The historic 1.5 mile Bowery is the oldest thoroughfare on Manhattan Island. Long before Broadway became Manhattan's signature road, the lane that would become the Bowery wound to the island's upper reaches. It was a dirt trail etched by the bare feet and moccasins of the Native Americans before the Dutch arrived and situated their farms.
The Bowery's first residents were ten families of freed slaves in 1645. Then in the late 17th century when the Dutch settled Manhattan island, they named the path Bouwerij road. “Bouwerij” is an old Dutch word for "farm" and was appropriate as it connected farmlands and estates on the outskirts to the heart of the city in today's Wall Street and Battery Park area. By the end of the 18th century, the Bowery became New York’s most elegant street, lined with grand theaters, soaring banks, mansions of prosperous residents and fashionable shops.
To read more hisotry, visit The Bowery House