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Information taken from Wikipedia

Woodside is a residential and commercial neighborhood in the western portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered on the south by Maspeth, on the north by Astoria, on the west by Sunnyside, and on the east by Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Some areas are widely residential and very quiet, while other parts, especially the ones around Roosevelt Avenue, are busier. The neighborhood is located in Queens Community Board 1 and Queens Community Board 2.[3]

In the 19th century the area was part of the Town of Newtown (now Elmhurst). The adjacent area of Winfield was largely incorporated into the post office serving Woodside and as a consequence Winfield lost much of its identity distinct from Woodside. However, with large-scale residential development in the 1860s, Woodside became the largest Irish American community in Queens, being approximately 80% Irish by the 1930s and maintaining a strong Irish culture today. In the early 1990s, many Asian American families moved into the area, with the population being 30% Asian American. South Asiansand Latinos have also moved to Woodside in recent years.

Reflecting its longtime diverse foods and drink, the neighborhood is filled with many cultural restaurants and pubs. It is also home to some of the city's most popular ThaiFilipino, and South American eateries.

For two centuries following the arrival of settlers from England and the Netherlands, the area where the village of Woodside would be established was sparsely populated. The land was fertile but also wet. Its Native American inhabitants called it a place of "bad waters" and it was known to early European settlers as a place of "marshes, muddy flats and bogs," where "wooded swamps" and "flaggy pools" were fed by flowing springs."[8][9] Until drained in the nineteenth century, one of these wet woodlands was called Wolf Swamp after the predators that infested it.[10][11][12] This swamp was not the only place where settlers might fear for the safety of their livestock, and even themselves. One of the oldest recorded locations in Woodside was called Rattlesnake Spring on the property of a Captain Bryan Newton.[11] The vicinity came to be called Snake Woods and one source maintains that "during New York’s colonial period, the area was known as 'suicide’s paradise,' as it was largely snake-infested swamps and wolf-ridden woodlands."[13]

Woodside was settled by farmers in the early 18th century.[14] In time, inhabitants learned how to farm the land profitably. The marsh grasses proved to be good for grazing and grains, fruits, and vegetables could be grown on the surrounding dry land. By the middle of the 18th century the area's farmers had drained some of its marshes and cut back some of its woods to expand its arable land and eliminate natural predators. Agricultural produce found markets in New York City and at the beginning of the 19th century the area came to be "abundantly conspicuous in the wealth of the farmers and in the beauty of the villas."[7] A late 19th-century historian described one of the area's 19th-century farms as a pleasing mix of woodlot, tilled acreage, grazing land, orchard, and pleasure garden. He believed "it would probably have been hard to find anywhere in the vicinity of New York a more picturesque locality."[15] Another observer of this time praised Woodside's "pure atmosphere and delightful scenery."[16]

In the 19th century, the area was part of the Town of Newtown (now Elmhurst). The adjacent area of Winfield was largely incorporated into the post office serving Woodside and as a consequence Winfield lost much of its identity distinct from Woodside.

Some idea of the bucolic nature of the place that would become Woodside can be seen in descriptions of an ancient central landmark, a great chestnut tree. The tree was hundreds of years old when it finally came down in the last decade of the 19th century. It stood on high ground near a junction of three dirt roads and "was of great diameter, some 8 or 10 feet"—perhaps 30 feet in circumference.[17] Its size and central location made it a natural a meeting place, a surface on which to tack public notices, and strategic point of considerable military significance during the Revolutionary War.[7][10][17] A 19th-century antiquarian wrote of the great tree as it stood during the American Revolution and in doing so named the families of the local landowners:

Around the roots of the old tree were the huts and stables of the cavalry: with a number of settler's huts ranged in woods... Great festivities too were constant in the spacious rooms of the old Moore house, during the winter months when the snow was deeper and the frost more cold than now-a-days. To the streaming lights from the ball room, and the lanterns hung on the trees, were wont to assemble the gay sleighing parties from the Sacket [i.e. Sackett], Morrell, Alsop, Leverich and other houses; for the soldiers were all over and had come to Newtown to recruit [i.e. refresh and restore] themselves after the yearly campaigns... Is there any relic more associated with Newtown [i.e. the town in which the village of Woodside would come to be located] than its old chestnut tree?... [Has it] not been for two centuries the "Legal Notice" centre of Newtown, for all vendues, real estate transfers, town meetings, lost "creeturs" and runaway slaves?[17]

Woodside was first developed on a large scale beginning in 1867 by speculative residential neighborhood builder Benjamin W. Hitchcock, who also founded Corona and Ozone Park, and John Andrew Kelly.[18] The neighborhood's location about three miles from Hunter's Point on the Long Island Rail Road line made it an ideal location for a new suburban community. In 1874, the New York Times described Woodside:

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All information is authored BY STEVE HIRSCH - Gsrealtyinc@gmail.com

Geoffrey Stevens Realty