Carroll Gardens is a neighborhood in northwestern Brooklyn just north of Red Hook and west of Gowanus. The area, originally considered a part of South Brooklyn, was settled by Irish and Norwegian immigrants but over time developed into an Italian and French enclave. The community is famed for its brownstones with tons of greenery, high-quality and long-standing restaurants, ornate churches, including St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the South Congregational Church, and historic streets. Here are ten secrets of Carroll Gardens!
1. The neighborhood was named for the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence
The name Carroll Gardens (and Carroll Park) comes from Charles Carroll of Maryland, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. During the Revolutionary War, Carroll led a regiment of 400 men that tried to regain a farmhouse on the Gowanus Creek from the British. About 300 were killed in the attacks, but the neighborhood was named in honor of him and his troops in 1853 for their patriotic acts. It is likely, though, that Carroll never stepped foot in what would become Carroll Gardens.
Carroll was also the last surviving person to sign the Declaration of Independence, passing away in 1832. He served as the first U.S. Senator from Maryland, and he was often considered the wealthiest and most educated of the signers. His personal fortune amounted to about $375 million today, and he lived on a 10,000-acre estate that included about 300 enslaved people.