Fosters Meadow Heritage Center sponsored by
the Franklin Square Historical Society
Fosters Meadow was a German farming community established in the 1850s, and located in Long Island, New York in present day Queens and western Nassau County. There has never been defined boundary lines for Fosters Meadow, however it had deep seeded roots into what today would correspond to Elmont, North Valley Stream, Rosedale, Laurelton, Cambria Heights, Springfield Gardens, and Franklin Square, and influenced the Germanic development of Valley Stream, New Hyde Park, and Queens Village
Fosters Meadow was named after Thomas and Christopher who used the western tip of the Hempstead Plains as a sheep pasture in the 17th Century. In the 18th and first half of the 19th Century it was populated by descendants of Dutch and English immigrants who established a vibrant farming community. But it was in the 1850s when the area received German immigrants that the ethnic identity of the area started to change.
The establishment of two German speaking churches (St. Boniface RC Church in 1854 and St Paul’s German Evangelical Church in 1864) encouraged additional German immigrants to migrate to the area and established Fosters Meadow as the cultural center for German speaking population. Starting in the 1850s, word got out about the fertile soil in this area. Many German speaking people who were previously in areas of Brooklyn and western Queens moved to this area called Fosters Meadow. As time progressed hotels and general stores were built and the area started to thrive as an agricultural community. Social groups like the Young Farmers Light Guard and the St. Joseph’s Society were organized.
These farmers were known as market or truck farmers, transporting their produce first, by horse and wagon, then by motorized trucks (pictures) to the various markets in the cities of Brooklyn and New York where it would be sold. By the beginning of the 20th Century the descendants of the German immigrants were the dominant ethnic group in what continued as an active agricultural area serving the large population centers to the west.
We invite you to learn more of Fosters Meadow family history, flip through the archives of maps, newspapers, and more. Stroll through the extensive photo galleries, relive Heritage Center events and consider joining us for those upcoming. We are always uploading more and more information and images, please come back often and see what's new.
To see more, please visit our Gallery.
We'd love to hear from anyone tracing their ancestry to Fosters Meadow. Are these families in your family line? Do you trace your ancestry to the Fosters Meadow region but are not yet represented? Please contact us so you too can share your memories, family stories, photos to help preserve the heritage.
Event Summary and Photos Now Available!
See the Event Page for April 1, 2017
We also have a large collection of marriage photos of Fosters Meadow people and their descendants up to 1940. These are found under the "Archive" tab on the home page.
Please sign our guest book and let us know your thoughts about our website.
We'd like to extend a special thanks to the following people and institutions for their time and contributions:
Nancy Achstattler, Liz Bailey, George Bauer, Peter Brennan, Ph.D., Michael Capoziello (EFD), George (†)and Helene (†) Christ, Susan Coppola, Paul DeLuca, Marge Divan, Dominican Sisters of Amityville, John Dubon (†), Bernie Dubon, Elmont Fire Department, Catherine Finn, Florida Agricultural Museum, Carol Froehlich-Hintze, Kathleen Froehlich, Marie Froehlich-Mildner, Mary Ann Froehlich, Joseph Gunther (†), Linda Hartz, Gerd Hemminger, Steve Herman, Anthony Hoeffner, Bal Hoeffner, Carolyn Hoeffner-Dubon, Diane Hoeffner-Buhler, Joan Hoeffner-Fatone, Lorraine Hoeffner-West, Raymond Hoeffner, John Hoeffner (†), Vi Hoeffner, Paul Hoffman, Marilyn and Judy Hoeg, Peggy Hummel-Brochu, Doris Jones (✝), Jeffrey Jones Jr., Marion Joseph, Rosemary Joseph (✝), Barbara Kalb, Clare Kelly, Roxanne Kiefer, Dorothy M. Kramer, Frances Kraus, Mary Kraus-Meyers, Florence Kraus-Reisert (†), Marilyn Krug-Fuerst (†), Donna Krumenacker-Foder, Larry Krummenacker, Caroline McBride-Sheehan, Clara Kiesel-Murphy, Bob Lebohner (✝), Ken Lebohner, Long Island Studies Institute, Jackie Malec, John Mazur (✝), Betty McIssac, Karen Meyer-Yasinoski, Maureen Dubon-O’Shea, Carol Dubon-O’Hea, Erin O’Hea, Jeanine Picchioni, Queens County Farm Museum, Queens Library-Long Island Division, Madeline Reisert-Schichtig, Marge Reimel-Divan, Marie Reisert-Bailey (†), Arlene Rottkamp-Brennan, Barbara Rottkamp, Larry Rottkamp, Gerald Rottkamp, Mildred Rottkamp-Hoeffner (✝), Raymond Rottkamp, Richard Rottkamp, Teresa Rottkamp-Schmitt (✝), Mae Hoffman-Ross, Jara Salmon, Kathleen Sheehan, Ambrose Schmitt, Anthony Schmitt Jr. (✝), Anthony Schmitt, III, Jean Schmitt-Garvey, Kenny Schmitt, Ralph Schmitt (✝), Robert Schmitt, Roger Schmitt (✝), Joan Schmitt, St. Boniface RC Church, St. Paul's Presbyterian Church of Elmont, Florence Stattel (✝), Stony Brook University-Special Collections and University Archives, Richard Totten, Valley Stream Historical Society, Paul van Wie, Fred Weidner, Ed Wesnofske, Mary T. Wulforst-Rottkamp Family, Florence Wuerfel-Gunther