October 19, 2010

Hempstead Turnpike near Loring Road in 1936 and 2010

Click on pictures to enlarge

Most of us early Levittowners did a great deal of driving on Hempstead Turnpike. When you were learning how to drive, this may have been the first place you cruised in serious traffic.

Hempstead Turnpike led us to Mays, Caruso's, the Meadowbrook Theater, the America On Wheels roller rink, Jahn's, St. Bernard's Catholic Church, the Israel Community Center, Wetson's, Jolly Roger, Zorn's Poultry Farms, and numerous other key locations.

For me, in the early 1960s, it was the road to classes at Hofstra. In fact, I had my first traffic accident on an icy day in 1962. It wasn't my fault. It was the ice.

At the time of this vintage picture and until 1948, the land that came to be known as Levittown was referred to on maps as Island Trees. Now Hempstead Turnpike is one of the most heavily-traveled arteries in Nassau County, a far cry from the rural road of 1936.

Photo by Marilyn Monsrud Frese, class of 1963

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1 comment:

Larry Bory said...

I grew up on Squirrel Lane, which was one block from the Tpke. We crossed it to get to a candy store in a little strip mall near St Bernards Catholic Church. The Levittown Theater was built there. The other Tpke destination was Jahn's, an ice cream palace where the dare was always, "I bet you couldn't eat a Kitchen Sink!" (40 scoops of ice cream plus toppings). Jahn claimed that it would give free one to anyone who could eat one by himself.