Southern Brooklyn

Morning Mug: A Road Honoring Necks? Not Quite.


I always thought “Neck Road” was a funny name. Forgotten New York’s Kevin Walsh gives us the lowdown on Neck Road’s reason for being, well… Neck Road.

Though street signs always note its proper name, Gravesend Neck Road, street signs and neighborhood residents have always called it by the much shorter Neck Road. It’s a farm road that predates the local street grid  by perhaps a couple of centuries and today runs from Van Sicklen Street in Gravesend (not to be confused with Van Siclen Avenue, without the k, in East New York) east and northeast to Avenue U and Nostrand Avenue. It used to extend further into “Gravesend Neck” which was then a peninsula, hence the “neck” in what is now the Marine Park area.

Photo by Allan Shweky

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  1. Thank you for this article. What interests me is the “Gravesend” part of the road, lots of speculation. There’s a cemetery also named Gravesend that was established in the mid 1600’s at McDonald Ave. Lots of history there, Interesting research for Brooklynites.

  2. Yes that cemetaery is there from the 1600’s when the Dutch settlers arrivied also there is a house there accross the street that was from the early 1600’s.

  3. Gravesend comes from the seaside resort of Gravesend, England. In the mid 1600’s, Lady Deborah Moody, from England, was given permission by the Dutch, to establish an English town. She named it Gravesend (which has nothing to do with a grave). There were 6 towns in early Kings County. Five were Dutch (Breuckelen, Boswijk, Vlackbos, New Utrecht, New Amersfoort). These became Brooklyn, Bushwick, Flatbush, New Utrecht, and Flatlands.The sixth was the English town, Gravesend. It is rumored that lady Moody is buried in the Gravesend cemetery. However, a gravestone has never been discovered. The old house in question is not likely her house. There is no proof that it was. Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian.

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