Ask for directions to “Long Island City” or “LIC” from the average joe, and they’ll describe how to get to the neighborhood adjoining the 12 acre Gantry Plaza State Park. They’d actually be telling you how to get to Hunters Point.
The municipality called Long Island City was absorbed into the five boroughs of the “City of Greater New York” on November 6th, 1894. LIC was a boom town, the concentrating point of all the rail on Long Island (its legal borders included Sunnyside, Middleton, Bowery Bay, Ravenswood, and Astoria). The agricultural product of eastern Long Island were all aimed at one of LIC’s former colonial centers, called Hunters Point, last stop on the Long Island Railroad before reaching Manhattan by boat or barge.
The first Europeans here, Dutchmen, called it Dominie’s Hoek. Named for its owner, who was a Reverend in the Dutch Reform church, the property was passed around until 1740 until it ended up with the Bennet family of Greenpoint. Anna Hunter was a member of that family, her name was assigned to the property when she inherited it, and it has been Hunters Point ever since. The original name “Dominie’s Hoek” is honored by a local bar, found at 48-17 Vernon Blvd.