Fosters Meadow was named for two brothers who used the western tip of the Hempstead Plains as a sheep pasture in the 17th Century. In the 18th and first half of the 19th Century it was populated by descendants of Dutch and English immigrants who established a vibrant farming community. But it was in the 1850s when the area received its first German immigrants that the area started to change its ethnic identity.
The area called Fosters Meadow encompassed present day Elmont, Rosedale, Laurelton and North Valley Stream in the Towns of Jamaica and Hempstead. The establishment of two German speaking churches (St Boniface RC Church in 1854 and St Paul’s German Evangelical Church in 1864) encouraged additional German immigrants to migrate to the area and established Fosters Meadow as the cultural center for German speakers in Valley Stream, Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, Springfield and other nearby communities. By the beginning of the 20th Century the descendants of the German immigrants were the dominant ethnic group in what continued as an active agricultural area serving the large population centers to the west. This continued until the conversion of farms to suburban tracts after the Second World War.