The Village of East Hills will celebrate its evolution from a community of estates and farms to the residential neighborhood it is today at an 85th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
The anniversary is a fitting occasion to delve into the village’s past, village officials and residents said.
“The anniversary gives us an opportunity to join together to remember our proud past, celebrate an exciting present, and look forward to the promise of tomorrow,” village Mayor Michael Koblenz said.
In 1931, when the village was incorporated, East Hills was a community of a few hundred residents. Early in the century, East Hills was 98 percent farm and estate holdings and 2 percent homes with a population of 276. Today, the numbers tell a different story, with 98 percent residential homes and 2 percent undeveloped land in the village and 7,000 residents.
The area is mentioned in documents dating to the 17th century and was incorporated in 1931 because of pressures from neighboring Roslyn, North Hempstead Town Historian Howard Kroplick said.
When Roslyn residents developed plans for highways, a sewer system and other public works, residents of the East Hills area decided against paying higher taxes for these services and moved to incorporate. Roslyn would incorporate a year later.
The Village of North Hills had incorporated two years earlier, and East Hills got its name because of its location to the east of North Hills, Kroplick said.
At the time of its founding, the village’s land was largely composed of an estate owned by the family of financier Clarence Mackay. The Mackay family threw glamorous parties, which drew crowds from all over the Gold Coast, including notable guests such as aviator Charles Lindbergh.
This is the era that’s being remembered at the village’s daylong celebration on Saturday. Beginning with a jazz brunch, the theme will continue throughout the day, with other events such as an “old-time” baseball game, an exhibit of historic photographs, a concert, and programming for children.
The 85th anniversary committee, made up of eight residents, aimed to recreate the time period of the ’20s and ’30s, and “incorporate the feeling of the Gatsby era,” said committee chairwoman Natalie Mansbach.
The contrast between the village’s past and present will be emphasized throughout the day, Mansbach said.