At present a collection of little old house
s in the midst of Brooklyn
. At one time it was a rural settlement of freed blacks in the midst of rural Kings County, the humble genesis of the now large African American population of Brooklyn.
Kings County, the part of western Long Island across from Manhattan, was the 'bread basket' of New York in the years following the American Revolution. Slavery was not widely practiced among the Dutch and English farmers of the area, but after the abolition of slavery in New York State in 1827 the few blacks that were freed needed someplace to settle, and built the community of Weeksville, in today's neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. At the time, things were sufficiently segregated that blacks could not, for the most part, settle en masse in the small town of Brooklyn, which at that time consisted of only the present areas of downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, or any of the other small towns of Kings County. Weeksville was thus for the most part a self sufficient and prosperous town. Some of its residents faced the unenviable task of commuting to work, mostly on foot, to Brooklyn, at that time about five miles away, or worse, to Brooklyn and then to Manhattan via the Fulton Ferry. Nevertheless they built a thriving community.
As Brooklyn grew in the latter 19th century, the development of the (at that time) upper middle class Brownstone Belt neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant encroached on Weeksville, and it became part of the city of Brooklyn as Brooklyn annexed all of Kings County. The network of elevated commuter railways (see Brooklyn Manhattan Transit) reached the Weeksville area and it ceased to be a distinct community. Most of it disappeared as it was developed, however one small collection of houses was preserved and lasts to the present day. There is a small museum.