Timeline of Roslyn History

by Myrna Sloam©2006, 2001

Clock TowerTea HouseMildam

The following is a summary outline of selected events in Roslyn history. It should be noted that the name Roslyn did not come into being until 1844. Prior to that time the area was called Hempstead Harbor. For more information about this name change please see "The Name Roslyn" in Roslyn Then & Now by Roy Moger. Today, the greater Roslyn area generally refers to the incorporated villages of Roslyn, East Hills and Roslyn Estates, Roslyn Harbor, part of North Hills and Flower Hill, as well as the unincorporated area of Roslyn Heights. In doing research it is also important to note that Roslyn lies within the Town of North Hempstead in the County of Nassau. It should also be remembered that Nassau County was created in 1899 from the eastern portion of Queens County.
1643 Robert Fordham & John Carmen sail across Long Island Sound from Connecticut, land in Hempstead Harbor & go south to settle Hempstead Village.
1644 More settlers from Connecticut arrive and stay in Hempstead Harbor area (later called Roslyn).
1658 60 families fence in area from Hempstead Harbor to Manhasset for grazing cattle.
1680 Van-Nostrand Starkins house built-oldest remaining building in Roslyn.
1701 First Grist Mill erected on Old Northern Blvd.-present mill dates to 1738.
1752 Hendrick Onderdonk moves to Hempstead Harbor.
1773 Mill dam and Paper Mill built by Hendrick Onderdonk-first Paper Mill on Long Island.
1775 North Hempstead secedes from Town of Hempstead.
1784 Town of North Hempstead recognized by NY State.
1790 George Washington tours Long Island--visits Hendrick Onderdonk in Hempstead Harbor.
1809 Hendrick Onderdonk dies.
1813 Methodist Meeting House begun.
1823 Methodist Meeting House completed.
1834 Long Island Railroad established.
1836 Episcopalians form religious society of St. Mary's (later Trinity parish).
1838 Post Office established in Hempstead Harbor.
1843 William Cullen Bryant moves to Hempstead Harbor.
1844 Hempstead Harbor name changed to Roslyn.
1851 Roslyn Presbyterian Church established.
1852 First Fire Company formed-Rescue Hook & Ladder Co. #1.
1861 Roslyn Cemetery founded.
1862 Land purchased by Episcopalians & corner stone laid.
1863 First school built on Old Northern Blvd.
1864 Long Island Railroad reaches Roslyn.
1867 Salem African Methodist Episcopal Church established.
1869 Episcopalians become independent parish, called Trinity.
1872 St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church established.
1874 Building of "Reading Room," begun by W.C. Bryant.
1876 Roslyn Savings Bank opens-first savings bank in Nassau County.
1878 W.C. Bryant dies-buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
1878 Bryant Library Association formed-- Reading Room renamed Bryant Library.
1878 First edition of Roslyn News published.
1884 Elijah Ward horse trough given to Roslyn Village.
1887 Present Roslyn Long Island Railroad depot built (earlier one torn down).
1887 Telephone service established in Roslyn-first central office of NY Telephone
1891 Paper Mill ceases operation.
1895 Roslyn Clocktower erected in memory of Ellen E. Ward.
1897 First school destroyed by fire.
1898 Harbor Hill property purchased by J.W. Mackay as wedding gift to son
Clarence and his wife Katherine Duer Mackay.
1899 Nassau County organized (separated from Queens County).
1900 Roslyn Village Free School built on Old Northern Blvd.
1900 Roslyn Light & Power Company formed by estate owners Mackay, Whitney,
Winthrop & Morgan.
1901 "Harbor Hill" estate of Clarence Mackay completed-designed by Stanford White.
1901 Street lights installed in Roslyn.
1902 Cedarmere, former home of W.C. Bryant damaged by fire.
1903 Silsby Steamer given to fire company by Clarence Mackay.
1904 Roslyn High School begun.
1905 Roslyn Highlands Hook & Ladder, Engine & Hose Co. #1 organized in
Roslyn Heights.
1905 Mrs. Katherine Mackay first woman elected to serve on school board.
1907 New Trinity Church erected-funded by Mrs. Mackay, designed by Stanford
1907 Trolley line through Roslyn to Mineola begins operation.
1908 LIRR installs double tracks.
1910 Roslyn Water District established.
1911 Roslyn Boy Scout Troop #1 established-first in Nassau County.
1912 Roslyn Visiting Nurse Association formed-first on LI east of Flushing.
1913 Roslyn Heights Post Office established
1913 Town of North Hempstead purchases land for Roslyn Park.
1915 Roslyn Neighborhood Association formed-headquarters in Valentine House.
1915 Ruins of Paper Mill torn down.
1915 "Replica" of Paper Mill erected.
1915 Tower Theatre built.
1916 Grist Mill ceases operation and is restored.
1919 Christopher Morley moves to Roslyn Estates.
1919 Tea House begins operation in Grist Mill.
1920 War Memorial Building cornerstone laid.
1920 Trolley line to Mineola ceases operation.
1921 Old Methodist Church torn down.
1923 New Methodist Church built in Roslyn Heights.
1924 Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor, visits Mackay estate.
1925 Roslyn High School erected on Roslyn Road, land given by C.H. Mackay.
1926 Ellin Mackay marries Irving Berlin.
1927 Charles Lindbergh visits Mackay estate.
1927 Village School destroyed by fire.
1928 New Presbyterian Church erected.
1929 Roslyn Park District created.
1929 First Roslyn Girl Scout Troop organized (preceded by Girl Pioneers).
1930 Tower Theatre destroyed by fire.
1931 Roslyn Park officially opens.
1931 Villages of East Hills, Roslyn Estates & Roslyn Harbor incorporated.
1932 Village of Roslyn incorporated.
1932 Tower Theatre rebuilt.
1932 Roslyn Park dedicated.
1934 Christopher Morley builds his writing studio-- The Knothole.
1935 War Memorial Building begins operation as the Theatre of the Four Seasons.
1937 St. Francis Hospital begun.
1938 Clarence Mackay dies.
1940 Millpond Playhouse begun in War Memorial Building by Christopher Morley & David Lowe.
1946 Bryant Hall demolished to make way for Viaduct.
1946 Roslyn Park Hospital opens on Warner Ave., former Rosenbaum mansion.
1947 Temple Sinai congregation formed-- first Jewish congregation in Roslyn.
1949 Viaduct over Hempstead Harbor completed.
1950 Temple Sinai dedicated.
1951 Temple Beth Shalom built.
1951 East Hills School erected.
1952 Bryant Library moves into War Memorial Building.
1953 Bryant Library Local History Collection established.
1957 Roslyn Junior High (Middle School) opens.
1957 Christopher Morley dies-- buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
1958 L.I. Expressway reaches Roslyn.
1960 Roslyn Landmark Society formed by Roger & Peggy Gerry.
1961 Harbor Hill School opens.
1961 Christopher Morley Knothole Association formed to save Morley's writing studio.
1962 Valentine House becomes Roslyn Village Hall.
1963 New Nassau County park named after Christopher Morley.
1966 Urban Renewal Plan endorsed by Town of North Hempstead.
1967 Roslyn Village Historic District Board created.
1968 Bryant Library expansion--Village Hall/Valentine House moved across Paper Mill Road.
1969 Childs Frick estate purchased by Nassau County.
1970 AT&T Tower built on former Frick estate.
1971 Old wing of Roslyn High School demolished.
1972 Demolition begins for Roslyn Plaza Urban Renewal Project.
1973 Hospital on Warner Avenue demolished.
1974 SunHarbor Manor Nursing Home opens on Warner Ave., site of former hospital.
1975 CedarMere, former Bryant home, bequeathed to Nassau County
1975 Blue Spruce Inn, former Skillman house, destroyed by fire.
1976 Grist Mill Tea House closes, mill given to Nassau County.
1978 Bryant Library celebrates 100th birthday-oldest continuing library in Nassau County.
1980 Greek Orthodox congregation moves into Methodist Church in Roslyn Heights.
1981 Construction begins on Roslyn Community Center.
1982 Villages celebrate 50 anniversary of incorporation.
1983 Work begins on final phase of Urban Renewal Project.
1986 Roslyn Community Center opens.
1987 Elijah Ward Horse Trough rededicated.
1987 Harbour View Shopping Center opens on site of Blue Spruce Inn.
1988 Sid Jacobsen Jewish Community Center moves to East Hills site.
1988 Roslyn Railroad Station relocated.
1989 Sound Power Cable installation begins.
1990 Nassau County celebrates Christopher Morley's 100th birthday.
1990 Re-enactment of 200th anniversary of George Washington's visit to Roslyn.
1990 Roy Moger, local author & Village Historian dies-- buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
1991 Roslyn Claremont Hotel opens.
1991 Roger & Peggy Gerry honored for their preservation activities in Roslyn.
1992 Civil War statue missing from Roslyn Cemetery.
1993 Celebration of 350th anniversary of the landing of first English settlers from Connecticut.
1994 Bryant Library celebrates 200th birthday of W.C. Bryant.
1994 Roslyn Village buys new Village Hall.
1994 Elijah Ward Memorial Horse Trough restored.
1995 Roger Gerry, founder of Roslyn Landmark Society dies, buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
1995 Mural of Roslyn history by Frances N. Streit, unveiled in Roslyn Savings Bank.
1995 New Roslyn Village Hall opens.
1995 Cedarmere, former Bryant home, opens as a house museum.
1995 Janet Galante elected first female mayor of Roslyn Village.
1995 Clocktower ownership transferred by Town of North Hempstead to Roslyn Village.
1997 Valentine House, former Village Hall, opens as Bryant Library annex.
1997 Committee formed to save & restore Grist Mill.
1997 Restoration begins on Clocktower.
1997 Re-development of Moorewood property on W. Shore Road begins.
1999 Historic District established in Roslyn Heights.
1999 HOV lane of Long Island Expressway begins near Roslyn.
2000 Air National Guard Station property transferred to Village of East Hills.
2000 Peggy Gerry, founder of Roslyn Landmark Society & member of Historic District Board dies, buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
2001 Roslyn Pond Park renamed Gerry Park in honor of preservation efforts of Roger & Peggy Gerry.
2001 Oldest brick building in Roslyn Village, #17 Tower Place, suffers fire and collapses.
2001 Roslyn Village approves Master Plan.
2001 Groundbreaking for Sterling Glen senior residence (a Forest City Daly project.)
2003 East Hills residents approve $17 million bond for park on grounds of former Air National Guard (ANG) station.
2004 Roslyn School District celebrates 100th anniversary of Roslyn High School.
2004 Nassau County District Attorney begins investigation of funds missing from Roslyn School District.
2004 Groundbreaking held for The Park at East Hills (former ANG station.)
2005 New York State audit reports $11.2 million missing from Roslyn School District-which leads to convictions of school officials.
2005 Missing Civil War statue replaced in Roslyn Cemetery.
2006 Roslyn Landmark Society and Roslyn Preservation Corporation merge into one organization.
2006 Residents of East Hills celebrate opening day of The Park at East Hills.
2006 Restoration repairs to Clocktower completed.
2006 Major construction begins to replace Roslyn Viaduct.
Permission to reproduce, publish or display whole text articles must be obtained from the Bryant Library Archivist.
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