Long Live the Queens A Borough Profile

Of the over 2 million people who inhabit the borough of Queens, there are probably at least one or two members of actual royalty.

They might be from countries few have ever heard of, or from places so remote they don’t often show up on the map. But in what many consider the most diverse neighborhood on the planet, one thing is for sure: If a person lives and breathes and moves to New York City, that person can find a home in Queens.

Into the Past

According to the Queens Historical Society (QHS), the 118 square miles that make up Queens has changed a lot since it was incorporated as a borough of New York in 1898. And even before that milestone, what we now know as Queens went through many transformations.

New York was originally a Dutch settlement, but what was considered Queens in the 1600s was mostly made up of English colonists who gave the area its namesake — a nod to Queen Catherine of Braganza. When it was established as one of the 10 colonies that made up New York in 1683, Queens was three times as large as it is now — it included all of Nassau County, and reached into Suffolk County as well. The land that made up Queens was divided by the English into three distinct towns: Newtown, Flushing and Jamaica.

With the onset of the Revolutionary War almost a hundred years later, Queens was divided. According to the QHS, the final withdrawal of British troops occurred in 1783. Peace returned to the area once the war was over, but some of the divisions of townships that exist today follow territories established during wartime.

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4 Comments

  • Doris Kraus, maiden name SAdlo on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 9:50 PM
    whatever happened to P.S. 9 Hallett's Cove and the apt bldgs. on Astoria Blvd? Also, are there any pictures left from 1944 or so just before they torn the bldgs down. I grew up and also was born at 2-15 Astoria Blvd went to P.S. 9 between 2nd and 3rd sts. I know those bldgs are gone, but are there any photos left of them. Born and raised in Astoria, also went to P.S.84 after my family moved to 38 st. 24-25 corner of Astoria Blvd.
  • I lived in Maspeth at 53-07 43rd Street in buildings called The Flats from 1958-1962, I was seven when we moved. The Calvary Cenetary was close by, as well as the Koczkiasko Bridge. These four years were the best of my life, and I wish there was someone that remembered the area when I was there. My friends were a family called the Finns, and went to PS 11 until we moved.
  • I'VE BEEN RESEARCHING INFO ON WHERE MY MOM GREW UP IN HALLETTS COVE ,AND FOUND SOME INTERESTING STUFF FOR HER, AS WELL AS A FELLOW CLASSMATE FROM PS. 9 AND BEYOND.(DORIS SADLO) MY MOM'S MAIDEN NAME WAS MARY PICKFORD (not the actress)
  • Hi Lori: Your mom reconized me on Astoria Blvd between 37th st. and 38th. I had not seen her since 4th grade, P.S.9. I love Astoria, but now I live in Va. I went to P.S.84, 5th and 6th grades, J.H.S.141. I am now 75 years old and still going strong. Your mom was a great friend of mine when we both went to P.S.9 That neighborhood has been destroyed and projects put up. I was born down there and it was like a country town. Say "Hello" to your mom for me. Doris Kraus-SAdlo.