by Kevin Walsh

WINFIELD, Queens was situated roughly in the area within the following borders: Woodside Avenue to the north, Mount Zion Cemetery, Calamus Road (Avenue, today) and Maurice Avenue to the south, the New York Connecting Railroad to the east, and New Calvary Cemetery to the west. Its major intersection was where North Shell Road (45th Avenue), Thomson Avenue (Queens Blvd) and Fisk Avenue (69th Street) converged. This was an excellent place for a settlement, as it was located in close proximity to Newtown, and along the road that connected Long Island City and Jamaica. The adjacent town of Woodside was called so because the area sat beside what was then the Winfield Woods – a.k.a. “Suicide’s Paradise” – where, legend has it, despondent early colonists went to commit suicide. It was apparently named for early 19th Century general Winfield Scott.

Little trace of Winfield remains today, as it has been absorbed into eastern Woodside. Its Long Island Rail Road station on the Port Washington branch is long demolished and anyone who once used it died decades ago. One remnant of the neighborhood remains: The Winfield Reformed Church, with a primarily Asian congregation, on Woodside Avenue and 67th Street.

For more lost neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, you’ve come to the right place.
More on Winfield, Queens

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Peter November 19, 2022 - 12:28 pm

Hmmm … the station closed in 1929, so there may be some people still around who were at the station as young children, but the regular riders are now taking the Great Commuter Train in the Sky (although if trains experience an afterlife, everything associated with the LIRR is in a rather warmer place.)
Along those same lines, it wouldn’t entirely surprise me if there are regular commuters into Penn Station who started out at the old station. Back when I was commuting on the LIRR there were a scattering of quite old riders, and more and more people are working well beyond normal retirement age.

Ed Sloan November 20, 2022 - 8:59 pm

The Catholic Parish in the neighborhood is still called Saint Mary’s of WInfield.

Kenneth Buettner November 22, 2022 - 6:26 am

Winfield played a very important role in the lives of commuters on the Port Washington and Whitestone Branches for several years from 1910 onward. That was the year Pennsylvania Station opened, with electrified service from it to Jamaica. Steam locomotive power continued to pull trains on those Branches to Long Island City, as they had done for generations before. Passengers wishing to go directly into Manhattan had to transfer at Winfield to Pennsylvania Station-bound Main Line electrified trains. Once electrification was completed on the Port Washington Branch trains continued directly into Manhattan with diminishing service to Long Island City. There was little purpose for Winfield to exist and it was closed.

Kevin Walsh November 22, 2022 - 11:14 am

I often forget that PW branch trains went to LIC before 1910, and that many different railroads combined or were absorbed to form today’s LIRR.

Kenneth Buettner November 23, 2022 - 12:45 pm

Service to Port Washington began in 1898 with construction of the viaduct over the head of Manhasset Bay. (It is still the largest bridge structure in the LIRR.) Prior to that, trains ran to Great Neck for about thirty years. Prior to 1910 all trains terminated at either Long Island City or Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The one-seat ride directly to Penn Station massively cut the commuting time into Manhattan. Either taking the ferry from Long Island City or the riding the elevated lines in Brooklyn was eliminated for many. It was this ease for commutation that created the opportunity and demand that led to developments in Nassau along the North Shore and the Nassau-Queens Border a little further south. Many of these developments later became the incorporated villages that dot the municipal landscape, like Great Neck, Thomaston, Plandome, Flower Hill, Port Washington North, Manorhaven, Floral Park and others.

Kevin Walsh November 23, 2022 - 11:40 pm

PW trains can’t go to Flatbush Avenue, as only Jamaica tracks can do that.

Kenneth Buettner November 28, 2022 - 8:15 am

I was referring to the LIRR in general, not just the Port Washington Branch.


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