Remembering September 16, 1920

Authored by Sean S. Murray

Portong Family Gravestone, Maple Grove Cemetery (Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery, 2020)

In the northwest corner of Maple Grove Cemetery, there is a family plot with a gravestone bearing the name Portong. Last among the names inscribed on its front facing side is Ludolf F. Portong, a bank teller from Jamaica, New York who died at age 28 on September 16, 1920 (Bellows 2018, 42:14; Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery, 2020). This date likely bears little significance in the minds of most people today. However, the date corresponds with what was, at the time, the single deadliest terrorist attack in American history, and Ludolf F. Portong was among the many now mostly forgotten victims (Gage 2009, 1).

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A Full Circle:1929 Round Robin Map Relevant in 2022 

Authored by Raquel Parrilla

Reproduction of: Hinrichs, E.J. ©1929. Kew Gardens Round Robin Map. This is a Watermarked image of Kew Gardens Round Robin Map, perimeter has images representing local businesses, notable residents, and attempts at humor. [Courtesy of Roger Sabo as pictured in Images of America Kew Gardens by Carl Ballenas (2014) and copyright”
[For educational purposes only, if owner transferred original ownership please contact and it will be taken down.”]

The year 1929 when this Kew Gardens Round Robin map is copyrighted, ushered in not only the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., but also the Great Depression, and the Stock Market Crash. While the specifics of the origin of this map are obscure, its preservation and examination have importance to both Kew Gardens and U.S. history in general. Everard Jean Hinrichs was born 1905 in New York City and began his career as a sign painter and letterer before advancing to his well-known rural landscapes and paintings of clouds and sky (Smith 2010). He sought to preserve Americana, a way of life he felt had disappeared (McGill 1985). This ideal agrarian society was giving way to urbanization thanks to President Roosevelt’s New Deal (Yarce 2021). 

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A Place to Rest: Honoring Harry Rowland McGowan

Authored by Sophia Fuhrmann

The grave marker created in honor of Harry Roland McGowan was unveiled on November 13, 2021. The rendered plaque includes a brief yet unique history of actor Harry Roland McGowan, who’s grave had previously remained unmarked for a little under a hundred years.

The Friends of Maple Grove is a non-profit organization that was established in 2005. The organization “is on the forefront of utilizing the historical resources of [Maple Grove] cemetery and bringing its history to life” (Friends of Maple Grove, n.d.). FMG strives to ensure the dignity of those buried within the cemetery by providing burial locations to those with unknown or unmarked burial locations.

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