Neighborhood Highlights

St. Peter's Afrcian Methodist Episcopal Church

From Through The Years in Little Neck and Douglaston
by George C. and Ernestine H. Fowler

St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church was located east of 243rd Street (Orient Avenue) between 42nd Avenue and Depew Avenue.

A community of black oystermen existed in Little Neck, some as property owners, since the 1850s. While their homes were located outside the Lambertson subdivision (most along Orient Avenue (243rd Street) near the dock at Old House Landing Road), they contributed to community life. Upon the death of oysterman Jacob Treadwell (1833-1904), the Flushing Daily Times reported "He was a well known character in and about Douglaston, where he has been a life long resident"

This community's church on Orient Avenue, St. Peter's African Methodist Episcopal Church, was active for over 100 years: founded in 1872, the church building on Orient Avenue held services until the late 1980s. The Hill's major period of development coincided with the oystermen's decline, following the 1909 condemnation of polluted Little Neck oyster beds. While their numbers substantially decreased in the early years of the twentieth century, several ancestors resided in Douglaston for many more years.