“Shantytown, this was called, a dismal collection of shacks and hovels inhabited by day-laborers, their families, and their pigs,” wrote Lloyd Morris in Incredible New York.
Adds Kenneth Jackson in The Encyclopedia of New York City: “Like most squatter settlements of the time, it was situated north of the built-up area of the city. The inhabitants were predominantly German and Irish immigrants. Many worked at the nearby Voorhis and Mott quarries.”
But it wouldn’t exist much longer. The city was moving north, and genteel residents—like the couple and little boy strolling up Second Avenue in this 1861 illustration—were moving to this area of scattered home and rock piles.
“By the end of the Civil War the growth and northward movement of population made real estate in the area valuable, and the squatters were displaced,” writes Jackson.
Tags: Civil War New York, Dutch Hill, gentrification in New York, Manhattan villages 19th century, New York in 1861, New York street 19th century, poor villages New York City, Second Avenue in the 19th Century, shantytowns in Manhattan