Jamaica Playground

Union Hall St., 160 St. bet. 110 Ave. and 109 Ave.


Directions via Google Maps

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

Jamaica, the largest and most densely populated community in central Queens, derives its name from the Jameco (meaning “beaver”) Native Americans, who lived along the shores of what is now Jamaica Bay. In 1655, the first English settlers arrived in Jamaica from Massachusetts and eastern Long Island. Within a year, they secured a land grant from the Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant, who had named the area Rustdorp (“rest-town”). Rustdorp soon became the seat of Queens County. On September 8, 1664, the Dutch surrendered their New Netherland holdings to the English. In 1683, the English governance organized the New York colony into ten counties. Queens County encompassed present-day Queens and Nassau County. The English renamed Rustdorp as the Town of Jamaica; it included all lands south of the present location of the Grand Central and Jackie Robinson Parkways. During the Revolutionary War (1776-1783), the area was predominantly Tory and occupied by Briti…

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Directions to Jamaica Playground

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