Brooklyn’s lost village of Cripplebush

This map of the borough’s original five Dutch towns and one English town depicts a Brooklyn with the same geographic place names used today.

Bushwick, Flatbush, New Utrecht, Gravesend—they still go by their 17th century monikers. And the smaller villages within them, like Williamsburgh and New Lots, remain local names as well.

Then there’s Cripplebush, in the town of Brooklyn. What’s the deal with Cripplebush?

The Eastern District of Brooklyn, published in 1912, explains that Dutch residents of nearby Wallabout were granted a patent in 1654 to incorporate Cripplebush, “at the intersection of the Cripplebush Road and the Wallabout and Newtown Road or about Flushing and Nostrand Avenues of to-day.

“In 1830 Wallabout Village was started, including within its limits the Cripplebush settlement, and still later the section became known as East Brooklyn.”

Cripplebush Road no longer exists. And Cripplebush settlement, which other sources have described as a swamp, must have been quietly absorbed into Wallabout in the 19th century.

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6 Responses to “Brooklyn’s lost village of Cripplebush”

  1. Cary Conover Says:

    Damn what a cool-ass name for a Brooklyn neighborhood (or band)

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Or a wasted drunken whore…

  3. petey Says:

    fascinating map. it’s going in my collection!

  4. Harry Says:

    If it was Dutch, the name would have been “Kreupelbos”. Perhaps you can find that in the archives…

  5. old gardens « The Newtown Pentacle Says:

    […] wasteland of nettles and thorns called the “cripplebush“, and both the Bushwick and Wallabout Creeks served to isolate the Strand from its neighbors […]

  6. Arcolog Says:

    […] apparently been gone for more than 150 years, and was more than ten blocks away from our house in any case, but I think that when people ask me […]

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