28 AUGUST 2, 2018 RIDGEWOOD TIMES 110TH ANNIVERSARY WWW.QNS.COM
Helping to preserve and promote Ridgewood’s rich history
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
During the 1970s, Linda Monte
was looking for a place to live
while starting out her career at
the Army Corps of Engineers, when
her colleague Steve Monte (whom
she’d later marry) provided her a copy
of the Ridgewood Times and urged her
to check the classifi ed section.
Linda found her fi rst home in Ridgewood
through the paper — a six-room
apartment at under $200 a month, a
rate far lower than similar apartments
off ered in other Queens neighborhoods.
She would eventually marry Steve in
1978, and moved into his apartment
on Onderdonk Avenue in Ridgewood.
Looking back, the street name
seems almost like destiny to Linda,
who grew up in Manhasset near a
street also named Onderdonk Avenue.
And in the years that followed, she and
Steve would spend much of their time
at the historic Onderdonk House in
Ridgewood as members of the Greater
Ridgewood Historical Society (GRHS).
The society was formed in the late
1970s among individuals in Ridgewood
who fought to save the Onderdonk
House, a 17th century Colonial house
built by the Dutch which had been
used for commercial purposes before
being left vacant. The GRHS held
fundraisers, including Oktoberfests
in Forest Park, and worked hard to
restore the Onderdonk House and
transform it into a cultural institution
for the neighborhood.
Linda and Steve Monte became
involved with the GRHS early on,
joining the board of directors in 1980
and eventually becoming offi cers of
the organization aft er 2000.
“I just always felt that historical societies
and historical places in communities
are some of the most important
places,” Linda said. “It’s important to
remember what a community was like,
and to look to the future.”
In many respects, the Onderdonk
House is not only the heart of Ridgewood’s
history, but also its culture.
The society holds numerous events
Linda Monte (left) and George Miller stand in front of
historic Arbitration Rock after it was discovered under
a Ridgewood street in 2000. The rock, which once
demarcated the Brooklyn/Queens border, now sits at
the Onderdonk House.
there celebrating the neighborhood’s
past and diverse present, including
candlelight tours of the farmhouse,
readings of the Declaration of Independence
near the Fourth of July,
educational programs for teenagers
from local schools, a Harvest Festival
in October and St. Nicholas Day, a
traditional Dutch celebration of a
pre-Christmas holiday, in December.
Recently, Linda Monte said, the
GRHS tapped into the past and present
in launching the New Amsterdam
Festival, a two-day springtime celebration
honoring the farmhouse’s Dutch
history while also showcasing some of
the contributions of local artists and
musicians who’ve fl ocked to Ridgewood
in recent years.
“We want to bring in new neighborhood
people, but also honor the people
that have been there and supported us,”
she said. “We’re trying to make sure
our events are open to all people, that’s
why we’re trying to pick different
Through it all, the Ridgewood Times
has played a role in promoting and
showcasing Onderdonk House events.
Linda Monte says that residents still
come to events holding clipped-out
ads from the paper. The Times also
documented improvements to the
Onderdonk House, including a refurbished
roof; Linda noted that the GRHS
is seeking additional funds to renovate
the house and help to keep it vibrant
for years to come.
Businesses that have thrived through the years
VALENTINO FOOD MARKET, 66-64
FRESH POND RD., RIDGEWOOD, 718-
Valentino Food Market is
one of the borough’s oldest
family-owned open-air fruit
and vegetable markets. Opened by
Filippo Armato Barone in 1975, the
market offers a variety of fresh
produce, a hot prepared hot-food
section, and a butcher that has a
number of Italian specialties. The
Barone family moved to Brooklyn
from Sicily, where at the age of 10
Barone used to go from town to
town selling fruits and vegetables.
He later brought that experience
and his love for working with his
father to the Valentino Food Market.
Open seven days a week, Valentino’s
weekly specials off er great deals on
their fresh and delicious products.
In addition to the market, Valentino’s
off ers a catering service that provides
a number of Italian specialties
to choose from.
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
374 STOCKHOLM ST.,
Founded in 1889, Wyckoff Heights
Medical Center sits on the Brooklyn/
Queens border and has been giving
patients extraordinary care since its
inception. Their team of clinical and
non-clinical workers are ready to help
in whatever way you need them to. As
a teaching hospital, Wyckoff Heights
Medical Center trains future physicians
that are qualifi ed medically and
personably, and oft en responds to the
growing healthcare needs of the communities
we serve. Last year, doctors at
the hospital performed an emergency
surgery that helped a Brooklyn steel
worker regain mobility in his legs
and be able to walk again. At Wyckoff
Heights Medical Center, quality care
is their goal and they’ve created a
warm, welcoming environment that
will make your hospital experience
better, which will help you heal.