The Upper West Side attorneys at Banville Law are excited to share this brief history of the Manhattan neighborhood.
The Upper West Side 12,000 Years Ago
It was around 12,000 years ago that the Upper West Side first became inhabited by the Munsee, a subtribe of the Lenape. This tribe lived on land that is now called New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The Munsee would build temporary villages, living off of different areas of land depending on what was in season. Their way of life continued until Europeans arrived on American shores.
Dutch Settlers Arrive In New York
In the early 1600s, the Dutch arrived and began to form settlements in New York. The Munsee and other tribes did attack several times, preventing the Dutch from expanding too far. However, following the raids and battles, trades were made with the tribes for the land.
Eventually, the English took over New York and remained in control until the end of the American Revolution.
Although New York City experienced several battles during the American Revolution, the area survived and the population began to grow.
Upper West Side After The American Revolution
The area’s proximity to the river caused numerous shipping, transportation, and manufacturing businesses to pop up. This brought jobs to the area and what was once farmland turning into businesses and housing. The neighborhood was connected to other parts of the city by the subway from 1885 – 1910.
The area has undergone many changes since that time and in the late 20th century the Upper West Side underwent a phase of urban renewal.
Today, just under 200,000 people live in the Upper West Side. The vast majority of the residents are adults and the median household income is $123,000. Residents can take advantage of numerous restaurants, visit historical sites, and see shows at places like Julliard.