George Werst Funeral Home has been serving the people of Glendale and Queens since 1901. The building, constructed in 1857, is one of the oldest structures in this part of Queens. It was originally constructed by John Siney, who purchased the land from his father-in-law, Nicholas Wyckoff, in 1856 for $800. The Siney family owned a stage coach line, which ran along Myrtle Avenue. In 1886, Henry Meyer bought the house and established his own tobacco factory. Within a few years Mr. Meyer’s Ivanhoe Tobacco Co. became a major business in Glendale.
In 1896, Meyer sold the house along with other plots to Edward Bourcier. The building was sold again 10 years later to use as a private club for golfers of the Forest Park Golf Links, which opened that same year. Several owners later, it was sold in 1924 to the Glendale Square Club, a Masonic organization that had been leasing the building prior to the purchase. It was around this time that the building became known as a local “speakeasy,” in response to the introduction of Prohibition. Werst staff members occasionally meet elderly neighbors who patronized the premises back then. In September 1934, the Werst Realty Co. purchased the building for their funeral home. The building has been home to the business ever since.
In 1991, George Werst Funeral Home became part of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers and continues its tradition of service and professionalism to the people of Glendale. Although the building has undergone several major renovations and updates, it has maintained its original grandeur and history. Like our building, we are part of the neighborhood.