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What Do You Know About Herricks?

Vignettes of Herricks, Part VII:

1930: William Chatlos, developer of the original Williston Park sections, actively encourages the purchase of lots by church groups as a way of creating a “home community.” The village of 4,400 residents is now home to the Roman Catholic Church of St. Aidan, St. Andrew’s Episcopalian Church and the Williston Park Reformed Church. St. John’s Lutheran Church will open soon. Other home developers see the economic value in having churches within developments. In 1941 and 1942, the developer of Hyde Park Manor, east of New Hyde Park Road, will sell plots to Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches and include this in marketing information. In September 1942, Hillside Methodist Church is dedicated amid the new houses of Hillside Heights. Three years later, land for Christ Lutheran Church is purchased and the new church will open just as hundreds of new homes go on sale on the south side of Hillside Avenue

1937: For several years, Lewis Land Company has horded over 100 tracts of land in Queens and Nassau County, waiting for the real estate market to turn around. Now there is a home building boom and the company holds an unusual moving auction. Starting at 1 p.m., auctions for six different properties up to 52 acres in size will be held at six different sites. The first site is at Little Neck Parkway and at 2:30 the caravan is assembled on the west side of Herricks Road, where 16 acres north of Wilson Boulevard are sold. They move to the intersection of Hillside, Denton and Marcus Avenues where 30 acres adjoining the Hillside Heights development are auctioned off. At 3:30 they are on the west side of Searingtown Road, just north of the old Motor Parkway, where 14 separate one-acre lots near the Links Golf Course are offered for sale

1942: A medium bomber out of Mitchel Field has engine failure and is forced to land. The crew could have easily glided the plane down in a flat area but, seeing the hundreds of homes of Hillside Heights just ahead, choose to land in the uneven ground of the sand pits off Denton Avenue, 150 feet below street level. The plane explodes and the crew of five is killed instantly. Recognizing the sacrifice made by the fliers (a year before, two bombers crashed near the sandpits, destroying a house and killing a civilian on the ground), civic associations ask the Town Board to change the name of Leonard Boulevard to Van Eeuwen Boulevard, in honor of the bomber pilot. This doesn’t happen, but on January 25, representatives of the various nearby housing sections erect a memorial plaque set in marble and concrete at the corner of Oak Street and New Hyde Park Road. They then march to the sand pits, where each resident drops in a single carnation

1942: 1,500 Danes and Norwegians, including Princess Margarethe of Denmark, come to Herricks for a song festival broadcast to Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. Frederick Lunning has opened his estate, Northcourt, to raise money in support of Camp Little Norway, a flying field and pilot training school near Toronto. The 50-acre Northcourt estate is located on part of the former Willets farm at the northwest corner of I.U. Willets and Shelter Rock Roads. It includes a 20-room Tudor style mansion, a six-room guest cottage, barns, stables and a milking house and two large greenhouses that grow plants and shrubs for the elaborate gardens. Lunning is the country’s largest importer of Scandinavian goods to the United States