Historic Railroad Map of New York - Long Island Central Railroad - 1873

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Map showing the route and connections of the Central Railroad Extension Company of Long Island.

New York State’s advancements in transportation were significant in the mid-1800's. On Long Island several small railroads began to connect the island communities east of Jamaica, beginning in the early 1860's.

The Central Railroad Extension Company of Long Island was conceived as real estate and business mogul Alexander T. Stewart was planning the new community of Garden City. Long Island was mostly populated along its coastal regions before the new connecting railroad lines were added.

Mr. Stewart used the railroad line to transport building materials from his brickworks at Bethpage to the building site.

In a 1869 letter Stewart declared:

“Having been informed that interested parties are circulating statements to the effect that my purpose in desiring to purchase the Hempstead Plains is to devote them to the erection of tenement houses, and public charities of a like character, etc. I consider it proper to state that my only object in seeking to acquire these lands is to devote them to the usual purposes for which such lands, so located, should be applied that is, open them by constructing extensive public roads, laying out the lands in parcels for sale to actual settlers, and erecting at various points attractive buildings and residences, so that a barren waste may speedily be covered by a population desirable in every respect as neighbour taxpayers and as citizens. In doing this I am prepared and would be willing to expend several millions of dollars.”

The railroad became a lifeline to new and old communities of Long Island, providing transportation and services.

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began in 1870, leading to a lot of speculation and additional settlement of inner portions of Long Island.

In 1874 the Central Railroad of Long Island merged with a number of lines to become the Flushing, North Shore and Central Railroad.

This detailed map of New York City and eastern Long Island was published in 1873 by G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. It displays drainage, roads, cities and towns, steamboat routes and railroads.


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