Share in the rich history of Woodhaven
by Ed Wendell
Feb 26, 2020 | 1230 views | 0 0 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society returns to its regular schedule next Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at the Avenue Diner at 91-06 Jamaica Avenue. The meeting is free and open to the public, and everyone is welcome.

This month, we are going to take a stroll back in time 75 years to the spring of 1945, near the end of World War II, to see what was happening in Woodhaven. Our community was struck by a terrible tragedy that spring, one that made headlines in the local papers (including this one) as recently as last March.

And if you can’t make the Tuesday evening meeting, this topic will be repeated on Wednesday, March 25, at the Avenue Diner at 1 p.m.

April is shaping up to be a fun month for our Historical Society, as we are having a special April Fool’s presentation.

In “Fake History: An April Fool’s Look at Woodhaven,” we will give one of our standard presentations except that it will be intentionally riddled with errors and falsehoods.

Your job will be to write down anything that is incorrect and the person who uncovers the most falsehoods will win a prize.

The April Fool’s Presentation will take place on Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. and it will be the only time that it will be given.

On Wednesday, April 29, (exact time to be determined), we are temporarily moving our meeting location to the Woodhaven Manor for a very special collaboration with the Woodhaven Business Improvement District.

I received a call to meet with Raquel Olivares, executive director of the WBID and Tom Grech, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, who were planning a special event and wanted to add a little historical flavor.

I don’t know if I can spill details just yet, but it will involve a lot of old pictures of Jamaica Avenue and restaurants. That’s all I can say for now, except that you’re not going to want to miss it. We’ll leak some details to folks who come to one of our next meetings.

It also looks as if the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society will be getting back into the cemetery business now that renovations at All Saints Episcopal are just about complete.

It’s been a long time since we’ve done any work back there, and it’s going to need some TLC.

So while we don’t have a start date picked, it will be soon and we are definitely going to need some volunteers to spend one morning a month cutting the grass, trimming the weeds, and picking up twigs and sticks.

It’s nice work, gets you out in the sun, and gives you a little workout. Plus, it’s one of the most historic locations in Woodhaven.

If that’s not enough, it’s just the right and decent thing to do. Beneath the headstones lie some of the founding members of our community, and as it turns out, there are a large number of young people and children buried there.

Our goal is to have a few fundraisers at the cemetery this year to raise a little money to help maintain it. We’ll be posting information about this soon, but if you want to keep up to date on what’s happening, email us at and ask to be put on the mailing list.

And make sure you keep watching the pages of the Leader-Observer for more news about upcoming events. I just got off the phone with Forest Park administrator Portia Dyrenforth, and we’ve been talking about some fun collaborations this coming year.

Our historical meetings are a lot of fun, especially when people start talking and sharing their memories of growing up here in Woodhaven. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings soon so you can add your voice and own memories.
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