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The village was incorporated in 1894. The name is derived from the Valley Stream, a small stream that runs through it. It was originally known as "Hempstead Branch". In 1897, William Halsey Woodside and his brother John E. Woodside purchased land along the Hempstead Branch railroad line to build an amusement park called "Woodside Park" with rides and picnic grounds for residents of New York City who were looking for relief from summer heat on weekends. The brothers also built a trolley line connecting their property to the Long Island Rail Road station in Valley Stream, which became one of several stops on what would become known as the Queens Boulevard Line (today's ). In 1906-07 they opened three more parks: Central Park (later renamed Westbury Music Fair), Coney Island Jockey Club (later renamed Westbury Music Fair again) and Steeplechase Park; these parks had rides like roller coasters, carousels etc.