|The Pagan-Fletcher House, Valley Stream's first residence|
Payan's Post Office was also in his parlor. He handled mail for the nearby farmsteads, which all acquired rather colorful names of their own, such as Foster's Meadow and Skunks' Misery. The red-light district of the burgeoning town became known euphemistically as Cookie Hill, while the area around the "downtown" business district along Rockaway Avenue became known as Rum Junction because of its saloons. Eventually, as the village expanded, most of the local names were forgotten. Hungry Harbor, a section that has retained its name, was the impoverished area of town.
Payan lived long enough to see the railroad reach Valley Stream in 1869. Traffic through Valley Stream increased dramatically in the late 19th Century since people used Merrick Road to reach South Oyster Bay (Massapequa) and its then-popular racetrack. However, few city folk chose to settle in the area.
Valley Stream remained a community of scattered homes and farmsteads until the postwar 1940s, when returning World War II veterans began seeking homes in suburbia. A developer, William Gibson, bought up a sizeable tract of land in the area, christened it "Gibson" after himself, and built some 800 homes in the area. He also pressed for a second railroad station to serve Gibson.
|Gibson Railroad Station|
The Green Acres Mall was built in 1956, and enclosed in 1968, making Valley Stream an important retail sales center.