Unless you have been living under a rock you probably know the Kosciuszko Bridge is slated to be razed. Plans have been filed to replace it and objections from several Indian tribes which once called this area home have been aired. The fly in their collective proverbial ointment is the possibility artifacts might be found on the land designated for the new bridges. In all probability they’re right. Just like our Vice-President elect, the Delaware Nation didn’t necessarily originate from Delaware. They once called Newtown Creek home.
With imagery such as this it is easy enough to forget that Greenpoint was once a bucolic and remote bit of marshy farmland where oysters were plentiful and cherries and grapes were cultivated and rendered into (among other tasty things) cider and vinegar. This is probably what our fair burgh was once called— I shit you not— Cherry Point. Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt from the August 1, 1886 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Enjoy!
You can read the above article in its entirely by clicking here. That said, some of you might have noticed I underlined “History of Brooklyn”: the book this reporter referenced. This is because I not only find citing one’s sources sexy (and ethically mandatory), as it would happen I possess this tome.
And I ain’t talking about a reprint! You can read the passage the previous Brooklyn Daily Eagle article is referencing by clicking here.*
Does this humble piece of road gracing the southeastern side of the Kosciuszko Bridge pay homage to Greenpoint’s (decidedly greener) past? It’s a very distinct possibility; not only was Cherry Street in existence as early as 1855, but our humble ‘nabe also once sported a street called “Orchard”. This thoroughfare still exists to this day albeit under a different name. For the reveal click here.
Map Credit: ragette.org. If want to see some really cool old maps of Greenpoint and Williamsburg by all means check out this site! You won’t regret it.
*CAVEAT: I would like to advise the more racially sensitive among you that attitudes/opinions of the author (Henry R. Stiles himself) do not reflect the attitudes of yours truly. It was a different time in 1884 than it is 2008. In 124 years we’ve gone from using florid racist language like “retinue of jolly negroes in field and kitchen” to electing our first African American president. We as a people have come a long, long way.If you ask me this couldn’t have happened soon enough.