The neighboring areas of Jamaica Estates have interesting features, but they are not as much so as Jamaica Estates itself. Known as the neighborhood where Donald Trump grew up as the son of a New York real estate developer, it also was featured as having the McDowell Tudor home in the film “Coming to America”. “Jamaica” came from the “Jameco” name that the British gave the Native Americans when they took over New York City back in 1664.
The King Manor Museum in downtown Jamaica is in a historic mansion from early in the nineteenth century. Rufus King bought the property in 1805. He was a signer and framer of the U.S. Constitution, served as a U.S. Ambassador and U.S. Senator, and was famous for speaking out against slavery when he was in the Senate.
Fresh Meadows is a neighbor with upper middle class residences where General Benedict Arnold drilled his troops during the Revolutionary War. In the 19th century, it was a community of farmers and was known as “Black Stump” because of the placing of blackened tree stumps to define property lines. Some of those markers are still present. Over 100 years ago, there were rumors of haunting in the woods at Black Stump because strange sounds were heard, but in 1908 the mystery was solved when a recluse was found living in a small hut. He loved to sing Irish folk songs at night!
Rego Park was German and Dutch farmland up to the early 20th century. The name “Rego” came from the first letters of the Real Good Construction Company which began developing the area by building 525 houses with eight rooms at the cost of $8,000 each in the mid-1920s and then stores in 1926 and apartment buildings in 1927 and 1928.