East Flatbush is a dynamic neighborhood that was once considered an amalgam of several smaller neighborhoods.
The western section of today’s East Flatbush was originally part of the Dutch town of Flatbush, while parts of the eastern side stood within the town of Flatlands. Much of the land was used for farming before the late 1890s.
The development of East Flatbush into residential neighborhoods began around the turn of the 20th century after Henry Meyer’s Germania Land Company purchased 65 acres of farmland in anticipation of a promised subway extension.
The neighborhood may have been known to hold Remsen Village, Rugby Wingate and Farragut, but the neighborhood of Erasmus is the only that remains a recognizable entity within East Flatbush. The area around Erasmus Hall High School for example, informally defined Erasmus from the time the school was founded in 1786 until it became a part of East Flatbush in the late 1970s when residents strove to improve their community.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, a shift in population from Italian-Americans and Jewish to Caribbean and Caribbean-American led to the development of several neighborhood associations
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