Dec 192012
Image source: Aislinn Ritchie via Flickr.

Image source: Aislinn Ritchie via Flickr.

It can be easy to forget a friend’s birthday, especially when it falls smack in the middle of a hectic holiday season – which is why we’re wishing a belated happy birthday to our much-beloved hood of Bay Ridge!

According to Home Reporter, this past Sunday, December 16, was the 159th anniversary of the day in 1853 when prominent residents of Yellow Hook voted to change the area’s name to Bay Ridge.

The name change was prompted by an outbreak of yellow fever. Not wanting their beautiful bay side hamlet to be associated with the illness, community leaders made the real estate-savvy decision to name the area after the terminal moraine, or ridge, it sits on top of.

The Southwest corner of what was to be Kings County had been named for its yellow soil by Dutch settlers in the 1600s.

The group of local landed gentry – including New Utrecht [Bay Ridge was part of New Utrecht at the time] town supervisor Tunis G. Bergen of Bergen family fame, who voted on that fateful day in 1853, met at the District 2 Yellow Hook schoolhouse – which was located on 3rd Avenue near 73rd Street.

Other prominent citizens present at the meeting included James Weir – a local florist and botanist who first proposed the name Bay Ridge; as well as Henry C. Murphy, a former Congressman who came to reside in a stately home located on the future site of Owl’s Head Park.

For more on this historic event, you can read the full article at Home Reporter.