Brooklyn Boro

Map shows many of Brooklyn’s busiest streets began as Native American trails

July 31, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A stretch of Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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Many of the biggest streets and avenues in Brooklyn began as Native American trails. A 1946 map titled “Indian Villages, Paths, Ponds and Places in Kings County,” published by then-Brooklyn Borough President Historian James A. Kelly, shows some of these streets, according to

Among them are Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Street, part of Atlantic Avenue, Division Street in Williamsburg and Kings Highway. The map also shows the names of the tribes that originally lived in the area, such as the Gowanus, the Canarsie and the Winippague. The tribes’ locations are marked by teepees, despite the fact that teepees were used only by tribes of the Great Plains.

In addition, the map shows the boundaries of the Colonial-era towns that now make up the borough of Brooklyn: Brooklyn (today’s Downtown area), Bushwick, Flatbush, New Utrecht, Flatbush and Gravesend, as well as the town of New Lots, which seceded from Flatbush in 1852.  More insights into the map can be found at Viewing NYC.

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