Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Broadway (I)

Location:   Manhattan and points north
Year:   1642

Although Broadway is known as "The Great White Way" and is a world center of Theatre Arts, Broadway was originally the Wickquasgeck Trail, carved into the brush of Manhattan by the Lenape Indians. This trail originally snaked through swamps and rocks along the length of Manhattan Island. 

Upon the arrival of the Dutch, the trail soon became the main road through the island from New Amsterdam to its northern tip. The Dutch cleared and widened the trail, giving it the name Breede weg --- "Broad Way" --- the name the British adopted. 

Broadway is first mentioned in Dutch records in the year 1642. In the 1740s, lower Broadway in the heart of what was then New York City in lower Manhattan was briefly known as Great George Street, but the name "Broadway" was ultimately applied to the full length of the road. 

It is also known as U.S. 9. It crosses into the Bronx over the Broadway Bridge at Spuyten Duyvil, and continues north --- still known as "Broadway" --- to its end in the village of Sleepy Hollow, a distance of 33 miles, making it one of the longest single-name thoroughfares in the world.

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