There was a clamor to board the trolley on this fine day in 1934. This may have been a Sunday or a holiday as the crowd was formally dressed. Trolley stops were located on each side of Brown Place at the time, which served as part of the route of the “Cemetery Line.” At left we see a monument works, a business that makes sense considering its proximity to the main entrance of Mount Olivet Cemetery, which at the time was along Brown Place. In the distance, we see businesses along 69th Street. Fred Koch’s Juniper Meat Market and a Bohack Supermarket stood side-by-side. Mount Olivet Cemetery can be seen on the right. On the front of the LIC-bound #337 trolley is an ad for the Capitol Coal Company.
A gas station replaced the monument works and operated for several decades before becoming a furniture outlet and then eventually closing. Plans to redevelop the site were withdrawn several times, due to problems with zoning and the environmental remediation required. However, the site now hosts a new building which contains the office of Council Member Robert Holden, with more tenants to come. The storefronts along 69th Street hosted several businesses over subsequent decades and now are occupied by a podiatrist’s office. The homes seen between the trolleys along Caldwell Ave are still standing. Although Mount Olivet Cemetery moved its main entrance to Grand Ave in 1936, it continues to serve as a green oasis in the heart of Maspeth. The Cemetery Line trolleys were replaced by Q67 buses, but they no longer traverse Brown Place, sticking to 69th Street until it meets Grand Ave. As using coal for home heating has ceased, we no longer see ads for it on buses. (But Santa still has an unlimited supply of it, so you’d better be good for goodness’ sake!)