Happy 350th birthday, Bensonhurst!
Bensonhurst had a big birthday this week – it turned 350 yearsold on December 22.
It was in the year 1661 that Dutch colonists purchased the land- known today as Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights – fromnative Americans to form the town of New Utrecht. One of thereminders of that time is the New Utrecht Reformed Church, whichwas founded by the Dutch and whose current structure dates back to1829.
In front of the church – now a city landmark — is one of theneighborhood’s most historic artifacts, the Liberty Pole, theoriginal of which was put up in 1783 to mark the end of theAmerican Revolution.
But the actual designation of Bensonhurst happened sometime inthe 1800s, the name a salute to Arthur W. Benson, a descendant ofthese settlers and former president of Brooklyn Union Gas, whostarted purchasing farmland from another family in 1835.