It’s no secret that Brooklyn boasts a rich history, going back to when the land was settled by the Dutch in the 1600s. That history is most evident in the current names of Brooklyn neighborhoods, most of which have roots back to those early Dutch settlers. Bedford-Stuyvesant, Red Hook, Sheepshead Bay, and Dyker Heights — keep reading for the fascinating stories of how Brooklyn neighborhoods got their names.
The Dutch settled Red Hook in 1636, naming the village Roode Hoek. In Dutch, “Roode” means “red,” referring to the red clay soil of the area. And “Hoek” means “point” or “corner” — the actual “hoek” they were referring to was a point on an island that stuck out into the Upper New York Bay, at present day Dikeman Street west of Ferris Street. When the area was incorporated into the City of Brooklyn in the 1830s, the name Roode Hoek was Anglicized.