by Kevin Walsh

ONE of Queens’ obscurest alleys is just a few blocks away from Forgotten New York headquarters. It’s a short dead end called Jessie Court and it sits on Northern Boulevard opposite Browvale Lane just south of the palatial Little Neck Queens County Savings Bank branch. The city did not deign to mark it with a street sign until about a decade ago, but I knew it as Jessie Court as a woman ina real estate office on the south side of the alley informed me shortly after I moved to Little Neck in 2007. Another short lane, a bit longer once called Cornell Lane, sits just to the south. I’ve always been fascinated with this pair, as Queens, and NYC as a whole, is a bit deficient in the dead end alley department.

I have not yet been afforded any proof, but one of the three freestanding homes on Jessie Court, which is unlit by streetlamps, was supposedly the former Long Island RR Little Neck stationhouse.

One thing that we do have visual records of is the fact that the real estate office, now an eyeglasses emporium, sits on a former cemetery, the private burial ground of the Waters family, native Matinecock Indians. The cemetery was in the path of a widening of Northern Boulevard in the 1930s, and thus, the city removed whatever remains could be found in 1931 and relocated them to a patch in the back of Zion Church Cemetery about a mile west. While a marker commemorating the Matinecock was placed there, individual plots are not marked. Approximately a decade ago, an honorific street sign, Matinecock Way, was installed at the corner of Northern Boulevard and Marathon Parkway in front of the McDonalds.

I think the Matinecock deserve better, but that’s true of all our Native Americans.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



Anonymous March 11, 2023 - 8:00 am

I know about those streets and pass them often, although I never went down them. I also know the cemetery behind the Zion church, but don’t know a lot about history of it. Thanks for the article.

Peter March 11, 2023 - 11:42 am

Most likely no one today knows who Jessie was.

David Vanette March 11, 2023 - 12:13 pm

I believe it wasn’t the LIRR but the Flushing and Northern Railroad. Also, there is mention of the F&NR depot just off Northern Blvd. It would have been pre 1870.,_Part_Two:_The_Flushing,_North_Shore_%26_Central_Railroad


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.