On Wednesday, Sept. 21st, BHS held its annual fundraiser Brooklyn Bounty, which is a wonderful event celebrating the borough’s food culture and sustainability movements. This year we also displayed historic maps illustrating Brooklyn’s farming history and pre-industrial landscape. In this post, I will be highlighting one my favorite maps showcased at Brooklyn Bounty. Titled “Plan of large & small gardens at the Pierrepont Homestead, Brooklyn,” this manuscript map was created by William C. Pierrepont in 1821.
First, an image of the map in its entirety. Although it may be underwhelming at first glance, its charm is really in the details.
A closer look and the layout of the Pierrepont family’s gardens is now visible. We see a barn, hotbed, greenhouse, and planned rows of vegetables. And apparently, the Pierreponts were partial to asparagus!
And zooming in a little more …
It’s easy to forget that Brooklyn was once a farming-based community, but when I look at this map, it helps me to remember that before the paved roads and apartment buildings, the landscape was populated by tilled fields and grazing livestock. It must have been a sight to see.