Woodsburgh, an old place with a new name and with a tinge of romance in its history which makes it conspicuous among all of the settlements of the neighborhood. It was the birthplace of five brothers, all of whom, like many other young men who have been born and brought other young men who have been born and brought up in the country, thought that a speedy fortune awaited them in the city, and to the city they went.
The only difference in the case of these young men and that of the country Youth who ordinarily starts out on his won account with visions of wealth In the distance was that they succeeded in making a fortune, while the latter, As a rule, does not. They were named Wood and, as money counted for more Than fame with them, they were willing to unite their efforts in the fitting up of an Establishment, the only rival of which, as a source of generous revenue, is said to Be the drug store. Jamaica rum was the specialty of the firm of Wood Brothers, and Tradition has it that those people who know a good article when they got it were Apt to go to their store in preference to any other for miles around. Not one of the brothers Married. As they died, one by one, the in turn left their money to the survivors, The last inheriting the wealth of all the others. A slow, frugal, steady going Man was this last of the Wood brothers. He lived in Sands street, Brooklyn, Somewhere near the spot where the old Methodist church now stands. Occasionally in the Summer months he would visit his native place, which in those times was reached by stage from Jamaica. One day it was reported that he was buying property in the vicinity. He was. He made investments on an extensive scale, buying 200 or 300 acres at a time, And this went on until the neighbors began to wonder what colossal scheme the old gentleman had on foot. Some were unkind enough to suggest that he was losing his mind, Because he paid for or five time the real value of the land, and distributed his means with hand, so lavish as to suggest pointed contrast with the economical methods to what he had been accustomed. Perhaps the thought of doing something for his native place Was suggested by the Stewart movement at Garden City, but at all events rich and childless As he was, Mr. Wood determined to found a settlement which should bear his name and which in years to come might stand as a fitting tribute to his memory.
Old Mr. Wood, beginning with his real estate investments, soon show his neighbors what He intended by starting the construction of a hotel thought in those days to be a magnificent but which since been surpassed by structures at Long Beach, Far Rockaway And Coney Island. He watched its progress from his cottage across the way, and when Completed, singular as it may seem, never spent a night in it. To the extent that he succeeded in having the settlement and the hotel given a name which would serve to recall him, (Mr. Wood succeeded in having his ambition gratified---but this was not deemed sufficient. On his death, some years later, it was found that he had left a large sum of money for the establishment of a musical institute in New York, which was To be called after him. Distant relatives, who thought they had been slighted in the will, contested it. The estate remained in litigation for a long time and the institute was never Established, but there are few people who live at Woodsburgh today who do not regret The old gentleman’s pet scheme was not carried into successful execution.
Today the village is a popular resort. It has an Episcopal church—one of the prettiest On Long Island-on which there is not a penny of debt. Bishop Littlejohn having Performed the ceremony of consecration some years ago. Two or three social clubs have a flourishing existence in the settlement, which, although not boasting a fire company like that which does so much credit to Hempstead, nevertheless has the distinction of Possessing a track which, next to that at Cedarhurst, is, perhaps the best east of Jamaica.
Source: Booklyn Eagle June 11, 1887
Pictures from times past The old photographs here are courtesy of James Pearsall (NJ)
Some of the people in these photos need to be indentified. Perhaps someone is one of your ancestors?
Woodsburgh Directory c 1898
Hewlett/Woodmere Public Schools
The Hewlett-Woodmere School District is located on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, about 25 miles from New York City. To the west, the city's sophisticated cultural offerings are conveniently accessible by train, as are the unspoiled Long Island parks and beaches to the east. Hewlett-Woodmere has a population of about 20,000, its residents being primarily business and professional people.
Woodmere Largest Community in the Five Towns
Woodsburgh map c 1875--from the Brooklyn Information Pages
BACK TO LI Towns
BACK To NASSAU COUNTY HISTORY