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Queens Chronicle

Lithuanians and lumber on Jackson

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:30 am

Due to early 20th-century zoning laws and regulations, Jackson Avenue has always been associated with printers, woodworkers, electrical suppliers and other maintenance and contractors needs.

At the corner of Jackson and Purvis Street was the Lithuanian Citizens Club of Long Island City, at old No. 290. The Lithuanian Democratic Club was located a short distance away on Greenpoint Avenue.

Once a mighty nation, Lithuania became a Baltic province of Imperial Russia, then an independent republic in 1918. After World War I, it was carved up by Poland and Germany, then absorbed into the Soviet Union, taken by the Nazis in World War II and retaken by the Soviets — and finally became independent again in 1991.

Between 1941 and 1949 about 300,000 Lithuanians were deported by the Soviets, and a large number of them came to LIC and other parts of Queens County.

A couple doors down was Dykes Lumber Co. at old No. 284, now 26-14. John Mitchell was the manager for many years and carried the latest materials of the day such as Celotex and beaver board. In business since 1909 and at this location since 1926, Dykes has survived the test of time and not been pushed out by the chain stores, recently expanding and moving to 43-01 9 St.

The Lithuanian Club on the corner is now a successful rubber stamps store, in keeping with Jackson Avenue tradition.

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