The following brief history on the Queens town of Bellerose was written by BCCA Board member Sebastian Platania in 1975 for our 40th anniversary and was reprinted in Action News in March 1999.
The history of Bellerose Queens is a rather sketchy one. More has been written of the area located in Nassau, known as the Incorporated Village of Bellerose. It is known, however, that around the turn of the century some of the land presently known as Bellerose was owned by a family named Rose. Their farm was located on the south side of the railroad tracks where a private wooden station or loading platform stood, west of the present Long Island Rail Road station. The name written on the structure was Bellerose and it was learned that in the Rose family was a daughter named Belle. Thus it was assumed that Poppa Joseph Rose could do no better than name his station Belle Rose, also in keeping with the already existing custom in Floral Park of naming streets after flowers.
In 1906 the United Holding Company was formed to purchase and develop 77 acres of property, with Helen Marsh of Lynn Mass. as General Manager. The total acreage was operated as a gladiola field. The first house was erected in 1910 and it became Mrs. Marsh?ustom to live in each house constructed until she found the right family to rent or sell to –each being permitted to settle down. In all, she lived in 22 of the houses in the village. When the L.I.R.R. agreed to provide service to the community, Mrs. Marsh named the station Bellerose, expecting the property owners to choose a permanent name at a later date. In 1917, however, they unanimously ratified her choice.
Today there are many people who believe that Bellerose is confined to the incorporated village and, of course, we in the Queens area are in no way part of them. According to Mr. Herbert Ricard, Historian for the Borough of Queens, the name is “…suitable for a high class development. The reason it has been used from one end of the county and the City of Queens, is because it is a unique development and so different from most places.”
Records defining boundaries are again quite sketchy, but a general breakdown indicates the following: to the East: up to but excluding Little Neck Parkway. To the North: up to but not crossing Grand Central Parkway. To the west: an irregular line running through the 236 numbers, including Gettysburg Street and Braddock Avenue. To the South: again an irregular line to L.I.R.R. station in part, difficult to present in a general manner. (Information supplied by the manager of the Bellerose Post Office.
The Borough of Queens seems to be very indefinite and disinterested in boundaries at our east end, and in a 1948 speech by then Borough President Burke, he said, “I hope some day that you will forget about your own individual communities like Bellerose, etc., and become one united County of Queens.”
We hope that this will never be, as we believe we have one of the finest communities in Queens and builders in the past have tried to conform to the beauty of the Incorporated Village of Bellerose.
Note: Our November 1975 Newsletter has an interesting article about the history of Bellerose.