It was a mild winter Friday evening, on December 16, 1853 when a group of prominent area landowners met at the School District No. 2 Yellow Hook school house, then located on Third Avenue near our present day 73rd Street. As a result of the 1848-49 Yellow Fever epidemic, villagers were especially concerned about the continual stigma of having a name like Yellow Hook! So in the one-story frame school building, a historic meeting was called to consider a name change for their village.
James Weir, a florist with nurseries and greenhouses in the area, proposed the name “Bay Ridge,” taking in consideration the geographic features of the surrounding land, specifically, the bay along the Narrows and the high ridge just up from the shore which was formed by a glacial moraine. The new name was unanimously accepted and a resolution passed adopting it.
On December 16, the Bay Ridge Historical Society will be devoting a part of its meeting to a champagne toast heralding the 162nd anniversary of Bay Ridge. Also on the evening agenda, Colonel Joseph Davidson, commanding officer of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, will be the keynote speaker. He will be discussing the history of one of the oldest U.S. Army bases in the nation which just happens to be located in Bay Ridge. Fort Hamilton is now the only active military post in New York City.
The BRHS meeting kicks off at 7:30 p.m., in the Shore Hill Neighborhood Center, on 91st Street between Colonial Road and Shore Road. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Thomas McCarthy is the current BRHS president.
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Bay Ridge Democratic District Leader Kevin Peter Carroll, who running for re-election in 2016, recently held a fundraiser at the Salty Dog on Third Avenue. Among the elected officials attending we saw Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, City Councilmembers Vinnie Gentile and Mark Treyger, newly minted Assemblymember Pamela Harris, Kings County Democratic Chair Frank Seddio, District Leaders Joseph Bova, Betty Ann Canizio, Ari Kagan and Mark Davidovich, plus a host of civil and criminal court judges. We also spotted community leaders like Ilene Sacco, Cory Provost, Mary Ann Walsh, David Ryan, Irene Hanvey, Janet Gounis, Linda Orlando, Larry and Phillipa Morrish, and Kathy Khatari.