The northeast corner of Northern Boulevard and Marathon Parkway in Little Neck has been co-named Matinecock Way after a Native American tribe that once lived in northeast Queens.
The co-naming ceremony was attended by Native American chiefs, families belonging to the Matinecock tribe and other First Nations of Queens, Councilman Paul Vallone, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and representatives from the Bayside Historical Society, among other neighborhood groups.
The last of the Matinecock tribe was driven out of Douglaston and Little Neck in 1656 in the battle of Madnam’s Neck.
The Bayside Historical Society and the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee were the first groups to suggest the co-naming to Community Board 11. The new name was signed into law in July with the support of sponsor Vallone.
The councilman said that generations to come will hear about the Matinecock tribe from the street sign and that the community will always be reminded of the first people who lived in the area.
“I think this is 350 years overdue,” Vallone said.
Historian Jason D. Antos said the historical significance of the spot will be remembered from that day forward.
“For it was here that the Matinecock had their final stand in what was known as The Battle of Madnam’s Neck,” Antos said. “And now, more than three centuries later, this place will no longer serve as only a painful reminder of their downfall but an everlasting tribute to their legacy.”
Reggie Herb Dancer Ceaser, chief of the Turkey Clan of the Matinecock Tribal Nation, said that the legacy of the tribe is carried on by descendants still living on the land of their ancestors in the northern Queens area.
“We are still here,” Ceaser said. “This is an opportunity for people to see that we’re still here and remembering the original inhabitants of this area.”