A.T. Stewart was completing his railroad as well, and building his planned community of Garden City.
While all these events were happening, successful Irish immigrant and Brooklyn mapmaker Matthew Dripps produced a large map of Garden City. These types of maps were used for fire insurance, reference and general purposes. Dripps is known for his New York City area maps and his career spanned approximately 1850 to the 1890s.
Now, 140 years later, the archivist and the village historian found the Dripps Map in the Village Archives while digitizing photos. Considering it's almost a century and a half old, the map is in good condition with an original fabric back and the front painted with shellac. The front has aged and cracked, but using shellac for preservation was common back then.
A few observations about the map reveals a different layout in the Estates section, with more east-west streets and less north-south ones. This particular layout might explain the fact that there are a number of houses in the section that face 90 degrees to the current roads. The St. Paul's property has two roads running through it on this map. Before Garden City Middle School was built, Rockaway Avenue continued south and merged with the current Cherry Valley Avenue at the traffic light near Adelphi University.
The map can be viewed in Village Hall on the second floor. At the top of the stairs is a key to quite a few roads that have since changed names, with coordinating green numbers on the map. An extra layer of Plexiglas was installed to allow the numbers to not come in contact with the actual map. Low lighting in the area protects the maps. The map and key were framed by Barnes Gallery in Garden City South.
If anyone has any old books, photos or papers relating to anything in Garden City, please call village historian Suzie Alvey. You can donate it or she can photograph the items, while you keep the original. This will be extremely helpful to the archives at the Garden City Public Library and the Garden City Historical Society.
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