A Short History of Bellerose

The history of Bellerose began in 1906 when Mrs. Helen Marsh of Lynn, Massachusetts purchased 77 acres of gladiola fields in what was then part of Floral Park. She set out to create a model community adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road and personally supervised construction of the first home in 1910. She lived in this home until a buyer was found, as well as in 22 other newly constructed homes prior to their sale. Eventually, Mrs. Marsh convinced the Long Island Rail Road to build a station at her Village. She temporarily called the station Bellerose, expecting that a vote would be taken later for a more permanent name. In 1917, however, the property owners ratified the name of Bellerose. While some say the name derives from the Rose farm that was found to the south of the railroad and from the name of her daughter, Belle, Mrs. Marsh replied years later that she chose the name merely because it sounded "euphonious."

By 1924 the community was incorporated as one of the smallest villages in New York State; the Village contains less than 400 homes. Today, there are three communities that make up Bellerose: the incorporated Village of Bellerose; Bellerose Terrace, which adjoins the village and is an unincorporated hamlet in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County; and the Queens, NYC section of Bellerose, which is generally referred to as Bellerose Manor.

Bellerose Queens began development around the same time that Mrs. Marsh built her first home in 1910, however, most construction took place from 1920 through the 1950s. Bellerose, Queens is known for two outstanding institutions: the state-run Queens Children's Psychiatric Center at Commonwealth Boulevard and 74th Avenue, reputed to be the largest hospital of its kind in the United States, and the New York City-owned, but privately operated, 47-acre Queens County Farm Museum on Little Neck Parkway and 73rd Road. The farm museum is believed to be the most visited farm museum in the country, if not the world.

The development of Bellerose Terrace closely parallels the development of the Queens section of Bellerose Manor. It was divided in two in 1939 by the construction of the Cross Island Parkway, which was built for the opening of the first World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. A bridge was eventually built at Superior Road to help "tie" the two sections together.

Today, the three communities of Bellerose are distinguished by tree lined streets and well-kept residences, creating a pleasant, suburban ambiance for its diverse residential and business communities.