The History of New York City’s Jamaica, Queens Neighborhood

June 23, 2013

A graduate of Hofstra University, George Subraj serves as president of New York City’s Zara Realty Holding Group, Inc. As president of Zara Realty, George Subraj owns and manages a variety of comfortable and affordable residential properties in the Queens borough of New York City.

Jamaica, Queens is named after the Jameco, or “beaver,” tribe of Indians who lived in the area near Nassau Lake prior to European settlement. One of the United States’ first established towns, Jamaica was initially settled by the Dutch. Though it was not incorporated until 1814, Jamaica was the colonial capital of Queens County and was home to the country’s first Presbyterian church.

Transportation has played an important role in the history and development of Jamaica, due to its unique location. Roads and railroads were constructed throughout the area, connecting Queens to Manhattan and the other boroughs. Jamaica Bay was an important source of boat traffic and commerce. These developments contributed to Jamaica’s identity as a center for government, entertainment, and business. Today, 13 bus lines, 4 major subway lines, and 5 highways converge in Jamaica.

Queens is among the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States, and the Jamaica neighborhood is a testament to this fact. Once predominantly an African American neighborhood, Jamaica is now home to people of all ethnic backgrounds, including many immigrants.

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