1640 the Dutch citizen Frederick Lubbersen was granted a parcel of
land by Governor Keift which extended from the East River to the Gowanus
Creek. Within this area was a native cornfield, cultivated by the Marechkawick
Indians known as the Sassian's or sower's maizeland. The cornfield
was not included in the deed and was to continue to remain Indian planting
land. However, by 1645 it was known as Frederick Lubbersen's maize-land.
The Sassian's maizeland was located in the area now called Boerum Hill—stretching
roughly from Atlantic Avenue to Baltic Street and from Court to Hoyt
Streets. The corner of Smith and Bergen Streets is in the heart of that
area. (map from Indian Paths in the Great Metropolis)
A raised-bed, three sisters garden at the corner of Smith and Bergen
Streets is being sponsored by the Boerum Hill Association, DOT Urban
Art Program, Brooklyn Arts Council,
and the Invisible Dog Art Center.
We are growing; Gigi Hill blue flint corn (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois variety)
Indian Hannah beans (Lenape variety), native white bush scallop squash,
and Seneca sunflowers.
For updates on the progress of the Boerum Hill garden check out the