Visit the Wikipedia page for Greenpoint, Brooklyn for full history...
Greenpoint first began to change significantly when an entrepreneur named Neziah Bliss married into the Meserole family in the early 1830s after purchasing land from them. He eventually bought out of most the land in Greenpoint. In 1834 he had the area surveyed, and in 1839 he had a public turnpike opened along what is now Franklin Street. He established regular ferry service to Manhattan around 1850. All of these initiatives contributed to the rapid and radical transformation of Greenpoint.
In the years that followed Greenpoint established itself as a center of shipbuilding and waterborne commerce; its shipbuilding, printing, pottery, glassworks and foundries were staffed by generation after generation of hardworking immigrants. Germans and Irish arrived in the mid-19th century and large numbers of Polish people began arriving before the turn of the century. The homes built for the merchants and the buildings erected for their workers sprang up along streets that lead down to the waterfront. Today, this area is on the National Register of Historic Places as Greenpoint's Historic District.
Greenpoint's East River waterfront holds the maritime history of the community. The buildings which formerly manufactured the ropes for the shipbuilding industry are still there. Long a site of shipbuilding, the neighborhood's dockyards harbored the construction of the USS Monitor—the Union's first ironclad fighting ship built during theAmerican Civil War. It was launched on Bushwick Creek. The Monitor, together with seven other ironclads, was built at the Continental Ironworks in Greenpoint.
In 1866, the largest wooden ship ever built up to that time, The Great Republic, was built along Newtown Creek."