Today’s news:

Preserve west Queens millstones

An open letter to City Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Vallone Jr.:

I am a direct descendant of the Payntar/Skillman family, who once owned most of the land in and around what is now called Queens Plaza, formerly Dutch Kills.

The historic Payntar millstones were used to make flour for then-Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army and are indeed a treasure and worth preserving. The millstones are priceless and played an important part not only in the Revolutionary War, but the old way of life in Dutch Kills. They are now languishing on a Queens Plaza construction site.

The Greater Astoria Historical Society has done much research on these millstones. My family and I believe these two colonial-era millstones should be moved to an exhibit space within the GAHS building, where they can be exhibited and studied. It cares about history and you should, too. They are not just two pieces of stone.

It is my hope that our families’ millstones will find a home with the GAHS.

William Henry Payntar Sr.

New Port Richey, Fla.

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