When Williamsburg was a separate city

In 1827, long before it became home to hipsters and Hasidic Jews, Williamsburg was established as the Village of Williamsburgh (note the old-school “h”).

In 1851, its independent streak surfaced. A charter was passed, and it became the City of Williamsburgh—an urban enclave home to shipbuilders, sugar companies, breweries, and other industries.

But Williamsburgh’s time as a city didn’t last long.

By 1855, to escape financial woes, it let itself be annexed to the city of Brooklyn.

Not only did the neighborhood lose its independence, Williamsburg also lost the “h” at the end of its name.

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3 Responses to “When Williamsburg was a separate city”

  1. Boris Says:

    Maybe Detroit should do the same: annex itself to its suburbs to escape its financial woes. The suburbs desperately want the city to die, but now that it’s so small and broke maybe it will be worth a small bailout to obtain the city’s massive infrastructure assets. Of course, city government would have to go.

  2. Nabe News: June 1 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] one point in time, Williamsburg was its own city.  It was founded in 1827, but was annexed three decades later thanks to financial woes [Ephemeral […]

  3. Remnants of four obsolete Brooklyn street names | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] solution: rename Third Street Berry Street (after the first mayor of Williamsburg during its tenure as its own city), which it remains […]

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