“Where there is hope, there is industry, and where there is industry, there will be roads”
After the collapse of the south in 1865, a man from West Virginia made the eight day trip from Washington D.C. to what is now Staten Island on horseback. His name was Robert Julian Moses. A devout Catholic and family man, Moses set out to find his fortune in the Tea trade. His reputation as a fair and just Captain in the Civil War enabled him to establish himself quickly amongst southern transplants, as well as northerners, and soon after taking up residence, opened the first trade routes on the then desolate island of what would become Long Island. First opening trade with the outcast Irish Immigrants on the north shore and then Italian migrants on the south shore, Moses was able to bridge lines of commerce stretching as far east as Montauk, and accumulate vast wealth which he used to further branch both his business and the infrastructure of Long Island. For the next twenty some years, Moses’ exclusive trade route from the tip of Brooklyn to the end of Montauk became know as the Long Island Express Trading Route. This Trading Route was annexed by New York State in 1887, and laid with concrete by William Vanderbilt from 1888-1890. The route was changed to the Long Island Expressway in 1915 to accommodate inhabitants of New York City, as more settlers moved out of the city to the island. Before his death, Moses oversaw the creation of both the Southern State and Northern State parkways. After his death in 1931, Queens Beach was renamed Robert Moses in his honor.