The area that is now Maspeth in Queens was home to the Mespeatches tribe, one of the 13 main tribes that inhabited the Long Island region. They set up a village just east of what is now Mount Zion Cemetery. The area had plenty of swamps, which led to their name meaning “at the bad water place.”
The Dutch settled the area in 1642, but conflicts with the local tribes led them to move to Elmhurst and Manhattan. The Maspeth tribe also lived along Flushing Bay, and there was a trail that roughly corresponds to modern-day Grand and Flushing Avenues.