Astoria's History

This group is for anyone interested in the rich history of one of the oldest communities in N.Y. Lets share information historical cycling and walking tour's coming in the spring and summer.

Location: Astoria
Members: 48
Latest Activity: Feb 3, 2014

I came across this sewer plate 2 blocks from my home in Astoria and noticed the date on the plate made in 1874.

Wow ! that was a long time ago I started to think about the people who might have made the plate and what they were like, what they looked like,what this street might have been like and the houses and farms that were in this area.

It also dawned on me that the President at the time was S.Grant and that Armstrong Custer was about to fight his last Indian battle at the little big horn.

Goes to show that history is all around us calling to us in a whisper hidden in plane sight.So what can you tell me about this plate? what does it say to you?

Stay tuned til next time ...

Discussion Forum

A film "Queens the way it was" @ Greater Astoria Historicl Society (free)

Friends-If your are availble on Saturday January 28 @ 1:00PM a free film Queens the way it was featuring Carroll O'Connor ,Donald Trump ,Henery Steinway discuss Queens and the American dream.location…Continue

Started by Mike Lattanzio Jan 11, 2012.

Summer in Astoria

Ah, summer a time when most of us will flock to the water front to catch some rays and cool off by the ocean. We jump into our cars and drive to the nearby beach pay our parking fee and grab the best…Continue

Started by Mike Lattanzio Jun 17, 2011.

North Beach

Where LaGuardia airport now resides was once a beautiful amusement park/beach known as North Beach it was the hidden jewel of Astoria and people from all over the tri state area would make their way…Continue

Started by Mike Lattanzio Mar 18, 2011.

Sunken Ship

Their are rumors floating around that a Spanish ship went down at Hell's Gate with gold and silver 200 years ago. I want to clear up the Myth, a ship did in fact go down after hitting a reef at…Continue

Started by Mike Lattanzio Feb 6, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Marcos Sueiro Bal on August 19, 2013 at 11:09am

On a related note, check out this recent post on Hell Gate:

Comment by Mike Lattanzio on August 16, 2013 at 8:41am

A view of the Hell's Gate bridge almost completed 1916 view from Casino Beach famous swimming hole in the day..

Comment by Marcos Sueiro Bal on September 16, 2011 at 10:52am

Here is something new from the WNYC Archives:!/mayorlaguardia


BTW, in the 1940s everyone seems to refer to him as LaGARdia, not LaGWARdia.

Check out our audio transfer project at


Comment by Marcos Sueiro Bal on August 9, 2011 at 6:28pm
Oops sorry, I see now that this has been asked before.
Comment by Marcos Sueiro Bal on August 9, 2011 at 6:26pm
I recently learned that legendary opera diva Maria Callas lived in an apartment in Astoria in the 1920s, when she was a small child. Does anyone have any idea of where this apartment may be? It seems to me that it should be marked with a plaque...
Comment by Mike Lattanzio on February 6, 2011 at 12:49pm

Their are rumors floating around that a Spanish ship went down at Hell's Gate with gold and silver 200 years ago. I want to clear up the Myth, a ship did in fact go down after hitting a reef at Hell's Gate but it was a British manowar named the "Hassir" the year was 1774 and the British troops were in NYC causing all kinds of havic on the people of Astoria and the entire city of NY.The Hassir was filled with the pay load for the British troops and on it's voyage to NY she came across a French ship captured it and removed all of it's gold and booty.The Hassir now wieghed down slowly made it way to NY and to save time the captain choose to take the quickest but dangerous route to NYC "Hels Gat".In those days catains would hire certain slaves that lived in Astoria (back then known as Sunswick) to manuver their ships thru the dangerous rocks and reef.But the British captain of the Hassir took his chances and rammed the ship onto Pots rock and down she went with the payload of gold worth at over 1 million dollars.

Tomas Jefferson spent 2 weeks with 3 ships tring to locate the sunken Hassir with no luck,but I do remember about 4 years ago a film maker from Astoria finding what appeared to be the houl of a large ship at Hells Gate and I beleive he was able to bring up to the serfice plates and silverware. If any one has any info on that I would love to hear about it,


Comment by Mike Lattanzio on January 27, 2011 at 10:59am
Eric not sure about Maria Callas sorry ,I can get more info on her. Tony Bennett grew up in Astoria and still hangs out here ,he loves this place too.
Comment by Mike Lattanzio on January 27, 2011 at 10:56am
Eric not sure if anyone burried in the cemetry is famous to todays standards some great folks are their ,I have always had an interest in Astoria's history .If you want to know about one of the oldest homes in Astoria that has it's own grave yard from the 1600's let me know ,their are some great people buried their from the revolution.Mike
Comment by Maggie on January 24, 2011 at 3:11pm

Eric -

There are a few interesting middle-of-nowhere cemetaries in Astoria but I haven't seen that one yet!  I started working on a project a year and a half ago in which I intended to visit all the designated landmarks in Queens but I didn't make it too far... Two of the first places I visited though were little cemetaries, take a look if you're interested: (there are some outside links within my blog post that might give you some more info)

Comment by Brian Taylor on January 17, 2011 at 7:19pm
I understand that Maria Callas grew up in Astoria.  I was wondering if anyone knew specifically where?

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