Plan of the City of New Haven, 1802
June 6, 1802
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript
This map shows New Haven's original nine squares, laid out in 1641,
and the subsequent growth of the city.
African-American businessman William
Lanson, who arrived in New Haven around 1803, purchased property
in New Township (shown on the map directly east of the nine squares,
in the area of the city that now includes Wooster Square). New Township
became the site of New Haven's first black neighborhood.
In 1802, town fathers began plans to extend New Haven's principal wharf (visible on the 1802 map), but by 1809 the new wharf was only half-finished. The remaining work posed seemingly insurmountable engineering difficulties, but William Lanson was determined to complete the job, and by 1810 the new Long Wharf was ready for use.
Landfill has altered the much of the geography of contemporary New Haven. Water Street, which once fronted the harbor, is now completely landlocked.