Col Jeromus Remsen, war hero

Colonel Jeromus Remsen was a Revolutionary War Hero. His family came to America in the seventeenth century and his father, Abraham Remsen, settled at Hempstead Swamp, one of the first battle sites in the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary Way. Remsen was also in the French and Indian War and was one of the original settlers of Queens. He joined the Continental Army and kept the British Army from taking cattle as he drove them eastward out of British hands. He was a Colonel of A Regiment of Kings and Queens County Militia in the Battle of Long… Read More

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Thomas Pullis, farmer

Thomas Pullis (1778 – 1854) was a farmer in the Middle Village area of Queens. When he died,  his farm was willed to his three sons, with the instructions that the cemetery was never to be sold. In his estate funds were provided to build a brick wall around the cemetery so that it would be protected. The cemetery established is one of the last private family cemeteries that survives in the city and contains 7 graves and 3 headstones. It was restored by the village in 1993 after a non-profit was set up for multiple historic restorations in the area. It… Read More

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Anthony Mazzarella, Waterfront Crabhouse owner

Anthony Mazzarella (1938-2015) opened the Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City Queens in the 1970s. The restaurant, located on Borden Ave in a building dating back to the 1800s, was known for its seafood dishes and walls decorated with boxing memorabilia.   Besides the restaurant, Mr. Mazzarella was also know for his charity events.  He served as a member of the American Cancer Society and Queens Division, and he founded the Patty Fund for Childhood Cancer. He started an annual block party on the Fourth of July that raised thousands of dollars for cancer patients. Other events were held at the Crab House,… Read More

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Janos Marton, Director of The Living Museum

Janos Marton was born in Hungary in 1949 and grew up a legacy of the Holocaust. His father, a dissident economist, was taken off to prison for six years on the day his son was born. In the 1960s the Martons received political asylum in Austria and moved to Vienna, where J anos attended high school and studied psychology. He began working with other doctors that used art work to communicate with mental patients while at the Landers Clinic near Vienna. In 1976, Dr. Marton received a Ph.D. in psychology and in 1980, a M.A. in fine arts at Columbia… Read More

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Jack Fein, Fort Totten historian

Jack Fein (1916-2008) began his military career at Fort Totten in Queens, NY. He was processed at the fort after enlisting in the Army in 1936 and served in Panama. After a 36-year military career, he retired with the rank of chief warrant officer 4 and returned to Fort Totten in 1972 to give tours as a volunteer. Built in 1857 across from the Throgs Neck Bridge at Willets Point, Fort Totten served mainly as an Army training base until its decommissioning in 1967. Recruits from New England started their Civil War service there, and some 5,000 Union soldiers were treated… Read More

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Alfred M. Butts, inventor of Scrabble

Alfred M. Butts,  as a jobless architect in the Depression invented the enduringly popular board game Scrabble. Although its sales eventually approached 100 million sets, Scrabble languished for nearly two decades, rejected by major game manufacturers as unmarketable. Mr. Butts was a fan of chess, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. Working in his fifth floor walk-up in Jackson Heights, Queens, he designed the new game to be based on knowledge, strategy and chance. He lined the original playing board into small squares and cut the 100 lettered wooden tiles by hand. First players of the game included his wife and family friends. Mrs.… Read More

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John Eberson, theater designer and owner

John Adolph Emil Eberson (1875–1954) was a European born American architect best known for the development and promotion of movie palace designs. He was born in Austria-Hungary and studied electrical engineering at The University of Vienna. In 1901, he traveled to the United States through NYC, but ended up in St. Louis. He started as an engineer with a small company, but eventually joined with Johnson Realty and Construction Company, a theatre architecture and construction company. Eberson and Johnson traveled around the eastern part of America, promoting opera houses in small towns. Once the town was persuaded to build an opera house, Eberson would… Read More

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