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A brief History of Marine Park - The neighborhood

Brooklyn and the Marine Park area have a long, rich history. Dating back to the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, the northern half of Brooklyn, and Long Island, was the southernmost point of the polar-ice expansion. In fact, the northern part of Brooklyn was covered under a 1 to 2 mile high wall of ice. If you were to stand at Eastern Parkway, in central Brooklyn, this is where the ice stopped its push south from the Arctic Circle. As the melting ice retreated north, it transformed the southern part of Brooklyn into an area of flat plains and soft rolling hills - where the Marine Park community now exists.

Map 1: The 6 European towns of Brooklyn - 5 Dutch and 1 English (Gravesend)

Human existence, in this southern part of Brooklyn, dates back hundreds of years. Archaeological excavations in Marine Park have revealed food preparation pits dating from 800 to 1400 A.D. and containing deer and turtle bones, oyster shells, and sturgeon scales. Local Native American tribes (the Lenape, the Manhattas, and Carnarsee tribes) used the area for farming and fishing. Major streets in Brooklyn, such as, Kings Highway, Shore Road and Flatbush Ave. were actually old Native American trails. Most local tribes were nomadic and lived only part of the year in the Marine Park area. During the Spring, tribes settled in southern Brooklyn, planting crops and fishing. The waters of Jamaica Bay, Gerritsen Creek and Sheepshead Bay were teeming with fish, clams, oysters, and crabs. As Summer turned to Fall, the tribes harvested their crops, gathered their belongings, and headed north. The Fall months were spent fishing along the East River and hunting in the lush forests on Manhattan Island. Winters were spent hunting in Westchester County, in present-day White Plains, New York.

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Map 2: New York City and its surrounding counties

Source: Map 1: Lotthouse.org - Map 2: Hagstrom Map Company, Inc.

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