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The Hill

Claudia Williams

By Claudia Williams | Broker in Brooklyn, NY

Dubbed the twin mysteries of New York...give up?

Old Clove Road and Malbone Streets in Crown Heights Brooklyn-- an uncelebrated pathway to the old colonial era of Brooklyn, where "red-coats"( Brits) fought over Long Island and where our Native Americans may have farmed and drank from the natural springs along this path. Now--if you're wizzing by Nostrand Avenue and Montgomery St--you might miss it--but its well worth to slow down and walk along this short beaten path that is still visible and spills onto Empire Blvd...right dab in the middle!    Only now, it boasts newly constructed multi-dwelling and single family homes.  I would venture to say, the residents of this cul-de-sac  don't  mind being lost amid the  noise of our crown heights boom. Just as recent as 2011, an archeological study was conducted along Clove Road (see  link) nytelecom.vo.llnwd.net/o15/agencies/lpc/arch_reports/1351.pdf
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According to the 1800's maps, dating back to 1662, Old Clove Road ( American Indian trail) ran south from Jamaica Plank Road (Fulton Street, in its present straightened form), winding southeast to  today’s Empire Boulevard, where it became Canarsie Road, later Canarsie Avenue, which
continued southeast along the west side of Holy Cross Cemetery. It then turned east along today’s Cortelyou Road, entering Canarsie and running past the historic Wyckoff  House on Clarendon Road and Ralph Avenue.  Clove Road's name is derived from the Dutch word “kloven” for cleft and was originally a road that ran in a valley between two hills.

The other twin is Hunterfly Road, another American Indian trail  that houses the last remnants along Bergen street and Buffalo avenue,previously  listed as Bedford's Ward 9 in the 1830's. The now familiar Weeksville Township was one of the first independent and sustainable emancipated African American communities in New York City.  This  historic site will now be honored and restored with an Education Center at 1698 Bergen Street. - similar (if not more comprehensive) to the African Burial Ground site in lower manhattan at 290 Broadway (Duane and Reade Streets).

Its  just amazing the rich history our brooklyn streets have hidden under paved roads or  behind old neglected building facades. Brooklyn is really just  " more than you see"


By Trevor Curran,  Tue Apr 23 2013, 13:59

This was a great blog entry! Always good to learn some interesting information on the history of New York.

Trevor Curran
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