A Street running from Broadway between John and Liberty Sts., east to the East River, is one of the most ancient in New York. It was established as a road in the earliest times of the Dutch, its course through a valley being the easiest route of passage from the two great highways along the North [ Hudson ]and East River sides and was from the first used as such. It was then known as “T’Maagde Paatje,” or the Maidens Path. It was laid out as a street about 1693, during the governorship of Colonel Fletcher, when it received its present name. At present it is lined with substantial stores and is the center of the wholesale jewelry trade.