Looking for movers in Manhattan now can be chaotic. Manhattan is a veritable concrete jungle now, but it wasn’t the same 400 years ago.

If you think that Manhattan is a crowded place, just wait until you see what it looked in its early years. Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator who discovered Canada, some parts of the United States, including Manhattan, NY. 

When Hudson first arrived in Manhattan in 1609, the place was ecologically diverse. There were hills, trails, streams, as well as a wide variety of fauna. It certainly did not look anything like the metropolis that it is now.  If early settlers never managed to colonize Manhattan, it would have been one of the most magnificent national parks in the US.

If you want a peek or just curious about what good old Manhattan looked like years before, keep on reading and we’ll show you. 

Manhattan in the 1600's

Manhattan Was A Diverse And Rich Landscape

There were salt marshes and along the tidal creek just where Chinatown stands years ago. When Hudson sailed to New York Bay, Manhattan was threaded with trails that were once used by the Lenape Native Americans. There were lots of biodiversity in each acre. If you’d compare the land to our modern times, it could even rival national parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. 

Oak Trees And Tidal Streams

The United Nations where world leaders usually meet and gather to discuss vital aspects of development used to be a block where tidal streams and oak trees stand. One could even speculate that this was where Lenape Native Americans used to hang out to go fishing. 

Lower Manhattan Was A Sandy Beach

Lower Manhattan is where the site of the World Trade Center now stands but 400 years ago, this place was nothing but a mere sandy beach. On the lower East side of Manhattan, there is now public housing. Years ago, however, it was only a low-lying marshland. 

A Maple Swamp In Times Square

Eric Sanderson is an ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who started a project about creating a 3D map that would give people visuals on how Manhattan actually looked like before New York was tagged as the city that never sleeps. The purpose was to encourage people to have a greater appreciation for Manhattan’s transformation from ecological land to a metropolis. 

When Sanderson went on an interview with the National Geographic Channel, he shared with the staff that right where Times Square stand was actually a maple swamp hundreds of years back.  Sanderson was following a swamp trail until it ended through the entrance of Marriott Marquis Hotel. He said that several years back, the swamp would have been a perfect place for beavers, deer, and wood ducks. 

Manhattan Island 400 Years Ago 

Manhattan Island

Looking at modern Manhattan, it’s hard to picture the natural wonder that existed here a long time ago. As a matter of fact, it took scientists 10 years to unravel the mystery of what Manhattan actually looked like before it made its glorious transformation. 

Manhattan used to be a place with many hills. Because of that, the Lenape Native American at that time decided to call it Manahatta Island. The term Manahatta is a Native American word that refers to “many hills”.