History

The Van Anda or Onderdonk House, remnants of the Dutch farm beginnings of Ridgewood.

The Van Anda or Onderdonk House, is one of the final remnants of Ridgewood’s early beginnings as a Dutch farming settlement.

Ridgewood is a Queens neighborhood surrounded by Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale in Queens and Bushwick and East Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

It was initially settled in colonial times as part of the Wyckoff and Debevoise farms by the Dutch, although it wasn’t called Ridgewood at the time. It wasn’t until railway companies built car-barns in the late 1800s that the area began to increase in population.

Ridgewood was truly settled when the Myrtle Avenue elevated subway was extended into Ridgewood in 1889. Housing began to rise all over the quiet, tree-lined and hilly streets. German immigrants populated the neighborhood, working at one of the many local breweries that faded with prohibition or the knitting factories along the Brooklyn and Queens border.

Within a radius of about five blocks there were five breweries, prior to prohibition: the Welz & Zerweck Brewery, the Frank Brewing Company, the Elm (Eurich) Brewing Company, the Diogenes Brewing Company and the George Grauer Brewery.

Now, the second largest federal historic district in the United States (with Sunset Park, Brooklyn number one), Ridgewood is an ever-growing working class neighborhood.