BEACH 90th Street is a station on the A train in the Rockaways, the first on the line after it crosses Jamaica Bay en route to Rockaway Park at Beach 116th Street. Strictly speaking the neighborhood in which it is located is called Hammels, which comes from the name of a developer called Louis Hammel, who had the good fortune to lease a hotel called the Eldert House in 1869. The hotel received more business when the New York, Woodhaven & Rockaway Railroad, later a part of the Long Island Rail Road and ultimately home to the A train, built its line across Jamaica Bay in 1880.
However, it’s not Hammels who has his name on the A train subway sign along with Beach 90th Street: it’s Holland. There is a Holland Avenue in the region, but the street under the el station is Rockaway Freeway. Holland Avenue runs a couple of blocks to the south, not bordering the station at all.
You guessed it: Holland station is named after another prominent area name, Michael P. Holland (1849-1917), who moved to the remote Rockaway peninsula with his family at age 8, in 1857. His father, also Michael P. Holland, was a hotelier and also operated a tobacco factory on the peninsula. The junior Michael became the area’s first postmaster during the era’s Republican administrations (Democrat Grover Cleveland replaced him during his two separate administrations), and as a prominent area personage belonged to Pioneers of Rockaway Beach, the Rockaway Board of Trade, the Jamaica Bay Yacht Club and was a volunteer fireman.
There was another Holland Avenue before the present one; it’s now called Beach 94th Street, and at its south end, Holland Jr’s daughter, Fannie, constructed the Holland Pier, a prominent amusement area. This area is now the south end of Cross Bay Boulevard, a prime vehicle connector to the mainland.
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