Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York, is known for its  unique neighborhoods, homes, and churches. Brooklyn was originally an independent city, and with more than 2.5 residents, still feels like its own city. In fact, if it was still independent, Brooklyn would be the fourth largest American city!


Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, NY

(All photos will enlarge when clicked on)

The Gerritsen Beach  neighborhood in the southern end of Brooklyn, New York,  is named for Wolphert Gerretse, whose 15,000-acre grant from the West India Company in 1629 included what is now Gerritsen Beach. A farmer descendant named Hugh Gerritsen  built a tidewater mill in 1665 on a marsh creek that is now known as Gerritsen Creek.  The mill was still working more than a century later and ground flour for George Washington's troops during the American Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, the mill was destroyed by fire in 1931.


Gerritsen Creek

Until the early twentieth century, the area remained undeveloped except for a few squatters’ bungalows clustered at the foot of Gerritsen Avenue. In 1920, Realty Associates, a speculative real-estate builder, began constructing a middle-class summer resort there. The southwestern section of Gerritsen’s meadow was soon covered by one-story bungalows with peaked roofs and no backyards; typically, these houses were built on tiny 40-by-45-foot lots. The popularity of this venture spurred further growth.


Photos of original homes in Gerritsen Beach circa 1920's -1950's  source

Some bungalow-owners made them suitable for year-round habitation; others built two-story houses with backyards; and, within a decade, there were fifteen hundred houses in Gerritsen Beach.


Today most of the Gerritsen Beach homes have been renovated and expanded either upwards or outward to take advantage of their property as possible. It still retains its quaint fishing village allure, however, due to its narrow streets and areas where homes sit directly at the water's edge.


Because of it's small town feel it has been used as the location for many movies such as City Across The River,  Moscow on the Hudson , She's The One, and Then She Found Me.



I hope you enjoyed looking at another unique neighborhood in my home borough. I'm linking this post to Mary at The Little Red House Mosaic Monday event.  Please visit Mary's blog to see her gorgeous pillow mosaic and to find  links to other blogs participating in Mosaic Monday.




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50 comments:

ellen b. said...

Hello Pat! I love these images you captured. The blue is such a lovely blue. Love the shot of the adirondacks!!
What fun. Happy MM to you!! Boy I really like exclamation points...

Ebie said...

Hi Pat, love all the blues in this mosaic. It is a very unique community. Yeah, I've seen Moscow on the Hudson, and I think Robin Williams played the role.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I loved the history lesson and beautiful photography tour of your area!

Lana G! said...

Love your photo tour! Beautiful scenes!

The Gathering Place said...

I love your mosaic! You find such interesting places to take pictures! I need to travel more!
JoAnn

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Amazing to think that such neighborhoods exist in NYC!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

What a wonderful capture you have here.

I so enjoy visiting you and your fun way you present everything.

the chairs are some of my favorites.

If you get a moment would love for you to stop by and say hi!

TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful area of Brooklyn, Pat... I have always heard that Brooklyn was one of the best areas to live in ---if one moves to the NYC area. I love Gerritsen Beach... SUPER... Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kathy said...

Gorgeous images of Brooklyn, Pat. I loved reading the history and info you added too!
Have a beautiful new week...Kathy

Lily Hydrangea said...

What a neat place. I am wondering if maybe one day you'll start giving tours of Brooklyn!
If you ever do, please, sign me up.

Jackie said...

Hi Pat

What a great post!! The photography with the beautiful blue is wonderful. I love the chairs in a row. Also a learning blog about places I will never get to visit. Thank you, have a great week. Jackie in UK

Riet said...

Good morning Pat. What a beautiful mosaic of all these beautiful pictures .I love to come visit your blog as I learn every time.Gerritsen Beach what a beautiful place. Gerritsen is a Dutch surname so sounds familiar.

Melanie said...

What a pretty area Pat. It definately looks like the sort of place I'd love exploring too.

viel said...

thanks for the tour! your photos are really wonderful.

viel

Gena D said...

What a wonderful post!! First off an excellent mosaic. Also love the idea of this quaint place - the homes and the lovely details - gorgeous!!! looks like a place I would love to visit!
Gena @ thinking aloud
Blog: http://tobethinkingaloud.blogspot.com/
and
Vintage Rose Studio
http://vintagerosestudio.blogspot.com/

Jojo said...

Thank you for the tour and history lesson. It's a charming view of the community.

Happy Monday!

Junie Moon said...

I love anything associated with the beach and especially those places that have the "quaint" quality you mentioned. It's nice to read about a place at the beach that doesn't feature condos. I like the bungalows factor. That last picture with the chairs makes me want to sit down with a good book and just breathe in the sea air while I'm reading.

Dishesdone said...

Love Brooklyn! Fabulous post! I have so much history, moved when I was 3 but so many relatives, we were there every weekend. Have never been to Gerritsen Beach, it's lovely! Looks like a fabulous community! I knew Mill Basin and Brighton Beach :) You can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but you can't take Brooklyn out of the girl!

Enjoyed your mosaics very much!

Claudia said...

I have never been there. Already told my family that on our next NYC trip - we will be going to Brooklyn a lot! (Last time we just walked across the Brooklyn Bridge). Thanks for the toour!

storyteller said...

I've never been to Gerritson Beach but it looks like a lovely place. Seems like the history is similar to beach communities here in Southern California. Thanks for sharing ;-)
Hugs and blessings,
Small Reflections

Jenny said...

I say lets get some blankets and a thermos of something hot and yummy and sit on those chairs. Lovely post! And good morning!

Sea Witch said...

My dad used to hang out here and courted mom here as well. It is such a sweet vision to the eye. I so enjoy your city. Sea Witch

Annalisa said...

Hi Pat,what a lovely photos!The history is very interesting,and I love your mosaic.
Have a lovely day,
Hugs
Annalisa

ceekay said...

Love the photo of the adirondacks....Great shot!

Grace said...

beautiful photos! Thank you for a different Brooklyn views. I think when people from NY hear Brooklyn they think Bensonhurst only! Were you or are you a teacher? You are so interesting and I enjoy reading your blog. Hugs Grace

joybuzz said...

I bet those homes on the water go for a pretty penny these days:)
Joyce

Mary said...

Oh what a terrific little history lesson, and some beautiful photos to boot! Thanks so much, Pat! :)

Vee said...

I had no idea of this cozy little spot near you. What gorgeous photos!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Nice to know there are such lovely places in Brooklyn. So many of us are only familiar with what we see on television!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Phenomenal mosaic Pat! You really captured the feel of the area and fishing village. It made me wish for summer.
♥, Susan

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Grace! No I was never a teacher; I was a registered nurse. I've always loved to learn new things and having a blog has helped me to do that! :-)

Joybuzz -- Thanks for your comment --do you have a blog? the homes in Gerritsen Beach for the most part do not have much property, which helped to keep prices low. As the homes were bought and renovated from bungalow to larger homes they have commanded a higher price over the years.

Sara said...

Pat,

How fun to explore Broolyn. Love the houses and how close some of them are to the water.

I've never been to Brooklyn - just Manhattan - but, one day I want to go and visit the entire area. I think my aunt lived in Brooklyn ... or was it the Bronx. I can't remember.

mbkatc230 said...

Such a pretty area. I don't know why I only think of "beach" property in NY as Long Island, it's all surrounded by water. This looks like a wonderful place, still seems like a small town, yet in the middle of the largest city. How perfect (well, except maybe for the weather, but can't have everything I guess) Kathy

Kathleen said...

I never heard of it, but dh says he knows it. But he grew up in Queens..I am a country girl..
Great pics..so blue!

steviewren said...

Pat, I love these pictures...especially the last one with the kitty peaking out from under the Adirondack chairs. This is another spot in Brooklyn I've never heard of.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Wonderful mosaics, and what beautiful water! Also, a very interesting history. laurie

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Great mosaic...and so much more! You are always a storehouse of information.

It looks inviting...to pay a visit to Brooklyn and relax in the easy chairs when the tour is done.

Tracy said...

LOVE the new banner, Pat--nice new look... And love that last photo of the chairs especially. The mosaics are fantastic... and as always, the history provides good lessons we might have otherwise missed! Happy Day, my friend ((HUGS))

Catherine said...

Your mosaic is beautiful. Love the post. I always forward a link to these posts to a friend, a former Brooklyn resident. Beautiful area you focused on today.

Jojo said...

Thank you for your sweet comments! Saturday was such a great day!

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

What a neat place to live! I always love hearing about the places you go :)

It sounds like your New Years was wonderful! Especially that gorgeous food. I can't wait for more recipes ;)

(((hugs)))
rue

Kathy said...

Gerritsen Beach looks beautiful Pat, I love the creek photo and your mosaic is gorgeous. On one of our tours around NYC we were told that more movies were shot in NYC than Hollywood now. Happy week to you, hugs, Kathy.

Manuela@TPOH said...

This looks like such a picturesque village. Lovely photos!

Manuela

supplies overflowing! said...

Hi Pat~
Here is another place that I've never heard of! It looks so cool! Now to find a map of Brooklyn~
My older daughter loves Brooklyn so much that she said she would consider moving there if she ever had the option to live in or near NYC. Through your photos, and posts, I can understand why.
I don't know why I have never been.
My neighbor and I still plan to walk the bridge one day...
take care-
jenny

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Beautiful photos!!! I don't know why but I just never thought of Brooklyn as having such quiant areas. Someday....
I don't think I've metioned that I love your new banner photo...I do!

Lorrie said...

Thanks for another fun and informative tour Pat. I love the bungalows. They remind me very much of the ones I was familiar with as a child when I went to visit my uncle who lived in Long Beach on Long Island. I know they are of the same vintage as the ones on your photo. Gerritsen Beach sounds like a place I'd like to visit.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love that last photo of the Adirondack chairs! Reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd go to the Catskills. :-)

Carol said...

Thanks for the tour & great pictures! Have a wonderful weekend!

Kate on Clinton said...

Hello, beautiful photos! I've never been to Gerritsen Beach, but I'd like to make the "trip". Looks like a lovely place to walk around on a nice day.

Sister--Three said...

Gerritsen Mill, Beach, and Creek were not named for Wolphert Gerretse. Wolphert's last name was Couwenhoven. The Gerritsen's who owned the Mill and lived on the Beach for almost 300 years were the descendants of Gerrit Remmersen. Dutch children of this era took the first name of their father for their surname. Gerrit's sons Rem and Samuel used the surname Gerritsen. Rem moved to Cape May, New Jersey, and died there. Samuel Gerritsen lived in Gravesend and Samuel owned the Tide Mill. Hugh Gerritsen held title to some land in this area in 1645. His relationship to Samuel Gerritsen, if any, is not proven. Documented proof of the passing of the Tide Mill exists in the land record's of Kings County. The Mill passed from Samuel Gerritsen (1671-1763) to his son Johannes (1716-1766). In the New York Surrogate's office, Liber 25, page 232, is the will of Johannes Gerritsen, miller, of Gravesend, who gave to his son, Samuel Gerritsen, all his real and personal estate, subject to certain legacies, which he (Samuel) was to pay. In this will he names his widow, Jannetie, and a daughter, Ida. His executors are named as his brother-in-law Michiel Vandervoort, and Rem Williamson and his cousin Jacobus Rider. The date of this will is December 20th, 1765. Johannes first wife and mother of Samuel was deceased. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Vandervoort (Michiel was her brother). Ida was the daughter of Jannetie Williams Gerritsen. Samuel Gerritsen, of Gravesend, recorded his will in the Kings County Surrogate's office, in Libel 2, probated in 1822. In this will he leaves the grist mill and farm to his son, John S., and names daughters, Jane and Elizabeth. He appoints his son-in-law, John Lott, and grandson, Van Brunt Magaw, executors. Van Brunt Magaw was born September 7th, 1783; died March 18th, 1831. He was a son of Colonel Robert Magaw, an officer of distinction in the Reyolution, and Marritje, daughter of Colonel Rutgert Van Brunt. Van Brunt Magaw, married November 2nd, 1811, Adriana, daughter of Louwrens Voorhees and Jannetie,his wife, daughter of Samuel Gerritsen. This Samuel Gerritsen (grandson of the elder Samuel, born 1671) was the miller during the Revolutionary War,who dumped the grind stones into the Harbor rather than to mill for the British! John S. Gerritsen continued to operate the Tide Mill. The will of John S. Gerritsen, miller, of Gravesend, was probated September 2nd, 1864, and is recorded in Libel 28. He leaves his farm, meadows and mill to his son, Samuel J. Gerritsen, and another farm which he had bought of the Stillwells, to his other son, Simon C. Gerritsen. Samuel J. Gerritsen'S will was recorded on October 31st, 1876, and was made May 4th of the same year. He leaves all his property, both real and personal, to his two daughters, Mary C., widow of Abraham Ditmas Polhemus, and Helen B., wife of Stephen H. Herriman, both of Brooklyn. In 1899, the estate was sold to the Honorable William C. Whitney, who rebuilt, laid out, refitted and restored the premises, making one of the most magnificent country seats around New York. On his death his son, Harry Payne Whitney, came into possession of the properly.