Wonderful articles about the history of Hicksville, researched and written by Ron Wencer. This complete monthly series spans 4 years, from May 2018 until April 2022. Enjoy!
The village of Hicksville changed quickly in the years that followed World War I. As local agriculture began to slowly fade, and as New York's appetite for suburbs increased, the village's population grew. It became clear that the school building on Nicholai Street was inadequate.
The Great War in Europe once seemed so far away. True, even before the U.S. entered the war, some Americans had gone to Canada and volunteered to fight in the British forces, and others were serving in the war as nurses. But for most families, reality did not hit until June 5, 1917, when the war's first draft registration was held.
PART ONE OF THREE
In the 1950s, there were three sources of low-flying aircraft over Hicksville: Mitchel Air Force Base (spelled with only one L) at Uniondale, Republic in Farmingdale, and Grumman in Bethpage .
In 1915 or so, if you lived in Hicksville and you wanted to visit your friend Hattie in Mineola, or your cousins in Manhasset, you could walk down to Depot Square (the triangle formed where Jerusalem Avenue met Broadway) and wait by the tracks - for a trolley! Since 1909, following the route shown above, a trolley line had been taking people back and forth. This is the story of that line, the New York and North Shore, of how it came to be, and of how it came to an end.
On a Sunday morning in May, 1912, onlookers cheered as a local cyclist sped through Hicksville. Jerome "Pete" Steinert was midway through the first of three long laps, competing in a race which would not end for seven more hours. Although the finish line was at Floral Park, Steinert was on his way to Stockholm.
PART TWO OF THREE
As a child who first lived beneath the flight path to/from LaGuardia, I got used early to airliners flying overhead. When my family moved to Hicksville in 1954, it seemed much more quiet, and most of the time it was. Once in a while, though, something would loudly screech, roar, or rumble across the sky, and it almost never was an airliner.