This village was founded by the Rev. Calvin Swain, who filed the first land claim on June 16, 1832. Elder Swain, who had been a chaplain in the War of 1812, was a Baptist minister and the postmaster in Adamsville, New York, before coming to Michigan at the age of 54. By 1833 he had established a settlement and a sawmill here. The town was called Swainsville until August 5, 1836, when the name of Brooklyn was adopted by a vote of the town meeting. Mr. Swain was the postmaster until 1841. He founded Baptist churches at Brooklyn, Woodstock, and Napoleon. He died in 1856 and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Napoleon.