Black in 19th c. Brooklyn

The Green-Wood Historic Fund presents a special Trolley Tour for Black History Month connecting Green-Wood and Weeksville Heritage Center through Brooklyn's history on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 11:00 AM.

Black in 19th c. Brooklyn

Green-Wood | 25th Street and Fifth Avenue | Park Slope

The Green-Wood Historic Fund presents a special Trolley Tour for Black History Month connecting Green-Wood and Weeksville Heritage Center through Brooklyn's history on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 11:00 AM.

In 1838, just eleven years after New York State abolished slavery, a free black man named James Weeks made his first purchase of land in Brooklyn. Weeksville, named after Weeks, would become one of America’s largest free Black communities prior to the Civil War. In the same year, Green-Wood Cemetery was established.

What do they have in common? Both honor the lives of African Americans who lived in Brooklyn and made their mark on the city’s past and future.

Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at Green-Wood

Nearly two hundred years later, Green-Wood and Weeksville Heritage Center join together to celebrate and recognize their shared history by welcoming you to a very special Saturday afternoon. Aboard Green-Wood’s trolley, you’ll begin your tour with a survey of the many prominent Black New Yorkers and abolitionists laid rest here, including Margaret Pine (1778-1857), the last woman to have lived as a slave in New York, Susan Smith McKinney Steward (1847-1918), whose family owned land in Weeksville and who became first black female doctor in the state, and the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), among many others.

Then we head to Weeksville in Crown Heights, now Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, to see the new permanent exhibition Weeksville, Transforming Community/In Pursuit of Freedom and the 19th century Hunterfly Road houses. This trolley tour begins and ends at Green-Wood.

A box lunch will be provided, and we’ll dine in the new and beautiful main room of the Weeksville Heritage Center. Please email with any food allergies.

Weeksville Heritage Center

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE - $35 for members of Green-Wood and BHS/$40 for non-members.

Green-Wood trolley tours are fully accessible and ADA compliant. In order to accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility device, advance arrangements must be made. Please call (718) 210-3080, ext. 1. Please note that portions of the tour take place outside the trolley and may require exiting the vehicle on multiple occasions.


Founded in 1838 and now a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. By the early 1860s, it had earned an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the prestigious place to be buried, attracting 500,000 visitors a year, second only to Niagara Falls as the nation’s greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked there to enjoy family outings, carriage rides, and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood’s popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City’s Central and Prospect Parks.

Green-Wood is 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, throughout which exists one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. Four seasons of beauty from century-and-a-half-old trees offer a peaceful oasis to visitors, as well as its 560,000 permanent residents, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors.

A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.


Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, is a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn - one of America’s first free black communities.  Using a contemporary lens, we activate this unique history through the presentation of innovative, vanguard and experimental programs.  Weeksville advances its mission through history, preservation, visual and performing arts, ecology and the built environment.