A residential area called Fresh Meadows can be found in the Queens district of New York City’s northeastern region. On the northeastern side, next to Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows is surrounded by South Flushing to the west, Union Turnpike to the east, and Cunningham Park to the south. The United States Postal Service provides ZIP codes 11365 and 11366 for the area, which is a part of Queens Community Board 8.
Before the American Revolution, Fresh Meadows was known by such name. A substantial portion of the salt meadows, including the old “Flushing Meadows,” could be found in the Town of Flushing, which included Fresh Meadows. However, the wetlands in the mountainous terrain south and east of the village of Flushing were “fresh meadows” because they were fed by freshwater springs. The area was traversed by Fresh Meadows Road, which still travels the same path under many names, including Fresh Meadows Lane and a portion of Utopia Parkway. It was used to connect the village of Jamaica with the landing at Whitestone.
British forces were stationed nearby during the American Revolution. On the site of M.S. 216, General Benedict Arnold conducted drills for his troops. A new road was constructed to link the Fresh Meadows Road with Hempstead in order to make it easier for military supplies to be transported from British ships using Whitestone Landing to the troops camping further east. The “Black Stump,” the remains of a big tree that had burned after being struck by lightning and was known locally as the “Black Stump,” was where this route started, at what is now the intersection of Utopia Parkway and 73rd Avenue. This landmark gave the road its name, which was “Black Stump Road.” A farming settlement called Black Stump grew there in the 19th century. The current Utopia Playground, near 73rd Avenue and Utopia Parkway, is where Black Stump School once stood. People have reported hearing unusual noises coming from the Black Stump woods for a number of years, leading some to believe that the area is haunted. A recluse who slept in a small hut and performed Irish folk tunes at night was found to be the source of the enigmatic noises in 1908.
In 1923, Fresh Meadow Country Club debuted.
Despite being southeast of Flushing, just south of what is now the Long Island Expressway around 183rd Street, the country club was named after a neighborhood northeast of Flushing. A.W. Tillinghast created the golf course. Fresh Meadow Country Club hosted the PGA Championship in 1930 and the U.S. Open there in 1932. 10,000 spectators witnessed a charity game on the golf course in 1937 involving John Montague, Babe Ruth, Babe Didrikson, and Sylvania Annenberg. Some of the spectators stormed the golf course and tore Babe Ruth’s shirt.
The Fresh Meadows Housing Development was created after the site was sold to New York Life Insurance Company in February 1946. Black people were not permitted to live in the Fresh Meadows Housing Development, according to New York Life Insurance Company. Additionally, it was constructed to shelter local World War II veterans. The complex and its namesake shopping center were among the first in the country to be built with vehicular traffic, as opposed to foot traffic, in mind. The Fresh Meadows housing complex was dubbed “probably the most positive and thrilling example of large-scale community planning in this nation” by Lewis Mumford in 1949.
The last surviving commercial farm in New York City, Klein Farm, was situated in the area until 2004. It was on 73rd Avenue between 194th and 195th Streets.
Local citizens and government representatives are presently working to reopen the farm.
The history of Fresh Meadows was recorded in a book written by Fred Cantor and Debra Davidson, which was published in October 2011.
Cunningham Park still resides in the neighborhood, and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway also passes through it as does the Long Island Motor Parkway, a former highway that is now used for biking and walking.
61-43 186th St,
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365