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"[T]here are nearly a score of hamlets [in western Queens] which are centers of population and business. These [include] Richmond Hill. . . . In several of the cases, it appears that good farms have been spoiled to lay out streets which are not used, and to make building lots which have been left to become useless commons."

History of Queens County, N.Y., p. 359 (W.W. Munsell & Co. 1882).
The More Things Change

Albon Man and other real estate developers of their day were criticized for despoiling good farmland to lay out under-populated villages. [See sidebar.] Early on, Richmond Hill certainly fit that description. Built on 4 old farms, it had no more than 20 houses before 1873, and no public building or dwelling was put up from 1873 to 1884. Ironically, it is the Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens built by the Man Family which now stands to be overtaken by today's urban developers.


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