Call it a comeback! These neighborhood names have been here for years

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The historical neighborhood name Wallabout is enjoying a resurgence but there are plenty of other district monikers that roll off the tongue and are not often spoken outside the halls of the Brooklyn Historical Society. Touching areas from modern-day Williamsburg to Bay Ridge, these neighborhood names have been mostly forgotten, but they’re just waiting for someone to bring em back into style!

Fulton Landing: The portion of Dumbo where the ferry once docked was once — and to some like us, still is — called Fulton Landing for Robert Fulton’s East River steam ferry service. But the name is losing steam.

Yellow Hook: No, not Red Hook. Today’s Bay Ridge was called Yellow Hook before the yellow fever outbreak of 1853 prompted a name change. “Hook” comes from the Dutch “Hoek,” meaning “point,” and the “yellow” refers to yellow clay found there.

Ponkiesbergh: The Dutch translation of “Ponkiesbergh” is the far more familiar name “Cobble Hill,” which refers to a now-leveled high point where George Washington is said to have stood looking down at the Battle of Brooklyn being fought in what is now Gowanus. A cobblestone road led to the spot at today’s Court and Pacific streets.

Crow Hill: Today’s Crown Heights wasn’t crowned till 1916, when Crown Street was laid in the area. Before that, it was known as Crow Hill.

Gouwane: The fetid Gowanus Canal was once a tidal inlet named after a Canarsee chief. The word translates as “the sleeper,” or “he rests.”

Norton’s Point: These days the harbor-side tip of Coney Island is a gated community called Sea Gate, but 120 years ago it was Norton’s Point, named for a casino that operated in the area before being exiled when the neighborhood walled itself off in 1892.

Bushwick Shores: Modern-day Williamsburg was once referred to as the coastal neighbor of the village of Bushwick. Real estate investor Richard Woodhull bought the land in 1802 and renamed it “Williamsbu­rgh” after surveyor Jonathan Williams.

Reach reporter-in-training Hannah Frishberg at (718) 260-4514. E-mail her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Good work, Hannah! from Brooklyn says:
Very enjoyable piece.
June 27, 2014, 8:03 pm
Nancy Rosenthal from Park Slope says:
Hannah I love your topics, your writing and Brooklyn. Been here for 59 yrs!!! Keep it comin'.
June 29, 2014, 6:53 pm
Nancy Beranbaum from Fiske Terrace, Brooklyn says:
Great writing, Hannah! Love your work!
June 30, 2014, 8:44 am
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Yellow Hook ain't coming back.
July 1, 2014, 11:19 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: