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

South Street Seaport, originally uploaded by inanutshell.

BROOKLYN — 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.”

At the time the farms of Clover Hill, or the Indian name “Ihpetonga,” meaning a long sandy bank, (the original names for Brooklyn Heights) were famed the country over for their 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.