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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Woodsburgh marks its centennial
Small village had large impact on the way we live
Jeffrey Bessen/Herald
Jeffrey Bessen/Herald The Culluloo monument stands at the intersection of Wood and Keene lanes in the Village of Woodsburgh. The village will mark its centennial there on Sunday with a dedication ceremony.

In spite of its small size — 778 residents, according to the 2010 census, occupying just 0.4 square miles — the Village of Woodsburgh has played a large role in the development of the Five Towns.

Marking its 100th anniversary as an incorporated village, Woodsburgh is considered one of Long Island’s earliest “planned” communities, where people settled outside New York City and then commuted from home to work.

“The commute to New York City wasn’t any longer then than it is today — 45 minutes,” said Millicent Vollono, the Hewlett-Woodmere reference librarian, who serves as the village’s historian. She based that conclusion on old Long Island Rail Road timetables.

Vollono, who wrote a history of the Five Towns for Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, which was published in 2010, said that Woodsburgh was “marketed as a businessman’s paradise with affordable, quality housing,” and was one of the first communities that “had the commuter as its main focus.”

The village will celebrate its centennial with a small dedication ceremony this Sunday, at 3 p.m., at the Culluloo monument, at the intersection of Wood and Keene lanes. A time capsule, which will include photos of village homes and other present-day artifacts, will be buried by the monument. The Woodmere Club, whose 100th anniversary coincides with the village’s, is providing food for the event.

Mayor Susan Schlaff, who has lived in Woodsburgh for 34 years, said she it is a privilege to live in the village and called it a special place. “It is quite beautiful and very exciting to live in a place that is celebrating 100 years,” said Schlaff, who has served as mayor since 1994 and was a village trustee for six years before that.

Noting the village’s history, Schlaff said she believes Woodsburgh has retained its charm and beauty, even after large estates were subdivided, because it has maintained its roads, installed new lighting and recently refurbished a historical memorial, the Culluloo monument, as a small park.

The granite monument is dedicated to a Native American, Culluloo Telawana, who is considered the last of the Rockaway Iroquois Indians. In addition to the monument, there are now two benches and flower beds.

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