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The History of Howard Beach by Richard Ranft. Published by the Queens Forum, June 13, 1997.

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The History of Howard Beach

Friday, June 13, 1997 :: History :: 16611 Views :: 1 Comments :: Article Rating

Howard Estates To Fence its Property (From The New York Times, August 20, 1916)

The management of Howard Beach Estates has been compelled to resort to heroic measures to protect the Privacy of its waterfront and beaches, on Jamaica Bay, Long Island, against the multitude of bathers coming there from all parts of the city. "Private Property--No Trespassing " signs, as well as the verbal warnings of beach guards, have long been ignored by outsiders who have been attracted to the extensive beach artificially created by the Howard Estates Development Company for the exclusive use of the residents of the estates and their guests.

To cure the evil effectively, the company has been obliged to enforce a lease right secured from the city to land under the water beyond its bulkhead line, where the main beach is located, and also is drawing plans for the construction of an ornamental fence with artistic gateways at the bisecting streets, along the southern side of Nolins Avenue from Shellbank Basin to Hawtree Basin, a distance of five blocks, and to maintain at each gateway a uniformed guard, thus effectively shutting off its beach to the public.

President F W. Kavanaugh of the development company explained that the beaches of Howard Beach Estates have not the legal status with the public as those of Brighton, Coney, and Rockaway, where the public has a common right, inasmuch as the beaches on the company's property are not natural beaches, but artificial beaches created by the company on its own property at a very great cost.

By the time this article appeared in 1916 William Howard had sold his interest in the Howard Estates Development Company, and moved on to greener pastures namely an alfalfa farm in Ulster County. The infant town he started west of Hawtree Creek was already calling itself Howard Beach Estates, and the LIRA seemed to finalize the name when it constructed a railroad station at Lilly Place (now Coleman Square) and named it Howard Beach. Some folks from Ramblersville were so upset that they removed the Howard Beach sign one night, replacing it with a Ramblersville sign; the railroad then quickly replaced the correct sign, and Howard Beach was here to stay.

Bill Howard was not as spry as he had been years earlier, and retired to pursue his agricultural interests and take it easy. In addition to his fruit & alfalfa farm in Ardonia, N.Y., Mr. Howard also operated a stockjarm at Yaphank, Long Island.

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