Get ready to celebrate Middle Village. This year marks the bicentennial for this Queens neighborhood!
Middle Village was originally settled 200 years ago in 1816 and was established as the midway point for travelers going between the bays of Williamsburg and Jamaica, appropriately giving it the name Middle Village.
Shortly after the Williamsburg-Jamaica Turnpike opened for business in 1816, hotels and inns, restaurants, and shops began opening up along the roadway to cater to these travelers staying in and going through Middle Village, and the population boomed.
When the toll road became public in 1873, it became known as Metropolitan Avenue.
Now, 200 years later, Middle Village is a bustling community that is home to several cemeteries, popular businesses, and residents who truly care about their town.
Once such resident is Robert Holden, the president of the Juniper Park Civic Association (JCPA), which is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of all the residents of Middle Village.
“Middle Village is a great community. A community where neighbors still know one another and look out for each other,” Holden said. “I still have friends and relatives from when I was a kid who still live here today. I think the unique thing about Middle Village is that although we are in NYC, we still have that small-town feeling. Walking down Eliot Avenue, with its stately trees, gives you a sense of peace and security. It’s home.”
Some things the JPCA have accomplished over the years include working with a former councilman, the late Tom Ognibene, to oversee the total reconstruction of Juniper Valley Park; successfully getting additional police officers for the 104th Precinct; forming an overdevelopment task force to downzone all of Maspeth and Middle Village; sponsoring the Midville Dodgers youth baseball team for the last 15 years; and so much more.
“I have dedicated half of my life to the betterment of this neighborhood and will do anything to see it flourish,” Holden said. “Having lived my life here, I can say that Middle Village has never been better.”
Take a look at some of the old time-y photographs of one great Queens neighborhood.