A resident of Ravenswood, Queens spent 25 years and most of his fortune advancing the construction on a bridge across New York City's East River
which would later be known as the Rainey Park in Astoria Queens, NY.
His name is Dr. Thomas Rainey. He lived a long life full with adventure that included building bridges across rivers to connect two cities he loved dearly.
For many years, Rainey Park was the Queens anchor for Blackwell Island Bridge. Backed by leading citizens of Long Island City after The American Civil War in 1865, they incorporated New York and Queens County Bridge Company to construct this project with funding from private investors.
The Union Bridge was a proposed link between Queens and Long Island that would have been transformative for both regions. Promoted as an opportunity to develop growth, the project incurred many setbacks due in part from financial panic of 1873 which ended its construction before it could be completed.
Dr. Rainey had been one of the earliest and staunchest supporters of this project, so he took on a huge burden in organizing it all. After being elected as treasurer for 1874 events transpired which called him up from his post as president to take charge- first as if he were some kind royalty with power over subjects at court only now given authority over land masses instead; second during an economic depression when people needed jobs more than ever before.
The War Department, having been alerted to the possibility that a bridge could interfere with defense plans for New York and access to Brooklyn Navy Yard (which was vital during times of war), withheld approval. Most people's main interest seemed focused on another project- building one between Manhattan Island and Long Island Sound instead.
As Dr. Rainey crossed the new Queensboro Bridge with Governor Charles Evans Hughes, he realized that his dream had finally come true. The bridge not only fulfilled its promise but also made it easier than ever for people living in Queens to move around quickly and easily without having any traffic difficulties on their daily commute.
The Father Of The New York City Bridge Receives A Gold medal inscripted!
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