Posts Tagged ‘” Brooklyn Heights history’

The piece of Plymouth Rock in a Brooklyn church

July 20, 2015

PlymouthchurchBrooklyn’s Plymouth Church, on Hicks Street, is a 168-year-old Congregational church with a long and impressive history.

Founded by transplanted New Englanders, it reportedly was a stop on the Underground Railroad and was visited by President Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth.

Pastor Henry Ward Beecher’s fiery abolitionist sermons and mock slave auctions made him famous.

(Beecher later gained infamy for having affairs with congregation members as well as for his 1875 adultery trial, but that’s another post).

Plymouthrockbrooklynnycgo.com

But the church has something else to boast about: it houses a football-sized chunk of the original Plymouth Rock, on display in a part of the church called the Arcade.

The backstory? Apparently the piece of rock came from a parishioner at neighboring Church of the Pilgrims.

Plymouth_Church,_Brooklyn,_New_YorkWhen Plymouth Church merged with Church of the Pilgrims in 1934 (and changed its name until 2011 to Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims), it acquired this artifact of colonial history.

Of course, no one knows for sure if Plymouth rock really was the landing place of the Mayflower in 1620. Real or fake, a fragment of this symbol of religious freedom has found a home in Brooklyn Heights.

[Second image: nycgo.com/Myrna Suarez; third image: Plymouth Church in 1866]

What the village of Brooklyn looked like in 1816

March 27, 2013

Atlantic Avenue was called District Street, a distillery existed at the foot of Joralemon, and Revolutionary War-era Red Hook Lane was a boundary line separating just-incorporated Brooklyn Village from the rest of the larger town of Brooklyn—one of six separate towns in Kings County.

Villageofbrooklynmap

If you’re wondering what things looked like at street level, this wonderful painting of a cold winter’s day on Front Street gives a closeup view. Both the painting and the map come from the Brooklyn Museum.

“View of New York From Brooklyn Heights”

August 29, 2010

It’s strange to see this view without the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges spanning the East River and so many massive office buildings towering over lower Manhattan.

But this painting, from the New York Public Library digital collection, depicts a view of New York in 1849.

The East River is crowded with commercial and ferry traffic, and the most towering structures in Manhattan are church steeples.

Brooklyn is still a separate city; it won’t join the City of New York for almost 50 years. Brooklyn Heights is just coming into its own as New York’s first suburb.