The map of Woodhaven WOODHAVEN, Queens..1873
This map gets right to an interesting SNEDEKER family story. Back in the early 1800s, there was a Snedeker Hotel more or less across the street from the Horse R.R. depot that shows on the map at the north end of the race course grounds. Note that the street that runs from that point south along the racetrack is called Snedeker Ave. By my calculation, that street was at some point renamed Eldert's Lane, and still carries that name (note that the property at the other end of the street is owned by an Eldert). Currier and Ives featured the Snedeker Hotel in two of their prints. One of these is "Going to the Trot: A Good Day and a Good Track," 1869, and the other is "Peytona & Fashion in Their Great Match." The first of these, at least, is a bit anachronistic. The Snedeker Hotel existed as such from 1812 to 1853 when it was sold and renamed the Briggs Hotel. The building was torn down in 1869. There is, believe it or not, a Currier and Ives print bearing our family name. The title of it is "Going to the Trot. / A Good Day and Good Track, 1869." In the background is what appears to be a hotel or saloon bearing a large sign: "Snedeker's." In a 27 April 1994 letter to Walt Snedeker, George P. Miller of The Greater Ridgewood Historical Society, Inc., provides the background. "The Snedeker Hotel in the print is that of John I. Snedeker and his father John R. Snedeker. The racetrack was the famous Union Course, opened in 1821. It was located in current Woodhaven, Queens County, close to the Kings County (now Brooklyn) line. The Belmont track opened up much later. Another Currier & Ives print, Peytona and Fashion in Their Great Match, looking west-northwest across the Union Course, appears to show the Snedeker Hotel in the distance standing along what is now Jamaica Ave. The hotel, acquired by John R. Snedeker in 1812, stood on the north side of Jamaica Ave. opposite Eldert's Lane. ...In 1853 John I. retired from the hotel business and the establishment was then known as Briggs' Hotel. The building and 20 acres were then sold to a John A. Cross in March 1861. In July 1869 the City of Brooklyn acquired the hotel and 10 acres, and the hotel was shortly torn down and a truant school was erected. Jerome Snedeker, brother of John R., had built a 2 1/2-story building on the southeast corner of Jamaica Ave. and Eldert's Lane, almost opposite his brother's hotel, and he operated a hotel there until it burned down on May 6, 1843. William Shaw, who married Phebe Snedeker, built a new hotel on the same site. Shaw died in New Jersey in May 1883. Some years later the hotel was sawn into two parts and each was moved to Danforth Place, being re-erected on each end of a block. Currier & Ives also have several views of sleigh riding along Jamaica Ave. near the Union Course and another, Coming From the Trot, depicts Hiram Woodruff's Hotel, one block east of John I. Snedeker's roadhouse. Sally Shaw, a daughter of William Shaw and Phebe Snedeker, married Hiram Howe, an adopted son of Hiram Woodruff." As to general family background, these Snedekers are all sixth and seventh generation descendants of Jan Gerritsz. Snedeker and Annetje Ruys, who immigrated to New Amsterdam probably before 1640. Jan was a German, born in Oldenburg, who lived for several years in Amsterdam before emigrating to New Netherland. Annetje was born in Roermond, Limburg Province, the Netherlands. They had only one son, Gerrit Janse Snedeker, to carry on the family name. Annetje Snedeker, a daughter of Jan's from his first marriage to Grietie Michiels, married Lucas Eldertszen, whose descendants became the Eldert family (note the present name of Eldert's Lane for what appears on this map as Snedeker Ave. and also the name of S. Eldert shown on the map as the property owner at the Atlantic Ave. end of this street). After living in New Amsterdam for a number of years, Jan Snedeker received a patent from Peter Stuyvesant in what was then Midwout (later Flatbush), and he and his family took up residence there probably between 1651 and 1655. He later served as schepen (magistrate), and was, along with Jan Stryker and Johannes Megapolensis, pastor of the Reformed church in New Amsterdam, commissioned by Stuyvesant to oversee the construction of the first Reformed Dutch church there. Jan died in 1679.
The map below shows the area where the Snedeker Hotel would have stood.
There's an interesting article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle 12 April 1885 SKELETONS.--THE DISCOVERY MADE ON THE HALL OF RECORDS SITE. LABORERS DISINTER THE REMAINS OF A WOMAN AND CHILD CORONER MENNINGER’S THEORY. THE GAMBLING DEN WHICH STOOD ON THE CORNER OF BOERUM PLACE AND FULTON STREET. Coroner MENINGER was notified this morning that some human bones had been found by the workmen who are digging out the ground next to the Court House for a foundation for the Hall of Records which is to be erected. The Coroner went there this morning and examined the portions of the skeletons found. He states that they are parts of the bones of an adult woman and a child. The woman’s skull is in good state of preservation, and the upper jaw contains a set of well preserved teeth. The skull of the child is in fragments. An Eagle reporter asked the Coroner if the remains might have been the property of some physician or medical student. "No," he said, "I fancy that there may have been a graveyard here at some time and that these bones are portions of bodies which were interred there." "An old Brooklynite said to the reporter: "During the revolutionary period there was a fort and fortifications about where the corner of Boerum street and Atlantic avenue now is. The fort was called Fort Swift, and there were several houses in the vicinity. There was at that time a burying ground, which was located about where the Court House stands, and I should not be surprised if these workmen do not come across many more skeletons." Coroner MENNINGER ordered the bones found to be sent to the Morgue and an inquest will probably be held. The spot where the skeletons were found is just about where the old livery stable of Ephraim SNEDEKER formerly stood. The structure was demolished ten or twelve years ago. Contiguous to the stable was a bar room, which was the rendezvous of may old Brooklynites with sporting proclivities. Gambling to a considerable extent was reported to be carried on in a rear part of the building, and the place did not enjoy the best of reputations among the respectable people of the vicinity. Ted Snediker RETURN to PEOPLE MAIN RETURN to BROOKLYN MAIN