In the early twentieth century the Queens Topographical Bureau established an alphabetical series of street
names for existing and proposed roadways in Maspeth and Middle Village. These roadways generally ran east-west (parallel with current Eliot Avenue) and intersected with Juniper Avenue (now 69th Street).

The following are key roadways in Middle Village and Maspeth culled from the large list and we present them here with the thought that this information will be interesting to read. So often we can think that our predecessors just threw a dart at a map and named a street. This article shows the amount of thought that went into all the namings. Also we are aware that many school children use the Juniper Berry for history, so legacy is a key word that we keep in mind, always. Let’s not forget, we have the Juniper Juniors grooming themselves for future leadership!!

Eliot Avenue – This roadway extends from
Metropolitan Avenue northeast to Queens
Blvd. The oldest portions of the roadway are
in Middle Village, from Fresh Pond Road to
Mt. Olivet Crescent and in Maspeth
between Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh
Pond Road. The roadway is named for
Walter G. Eliot, an engineer of the Queens
Topographical Bureau, who in 1910 was temporarily
placed in charge of the Bureau.

Although planned for many years to extend
to Woodhaven Blvd. and beyond to Queens
Blvd., the roadway was not completed until
the 1930’s, in time for use as an important
access road from Brooklyn to the 1939-40
New York World’s Fair. Much of the roadway
in north Middle Village is laid across the
ancient Juniper Swamp. Causing much of
the delay was the refusal of the cemeteries
to permit a roadway to be cut through from
Mt. Olivet Crescent east. After years of planning
and negotiating, the City was permitted
to open a narrow two-lane road through the
burial grounds. This two lane section is still
in use, while the portions of Eliot Avenue on
either side of the cemeteries are
much wider. In mid-1925 Eliot
Avenue (sometimes seen spelled as
Elliott) was renamed 61st Avenue,
but the Eliot name was again adopted
in the 1930’s. The roadway is still
designated as 61st Avenue for house
numbering purposes only.
Juniper Blvd. South – was Marion
Avenue and became 63rd Avenue
Penelope Avenue – was Penelope
Street and became 63rd Drive
Juniper Valley Road – A portion of
this roadway, from 69th Street east to
75th Place was part of the old
Juniper Swamp Road, dating to the
early 18th century. Current
Furmanville Avenue was also part of
the Swamp Road and today’s 75th
Place was originally a curve in the
roadway. During the colonial period
and into the late 19th century, a
roadway existed west of 69th Street
in what is now Lutheran Cemetery,
extending to Mt. Olivet Crescent.
This was part of the Juniper Swamp
Road also but by the mid-nineteenth
century, this segment was known as
Wayland Avenue and then as Way
Avenue (named for the Way family
who lived along this road). Cemetery
authorities closed Way Avenue,
apparently without authorization, as
Newtown residents for years stated
that the cemetery had no authority
to close a public road. As late as the
1920s the City of New York continued
to map this road through the
cemetery and in 1925 it was renamed
to 63rd Avenue. Eventually it was
dropped from the official maps.
The Juniper Swamp Road, including
today’s Mt. Olivet Crescent and the
closed Way Avenue, was also known
as the Road to Fresh Ponds and the
Road to the Methodist Meeting
House (erected 1785 at which is now
80th Street and Furmanville
Until 1919 Juniper Valley Road did
not exist from 75th Place east to 79th
Street. Between 79th Street and 80th
Street, a roadway had been laid out
in 1852 on the Carhart & Pullis tract
and it was named Cross Street (it
was the only road in the subdivision
cutting across from east to west).
Cross Street became incorporated in
the new Juniper Valley Road in 1919.
Beginning in that year and extending
into the early 1920’s, several tracts of
land were subdivided in this area of
Middle Village and a major east-west
thoroughfare was needed. For purely
cosmetic reasons, the name of
Juniper Swamp Road was changed to
Juniper Valley Road. The extension
of Juniper Valley Road from 80th
Street east to Woodhaven Blvd. was
closed in the 1930’s when St. John’s
Cemetery purchased the land
between Juniper Valley Road and
Furmanville Avenue.
The sole remaining colonial period
building on Juniper Valley Road, the
historic Morrell House at No. 71-09,
was demolished several years ago to
make way for multi-family housing.

Metropolitan Avenue – This main
thoroughfare was constructed as a
new turnpike road in the early
1800’s, known as the Williamsburgh
& Jamaica Turnpike, a toll road. The
original owners were the
Williamsburgh Turnpike Road &
Bridge Company. By an Act of the
Legislature on March 11, 1814, the
company was authorized to construct
a new toll road from the Village of
Williamsburgh in the Town of
Bushwick, through Newtown in
Queens County, to the Jamaica
Turnpike (now Jamaica Avenue) in
the Town of Jamaica. The route
finally selected for the 66 foot wide
road was almost a straight line from
Bushwick Crossroads opposite North
Second Street (now Metropolitan
Avenue) to the Jamaica Turnpike
immediately west of the corporation
limits of the Village of Jamaica at
current Van Wyck Expressway.
Within Queens County, the turnpike
owners had been unable or were
unwilling to spend money to maintain
the road. Development along
the turnpike and the opening of
numerous roadways resulted in large
numbers of travelers avoiding tolls.

In October 1871 the Town of
Newtown published a notice that the
turnpike company was ousted from
possession and that the road was now
considered a public highway. It wasn’t
until June 2, 1873 that legal matters
were completed, with Newtown
issuing $15,000 in bonds to the heirs
of the owner (James A. Herriman)
and receiving a deed for the road.
This resulted in an odd situation,
with the Town of Newtown then
owning the entire roadway, including
that portion running through that
Town of Jamaica. The town renamed
the turnpike to Metropolitan Avenue
after gaining possession of it. There
was, however, some unofficial use of
that name during the 1860’s within
Queens County.

The existence of this turnpike road
led to the establishment of a very
small settlement in the vicinity of
the Juniper Swamp and Dry Harbor
Road (80 Street). By the 1820’s this
was known as Middle Village, as it
was approximate midway between
Williamsburgh and Jamaica.

Pleasantview Street – This roadway
extends from 74th Street near
Juniper Blvd. South to Metropolitan
Avenue, east of 71st Street. The segment
from Juniper Valley Road north
to 74th Street was laid out in 1909 as
part of the Ridgewood North subdivision
and was named Stone Avenue.
The Stone Avenue name is believed
to have been selected because of the
stoneyards and monument works in
the vicinity catering to Lutheran, St.
John’s and Mt. Olivet cemeteries.
Within a very short time, the Queens
Topographical Bureau proposed that
this roadway and other nearby roads
be discontinued as they failed to conform
with the proposed and
approved road network for Middle
Village. Prior to the first World War
the residents began to agitate for
retention of these roadways as they
actually existed. After a series of
public hearings they were restored to
the City map. In 1919, Stone Avenue
renamed Pleasant View Avenue was
extended south from Juniper Valley
Road to Metropolitan Avenue. This
was accomplished when the
Monteverde Gardens subdivision was
laid out south of Juniper Valley Road.
When the Philadelphia street numbering
system was implemented in
Greater Ridgewood in 1925, the
name of Pleasant View Avenue was
changed to Pleasantview Street.
Because of the layout of this roadway
in relation to other roadways in the
area, it could be assigned a number.

Furmanville Avenue – This roadway
forms part of the old Juniper
Swamp Road and is an old colonial
road. At one time it extended from
Fresh Pond by way of today’s Mt.
Olivet Crescent, through Lutheran
Cemetery, along current Juniper
Valley Road to 75 Place, north on
75th Place to current Furmanville
Avenue and east along Furmanville
Avenue to Trotting Course Lane
(Woodhaven Blvd.). The road was
also known as the Road to Hempstead
Swamp (Rego Park/Forest Hills), the
Road from Fresh Ponds to the
Methodist Meeting House. Although
the 1852 Carhart & Pullis map used
the name of Furman-Ville Road, that
name did not come into common
usage until about the turn of the century.
In 1925, the name of Furmanville
Road was changed to Furmanville
Avenue. The name honors the
Furman family. In 1759 Jonathan
Furman settled along Dry Harbor
Road, just north of Furmanville Ave.

Fresh Pond Road – is an early colonial
roadway dating back to 1680,
when the settlers improved an Indian
footpath. The “old” Fresh Pond
Road extended through Maspeth,
along current 61 Street, through
Ridgewood, and through Glendale
along current Cypress Hills Street. It
was named for the large fresh water
ponds in the vicinity of Mt. Olivet
Crescent and Mt. Olivet Cemetery,
east of Fresh Pond Road. The 1680
improvement to the ancient footpath
coincided with the assignment of
large lots of the hills (near Evergreen
Cemetery, Highland Park, Cypress
Hills Cemetery, etc.) to citizens of
the English Newtown settlement in
current Queens County.

Over the centuries Fresh Pond Road
has been known by several names.
In addition to Fresh Pond Road,
Fresh Pond Lane and the Highway
to Fresh Ponds, it has been called
the Newtown Road, the Kills Path,
the Highway to the Hills, the Road
from the Friends Meeting House (at
Maspeth Avenue) to the Hills, and
the Road to Maspeth.

Article compiled by the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society