Place: Gowanus

In 1636, Gowanus Bay – named after Gauwane (Gouwane, lit. "the sleeper"), a Canarsee Indian – was the site of the first settlement by Dutch farmers in what is now Brooklyn.

At the time, Gowanus Creek opened into Gowanus Bay.  In the 19th Century the creek became a canal.


See this fun interactive:  Marechkawick: A Lenape Town, digital interactive at The Old Stone House in Brooklyn, 2021. Written by Kim Maier, Maggie Weber, and Dylan Yeats and designed by Moey Inc. with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences Inspire! program.

Current Location(s)
Gowanus Creek
Image Credits

Area surrounding the Gowanus Canal.   From NYC Government document "Gowanus: A Framework for a Sustainable, Inclusive, Mixed-use Neighborhood"

Image Credits

View of the house of Simon Aertsen De Hart, still standing on Gowanus Bay in 1867.   From the New York Public Library digital archives. Originally published by Hayward & Co.

Image Credits
Some of the first Dutch Patents, located in Gowanus. Map fragment from the Brooklyn Historical Society. bhs_B-P-17-1864