Our program speaker was Village of  Garden City Historian John Ellis Kordes
Rotarian Althea introduced our  guest speaker.  His topic was the founding of the Village of Garden City by the “Merchant Prince of Broadway” Alexander T. Stuart."  John gave a fascinating account providing many facts for members and guests who described his talk as “fascinating.” Rotarian Althea indicated tha our guest speaker is a lifelong resident of Garden City, is a graduate of Adelphi University,  is a professional photographer (John Ellis Kordes Photography), is an acknowledged author and documentary film maker.  John had served as Garden City’s Village Historian for many years.  In addition to his historical accounts for the local press, John had produced  two documentary films:  “A.T. Stuart’s Garden City,” and  “The Long Island Motor Parkway And Its Garden City Toll Lodge.”  He also authored  two editions of “Visions of Garden City” which provide brilliant color photography (with a few black and whites).   More than 150 images compliment John  Ellis Kordes’ extensive knowledge of the Village of Garden City.
Our guest speaker stated that most people do not know about Alexander Turney Stewart (left), an Irish immigrant who was born in 1803.  His mother remarried and allowed the maternal grand-father to raise Stewart.   He became a successful entrepreneur who made his multimillion-dollar fortune in what was at the time the most extensive and lucrative dry goods business in the world.  By 1848 he had built a large marble-fronted store on Broadway  Chambers Street and Reade Street, which was devoted to the wholesale business, and was the largest retail store in the world at that time. Stewart had an annual income of $1.8 million in 1863. His business success is estimated to have made him one of the twenty wealthiest people in history, with a fortune of approximately $90 billion in todays prices.  Stewart incorporated the Central Railroad of Long Island in 1871 and completed it in 1873, running from Long Island City through his development at Garden City to Old Bethpage. This became part of the LIRR system in 1876, and the parts that have not been abandoned are the Hempstead Branch and Central Branch.
Stewart also was building at the Hempstead Plains and the village of Garden City with the purpose of affording his employees comfortable and airy housing at a moderate cost. After his death in 1876, his wife Cornelia erected several buildings in memoriam, including St. Paul's School and The Cathedral of the Incarnation; the latter also served as a mausoleum to both Stewart and his wife.  All this makes a fascinating tale.
Our guest speaker indicated that during Stewart's time there were approximately 1,000 people living in Garden City in about 400 houses.  Today, the population of Garden City is approximately 23,000 with 65,000 homes.  Our Club President Susan thanked  our guest speaker John for a wonderful presentation.
Happy Dollars
Donations were made by Rotarians PP/Treasurer James B., PP Maureen, PP Gary, PP (other club) Cornell, PP Joseph, Secretary Peter G., PDG/PP Thomas, Jimmy K., Martin, President Susan M., PP Diane, PP Peter M., Althea, PP Robert S., PP Raymond and Prospective Members Lisa and Joseph.
Board Meeting
The board meeting was rescheduled for Friday morning, February 12, 2016 at President Susan's office due to the unexpected considerable snow fall the previous Friday.
22nd Anniversary RotaCare Caregivers' Ball News Release and Registration Forms
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