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Queens Chronicle

Fresh Meadows’ first post office

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:30 am

Fresh Meadows got its start as a farming community. It first had the name Black Stump, due to how farmers marked their land by placing blackened, charred tree stumps along their property lines.

In 1923, Brooklyn attorney Benjamin C. Ribman purchased 141 acres of land, hired A.W. Tillinghast to build a golf course and christened it the Fresh Meadows Country Club. It was the site of the 1930 PGA Championship and the 1932 US Open. Babe Ruth played there after his baseball career ended.

After World War II, with the return of soldiers, there was a massive housing shortage. The entire golf course was sold in 1946 to the New York Life Insurance Company. The goal was to build a model community from scratch with all the latest technology of the period. The old name of Black Stump was scrapped in favor of Ribman’s name, Fresh Meadows. The new development was opened to the public as a prestigious community of 11,000 residents complete with an air-conditioned shopping center, movie theater, nursery, school and bowling alley.

A post office was dedicated and opened in the shopping center at 61-30 190 St. Within a few years, these leased quarters were outgrown as the community’s population swelled to more than 15,000 residents.

In 1955, a new postal building was erected at 192-20 Horace Harding Blvd. In 1990, the gas station next door was torn down and another building was put in its place, which is now for postal window service only. The original building at 192-20 is just the letter carrier section. Post office stats show Fresh Meadows handles 18,502 residential deliveries and 756 business deliveries every day. This feat is accomplished through 46 carrier routes, two parcel post routes and the work of 16 clerks.

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