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The North Forest Park Community Library is located in the southwestern part of Forest Hills. The area is sometimes called Parkside because it is adjacent to Forest Park. Its boundaries are roughly Woodhaven Boulevard, Exeter Street, Union Turnpike and 80th Street. The region was first settled in 1643 as a part of Rev. Doughty colony and then re-established as Middleburgh (later named New Towne) colony. By the early 18th century it was known as Whitepot. The residents were mostly farmers of Dutch or English descent. In 1739 they established the first school in the colony, the Whitepot School, at Yellowstone Avenue (now Boulevard) and Woodhaven Avenue (Boulevard.) One of the leading families, the Remsen’s, fought in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. The family cemetery is located at Alderton Street and Trotting Course Lane and is a New York City landmark. The population of the area continued to increase during the 1800’s. Roads were improved and public transportation was established. In the early 1900’s, farm acreage began to be sold to real estate developers. Today, the community consists primarily of private homes with a commercial district along Metropolitan Avenue.
The cornerstone of the North Forest Park Community Library is dated 1974 but construction actually began in1979. Unfortunately, this was a period of financial crisis for New York City and, although the building was complete, funds to staff the library were unavailable. The residents of the community and its leaders organized petition drives and rallies in an effort to have their library opened. The branch finally opened to the public on February 1, 1982. The North Forest Park Branch now serves a community of approximately 25,000 people. Most residents are English-speaking, but the branch also provides materials for the increasing number of ethnic groups which are moving into the neighborhood.
Annals of Newtown, In Queens County, New-York by James Riker
History of Forest Hills from the Days of the Indians by Lucy Allen Smart in The Forest Hills Bulletin, December 13, 1924, published by Cord Meyer Development Company
History of the Metro-Forest Commercial District by Jeff Gottlieb in Metro-Forest Chamber of Commerce Directory, 1993