New Utrecht is a neighborhood located in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. It stretches from the southern tip of Greenwood Cemetery down to Gravesend Bay. New Utrecht was one of the six original towns established by the Dutch in what is today Brooklyn, New York.
The neighborhood has two distinctions of which most other US cities cannot brag. At first, the original flag pole on which the US flag was flown to celebrate the departure of Colonial British still abides today. Then, second is that a city Church has rung its bells to honor George Washington on his end and every subsequent US President in similar manner. These two meaningful acts show the commitment and patriotism of New Utrecht in exclusive manner.
In 1652, the area was first settled by a surveyor named Cornelius van Werckhoven which born in Utrecht. He as a member of the Dutch West India Company, hearing that the English were making claims on the Dutch possessions on Long Island, came to the New World to found several colonies. Cornelius purchased land from the Indians bearing a quantity of shirts, shoes, stockings, knives, scissors, and combs, erected a house and mill, and returned back to Holland to recruit settlers for his new colony.
New Utrecht granted its charter in 1661 by Governor Peter Stuyvesant when the entire region was part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. New Netherland later came under British rule in 1664 as the colony of New York. The neighborhood has always been considered a place of tranquil beauty and has been scrupulous in building its streets to the point of geometric discipline. It can indeed be used as a marker of urban development during the late 19th and the 20th centuries. New Utrecht finally became part of the City of New York on January 1, 1898.
Many prominent Dutch families such as Benson, Cropsey, Nostrand, Van Pelt, Van Brunt, and DeSille called New Utrecht their home. The residents show admirable resolve in preserving the Nation’s proud heritage. The New Utrecht Liberty Pole Association preserves an important part of local history in the form the Liberty Pole marks the spot over which the American flag first waved in the town. The pole is the sixth one erected in succession on the church grounds which is an imposing structure and can be seen from a long distance.
The New Utrecht High School is a coeducational public high school that has a total of two thousand five hundred students and combines high academic standards with instruction in Cantonese and a rich extra-curricular agenda. In fact, about 90 percent of 2005 graduates here went on to higher education, about two-thirds enrolled at four-year colleges, including CUNY and SUNY schools, and private institutions as diverse as Cornell and Wyoming Technology. The New Utrecht Reformed Church is one of the tourist destinations in the area which is a fine example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture and is built from stones of the original structure constructed in 1677.