“Midwood” is the Anglicized variation of Midwout, a Dutch name given to the area now known as Flatbush. This Dutch word describes a location between two wooded areas, and it is also the name of a town in the Netherlands.
Flatbush was one of the first six towns in Brooklyn, colonized by Dutch farmers in 1652. It remained mostly farmland until the Flatbush and Coney Island Railroad opened in 1878. Increased access turned Flatbush into a proto-suburb, as commuters from the then-separate cities of New York and Brooklyn moved in. The Flatbush Town Hall, built in 1875 and now a New York City Landmark, is a relic of the independent town. In 1894, Flatbush was incorporated into the City of Brooklyn, which then became part of the City of New York when the five boroughs merged in 1898.