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On This Day in History, April 12: Brooklyn Becomes a Village

The State of New York legislature passed an act of incorporation on April 12, 1816, giving Brooklyn its first charter. In this act the village boundaries were set forth: “Beginning at the public landing south of Pierrepont’s distillery, formerly the property of Philip Livingston, thence running along the public road leading from said landing to its intersection with Red Hook Lane, then along Red Hook Lane to where it intersects the Jamaica Turnpike, thence a north-west course to the Wallabout Millpond, thence through the center of the millpond to the East River, and thence down the East River to the point of beginning.”

In an effort by residents to have the act passed, meeting after meeting had been held at Hezekiah B. Pierrepont’s residence and at various taverns scattered throughout the area. Once incorporated, farms could be opened up and residences take the place of orchards and gardens. Brooklyn Heights was once known as Clover Hill, and before that as “Ihpetonga,” a Native- American name meaning a long sandy bank. The area was famed the country over for its fine fruits and vegetables, which always found a ready sale in Manhattan. There were waving fields of grain, orchards of apple, peach and plum trees, huge vegetable gardens and berry patches.

April 12, 2012 - 10:17am


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