The story of Northern Boulevard begins in 1857, when John C. Jackson (1809-1899), a wealthy, civically engaged, businessman formed the Hunter’s Point, Newtown and Flushing Turnpike Company to lay out a new road to connect the 34th Street Ferry across Trains Meadow (now Jackson Heights) to Flushing Bay. The turnpike was complete by 1859, and toll gates, fences and mile markers were placed at intervals: the only road in Queens so marked. As for the mile markers, one of them stayed in place until 1987, when it was moved for preservation to King Manor.   From the start, the road was called Jackson Avenue. From the start, the road was called Jackson Avenue.
When NYC annexed the western part of Queens County in 1898 (the eastern part became Nassau County), it took over the Jackson road and eliminated the tolls, and by 1920, the road east of Queens Plaza was renamed Northern Boulevard. Northern exists today under a number of names, including NY 25A, and now extends to Orient Point on the North Fork of Long Island.
Part of Jackson Avenue still exists today, beginning at Vernon Boulevard and ending at Bridge Plaza, more often called Queens Plaza. Northern Boulevard begins begins at Bridge Plaza.
The Jackson Heights neighborhood name was taken from Jackson Avenue.