First inhabited by the Matinecock Indians, Bayside was developed as a village in the early 1880s. Judge Effingham Lawrence is credited with naming Bayside for its position on Little Neck Bay. After the North Shore Railroad was extended in 1866, many mansions were built on the high ground around the bay by wealthy New Yorkers. In the 1920s and 30s film stars and sportsmen moved in, among them Pearl White, Norma Talmadge, John Golden and James J. Corbett. Queensborough Community College, 56th Ave. and Springfield Blvd., 631-6327, opened in 1967 on the former site of the Oakland Golf Course. Bayside is a comfortable middle-class, suburban neighborhood, with a growing Chinese, Korean, and Indian population.
Bell Blvd. is the shopping street from Northern Blvd. north to the Bay Terrace Shopping Center. Bayside is also home to Fort Totten at Willetts Point. Russell S. Gilmore writes: "Begun in 1862, it was intended to be the highest in the nation's system of seacoast fortifications, with five tiers of heavy guns. Work ceased in 1864 when fighting during the Civil War made it plain that vertical-walled masonry forts were obsolete." Today it is home to the Bayside Historical Society, Building 208, 352-1548, and is future home to many community organizations. It's a scenic area and a great spot for picnics.
Additional info: Bayside Merchants Association, 229-4700; Community Board 7, 359-2800; Community Board 11, 225-1054.
©2000 Community News Group
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