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Forest Grove

Forest Grove

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This park draws its name from the streets that bound it: Forest Avenue and Elizabeth Grove Road. It is situated near the bridge that connects Staten Island with Elizabeth, New Jersey.

In October 1664, the native Unami of Staten Island sold a 500,000-acre tract of land encompassing this property to a group of English colonists. English King Charles II (1630-1685) granted the Duke of York the North American territories, and he in turn appointed Governor Colonel Richard Nicholls (1624-1672) to oversee his land. Nicholls granted these colonists permission for their purchase, but problems soon arose.

The colonists discovered that the Duke of York had already granted to Lord John Berkeley (1607-1678) and Sir George Carteret (1610-1680) a tract of land known as New Jersey, which encompassed the land of the Unami. In 1665, Berkeley and Carteret installed Carteret’s cousin Phillip Carteret (1639-1682) as Governor of New Jersey. Despite its ambiguous ownership, Governor Nicholls and Governor Carteret worked together to develop their land. They established Elizabethtown, probably named for Sir George Carteret’s wife Elizabeth. Governor Carteret named Elizabethtown the capital of New Jersey in 1668.

In 1740, King George II (1683-1760) chartered Elizabethtown as an independent town and borough. British soldiers that camped on Staten Island often raided the town during the American Revolution. It was chartered by the New Jersey Legislature until 1855, when it officially became a city.

This park is located in the northwestern Staten Island community of Mariner’s Harbor. Before the turn of the 20th century and the subsequent pollution, Mariner’s Harbor supported a thriving oyster trade (both fishing and harvesting) and a successful ship building and repair industry in the waters of the Kill van Kull. Kill van Kull borders Mariners Harbor to the north. It is a tidal strait, approximately three miles in length and a thousand feet wide, which separates New Jersey and Staten Island. It is one of the most bustling waterways in New York Harbor, connecting Newark Bay with Upper New York Bay.

The City acquired this parkland in May 1938 from New York State and immediately assigned it to Parks. Commissioner Stern named this land Forest Grove in September 1996. The park is a wet, wooded plot, full of maple (Acer spp.) and oak (Quercus spp.) trees, and marsh flora. Although located in close proximity to commercial development, ducks can occasionally be found resting on this bit of green.

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  • Mon
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