BROOKLYN (Old Brooklyn)

BROOKLYN, a portion of Cleveland bounded by BROOKSIDE PARK on the north, the CUYAHOGA RIVER on the east, Brookpark Rd. on the south, and Ridge Rd., W. 66th, and W. 61st St. on the west, was settled in 1814 as the hamlet of Brighton, situated at what is now the intersection of Broadview and Pearl roads. Brighton was originally laid out on land belonging to a farmer named Warren Young in the area of Brooklyn Twp. south of Big Creek Valley. In Mar. 1838 the Ohio legislature passed an act incorporating Brighton Village, but in Feb. 1839 the act was repealed and Brighton returned to Brooklyn Twp. In 1889 the community boasted a population of 1,000 and its petition to incorporate, this time as S. Brooklyn Village, was granted on 10 June 1889. The S. Brooklyn community was an important market-gardening center for generations. A milestone in S. Brooklyn gardening history was made by Gustave Ruetenik & Sons, when it introduced greenhouse gardening in 1887. Public transportation came near to the community's borders in 1869, when the Brooklyn St. Railway Co. received a 24-year grant to run down Pearl (W. 25th) St. from Lorain Rd. south to the Cleveland city limits. The Johnson house at the corner of Broadview and Pearl was the hub of commercial activity in the S. Brooklyn area for many years—a well-known stopover for farmers coming to Cleveland to sell their produce. A succession of bridges across the valley eased access to the north. S. Brooklyn led this section of the nation by using bituminous macadam to pave Pearl and State Rds. in 1903. S. Brooklyn was annexed to the city of Cleveland in Dec. 1905, followed by 3 adjacent portions of Brooklyn Twp. between 1915-17. In June 1927, when part of Brooklyn Hts. village joined the city, Cleveland acquired its present boundaries. With the passing years, the identity of the village of S. Brooklyn dimmed. Gradually, especially after World War II, all of Cleveland south of Big Creek came to be known as the Brooklyn section of the city. In 1976 the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp. was formed to help spur community redevelopment and revitalization. In recent years, residential and commercial interest has grown and Brooklyn has enjoyed an uptick in new businesses and refurbished homes. The community’s population, relatively stable for decades, currently (2019) stands at 33,665.

Updated by Christopher Roy

Wilmer, Kathryn Gasior. Old Brooklyn/New Book I (1979).

———. Old Brooklyn/New Book II (1984).

See also SUBURBS.

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