Profile page for Philip Reid, 2017 Hall of Fame Honoree

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Philip Howard Reid

portrait of Philip Howard Reid

To start at the beginning, Philip Howard Reid II was a scion of a prominent real estate, transportation and banking family who looked towards the marshy shoreline of the west end of the Rockaway Peninsula-- the "Point" - and saw opportunity. His father, Philip Sr., during the early years of the last century built the Brooklyn and Rockaway Beach Railroad which terminated at Canarsie Landing, where it discharged seashore-seeking day trippers and seasonal residents to the Rockaway ferry there, which he also owned.

With time, Rockaway Point beckoned as an inexpensive summer escape for many Brooklyn residents. Philip Howard Reid II, as the principal owner of the Rockaway Point Company, leased the property comprising the west end of the peninsula from the Southern Pacific Railroad Company from 1911 to 1928. Then he got working to develop the rudiments of a summer community, starting with the location on the bay at the terminus of the walk that today bears his family's name. Reid's Rockaway Point Inn was built at the foot of Reid Avenue near the later location of the famed Colony, and Reid's Ice Cream Pavilion was nearby. The family ferry business was expanded with ferry runs from Sheepshead Bay to a network of disembarkation points ringing Jamaica Bay at Plum Beach. Barren Island, locations along the Rockaway Peninsula and, Philip built the first docks in Rockaway Point and what became Breezy Point. Among the ferries were two that are sentimentally recalled by many of our long-time residents-- the Commander and the C. Washington Colyer, named after a banker uncle who financed many of the Reid family real estate ventures.

After Philip II’s death in 1925, prior to the Wall Street crash that would indirectly reshape the community's demographic future, his son Philip Howard Reid Ill stepped in and expanded the Rockaway Point business by expanding the community's commercial base and building and selling summer bungalows, many of which survived until swept away by Sandy. That recent cataclysm has reshaped the community yet again. In recognizing the seminal role of Philip Howard Reid II in the creation of our community, and in welcoming his family members here tonight, we can put a pin, figuratively speaking, at our time and place of origin.