Allerton Playground and the avenue on which it lies are named in remembrance of Daniel Allerton (1818-1877). Allerton was an early Bronx settler who purchased and farmed this area with his wife Hustace. In 1914, the City of New York constructed Allerton Avenue on what was previously the Hammersley family estate, a property that had been mapped in 1856. The stretch of Allerton Avenue between Lurting and Tenbroeck Avenues was originally known as Thomas Haddon’s Saw-Mill Lane after a structure that had stood there in the 1720s.
The Allerton family history in America dates back to Isaac Allerton (1586-1659), who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Isaac’s travels began in 1608 when he moved from London, England to Leiden, Holland and found work as a tailor. He soon joined John Robinson’s Separatist congregation, a group of religious dissenters who arrived from England in 1609. Allerton married congregation member Mary Norris two years later. Shortly after his marriage, Allerton began planning and equipping the Separatists’ expedition to the “New World.” He, his wife, and three of their four children departed on the Speedwell but transferred to the Mayflower when the former ship proved hazardous.
In 1620, the Virginia-bound Separatists landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts due to rough seas that had pushed them off course. Allerton was the fifth signer of the “Mayflower Compact” which ensured the establishment of a civil government, the rule of law, and governance by mutual consent. Allerton served as assistant Governor between 1621 and 1624. He also negotiated with the local Wampanoag Native Americans, secured the Plymouth Colony’s charter from England, and discussed mutual concerns with representatives of the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony. Many of Isaac Allerton’s decedents are buried in the Allerton family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, which lies near Central Avenue.
Allerton Playground is bound by Allerton, Bouck, Stedman, and Throop Avenues. On January 26, 1950, the Board of Estimate acquired this property by condemnation for educational purposes. The playground opened in May 1955 and is jointly operated by NYC Parks and the Department of Education. NYC Parks maintains the facility in service of the local Allerton community and the adjacent Throop School (P.S. 121).
This playground was previously known as Throop Playground after the adjacent school and street, which in turn are named for former Governor of New York State Enos Throop, who served from 1829-1833. In August 1997, NYC Parks changed the playground’s name to honor Allerton. The playground features play equipment, benches, swings, a comfort station, a flagpole with yardarm, and bocce, handball, and basketball courts.