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.