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What Do You Know About Herricks? - January 22, 2010

Vignettes of Herricks, Part VIII:

1948: It is revealed that New York State has laid out the route of a six-lane “super highway” that will run from the city line at Lake Success to Farmingdale (following the  railroad tracks through Albertson, Mineola and Garden City) and then on to Riverhead in Suffolk County. A giant cloverleaf is planned at Shelter Rock Road, where a second super highway will branch off to Franklin Square and go on to meet Sunrise Highway at Valley Stream. The highways will be divided by a landscaped island with exits approximately every mile. Towns and villages through which the new highways will pass are asked not to approve any new building along the anticipated route. State highway officials include funding for the massive project in their legislative program, but it will not be approved by the legislature and only the Lake Success-Herricks section will ever be built, a decade later.

1949: A deer trots out of the trees near the Willis Avenue exit of the Northern State Parkway and is struck by an automobile. A Nassau County police officer shoots the injured animal and the carcass is “taken to a nearby state institution for dinner.” Residents tell reporters that it is the first deer seen in the area in years

1950: Within one month of each other, dedication ceremonies are held for St. Aidan School and Notre Dame School at local Roman Catholic churches. Both schools will open in 1951. Long Island parochial schools attempt to deal with the same escalating enrollments as the public schools. Notre Dame will have an initial enrollment of some 700 children. By the end of the decade, one out of four Nassau County children of school age will attend parochial schools operated by the new Diocese of Rockville Centre.

1950: Twenty people form the district’s first Jewish congregation and will soon purchase land on Hillside Avenue for a synagogue. When the building is dedicated in February 1954, the congregation will have a membership of 250 local families. In 1955, a second Jewish congregation, Temple Judea, is formed and will break ground on a synagogue on Searingtown Road in the northeast corner of the district in 1959. A third synagogue, Shelter Rock Jewish Center, is under construction on the former Gordon property at the north end of Herricks Road in 1960

1955: Buckley Country Day School sells its property and buildings in Great Neck and purchases the Lunning mansion on I.U. Willets Road, plus 18 surrounding acres for a new campus

1957: Just after a school bus bound on its route to Herricks Junior High School turns off Marcus Avenue onto Greenway East, the driver pitches out of his seat with a fatal heart attack. Three girls (Carol Clark, age 15, Virginia McCarthy, age 14 and Lois Pfaff, age 15) take control of the bus and bring it to a safe stop at the curb. The incident is reported in newspapers throughout the region. Police praise the girls’ “remarkable presence of mind,” and the school board sends them letters of commendation