When walking around Williamsburg, you might occasionally come across “Williamsburg” on signs and buildings written with an “h” at the end: Williamsburgh. According to most historical accounts, the “h” was dropped after Williamsburg became consolidated with Brooklyn in April of 1854. But some banks and institutions maintained the historic spelling, like the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh which was incorporated in 1864. Printed references indicate that the two spellings were indeed used interchangeably for quite some time.
Here’s the Brooklyn Public Library, built in 1903 witih “Williamsburgh” under the arch:
Williamsburgh Savings Bank on Broadway:
But the confusion can sometimes extend to street names. The below signs for Williamsburgh/Williamsburg Street were just one block away from each other, and appears to be of a similar age and make:
And the “h” made its way to other areas of Brooklyn, where the Williamsburgh Savings Bank spread, for example. Here is the sign outside the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Downtown Brooklyn:
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Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.