This playground, located in Queens on the Rockaway peninsula, is named for nearby Almeda Avenue. This area has had a long and interesting history. Originally spotted by Henry Hudson in 1609, the area served as home to a small tribe of Canarsie Indians. The name Rockaway was probably derived from the Delaware or Chippewa Native American language expression for sandy place, which was interpreted as ‘Rockaway’ by the European colonizers of the 17th Century.
The land was owned by a number of prominent families, most notably the Cornell family. After a partition suit divided the plot in 1808, the parcels were sold to outsiders, notably the Rockaway Association, which began to build exclusive resorts in 1833. During the 1890s, a variety of amusement parks were built, rivaling the popular Coney Island area for weekend and summer getaways. In 1898, the Village of Rockaway Park was incorporated into New York City.