Woodsburgh marks a century
It was a year of titanic events, 1912. A huge British passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic; the Republic of China coalesced, the group that made cookie campaigns an annual rite of passage -- the Girl Scouts of the USA -- was founded.
For Town of Hempstead Councilman James Darcy, the two most noteworthy achievements of that year were the incorporation of Woodsburgh Village and the invention of Oreos.
"When you stop and think about it, the forming of this village and the invention of Oreo [cookies] have a lot in common," Darcy said. "Who doesn't love Oreos? Who doesn't love Woodsburgh? At the center of an Oreo, there's that extra special something that makes us all happy. And at the center of this village is that special something that makes everybody want to live here."
Darcy was one of several officials who spoke to about 125 residents Sunday at Woodsburgh's 100th anniversary ceremony, at the village's Culluloo Telewana Monument, a granite memorial that businessman Abraham Hewlett established in 1888 to recognize the man he believed was the last of the Rockaway Indians.
The quiet half-square mile village east of Lawrence was incorporated on Nov. 8, 1912. As of 2010, the village's population was 778, according to the Census Bureau.
"It's a very peaceful, tranquil and serene place," said Marianne DeSena, a retail worker who moved to the village 24 years ago. "The day I moved in, the guy across the street was laying out his carpet in the middle of the street."
Millicent D. Vollono, who wrote a booklet about the history of Woodsburgh, said the biggest attraction of the village is that it has a rural feel, yet is so close to New York City -- about 45 minutes from Manhattan.
A time capsule containing pictures of village homes, items such as historical tokens and local paraphernalia will soon be sealed and buried near the monument.
Mayor Susan Schlaff said she was proud to serve the village since 1994.
"I'm delighted to say that after 100 years . . . Woodsburgh is still one of the loveliest villages in the South Shore of Long Island," she said.
Myron Thurm, a retired dentist and Orthodox Jew, said one of the biggest changes he has seen in his 30 years living in the Woodsburgh is the growth of Orthodox Jewish families. When he first moved in, Thurm said, there were only three Orthodox families. Today, there are about 130, he said.