NYC is known as one of the most beautiful and unique places on the planet. So it is no wonder that there are many beautiful areas in it for people to choose from. Actually, we are here today exactly because of that. This is a place that has become quite popular in recent years. It has become so well known that almost every Brooklyn moving company has helped someone move here at least once. So we decided to tell you some fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn you should know before moving here.

Welcome to Gowanus Brooklyn

There are many things said about the Gowanus area. One of the most commonly associated phrases with Gowanus is the “shortest”, “most significant”, and “most active” area. But the most important thing is that it is the most populated canal in the whole nation. For about 150 years, this canal in Brooklyn has been known as the “Lavander lake” due to the constant oily sheen and bad smell that has polluted the area. But now it has shone in a new never-seen-before light.

Black and white photo of NYC representing Fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn
NYC is one of the cities that provides its residents with many interesting areas to choose from

Due to the changes in this Brooklyn neighborhood, Gowanus movers have become quite busy. Now, next to the contain sanitation warehouses, a fuel oil distributor, garages, and the Department of Environmental Protection Pumping Station the area has also seen a rise in residential buildings and residents. Besides the few homes and apartments, there are old factories and warehouses that have been transformed into homes for aspiring artists.

Fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn

That was history. Here are a few fun facts:

  • You may spot whales in the canal
  • Gowanus played a big part during the Revolutionary War
  • Gas plants were one of the first industries that moved here
  • The Dutch invested a lot in this neighborhood
  • The first concrete buildings were built in Gowanus
  • You can canoe in the canal
  • There is a bit of mystery behind the name of this Brooklyn neighborhood
  • Gowanus is the birthplace of ice baseball

Whales have been spotted in the Canal

One of the most known facts about the area is that it was beyond polluted at one point. So one would imagine that the sea life here would be in a lot of trouble. But despite that, there have been many sightings of beautiful marine creatures over the years. Dating all the way back to 1922, there have been reports of dolphin, shark, and seal sightings, in the area. But the most unique one was in 2007. In 2007 there was a report of a whale sighting. The beautiful baby minke whale was spotted swimming in the canal.

Revolutionary War

How can we talk about fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn without mentioning the big role it played during the Revolutionary War? Many people that are contacting and asking for moving quotes NYC movers offer are interested in the area due to its history. During the famous battle of Brooklyn in August of 1776, panicked American soldiers that were chased by 20,000 British soldiers used the canal as a natural divider. They retreated across Gowanus Creek (which later became the canal) and managed to keep their stance there.

A girl sitting next to the river with NYC buildings behind her reading about Fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn
The canal even now serves as a natural divider in NYC and is one of the few important places in the Revolutionary war history

The Gaslight District

We already mentioned that the area had many nicknames. Among them, one of the oldest and most well-known is “The Gaslight District”. One of the first industries that moved into the area was the Gas plants. The main goal of these factories was to transform coal into gas. But the leftover coal was unfortunately dumped into the canal, and that aided the pollution in the area. Although the pollution has almost disappeared today, there are still some leftover signs. So many people look for an eco friendly moving company to minimize the detrimental effects their relocation can create.

The Dutch

When the Dutch came here they invested a lot in the area. They made a lot of ponds and, later on, used the flooded meadows as an over source for grinding flour and ginger. But although they used the ponds to the fullest capacity. They were not the ones that originally made those ponds. In fact, they were dug by African slaves.

The earliest known concrete buildings in NYC

When concrete was introduced as a building material, people in NYC were very interested. That evolved into a showcase of the first concrete buildings. And one of the fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn is that those first buildings were built here. Manufacturers created the Coignet Stone Company. They made an office building to serve them as a prototype as well as a marketing strategy. It was built between 1872 and 1873, and today it is the city’s oldest standing concrete building.

NYC skyline and shore against cloudy skies
NYC now is a concrete jungle. But one fun fact about Gowanus Brooklyn is that it is home to the first concrete building in the city

Canoe in the canal

If you are someone that enjoys water sports, then this is a place you need to visit. No one would even imagine that a good Canoeing opportunity can be found in between NYC concrete. So many are surprised when they find out about The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. This is a club that brings awareness of flood topics that impact the Canal while advertising waterfront stewardship. They also promote the importance of care for the canal through many different programs.

The mystery behind its name

Over the years many people have tried to figure out the meaning of the name Gowanus. But even with all of their efforts, they could not reach a conclusion. The word, “Gowanus” is not found in any dictionary. Some do speculate that the word has native American heritage, but even that can’t be proven. It is made known, however, that the word itself is a lot older than “Brooklyn” and even “New York”. As such it has remained one of the biggest mysteries of the area.

The birthplace of ice baseball

It is already known everywhere that winters in NYC are not the most pleasant, as snow and ice become the norm throughout the city. So it is not surprising that the ponds in Gowanus Canal during winters become natural ice-skating rings. During the 18th century when winter came and the pounds froze, people used them as a fun pastime. They would skate on them to their heart’s content. One of the fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn is that in 1861 ice skating was combined with baseball and gave birth to one of the most famous and amusing pastimes in the history of the area.

Despite its not-that-clean and attractive history, Gowanus has become one of the most popular Brooklyn neighborhoods for newcomers. Also, a lot of its history contributes to its charm and appeal. And after all, would there be as many fun facts about Gowanus Brooklyn if it hadn’t been for a bit of a rocky past?