BY JOSH TOWNER
The Queens Historical Society (QHS), one of the borough’s most active organizations focused on promoting and preserving Queens’ rich legacy, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this November.
The Queens Historical Society began as a non-profit organization 1968 when a group of concerned citizens and preservationists joined together to stop the Kingsland Homestead in Flushing from being demolished. The group was originally called the Kingsland Preservation Society, and became the Queens Historical Society in the early 1970s.
Connie DiMartino has volunteered on the QHS Board of Trustees for 39 years, and remembers the fight to save the Kingsland Homestead. DiMartino remembers watching the first of the Homestead’s three relocations while on a walk with her then infant son.
DiMartino’s first memory of working with QHS was the landmarking of the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. DiMartino recalled working with the Latimer House, saving Flushing Town Hall and various QHS exhibits, including her personal favorite, a Civil War reenactment in the late 1980s.
“I have tremendously enjoyed volunteering and being a board member at QHS,” DiMartino said. “And thank goodness for a lot of volunteers and donors, it makes it easier to accomplish our goals.”
Today, QHS owns and maintains the Kingsland Homestead. QHS has explored and presented the cultural, artistic and historical roots of Queens, and offers several historical publications and a variety of programs for all ages. QHS also holds a vast archive of informative historical documents and photographs.
The QHS 50th anniversary will be celebrated Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Queens Botanical Garden. The reception will honor long time preservationist and oldest living QHS member Joan Kindler, avid QHS supporter Councilman Peter Koo, the two women who have preserved the Moore-Jackson cemetery, a Civil War era landmark, and others who have been vital to the success of QHS.