(PCER-851: dp. 903 (f.) ,1. 184'6", b. 33'1", dr. 9'5", s. 14 k. cpl. 83, a. 1 3", 2 40mm., 6 20mm., 3 dcp., 2 dct.; cl. PCER-848)
Rockville was laid dowrl as PCER-851, patrol craft escort rescue, on 18 October 1943 by the Pullman Standard Car Co., Chicago, Ill.- launched 22 February 1944, and commissioned on 15 May 1944, Lt. Comdr. Frank S. Bayley in command.
Following shakedown, PCER-851, built as a medical rescue ship complete with a surgery, X-ray equipment, 65 hospital beds and an 11-man medicul staff, reported for duty in TG 26.1, at Bermuda, on 10 July 1944. Into August, she patrolled in the Bermuda area, escorted submarines between Norfolk and the British West Indies, and carried prisoners from U-505, captured by a hunter killer task group built around G1ladalcanal (CVE-60) (q.v.), from Bermuda to Newport News.
On 20 August, PCER-851 got underway for the Pacific. She reported to ComServPac at Pearl Harbor on 15 September; took on more medical equipment, embarked additional medical personnel, and sailed west on the 21st.
In October she arrived at Milne Bay, Papua, and pushed on to Manus, whence, on the 11th, she sailed for Leyte Gulf in TU 79.11.3.
En route, she screened the transports. On the 20th, she stood off the Dulag beaches to receive casualties. After the landings she remained in the Dulag area until the 25th, when as Japanese air raids increased, she was ordered to Taeloban to join TG 78.2. In the afternoon, shrapnel hit and exploded a 20mm. magazine. Four men were injured.
Through November, the PCER continued her "casualty eare" mission in the Leyte Gulf area. In December, she accompanied forces to Ormoe Bav, then joined TG 78.3 to aet as rescue and evacuation ship for the Mindoro invasion. Holed at the waterline en route, she splashed one Japanese plane gave assistance in fighting fires; and rescued survivors of sunken ships. Arriving at the target on the 15th, she got underway the same day to return to Leyte, whence she continued on to New Guinea. Remaining in the New Guinea
Admiralty Islands area into February, she headed for Saipan on the 3d and arrived on the 11th to stage for the Iwo Jlma campaign.
PCER-851 departed for the Voleano Islands on the 15th Again she performed screening duties en route, and, after arrival, patrolled off the beaches. She remained off Iwo Jima until 1 March, then headed back to Leyte.
On the 27th she departed Leyte for the Ryukyus as a unit of the Southern Attack Force. On 1 April she arrived off Okinawa and at 0610 was "greeted" by a single engine Japanese plane which attempted to erash the "851", but overshot its target and crashed into the sea some 25 yards astern of the ship.
Through the 5th she patrolled, seeing little action. Then, on the 6th, she began rescuing survivors and taking c asnulties from ships and landing craft crashed by suicide boats and planes. The crews of LCS-82, Maryland Laffey, Morrtson, and Ingraham were among those aided by tee PCER.
On 28 June, PCER-851 departed the Ryukyus. Six days later she put into Saipan, whence she escorted Rockwall to Pearl Harbor. Arriving on the 19th, she was undergoing repairs when hostilites ceased in mid-August.
In mid-October the PCER got underway for the east coast. She arrived at Norfolk in late November. In January 1946 she moved north to New London; conducted operations for the Underwater Sound Laboratory into March; then continued on to Boston. Arriving on the 19th, she w-as decommissioned and placed in service as a Naval Reserve training ship on 12 April. From then into 1950 she trained reservists of the 1st Naval District.
Placed in commission, in reserve in June 1950, she returned to the active list on 22 November 1950, and through that year and most of the next continued to operate primarily in the New England area.
On 15 October 1951, PCER-851 was redesignated EPCER851, experimental patrol craft escort rescue, and 4 clays later she departed Boston for Norfolk. Thenee, she proceeded to her new homeport, Washington, D.C., and duty with the Naval Research Laboratory.
Fitted with an electronics laboratory and workshop, EPCER-851, named Roekville on 15 February 1956, conducted research operations out of Washington, from Newfoundland to and including the Caribbean, until January 19G5. Then homeported at Norfolk, she continued her research operations, in conjunction with representatives of the Western Electric Co., until 1968, when she was ordered inactivated. Rocknille was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list on 21 December 1968.
PCER-851 earned three battle stars during World War II.
Rockville Centre has been occupied by humans for thousands of years. Generally speaking, the people of the prehistoric Woodlands period East River culture are believed to have been the Algonkian-speaking ancestors of the historical Indian tribes of western Long Island.  The historical territory of their Lenape descendants, the Canarsie, Recouwacky (Rockaway),  Matinecock and Massapequa, included present-day western Long Island's Queens and Nassau Counties.
By the year 1643, there were roughly thirteen Algonquin bands (then referred to as tribes) living east of the Dutch-English settlements: the four or so Lenape chieftaincies in western Long Island, and Metoac descendants of the prehistoric Woodlands period Windsor culture living on eastern Long Island, considered by some to be branches of the Pequot: Merrick, Nissequoge, Secatoag, Seatauket, Patchoag, Poosepatuck (also called Uncachogee), Corchaug, Shinnecock, Manhasset and Montaukett.
Imported diseases had decimated the natives in 16th century. While disease was still a major factor during the decades of the 17th century, native mortality in western Long Island due to disease was similar to that of the settlers. Most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies the colonies received many emigrants while the Munsee-speaking Indian communities did not. Their dire situation was exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts.
The Reckouakie tribe (the Reckonhacky chieftaincy) had left their original land in present-day Rockaway and its surroundings in Queens County to Dutch Governor Kieft in 1640 because he wanted it for better defense of New Netherlands.  Most settled to the east in what was to become Rockville Centre on the traditional land of the Matinecock (or of the Massapequa), with whom they had ties of kinship. Dutch and English settlers declared the 1639 treaty meant no Indians would remain in western Long Island (so they could sell it to emigrants), in contrast to the exact terms of the treaty which meant the Native Americans were willing to share the usufruct of unoccupied land, with the Dutch leadership having eminent domain superior to their sachem's eminent domain. This led to many conflicts then four years of open warfare. The Reckonhacky / Rockaway were party to a peace treaty dated May 24, 1645 following the devastation of Indian communities by Dutch soldiers.    Violent expropriation dislocated them with the arrival of additional Dutch and English settlers. 
The hamlet was named "Rockville Centre" in 1849, after local Methodist preacher and community leader Mordecai "Rock" Smith. It was incorporated as a village in 1893.  Rockville Centre emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a commuter town connected to New York by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).  In 1915, the New York Tribune went so far as to declare that Rockville Centre was a place in which "the average mortal could live happily." 
Like many Long Island communities at the time, Rockville Centre's population included a considerable number of supporters of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s.  When the white supremacist organization placed a wreath at the town's memorial to its war dead in 1923, the American Legion removed it in protest, but the city police received so many calls of complaint in response that they were forced to replace the wreath.  In the late 1960s, the village of Rockville Centre received a stinging rebuke for its failure to maintain public housing units primarily inhabited by African-Americans.  A report from Nassau County's Human Rights Commission stated Rockville Centre was "at best indifferent to, if not actually in favor of, Negro removal."  Martin Luther King Jr. visited Rockville Centre in 1968, where he addressed a large audience at South Side Junior High School on March 26, 1968. 
On February 17, 1950, two LIRR trains collided near Rockville Centre station, killing 32 and injuring more than 80. 
|U.S. Decennial Census |
2000 census Edit
At the time of the census  of 2000, there were 24,568 people living in the village, 9,201 households and 6,468 families. The population density was 7,496.5 people per square mile (2,892.0/km 2 ). There were 9,419 housing units at an average density of 2,874.0 per square mile (1,108.7/km 2 ) as of 2004 [update] ,.  The racial makeup of the village was 84.3% White, 9.8% African American, 7.8% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.5% Asian, 0.08% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.0% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races.
There were 9,201 households, of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.25. The population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 women there were 87.9 men. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 81.9 men.
According to a 2007 estimate,  the median income for a household in the village was $99,299, and the median income for a family was $128,579. Males had a median income of $70,149 versus $43,800 for females. The per capita income for the village was $40,739. 5.0% of the population and 2.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.0% of those under the age of 18 and 5.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
2010 census Edit
At the time of the census  of 2010, there were 24,111 people living in the village, 9,201 households and 6,468 families. The population density was 7,496.5 people per square mile (2,892.0/km 2 ). There were 9,419 housing units at an average density of 2,874.0 per square mile (1,108.7/km 2 ) as of 2010 [update] ,.  The racial makeup of the village was 78.3% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 9.7% Hispanic or Latino, 0.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.0% Asian alone, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% Some Other Race, and 1.2% Two or More Races.
There were 10,002 households, of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 32.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.28. The population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 women there were 87.9 men. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 81.9 men.
Rockville Centre is located at 40°39'48" North, 73°38'13" West (40.663390, −73.636831).  The village has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km 2 ), of which 3.3 square miles (8.5 km 2 ) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km 2 ) is water, the latter total comprising 2.38% of the total area.
Rockville Centre students attend the Rockville Centre U.F.S.D., the Oceanside U.F.S.D., and Baldwin U.F.S.D.
The Rockville Centre U.F.S.D. has five public elementary schools: The Watson School, The Covert School, The Wilson School, The Hewitt School, and The Riverside School. In addition to the elementary schools, Rockville Centre also consists of South Side Middle School and South Side High School. The district extends beyond Rockville Centre's borders, including part of South Hempstead, and Hempstead. Covert Elementary School is located in South Hempstead. Part of Rockville Centre is located in the Oceanside school district and a part in the Baldwin School District.
According to www.schooldigger.com, South Side High School ranks 116th out of 752 schools in New York State. This is based on actual test scores. , In 2012, South Side High School was ranked #22 by U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools, and #2 in the state of NY. It has also consistently rated in Newsweek's The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,300 top U.S. Schools, #42 in 2008, #44 in 2007, #32 in 2006, #45 in 2005 and #65 in 2003.
Approximately 20 percent of the residents of the Village of Rockville Centre live in the Oceanside Union Free School District. Rockville Centre students attend Oceanside School #2 and Oceanside School #5 as well as the Oceanside Middle School and Oceanside High School and some live in the Baldwin School District attending Plaza Elementary School, Baldwin Middle School, and Baldwin High School in Baldwin, NY 
Rockville Centre has one private K-8 Catholic day school The Saint Agnes Cathedral School. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School occupies a single campus. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School provides a day school education for Kindergarten through Eighth Grade for families across Nassau County. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School's upper school (9–12), though now defunct, shared the complex at one time. The school is widely regarded for their consistently high-rated academic program among Long Island private schools, as well as their diverse secondary school placement.
Rockville PCER-851 - History
History of Rockville Township, Bates County, Missouri
From: History of Bates County, Missouri
By: W. O. Atkeson
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Cleveland 1918
Rockville township is in the southeast corner of Bates county. It is mostly rolling to level, and is watered and drained by Panther, Camp and Shaw branches, flowing into Osage on the south line. Plenty of timber and fine soil. It is, according to the government soil surveyors elsewhere quoted in this work, the lowest area of the county, being about four hundred feet lower than West Boone township in the extreme northwest part of the county.
Robert Belcher settled in Rockville township in section 11, in 1838 and he died in 1856. A man by the name of Bridges, a blacksmith by trade, settled on the Osage river south of the town of Rockville about this time. William Anderson settled two and a half miles west of Rockville in 1837, and died in 1858. Berry Hunt, the first shoemaker, came in the fall of 1838, and settled on the river in the southeast corner of the county and township. Matt Millering and John N. Belcher came respectively in 1856 and 1855. William and Wiseman Hollingsworth were early settlers before the war, in the eastern part. David O. Deever, and his father and family Frank Logan, John H. Walker, Thomas Belcher and William Shaw were all old settlers, and all came before the war.
Rockville was laid out in 1824, three years after the county was founded, and became the county seat. In 1825, its population was between 500 and 600. The residents voted to incorporate the town in July 1854. 
An earthquake measuring 3.8 on the moment magnitude scale was recorded in the city and confirmed by the USGS on June 17, 2021, with numerous aftershocks reported in cities around the state and Illinois
Rockville is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 36 and U.S. Route 41, about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Crawfordsville.
According to the 2010 census, Rockville has a total area of 1.49 square miles (3.86 km 2 ), all land. 
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rockville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
|U.S. Decennial Census |
2010 census Edit
As of the census  of 2010, there were 2,607 people, 1,212 households, and 679 families living in the town. The population density was 1,749.7 inhabitants per square mile (675.6/km 2 ). There were 1,394 housing units at an average density of 935.6 per square mile (361.2/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the town was 98.7% White, 0.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 1,212 households, of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.0% were non-families. 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the town was 44.8 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24 21.2% were from 25 to 44 27.4% were from 45 to 64 and 22.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.
2000 census Edit
As of the census  of 2000, there were 2,765 people, 1,286 households, and 735 families living in the town. The population density was 1,924.4 people per square mile (741.4/km 2 ). There were 1,390 housing units at an average density of 967.4 per square mile (372.7/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the town was 98.16% White, 0.14% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.
There were 1,286 households, out of which 24.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.8% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 23.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $27,813, and the median income for a family was $36,066. Males had a median income of $30,909 versus $21,745 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,431. About 14.8% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.0% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.
Sometimes forgotten among the many great feats of railroad engineering is the Pennsylvania Railroad's Rockville Bridge (sometimes called the Susquehanna River Bridge), located just north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania along the railroad's main line to Chicago.
The original bridge crossed the mighty Susquehanna as early as the late 1840s and the current bridge was not completed until the turn of the 20th century.
Constructed during a time when engineering projects were built to last forever the impressive Rockville Bridge was so well designed and laid out that it remains in regular use today by current owner Norfolk Southern.
There is an old expression, "They just don't build things like they used to." That very much holds true in the railroad industry where several early stone viaducts and bridges, some now over 150 years old, continue to see regular freight traffic today.
Names like Thomas Viaduct, Starrucca Viaduct, and the Morrisville–Trenton Railroad Bridge. There is also PRR's Rockville Bridge, a magnificent structure that has been in regular service since 1902. It was a time when the railroad, both politically and financially powerful, carried out several improvement projects which included stone-arch spans.In this dramatic scene taken during a spring thunderstorm, a westbound Norfolk Southern freight crosses Rockville Bridge on April 21, 2012. Jon Wright photo.
Entire libraries could be written on the Pennsylvania Railroad ranging from its history to the different businesses it owned, far, far too much to cover here which is a mere brief history of the railroad. The Pennsy was an institution to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.
For over 100 years the keystone represented the PRR as much as it did the state itself. It was born in Harrisburg when the legislature sought a more efficient transportation artery to protect its most important port, Philadelphia.
It also enjoyed strong financial backing as law makers and business leaders sought to ward off competitors, notably the up and coming Baltimore & Ohio.
The Pennsylvania Railroad is remembered for many things with two of the railroad's most lasting achievements its grand monument to New York City, Pennsylvania Station and its legendary passenger train, the Broadway Limited.
Rockville PCER-851 - History
Montgomery History is the only county-wide, private, non-profit organization concerned with the collection, preservation and interpretation of Montgomery County history and heritage. In Rockville, the Society operates a Library, two museums (the ca. 1815 Beall-Dawson Museum and Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine), and Museum Shop. Through our outreach and history education initiatives, such as the Speakers Bureau and traveling exhibits program, Montgomery History also reaches residents throughout the county by taking history out of the museum and into the community. All this is made possible by the support of donors like you!
Your donation to Montgomery History supports the active preservation of our local cultural heritage. In a county that is changing as rapidly as Montgomery County, your support is a strong indicator of the value you place in the work Montgomery History is doing and the long-term benefits future residents will enjoy.
For more information, please contact us at 301-340-2825 or by email.
Thank you so much for contributing to Montgomery History!
Mail checks to:
111 W. Montgomery Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850
PACER Case Locator
The PACER Case Locator (PCL) is a national index for district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. The PCL serves as a search tool for PACER, and you may conduct nationwide searches to determine whether or not a party is involved in federal litigation. Each night, subsets of data are collected from the courts and transferred to the PCL. The PACER Case Locator (PCL) is a national index for district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts.
The PCL serves as a search tool for PACER, and you may conduct nationwide searches to determine whether or not a party is involved in federal litigation.
PACER Case Locator Features
|Use as a one-stop location to search all courts (appellate, bankruptcy, district) for cases.|
|Save links to your preferred cases using the Saved Cases feature.|
|Save your frequent searches using the Saved Searches feature.|
|Customize a simple search to include advanced search features such as region and date range.|
|Set your preferred landing page to customize your experience.|
Access to case information costs .10 per page. The cost to access a single document is capped at $3.00, the equivalent of 30 pages. The cap does not apply to name searches, reports that are not case-specific, or transcripts of federal court proceedings.
By Judicial Conference policy, fees are waived when usage is $30 or less for the quarter.
Newly filed cases will typically appear on this system within 24 hours. Check the Court Information page for data that is currently available on the PCL. The most recent data is available directly from the court.
Rockville PCER-851 - History
2021 Village Election Results
The Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre held a general Village election Tuesday, June 15th. Residents elected two Trustees and a Village Justice, all to four year terms. More »
Family Night in The Park Series Friday Nights
Join us on Friday nights on Village Green for great food and music. 6-9pm 6/11, 7/9, 7/16, 7/23, 7/30, 8/20, 9/17 More »
Village Hall Reopens Monday, June 14, 2021
Eugene J. Murray Village Hall will reopen to the public on Monday, June 14th after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsorship Opportunity Available
The Village is creating banners to display our new logo on Village light poles and sponsorship opportunities are available - order by May 14th for Summer Display More »
Time to Order Curbside Trees
Tree Orders will be accepted through September 11, 2021 More »
Electric and Water On-Line Bill Payments Suspended
Due to software upgrades to our Electric and Water system, credit card and echeck payments have been temporarily suspended on the Village website and by phone. Residents can still pay by check or money order. (Click on image for more information).
This Month In Rockville Centre
June/July 2021 Issue - Please be sure to sign up for e-alerts (under quick links) to receive the latest "This Month" by email More »
RVC Now Offering Non-Resident Parking Permit
A non-resident commuter parking permit is now available for parking areas within the Village of Rockville Centre. The six-month permit is available for a fee of $175 click on image for more information.
Village Held Community Forum on 5G
The Village of Rockville Centre will held a forum on 5G on Monday, October 19th via Zoom Residents can submit questions via feedback at [email protected] Click image to access playback or access from "Quick Links" menu.
Thanks in part to a grant from CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), the Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth presents Gateway, a story of how surgery and opioids transformed the lives of three families.. Watch it here More »
Please take a few moments to explore the new Village of Rockville Centre website. With its many great features and easy-to-use menus and navigation, we hope that you can connect with us in new and exciting ways.
Our goal with this new website is to provide visitors to it with an easier way to learn about the Village of Rockville Centre, and the services it provides to its residents. The new website is much more user friendly. Amongst the new features, the site contains integrated social media buttons for Facebook and Twitter to foster improved communication with you.
The Board of Trustees and myself are always available to you. We are committed to communicating with you and to responding to you because we believe that a receptive and accountable Village government is an important reason why Rockville Centre continues to be such a desirable community in which to live, work, and play.
Formed in 1739, Christ Church is the enduring core church of colonial Prince George's Parish.
The parish dates from 1726, an offspring of one of the original southern Maryland parishes, which at the outset served a very extensive but sparsely populated frontier area of central and western Maryland. The Reverend George Murdock, a Marylander ordained in London's St. Paul's Cathedral in 1724, was our first rector.
Our first church sanctuary was a clapboard and log chapel located one mile from the present building on the banks of Rock Creek (the grounds of today's Rockville Cemetery). In 1808, the chapel was replaced by a brick building and was consecrated by Thomas Claggett, the first Episcopal bishop consecrated on American soil. Christ Church later became the Parish home church when Rock Creek Parish was established in the District of Columbia. As the town of Rockville grew, the parishioners decided to move the church "downtown" to its present location in 1822. During the Civil War, parishioners were divided between slave holders and Unionists. During a local skirmish, all of the Vestry members were taken hostage and force marched, by the Confederate General J. E. B. Stuart, 20 miles to another town where they were released unharmed. In 1884 when gothic revival architecture was near its peak, construction began on the present building, using the site and materials of the 1822 Church. Work was completed in 1887.
A parish hall was constructed in 1926, which provided a gathering place for plays, concerts, operettas and community meetings. In 1956, the hall was enlarged and new Sunday School facilities were built. The last major expansion during the mid-1960's trebled the worship space and added new classroom space. The 1960's expansion marked several keystone decisions. First, we decided to remain in downtown Rockville rather than move out to the far suburbs -- keeping us the home church to the evolving and complex center of town. Second, it cemented our partnership with Christ Episcopal School, which shares our space and our mission. The School's presence reflects the high priority we have placed on Christian education over the years. This priority is also reflected in a continuing strong Sunday School and in a wide range of adult education programs. Originally a part of the Diocese of Maryland, our parish became part of the Diocese of Washington when it was created in 1896, in company with other Maryland parishes adjoining the District of Columbia and extending into southern Maryland. Membership in this diocese brings us into Christian fellowship with a wide range of peoples and settings, from rural southern Maryland, to the inner city and suburbs within Washington, D.C., to the busy metropolitan area small cities like our own. Prince George's Parish has been a mother church for new parishes and mission churches. Ascension Parish in Gaithersburg was our latest parish spin-off in the 1950's. Families from Christ Church were instrumental in initiating St. Nicholas mission. Christ Church has also taken a leadership role in ecumenical activities for at least thirty years, particularly under the encouragement and guidance of our Rector Emeritus, Father Elwyn Brown. Several years ago, one of our Assistant Rectors, Betsy Hague, was consecrated jointly by Episcopal and Lutheran bishops -- a significant event in Christian unity.
Worship through music has been another emphasis at Christ Church. For over a century, our choirs have provided leadership in Sunday worship through the singing of psalms, hymns, canticles, service music, and anthems. In 1919, we invested in our first pipe organ. In the 1950's our rector, Father Raymond Black, introduced the practice of chanting major portions of the liturgy (and also directed parish productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas). During the 1970's, annual choir concerts included Bach cantatas, Requiems by Faure and Rutter, Britten's St. Nicholas and Noye's Fludde, and the Stravinsky Mass. Recent custom has seen the incorporation of major works of the liturgical repertoire within the celebration of Sunday Eucharists several times a year.
While we are often seen (and see ourselves) as a church of traditional practices, we have done much to move to meet changing times and parish needs. We have transitioned smoothly to the new editions of Prayer Book and Hymnal. We have introduced a strong and growing lay ministry. Women joined our vestry in 1970. We welcomed our first woman priest, Mother Eleanor Biscoe, in 1990. We have hosted a number of seminarians, including several from Africa. Our worship services have adapted to a changing congregation, while still holding to their Prayer Book foundation. We have welcomed persons of many ethnic, economic, faith, and racial backgrounds. Also, we have opened our doors and our hearts to the spiritually and physically needy of our community in a number of ways. We have a foundation of accomplishment in working to fulfill our mission statement.
Village History Reflects Its Growth and Stability
The date: July 15,1893. The place: Atheneum Hall. The vote: 139 in favor, 79 opposed. With that, the citizens of Rockville Centre, Queens County, State of New York, took the first step toward the home rule and self determination, which today, at 100, make this Village a great place to live, work, and raise a family
Even before the citizenry took the momentous step of approving incorporation, Rockville Centre was a thriving south shore community. From its roots as a village for the Reckouackie Indians, to its settlement as Near Rockaway, in the 17th century by Dutch and English pioneers, to its Revolutionary War persona as a hotbed of Toryism, Rockville Centre grew and prospered, so that by 1870, the local press was urging a home rule referendum.
New Rockaway included what today is Rockville Centre, as well as Oceanside, Lynbrook, and East Rockaway.Population increased slowly through the 17th century, but with the erection of DeMott's Mill on Smith's Pond, Rockville Centre's position as a commercial center for the south shore began to emerge. The revolutionary fervor sweeping other parts of the thirteen colonies seemed far removed from the inhabitants of Near Rockaway, until June 1776, when a skirmish at DeMott's Mill turned neighbor against neighbor as the forces of independence swept through a fiercely loyalist community.
The community stability and growth of services which are the hallmarks of today's Village were also an integral part of its early development as a thriving residential and business center. By the dawn of the 19th century, there were six mills serving the needs of the region's farmers and miners, and the area near what is, today, Lincoln Avenue and Merrick Road, was a developing shopping area, with a variety of tradesmen, including a blacksmith, a carriage maker, a furniture store, a carpenter and an inn.
As the century unfolded, perhaps the single most important event, other than incorporation, in transforming the hamlet into the thriving Village it is today, occurred when Robert Pettit, in 1849, applied to the United States Post Office for permission to open a post office in his general store. Several names for this postal address were rejected in Washington, including Smithville, Smithtown, and Rockville, but the addition of "Centre" created what the Post Office agreed was a distinctive-sounding designation.
Pettit had chosen the name to honor Mordecai "Rock" Smith, a Methodist preacher and community leader, whose father had operated DeMott's Mill. Smith was a blacksmith, a farmer, and the justice of the peace.
Once "Rockville Centre" was on the map, it became the site of real estate development, and newspapers touting its accessibility by stagecoach from New York City, and the existence of postal service, as well as the abundance of shellfish and game, suggested that there were 300 homes, a few stores, two schools with eight teachers, and churches used by Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic worshippers, in an area of under two square miles.
Back in 1925, the Long Island Railroad ran at ground level, through downtown Rockville Centre. Front Street was wide enough at that time to permit two-way traffic with sufficient space in the center to provide some convenient parking for some residents commuting to NYC.
The safety and convenience of having the railroad tracks run overhead has narrowed Front Street. The increase in the number of LIRR commuters has been accommodated at the parking fields built by the Village during the forties and fifties in areas near the station.
Today, 100 years later, 24,727 residents enjoy life in a thriving community of 3.3 square miles, with 9,200 housing units, more than 400 retail and service shops as well as professional and corporate offices, seven parochial and public schools, a college, and 15 diverse religious denominations. There are over 150 acres of parks, ball-fields and playgrounds, and a municipal government which provides the most comprehensive range of services anywhere on Long Island.
Following ratification of the home rule referendum, the first Village elections were held on August 19, 1893, and John Lyon was elected Village President. This title, for the Village's chief elected official was changed to Mayor in 1925, during the tenure of Charles Richmond. Mr. Lyon was joined on the Village Board by Edwin Wallace, Edwin Seabury, Glentworth Combes, Nelson Seaman, and John Runcie. The first Village Board meeting was held on August 26, at the Wallace home on Maple Avenue.
The First water and electric utilities building on the south side of Maple Avenue was constructed on land obtained by the Village from Captain Edwin Wallace. Water service started in 1895, and the electric generating plant began operations at that site in 1898.
The original steam generator used to pump Village water is on display at the utilities complex on Maple Avenue.
Just as the Wallace homestead was at the heart of the Village's activities in 1893, the property on which it stood, now the Village Green, offers the Village a beautiful passive park, and provides a location for those events which help to make Rockville Centre special. These events include the Ragamuffin parade, the arts festival, the summer concert series and the lighting of the Village Christmas tree.
As an independent municipality, Rockville Centre government leaders made early decisions that positioned the Village as a leader among Long Island communities, and assured its vibrant growth into the 20th century.
The motivating force behind the creation of a municipal water utility was concern for controlling the spread of fires. In 1895, residents approved the levy of a water tax to construct a water system. The Water Department was established on land donated by Trustee Wallace, where it still stands today. Originally, water mains were installed in the downtown business district, and gradually, residential pumping was added to the system.
The original wells were about 50 feet deep while water is pumped today from 10 wells nearly 1,000 feet deep, and enters the distribution system under pressure from storage in four towers that collectively hold nearly 4 million gallons.
The foresight of the Village's founding fathers is revealed most clearly by their establishment of a municipal electric power plant, in 1898. Originally designed to power street lights, and operated only in the evening hours, the plant, still located on Maple Avenue, is one of three municipal electric utilities on Long Island.
At the outset, the power plant averaged 206,182 kilowatt hours of power per year to 285 customers. Today, with the continuing upgrade of the generators, and the Village's access to hydropower supplied by the Power Authority of the State of New York, Rockville Centre's Electric Light and Power provides more than 10,000 residential and commercial customers with approximately 170 million kilowatt hours of power each year, at rates substantially below any other electric utility in the region.
The out front philosophy is still evident as the Village works to complete an electric enhancement project which will ensure Rockville Centre's continued access to safe, efficient and economical electric power.
Throughout its first 35 years, Rockville Centre grew and prospered. The expansion northward and the advent of residential development in the late teens and early 1920's resulted in the creation of a Building Department, and sewers were installed in the late 20's. In 1926, the Village was one of the first Long Island communities to install traffic lights, and by 1928, the Police Department was completely motorized.
In 1929, the first large apartment block was constructed, at the corner of North Village and Hempstead Avenues, where the Tudor Apartments still remain. There were two movie theaters one of them, the Fantasy, still is open at the same location today. Various bank buildings from that era still dot the Village landscape, albeit the banks which built them no longer exist.
The South Shore Trust building remains on North Village Avenue, and presently houses offices the Nassau County National Bank now serves as a branch of European American Bank, opposite the railroad station on Front Street, and the original office of the First National Bank on Sunrise Highway at Park Avenue now houses the offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, which was identified by the 1990 census as the largest non governmental employer on Long Island.
By its 40th anniversary in 1933, the Village had six fire companies and 33 police officers. The diversity in the style and the beauty of architecture at that time earned Rockville Centre the name "The Village of Homes." Interestingly, the commute to New York City, at that time, was 37 minutes, about the same as it is today!
The growth of suburbia following the Second World War brought growth to Rockville Centre, too, and by the mid l950's, Village residents could boast of a year-round recreation facility. The success of this municipal service led to the building of the John Anderson Recreation Center in 1962 and the extension of services to the Martin Luther King Community Centre in 1981. In 1986, the Village obtained the 110 acres of Donald Browne Rockville Centre Park from New York State, and that site is presently utilized for picnicking, fishing, and ice skating, as well as Boy Scout Camporees, nature trails and model boat racing.
The year-round programs attracted 1900 boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, in 1956 today's extensive recreation schedule of classes, events, and facilities' use is enjoyed by every age group, from toddler to senior citizen. In 1992, more than 10,000 residents utilized the Recreation Center and the Village's parks.
During the mid-50's, the Village built commuter parking fields, and augmented existing lots to provide space for the explosion of automobiles experienced in the post-war period. It successfully urged the State to complete the rerouting of the Sunrise Highway/ Merrick Road intersection, to eliminate a hazardous entry into the Village, and it approved preliminary plans to eliminate substandard housing in the west end of the community.
Changing needs motivated the Urban Renewal projects of the 1960's, and spawned the creation of a Senior Services staff to serve the needs of Rockville Centre's growing aged population in 1979. Although 100 years "old" in 1993, the Village government continues to emphasize resident services and to provide for the upkeep of its infrastructure. Professional management, electric enhancement combined with affordable rates, drainage improvement, water system upgrade, advanced fire alarm and police response mechanisms, clean, safe, and attractive streets, recycling to protect the environment and save taxpayer monies, modern physical plants and facilities for the efficient delivery of services, abundant recreational opportunities, and attention to the special needs of its citizens combine to keep Rockville Centre a youthful and yet mature community.
As the Village looks to its second century, Rockville Centre is truly a great place to live, work and raise a family!
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