The first European settlers were Dutch homesteaders in the 17th century. A century later, early in the
American Revolutionary War, it was the site of part of the
Battle of Long Island, a battle in which the revolutionary Brigadier General
Nathaniel Woodhull was captured at a tavern on what is now
Jamaica Avenue. Woodhull Avenue in Hollis is named after him. The area remained rural until 1885, when developers turned 136 acres (55 ha) into houses, and the area is still developed primarily with single-family houses. In 1898, it became a part of New York City with the western towns of Queens County.
Since the end of the
Korean War, the neighborhood has been settled primarily by African-American families. In recent years, the area has seen a large influx of South Asians and West Indians. The area has a majority of working parents with many early childhood schools in Hollis.
Based on data from the
2010 United States Census, the population of Hollis was 20,269, a decrease of 478 (2.3%) from the 26,061 counted in
2000. Covering an area of 525.10 acres (212.50 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 38.6 inhabitants per acre (24,700/sq mi; 9,500/km2).
The entirety of Community Board 12, which mainly comprises Jamaica but also includes Hollis, had 232,911 inhabitants as of
NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 80.5 years.: 2, 20 This is slightly lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.: 53 (PDF p. 84)  Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 22% are between the ages of between 0–17, 27% between 25–44, and 27% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 14% respectively.: 2
As of 2017, the median
household income in Community Board 12 was $61,670. In 2018, an estimated 20% of Hollis and Jamaica residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (12%) were unemployed, compared to 8% in Queens and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 56% in Hollis and Jamaica, higher than the boroughwide and citywide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Hollis and Jamaica are considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not
Police and crime
Hollis and Jamaica are patrolled by the 103rd Precinct of the
NYPD, located at 168-02 91st Avenue. The 103rd Precinct ranked 51st safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. As of 2018[update], with a non-fatal assault rate of 68 per 100,000 people, Hollis and Jamaica's rate of
violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 789 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.: 8
The 103rd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 80.6% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct reported 5 murders, 31 rapes, 346 robberies, 408 felony assaults, 152 burglaries, 466 grand larcenies, and 79 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
As of 2018[update],
preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in Hollis and Jamaica than in other places citywide. In Hollis and Jamaica, there were 10 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 21.4 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).: 11 Hollis and Jamaica have a low population of residents who are
uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 5%, lower than the citywide rate of 12%.: 14
The concentration of
fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of
air pollutant, in Hollis and Jamaica is 0.007 milligrams per cubic metre (7.0×10−9 oz/cu ft), less than the city average.: 9 Eight percent of Hollis and Jamaica residents are
smokers, which is lower than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.: 13 In Hollis and Jamaica, 30% of residents are
obese, 16% are
diabetic, and 37% have
high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 22%, 8%, and 23% respectively.: 16 In addition, 23% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.: 12
Eighty-six percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 82% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," higher than the city's average of 78%.: 13 For every supermarket in Hollis and Jamaica, there are 20
Hollis is covered mainly by
ZIP Code 11423, though the section south of 104th Avenue is part of 11412. The
United States Post Office operates one post office nearby: at the Hollis Station at 197-40 Jamaica Avenue.
Hollis and Jamaica generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. While 29% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 19% have less than a high school education and 51% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 39% of Queens residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.: 6 The percentage of Hollis and Jamaica students excelling in math rose from 36% in 2000 to 55% in 2011, and reading achievement increased slightly from 44% to 45% during the same time period.
Hollis and Jamaica's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is more than the rest of New York City. In Hollis and Jamaica, 22% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per
school year, higher than the citywide average of 20%.: 24 (PDF p. 55) : 6 Additionally, 74% of high school students in Hollis and Jamaica graduate on time, about the same as the citywide average of 75%.: 6
Liberty Rock is a boulder in Liberty Triangle park at the intersection of Farmers Blvd. and Liberty Ave.
Liberty Rock, Hollis-St.Albans, Queens, NYC
The Liberty Rock is a symbol of the history and culture of the African American community in St. Albans. The painting of the rock in red, black, and green, the colors of the Pan-African flag, represents the community's commitment to civil rights, group identity, and fostering ties between all people of African descent. The location of the rock, at the intersection of St. Albans, Hollis, and Jamaica, highlights its significance as a shared symbol for the entire community. The Liberty Rock serves as a symbol of resistance and resilience, reminding the community of its rich cultural heritage and ongoing struggle for equality and justice.
The Liberty Rock was originally erected as a World War II memorial in the late 1940s or early 1950s. It likely honored the soldiers who fought and died in the war. During his 1960 campaign JFK visited the 'Rock' on a whistlestop tour of Queens. In the late 1960s, residents Cassia Campbell and Porscha Williams, reported that eleven year old Tony Tims and Daniel Gibson were the only people there initially and Tims claimed “I used my father's paint, met Daniel. I would paint, he filmed it. I got the idea from a small rock that was painted Red, Black and Green in the square located at 122nd & Farmers Blvd, That's the real story.” Tims painted the rock red, black, and green to symbolize the Black Power and Pan-African movements. This act of community activism was a way for the residents to express their cultural pride and reclaim their community, which was facing challenges such as poverty, crime, and neglect.
At the time, the Liberty Rock was located in a predominantly minority neighborhood and served as an eyesore and gathering place for winos across from a local liquor store. The residents decided to clean up the area, including the Liberty Rock, and paint it with the support of local businesses. The City of New York was initially opposed to the painted rock, but with the backing of the local store owners, the residents successfully challenged the city and kept the rock painted in the red, black, and green colors. However, the plaque honoring the war veterans was removed and placed elsewhere.
Increase Carpenter (1737-1807), Revolutionary War Minuteman served in the Jamaica militia, veteran of the
Battle of Long Island. A member of the Association of the Sons of Liberty, a secret society united against the British crown and the Tea Tax Act, whose motto was "No taxation without representation!".
Gloster B. Current (1913–1997), former deputy executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also the National Director of Branches and Field Administration of the N.A.A.C.P. during the Civil Rights Movement.
"A Cool Man to Handle Fires", The New York Times, January 18, 1978. Accessed July 27, 2018. "Shortly after he became a fireman, Mr. Beekman married the former Muriel Gittens, who grew up in the Bronx. They live in Hollis, Queens, and have a 23‐year‐old daughter, Bernadette, a Hunter College graduate, and two sons —Stephen, 21, who is studying at Queens College to be a teacher of the handicapped, and Arthur, 16. a member of the swimming team at St. Francis Preparatory School."
^About Us, Increase Carpenter Chapter. Accessed August 29, 2022. "Increase Carpenter, the namesake of our chapter, was Quartermaster for the Continental Army, earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Jamaica Militia, wore the uniform of the Jamaica Minuteman, served on the Committee of Correspondence, and served time as a prisoner of war. The family of Increase Carpenter owned the inn located in nearby Hollis, Queens, where a protest meeting of the Patriots of the American Revolution was held."
'It's a long battle for war hero sign", New York Daily News, September 28, 2010. Accessed August 26, 2018. "The state Education Department posted a cast-iron sign on Jamaica Ave. in Hollis in 1935 to note the important moment during the American Revolution. The inscription read, 'On Aug. 28, 1776, Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull was captured and fatally wounded by the British in Increase Carpenter's house 200 feet north of this spot.'"
^Van Gelder, Lawrence.
"Gloster B. Current, 84, Leader Who Helped Steer N.A.A.C.P.",. The New York Times, July 9, 1997. Accessed July 27, 2018. "Gloster B. Current, former deputy executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, died on Thursday at North Shore University Hospital-Cornell University Medical College in Forest Hills, Queens. Mr. Current, who lived in Hollis, Queens, was 84."
"Identity and Demography", The New York Times, March 25, 2013. Accessed June 16, 2016. "When my family moved to Hollis, Queens in 1956, the neighborhood changed with our arrival."
"downtrodden", Albuquerque Journal, April 27, 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016. "Hardgroove, a native of Hollis, Queens, in New York City, relocated to Santa Fe in 2006 and has called New Mexico his home ever since."
"NBA Guard Royal Ivey Returns to Hollis", Queens Tribune, August 29, 2013. Accessed June 16, 2016. "Last weekend, NBA point guard Royal Ivey returned to his hometown in Hollis to re-launch his annual three-day summer workshop, the 'Defending Your Dream' skills clinic."