The Hawkins family was one of the oldest in Anne Arundel. Their ancestors came and built a log cabin, then gradually additions were put on it until it is the large colonial home that it is today. They do not live there anymore, but keep it open for visitors. Among the first to settle here were the Crisps, Cromwells, Smiths, Hawkins, Stolls, Bensons, Phelps, Hamlins, Burkes, Stewards, and then later the Pumphreys and Gischels. Lots of the families intermarried, and as most of them were land owners, they had small farms. Later, Brooklyn grew and Baltimore wished to annex it and other neighboring territories. They tried to pass it at Annapolis, by the State Legislature, but were defeated twice by the vote of the people of these territories, but finally they passed it without a popular vote, and then Brooklyn became part of the City of Baltimore. The date of the annexation was 1919.
When the war broke out, new people came into the community and they had to have homes to live in. Down came the farm houses and tombstones. Houses were built all along Sixth Street and from Ballman’s Lane to the Ritchie Highway.
The swamp down near the river was filled in and houses were built there. Brooklyn was like a small city itself, new stores, went up and improvements of roads were making the community larger and more important. Now that the war is over, over half of the new people have gone home, but Brooklyn is still extending as many of the people want to build and live in homes and not just apartments.
Our community is not very old. It will either grow better or become worse in the future. Whatever it does, depends upon its citizens. Let us try to help our community prosper well by becoming good citizens in our school so that our community will be a fine one when we grow old enough to be citizens of it, and. take more part in its activities.
What is now Brooklyn Park was known as “Cromwell’s Woods.” The Cromwells owned a large area of land and a large house down near Riverside Road. Gradually, they sold bits of it as the community grew, for factories and other accessories. The Crisps owned one of the oldest houses in Brooklyn. It is on Morgan Road and Fifth Avenue. Brooklyn Heights was owned by the Smiths. It was a large pear orchard and there are lots of pear trees all around the avenues. Doris and Audrey Avenues are named after two girls of the Smith family. Franklin is named after Franklin Mewshaw; Orchard Avenue got its name from the orchards and Hillcrest Avenue after the large hill there. There were two daughters in the Smith family, Eliza and Fannie. Franklin Mewshaw married Eliza Smith. He was the wealthiest man in these parts.
Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association