R. H. Toomer.

The Harmony Republican Club was located in Roosevelt, NY.

See Also:

Colored Republican Club of Freeport

Bergen, George W.

Cox, Smith

Raynor's Hall



"Card of Thanks." The Nassau Post. October 13, 1916, 1. Accessed August 6, 2016.

"Freeport Republicans." Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 17, 1896, 5. Accessed August 5, 2016.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 9, 2016.

Updated, October 21, 2017

Residence Park

Residence Park was developed in the early 1900s by the Warranty Realty Company. This development in the northwest section of Freeport includes California Avenue.

In 1900, this section was known as "Shore Haven."

See Also:

Shore Haven



"Building at Freeport." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 28, 1903, 17. Accessed July 18, 2017.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg and Regina G. Feeney, May 31, 2016.

Residential Developments





Bayview Estates

Bayview Terrace (coming soon)

Bennington Park

Brookside (coming soon)

Brookside Terrace (coming soon)

Colony Park

Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights Addition (coming soon)

Carrolton Park (coming soon)

East Randall Park

Florence Terrace (coming soon)

Freeport Bay Estates

Freeport Beach

Freeport Center (coming soon)

Freeport Harbor

Freeport Heights

Freeport Manor

Freeport Oaks

Freeport Terrace (north Freeport)

Freeport Terrace (south Freeport)

Golf Ground Park (coming soon)

Greenview Terrance


Lakeview Manor

Losee Place

Mayfair Gardens

Meister Beach

Mersole Park

Mount Estates

Oak Tree Place

Oakhurst Park (coming soon)

Randall Bay Estates (coming soon)

Randall Park

Residence Park


Russell Park 

Shore Haven

South Shore Park (coming soon)

Stearns Park

Stromberg Park (coming soon)

Sunshine Park

West End Harbor

Willowbrook Estates


Woodcleft Bay Estates (coming soon)

Woodcleft Beach

Restricted Community

Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenant is a clause in a deed or lease of real property that limits what the owner of the land or lease can do with the property.  They are intended to enhance property value by controlling development.  In Freeport, restrictive covenants predate zoning laws, which came into effect in the early 1920s.  Freeport's restrictive covenants were created by real estate developers and imposed limitations on the use of the lots (i.e. single family homes versus business development). 

According to an advertisement for Stearns Park in Daily Review on July 23, 1921, restrictions included the street frontage of property, “It was decided that Pennsylvania Avenue would be forever maintained as the site of high-class and attractive homes and to effectuate such decisions, all plots fronting on the avenue have been appropriately restricted.  Plots fronting on the other avenues have been so restricted as to afford the erection of modest homes and yet carry out the general schemes of a pleasant and desirable environment.”  In an effort to keep this desirable environment full of songbirds, an advertisement for Stearns Park in 1931 clearly stated "No Cats Wanted."

In the past, restrictive covenants prevented community integration by barring specific racial and religious minorities from owning or renting certain properties.  Current research has not been able to identify any racially motivated restrictive covenants in Freeport; however, such restrictions did exist in neighboring communities.  During the 1940s, restrictive covenants prohibited African Americans and people of Puerto Rican origin from buying homes in Levittown.  

In 1948, U.S. Supreme Court ruled such covenants unconstitutional, but it would take 20 years before such restrictions were criminalized. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination related to the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and sex.  The act was later amended to include handicap and family status.

See Also:

Blockbusting, Efforts to Combat

Zoning in Freeport, History of



Burchett, Michael H. "Restrictive Covenants." Civil Rights Movements: Past and Present, 2nd ed. Salem Press Grey House, Gale eBooks. Accessed December 6, 2021.

"History of Fair Housing." U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Accessed December 6, 2021.

Stearns Park [advertisement]. Daily Review. July 23, 1921, 7. Accessed December 6, 2021.

Stearns Park [advertisement]. The Nassau Daily Review. July 31, 1931, 8. Accessed December 6, 2021.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 6, 2021.

Review Building

The Review Building was located at 64 South Main Street and was considered the birthplace of the Nassau County Review newspapers. The Queens County Review also had offices on Main Street. The Review Building shared space with the Long Island Cigar Store and Kiefer's Stationery Store.  In 1899, it served as the temporary headquarters for the Mineola, Hempstead and Freeport Traction Company (later the New York and Long Island Traction Company).  A new Review Building was built in Rockville Centre on Observer Street (now Sunrise Highway).  Later, the Freeport location housed Bob's Millinery.

The Freeport Review Building was torn down in 1929.

Click here for images related to the Review Building.

See Also:

Nassau County Review



"Evolution of the Daily Review." Nassau Daily Review-Star. Tercentenary issue, section VII. Accessed January 7, 2016.

Krieg, Cynthia J. and Regina G. Feeney. Freeport. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.

"Removal Notice." Nassau County Review. July 11, 1913, 6. Accessed November 5, 2016.

Review Hall

Review Hall was located at 68 South Main Street. Many local organizations held meetings at this location. In 1913, student overcrowding in the Freeport schools prompted the district to hold a class in what was referred to as the "former Review Hall on Main Street."

Click here for images of 68 South Main Street.



"Freeport News." Nassau County Review. February 14, 1908, 1. Accessed November 5, 2016.

"Increased School Facilities Imperative." Nassau County Review. January 31, 1921, 1. Accessed November 7, 2016.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, November 7, 2016.


Rhodesia (Rhodessia) was established in 1898 when Alexander R. Rhodes sold 70 building lots just south of Merrick Road and east of South Main Street.  By 1906, this area became an undesirable location.  According to newspaper accounts, poor immigrants lived in “shanties” in Rhodesia and the area was synonymous with crime.  In 1910, Leo Fishel and former mayor James Hanse purchased this property and added the streets Lee Place and Gold Street.  Though some houses remain, this area began to transition to industrial use in the 1980s.

See Also:

Hanse, James

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, June 1, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, June 22, 2016

Rhodesia Avenue

Rhodesia Avenue was named for Alexander Rhodes and was located in Bennington Park.  This street later became the southern part of Benson Avenue.

See Also:

Bennington Park

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, May 28, 2016

Rialto Restaurant Company

Rialto Restaurant Company was located at 53 South Main Street in 1928.  This restaurant specialized in seafood but also served chicken, duck, and turkey dinners.  Their motto was "Quick, Polite, Sanitary Service."



Voyageur, 1928 (Freeport High School Yearbook).

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, December 27, 2016.


Richartz, Edgar

Rider Place

Rider Place was named for the Rider family who were long time residents.  The family was involved with the waterfront and was prominent in the Freeport Fire Department.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 28, 2016.

Rigby, Moxey A.

Moxey Alexander Rigby (c.1894-1962), was a graduate of Freeport High School (class of 1913) and long time Village resident.  When elected to the District Court in 1959, he became the first African American to hold an elected office in the County.  Judge Rigby was vice-chairman of the Freeport Housing Authority, an agency which he helped to create, and was also a member of numerous public organizations.

Born on Turks Island in the Bahamas, West Indies, Rigby was only five years old when his father, a boat captain, died.  A close friend of the family, an attorney, made a favorable impression and apparently inspired in him the ambition to be a lawyer.

His mother soon brought Moxey and a younger brother, Joe, to Freeport where he attended public schools through high school.  Upon graduation, Moxey was more determined to be an attorney.  The first law book he ever owned was given to him by Sidney Swezey, a Freeport lawyer who served as village president (mayor) from 1917 to 1918.

By becoming a waiter at the local Elks Club, he earned enough money to enroll in New York Law School.  He continued to wait on tables at the Elks throughout his undergraduate years.  Graduating from New York Law School in 1925, he was admitted to the bar that year.

After a clerkship in the law offices of George H. Beaubian in Hempstead, he opened an office in South Jamaica, Queens.  Nassau District Attorney Edward J. Neary appointed Moxey to his staff in 1941.  Rigby served under several district sttorneys, including  Edward J. Neary, James N. Gehrig, Frank A. Gulotta, and Manuel Levine.  In 1959, he was appointed a District Court Judge.  Judge Rigby was married to Myriam Brisbane in 1932.  He was the proud father of two children; Moxey and Cynthia, and grandfather of five.  He suffered a stroke and died at his Freeport residence six weeks later on December 15, 1962. His last grandchild was born three hours before his death. 

To honor Rigby's work in the community, the Village of Freeport renamed the Garden Court Apartments of Buffalo Avenue and East Merrick Road to the Moxey Rigby Apartments in 1963.

Click here for images related to Moxey Rigby.

See also:

Swezey, Sidney



Freeport High School Alumni Directory. 1914.

"Launch Judge Rigby Legal Scholarship." The Leader. April 23, 1964, 9.

"Party to be Given for Judge Rigby Friends." The Leader. August 10, 1961, 1.

"Popular Nassau Jurist to be Honored this Spring." The Leader. February 9, 1961, 9.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney June 16, 2016.

Right Track Inn

Right Track Inn, located at 40 West Merrick Road (now 42-46 West Merrick Road), was a bar and nightclub that featured live music.  Allen Gordon opened the club in 1973.  Right Track Inn featured "original bands" rather than Top 40 cover bands. The club had a 400-person capacity. The Stray Cats, the Ramones, and Taylor Dayne were among the many musical acts that played at the Right Track Inn.



"Freeport-Baldwin Bred Star Proves Her Love of Music."  Leader.  May 26, 1988, 4. Accessed February 5, 2018.

"Live, From Long Island!" Newsday. November 3, 1989, B1. 

"No Camel, but the Sheiks and Murphy's Law Can Move." The New York Times. July 30, 1978, L117.

"Review: Punk Groups from LI." Newsday. February 23, 1979, A29.

"Three Long Island Cats Gone Astray." Newsday. February 7, 1986, B21. 

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, February 4, 2018.

Ritchie, Joseph W.

Joseph W. Ritchie (1862-1914) was a longtime Freeporter.  He is remembered for his Long Island baseball career in his youth.  Unable to find a bat heavy enough for his liking, Ritchie made one using wood from a tree from his father's land.  The bat was 44 inches long and was of a weight three pounds heavier than average bats of the day.  This led to his nickname "Old 44."  It was said that he was feared by pitchers because of the many home runs he hit. He played on many teams including the Mohawks and Athletics.  Ritchie played first base.

Ritchie served as manager of the Bedell Raynor's oyster business. He later succeeded Raynor in the company.  In his 40s, Ritchie took up pumpkin growing. Some of his largest pumpkins were featured at the Mineola Fair including one that weighed over 300 pounds.

In 1882, while hunting in a swampy area in Freeport, Ritchie came across the dismembered remains of a woman.  She would later be identified as Ella Clark.  Though the case is unsolved, it is suspected that Clark died as the result of an abortion. 

Ritchie and his wife, Arravill, (nee Losee) (1871-1925) had six children.  Both are buried in Greenfield Cemetery, Uniondale, NY.

See Also:

Clark, Ella



"Freeport." South Side Messenger. October 6, 1911, 5. Accessed August 22, 2022.

Joseph W. Ritchie [obituary]. Brooklyn Times. November 2, 1914, 4. Accessed August 22, 1914.

Joseph W. Ritchie [obituary]. Nassau County Review. November 6, 1914, 8. Accessed August 22, 2022.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 22, 2022.

Ritchie's Monthly

Ritchie's Monthly was a short-lived periodical published in Freeport by Edward Ritchie (1865-1896).  The earliest issue identified in the media was from August 1882.  This issue was described as being four pages in length, with four columns that were 15 inches long.  The publication included very general information about Freeport including Post Office hours and a train timetable.   It also featured a story on the first page. The rest of the publication was said to contain "miscellaneous notes and advertising matter."  An annual mailed subscription cost 50 cents.  In 1884, Ritchie's Monthly was advertised as being eight pages in length.

See Also:

Freeport News



"Old Freeport Paper. Nassau County Review. December 11, 1914, 1. Accessed October 2, 2017.

Ritchie's Monthly [advertisement].  South Side Signal. November 1, 1884, 2.  Accessed October 2, 2017.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, October 2, 2017.

Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive was renamed South Grove Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue) in 1896.



"Fourteen Years Ago." Nassau County Review. August 26, 1910, 1. Accessed May 28, 2016.

Village of Freeport Board Minutes, August 21, 1896.

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

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, March 15, 2018.

Riverside Drive (Southwest Freeport)

Riverside Drive was renamed Triangle Place in 1924.



Village of Freeport Board Minutes, December 12, 1924.

Zimmerman, Charles J. "What Ever Happened To Randolph, Claude and Jerome?" The Leader. October 15, 1992, 24.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, May 29, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, March 15, 2018.

Robert's Men's Shop

Robert's Men's Shop was located at 94 South Main Street.



Voyageur, 1929 (Freeport High School Yearbook).

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, March 4, 2017.

Robinson, John E.

John E. Robinson was an editor of The Amsterdam News.  In 1923, Robinson and his wife, Nellie, lived at 4 Waverly Place in Bennington Park.  Robinson, born in Virginia, became associated with The Amsterdam News as associate editor at the founding of the publication in 1909.  He later assumed the role of managing editor.  Prior to his work with The Amsterdam News, Robinson was the editor of The St. Mark's Mirror, published by St Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church at 316 West 53rd Street, New York, NY.  He also served as president of the St. Mark's Lyceum.

During the 1920s, Robinson founded The Citizen, a newspaper (also called The Freeport Citizen) as an African American publication for Nassau County.  In 1924, Robinson was charged with libel by the Reverend Montrose W. Thornton of Bethel M. E. Church in Manhattan.  In the January 23, 1924 issue of The Citizen, Robinson reported that Reverend Thornton was intoxicated during the morning services at the church on Christmas day.  When Reverend Thornton's accuser, James H. Hale, later recanted his story and Robinson did not subsequently print a retraction, Robinson was indicted.  His $2,000 bail was paid for by James Hanse, a former Freeport mayor.  He was found guilty of criminal libel but received a suspended sentence.

Robinson was very active in civic affairs, especially those concerning the local African American community.  In 1922, he publicly condemned unfair real estate practices adversely affecting African Americans. Robinson served as secretary to the Trojan Civic League, an association of men and women who supported the moral, civic, and political advancement of the African American community. He helped found and served as president of the Long Island Colored Citizens Union, which was headquartered in Freeport.  His work with the African American Community did not go unnoticed by the local Ku Klux Klan.  In 1922, a letter believed to be sent from the Klan to Bethel A.M.E. Church made reference to Robinson's efforts to politically engage members of the African American community.  Robinson, undeterred by such correspondence, ran for a seat on the school board in 1924.  Though he lost his bid for the position, possibly due to Klan involvement, Robinson may have been the first African American in Freeport to run for this position. He rallied African American support for a war memorial library in Freeport in 1923.

Robinson pushed for the creation of a community center within Bennington Park.  His idea received broad support during a 1923 meeting of the Long Island Colored Citizens Union.  Those speaking in favor of such a center included: Mayor Hilbert Johnson, former mayor James Hanse, Father J. L. O'Toole of Our Holy Redeemer Church, Rabbi Joseph Sarachek of B'nai Israel, and assemblyman Henri Shields.

See Also:

Bennington Park

Hanse, James

Trojan Civic League



"Charged with Libel." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 27, 2018, 3. Accessed August 22, 2018.

"Deny Receipt of Klan Money." The Daily Review. June 11, 1923, 1. Accessed August 24, 2018.

"Freeport Minister Answers Letter Supposed to Come from Ku Klux Klan." The Daily Review. April 14, 1923, 7. Accessed August 24, 2018.,

"Freeport Pledges Support to Colored Citizens in Move for Community Headquart's." The Daily Review. May 17, 1923, 6. Accessed August 24, 2018.

"Ku Klux Klan Support Credited with Swaying Freeport School Votes." The Daily Review. May 7, 1924, 1.  Accessed 23, 2018.

"Negroes Claim Rights Denied in Freeport." The Daily Review. September 16, 1922, 7. Accessed August 23, 2018.

"Nine Seeking School Trustee." The Daily Review. May 3, 1924, 2.  Accessed August 23, 2018.

Perry, Jeffrey B. Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

"Publicity for War Memorial Paramount." The Daily Review. August 29, 1923, 1. Accessed August 22, 2018.

"The Origin of The Amsterdam News." New York Amsterdam News. November 26, 1977, 1. Accessed August 22, 2018.

"Robinson is Arraigned in Libel Case." The Daily Review. March 27, 1924, 1. Accessed August 22, 2018.

Robinson, John E. "Colored Citizens Say Public Market Is Very Beneficial." The Daily Review. August 5, 1921, 1.

Robinson, John E. "Colored Conditions in Freeport Improve Many New Taxpayers." The Daily Review. March 7, 1924, 77. Accessed April 24, 2020.,

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 24, 2018.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, April 24, 2020.

Rogan, Alice

Alice B. Rogan (1876-1944) served as a librarian in Freeport for over a quarter of a century.  She became Freeport’s first librarian in 1908 when the public library was located in the Grove Street School

Born in New York City, Rogan attended Columbia University, where she graduated from the university's library school.  She was credited with the creation of a children's section within the library.

It was reported that Rogan traveled in Europe and visited the homes of famous authors.  Rogan's interest in nonfiction led to Freeport's reputation of having one of the finest nonfiction collections in New York State.  In 1930, Rogan arranged a meeting at the Freeport Elks Club of the Library Institute of Nassau and Suffolk Counties to discuss the topic of vandalism in public and school libraries .

For many years, Rogan lived at 184 South Long Beach Avenue.

She retired in 1938 after 30 years of service and a testimonial farewell took place in the library.  Her position was replaced by Eva Cowdery.  Rogan died in 1944 and is buried in Greenfield Cemetery, Uniondale, NY.



"Alice B. Rogan of Freeport Dies." Nassau Daily Review-Star.  July 15, 1944, 2. Accessed April 14, 2018.

"Freeporters Honor Miss Alice B. Rogan, Village Librarian for Past 30 Years." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 7, 1938, 10. Accessed April 14, 2018.

"Mutilation of Books Is Hit by Librarians at L. I. Confab." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 3, 1930, 4. Accessed April 14, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, April 14, 2018.

Roma Italian & American Delicatessen

Roma Italian & American Delicatessen, located at 58 South Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue), opened in 1954.  



Roma Italian & American Delicatessen [advertisement]. The Leader. July 8, 1954, 2. Accessed April 6, 2019.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, April 6, 2019.

Roosevelt (Town)

Roosevelt (also known as Rum Point and Greenwich Point) is an unincorporated hamlet located to Freeport's north.

In the early nineteenth century, Roosevelt was called Rum Point.  It is believed that this name was derived from an inn or tavern located “at the intersection of four roads which are in the heart of the place.”  According to one account, “it is said that more rum was drank in the good old, or bad old days, at this hostelry than at any other cross-roads tavern in the town.”  As early as the 1830s, when temperance fervor was at its height in New York State, calls to change Rum Point’s name to Greenwich began to appear in local tabloids.  One author of a letter to the editor asked, “Is not the very fact of living in a place known as Rum Point, a suspicious circumstance?"  But not all thought such a name change would curtail drinking habits.  In 1845, author Nathaniel Prime recounted a visit to the neighborhood several years earlier where he “saw three men, literally reeling through the street."  Rum Point eventually became Greenwich Point and later Roosevelt, but the tavern at the center of this controversy stayed in business until it burned down in 1901.

See Also:

Historical Overview of Roosevelt Long Island, 1960

Holloway Street

Ethnicity in Suburbia: The Long Island Experience (see page 91 - "Blacks in Roosevelt, Long Island," by Marquita L. James)

Maps, (Historic) of Roosevelt

Mormonism (Church of Latter Day Saints)

Parrish, Sheldon. Beyond the Wishing Well: The History of Roosevelt, NY.

Parrish, Sheldon. Bleeding Gold and Blue.

Parrish, Sheldon. One Square Mile: The History of Roosevelt, NY From and Autobiographical Perspective. 

Republican Club

Roosevelt Spectator

Russell Park


Click here for images related to Roosevelt, NY



“Rum Point Wouldn’t Do,” The Long Island Farmer, March 11, 1902, accessed February 23, 2016,

“Greenwich Point's New Name is Roosevelt," The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 7, 1902, accessed February 23, 2016,

“Letter to the Editor,” Long Island Farmer, and Queens County Advertiser, March 12, 1834, accessed February 23, 2016,

Nathaniel S. Prime, The History of Long Island: From Its Settlement by Europeans to the Year 1845, (New York: Robert Carter, 1845), 292.

“Greenwich Point's New Name is Roosevelt." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.  March 7, 1902, Accessed February 23, 2016.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, March 25, 2020.


Roosevelt Place

Roosevelt Place was renamed Elm Place in 1917.


Village of Freeport Board Minutes, 1917.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, May 18, 2016.

Roosevelt Spectator

Roosevelt Spectator was a weekly newspaper that was published in Roosevelt from about 1910 to 1914.  Frank L. Fosmire was the publisher.  It ceased publication in August 1914 due to low sales.  Fosmire moved to Rochester to publish a newspaper there.  In 1913, Fosmire was arrested for criminal libel when he published remarks made by William Ellison that were critical of former Roosevelt School Board member Edwin Seabury.

Fosmire and his wife lived on Harts Avenue in Roosevelt.



"Freeport." Nassau County Review. October 30, 1914, 1. August 30, 2018.

"Leaves for Rochester This Week -- Roosevelt Spectator Suspends." The Nassau Post. August 19, 1914, 1. Accessed August 30, 2018.

"Roosevelt Spectator Quits." South Side Messenger. August 19, 1914, 4. August 30, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 31, 2018.

Ross, Cathy

Cathy Ross, at the age of 21, tested a zero gravity unisex toilet in 1973 that was created by Fairchild Republic for use by NASA.  A call for volunteers appeared in Newsday on September 25, 1973.  In addition to Ross and eight Air Force nurses, three other Long Island civilian women were chosen to take part in these experiment: Terry Bejarano (26) of West Hempstead; Virginia Ryan (27) of Westbury; and Cherie Dougham (23) of Merrick.  

The women were flown to NASA in Houston.  After training, the women boarded the military equivalent of a Boeing 707 that was equipped with a zero gravity chamber.  It was here they tested a “suction tube device with a female adaptor.”



"Jottings from Jean." The Leader. December 20, 1973, 5. Accessed June 14, 2022.

Royce, Knut. "Taking One Small Step for Womankind." Newsday. December 16, 1973, 21.

"Space Toilet Training." Newsday. September 25, 1973, 6.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, June 14, 2022.

Ross, Lewis H.

Lewis Haines Ross (1855-1929) was a local businessman who spent 35 years living in Freeport.  Born in Damariscotta Mills, ME, Ross came to Long Island and ran a lumber yard in Baldwin.  Later, he became the business partner of John J. Randall in a lumber and coal company known as Ross & Randall

Ross and his wife, Carrie (nee Stiles) (1855-1941), were very active in the Methodist Church. He was also a member of the Freeport Board of Education and a director of the Freeport Club in 1900.  Ross was also a member of the Morton Lodge, F. & A. M. of Hempstead.  

Ross had three children: Ida Clark (circa 1879-?), Julia (circa 1880-1957), and Elliott (1889-?).  The Ross family lived at 188 Archer Street and, in 1902, they moved into a house they had built at 174 Pine Street.

Click here for images related to Lewis H. Ross.

See Also:

Randall, John J.



"A Model Country Home." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 4, 1902, 9. Accessed September 9, 2018.

"Lewis H. Ross, Pioneer Freeport Merchant, Dies." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 17, 1929, A20.  Accessed June 24, 2016.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, June 24, 2016.

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, September 10, 2018. 

Rotary Club of Freeport

Rotary Club of Freeport was formed in 1943 as a service club.  Organization of Freeport's Rotary Club was sponsored by the Hempstead-Garden City Rotary Club.  Freeport's club had 19 charter members and its first officers included: W. Sargeant Nixon, president; George H. Gray, vice president; John R. Willets, secretary; and Harry H. Elliott, treasurer.  Committee chairmen included: Dr. Edwin H. White, classification; A. F. Bassett, membership; Fred Wood, music; Martin H. Weyrauch, by-laws; Charles P. Shinn, Jr., program; and Horace F. Carpenter, war objectives.  The Rotary Club received its charter on November 27, 1943 from Walter G. Seely, district governor of the 174th Rotary district. Originally, the Rotary Club met weekly at the Freeport Elks Club headquarters.

The mission of the Rotary Club is to "provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders."  During World War II, the Rotary sent letters to over 200 Freeport servicemen on active duty.  In September 1944, the Rotary Club of Freeport conducted a "Work Pile" survey.  The purpose of this survey was to determine the local economic impact by asking the residents of Freeport what goods and services they proposed to purchase after the war.

In an effort to expand its membership, the Rotary Club of Freeport expanded its charter to include Merrick.  On July 8, 2008, the club was renamed the Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club. In recent years, the Rotary has worked closely with The Gift of Life International, Inc. to help children get life saving heart surgeries, as well as Feed the Children to end childhood hunger. Locally, the Freeport-Merrick Rotary donated lockers and desks to the Freeport School District and provided free turkeys for the needy at Thanksgiving.



"Freeport Rotarians Win Praise on First Birthday. Newsday. November 27, 1944, 6. 

"Freeport Rotary Club Given Charter." Newsday. November 29, 1943, 5. 

"Freeport Rotary Marks 5th Year." Newsday. November 24, 1948, 70.

Maurer, Edward. "Join the Rotary Club." The Leader. October 30, 2008, 7. Accessed July 8, 2019.

"Rotary Club Formed in Freeport." Newsday. July 2, 1943, 10.

"Rotary Club Sends Letter to Servicemen." Newsday. April 10, 1944, 9.


Royal Tavern

Royal Tavern (also known as Morrison's Royal Tavern) was located at 21 West Merrick Road.  The bar was owned by Vincent Cataldo in 1944.  It closed in 1949.



Morrison's Royal Tavern. The Leader. November 6, 1947, 8. Accessed July 27, 2018.

"Thief Gets Away With 85 Bottles." Newsday. May 19, 1944, 6. 

Vasil, Eddie. "Vasil's Varities." The Leader.  April 7, 1949, 8. Accessed July 27, 2018.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 14, 2018.

Ruiz De Zarate, Godofredo

Godofredo "Mike" Ruiz de Zarate (1939-2006) was an electrical engineer and became the superintendent of buildings of the Inc. Village of Freeport in 1981.  He also served on the village's Electrical Board.

Ruiz de Zarate was born in Cuba, came to the United States in 1956, and became a citizen in 1962.  He received his engineering degree from City College in 1964.  He also took courses at the City University of New York, Cornell University, the Mondell Institute, the Edison Electrical Institute, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  Ruiz de Zarate began working in the construction field in 1964.  Before being hired by the Village, he worked with the engineering firm Stone and Weber.  He served as the assistant construction supervisor for the Shoreham nuclear power station. 

Ruiz de Zarate served as a medic in the U.S. Army and was an honorary captain of Emergency Rescue Co. No. 9 and ex-captain of the Fire Police of the Freeport Fire Department.




"Freeport Gets A New Building Supt." The Leader. December 31, 1981, 1. Accessed June 7, 2018.

"New Building Superintendent." Village News. February 1982, 1. Accessed June 7, 2018.

Researched by Denise Rushton and Regina G. Feeney, June 7, 2018.

Rum Point


Roosevelt (Town)

Runcie, William H.

Dr. William Harold Runcie (1889-1973) was a local Freeport doctor who was born in Rockville Centre, NY.  When Runcie's father moved the family to Freeport, they lived in a house located on the southwest corner of Merrick Road and South Grove Street (now Guy Lombardo Avenue). Runcie was the first person called to the home of Dr. Edwin Carman on the night that Louise (Lulu) Bailey was shot and killed in Carman's office  located in his home.  He pronounced Mrs. Bailey dead and was a witness at both trials at which Florence Carman was tried for murder.

Runcie served as Freeport health officer and surgeon of the Freeport Fire Department.

Runcie married Gertrude Nolan in 1915 in Rochester, NY.  They had five children and lived at 89 South Ocean Avenue.

Runcie moved to Florida around 1951.  He died in Miami, FL in 1973.



William H. Runcie [obituary]. The Miami News.  August 6, 1973, 21.  Accessed August 11, 2020.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 12, 2020.

Russo's Italian Restaurant

Russo's Italian Restaurant (also known as Russo's Restaurant and Vincent Russo's Italian Inn) was located at 103 West Merrick Road.  The restaurant opened in 1929 and was owned by Vincent Russo and managed by E. J. De Varney.

In 1930, Vincent Russo was arrested for being part of a suspected liquor ring.

The restaurant was located in a building that was the home of A. J. Morgan in 1909 and the home and office of Dr. William H. Runcie in 1911.

Click here for images related to Russo's Italian Restaurant.



1930-1931 Freeport Phone Book

Russo's Italian Restaurant [advertisement]. Nassau Daily Review. August 30, 1929, 9. Accessed November 8, 2017.

"Yonkers Cops Nab 7 Suspects in Liquor RIng." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 16, 1930, 2.

"Village Trustees." Nassau County Review. July 09, 1909, 1. Accessed November 8, 2017.

"Village News." Nassau County Review. December 08, 1911, 1. Accessed November 8, 2017.


Researched by Regina G. Feeney, November 8, 2017.

Russell Street

Russell Avenue was renamed Willow Avenue in 1917.

Village of Freeport Board Minutes, 1917.

See Also:

Russell, Lillian

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, May 21, 2016.

Russell, Lillian

Lillian Russell (1861-1922) was the stage name of Helen Leonard, who was an American actress, singer, and political activist.  In 1899, she worked with the famous comedy team of Weber and Fields.  She also collaborated with Freeporter, John Stromberg.  She later campaigned for Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and Warren G. Harding in 1920, and sold war bonds during WWI.  Russell also helped negotiate a settlement for the first Actors Equity strike in 1919 and worked for women's suffrage. 

Russell did not live in Freeport but, in 1902, she, her companion Jesse Lewisohn, and their chauffeur Theodore Weinman were caught in a speed trap set up along Merrick Road. The chauffeur was arrested and fined $15 for traveling over the eight mile-an-hour speed limit.  Unhappy with the arrest, Russell famously referred to the Freeport authorities as "pig headed ignoramuses."

Village officials did not hold a grudge towards Russell or her companion. In the Freeport development known as Russell Park, the Village immortalized the pair in street names - Jesse Street, Russell Street (Russell Street was later moved from northeast Freeport to a street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Long Beach Avenue which was renamed Russell Place), Lillian Avenue, and Leonard Avenue (Russell's real last name).

Freeport Hose Company 5 was originally named Russell Hose Company No. 2, in honor of Lillian Russell.

See Also:

Russell Place

Russell Street



Bermudez, Miguel and Donald Giordano. An Illustrated History of the Freeport Fire Department, 1893-2008. Freeport, NY, Freeport Fire Department, 2008

"History of Russell Hose Co. No. 2." The Leader. July 1, 1976, 12. Accessed October 12, 2021.

"Russell, Lillian (1861–1922)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Ed. Anne Commire and Deborah Klezmer. Vol. 2. Detroit: Yorkin Publications, 2007. 1641. Gale Virtual Reference Library.
"Upholds the Law." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 16, 1902, 7.  Accessed May 28, 2016.

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

Updated by Regina G. Feeney, October 12, 2021.

Russell Park

Russell Park is a residential development located in northeast Freeport and extending into Roosevelt.  This section was developed around 1903 by C. A. Stulz on the former farm of John A. Smith located on Main Street near the boundary between Freeport and Roosevelt.   Leonard Avenue and Lillian Avenue are part of this section.

The development was named for actress, Lillian Russell.

Advertisements in 1903 for Russell Park promoted building lots that were measured at  25 x 125 feet and 25 x 150 feet.  These properties claimed to have "all city improvements," which included shade trees, piped water, electric lights, and "no swamps." Land in this development sold from $69 to $169 with $5 down and 50 months to pay off the balance.  Charles A. Sigmond was listed as the agent for this development.

In 1909, Russell Park resident E. V. Baldwin sought an injunction against Catherine Stearn and her brother, Oscar Dooling, in an attempt to keep them from relocating two to three structures from Bennington Park to Russell Park.  Stearn and Dooling purchased the houses from the City of New York. The city needed the structures to be moved in order to lay a pipe to increase water supply to Brooklyn.  Building restrictions in Russell Park called for buildings to cost not less than $1,500 and be at least two stories high.  The houses in question were purchased for $25 and were only one and a half stories high.  Eventually, Stearn and Dooling were allowed to move the structures to Russell Park and the adjacent Stromberg Park.  In January 1910, a fire destroyed one of the houses.  The following March, another fire destroyed a second property that was the subject of the injunction.

Click here for a map of Russell Park.



"Baldwin Objects to Old Buildings. South Side Messenger. October 29, 1909, 1. Accessed August 12, 2017.

"Don't Like Its Style." Nassau County Review." October 29, 1909, 1. Accessed August 12, 2017.

"Freeport Has a Sunday Fire." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 14, 1910, 11. Accessed August 12, 2017.

"Freeport's Newest Park." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 12, 1903, 7. Accessed July 18, 2017.

Russell Park [advertisement]. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 1, 1903, 32. Accessed July 18, 2017.

Russell Park [advertisement]. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 8, 1903, 32. Accessed July 18, 2017.

"Stubborn Fire at Freeport." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 7, 1910, 10. Accessed August 12, 2017.


Researched by Regina G. Feeney, August 12, 2017.

Russell Place

Russell Place was named for Lillian Russell who was a burlesque and vaudeville star with the Weber and Fields Theatre.  The original street was call Russell Street and was located in Stromberg Park.  Russell Street was changed to Willow Avenue.

See Also:

Russell, Lillian

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 28, 2016.

Rutland Road

Rutland Road was known as Federal Street prior to 1926.



Village of Freeport Board Minutes, December 12, 1924.

Researched by Regina G. Feeney, July 19, 2017.

Ryan, Cyril C.

Cyril C. Ryan was the twenty-sixth mayor of Freeport (1945 to 1949).

Ryan was proceeded by Clinton M. Flint and succeeded by Robert L. Doxsee.

Click here for images related to Cyril C. Ryan.

Researched by Cynthia J. Krieg, May 29, 2016.