This playground’s name has a complicated history. In 1831, Reverend Francis Lister Hawks (1798-1866) moved from South Carolina to New York and began work at St. Stephen’s Church in Manhattan. He moved to Flushing, Queens in 1832 to work at St. Thomas Church, and stayed there for the next 12 years. In 1833, one Colonel George Gibbs, a businessman from New York City, died. Gibbs had acquired the land that is now Ravenswood in 1814, and upon his death it was divided by three developers into nine estates. Reverend Hawks stumbled on the area in the 1830s, and named it Ravenscroft after his friend and fellow clergyman, John Stark Ravenscroft (1772-1830). Years went by, and the settlement deteriorated significantly. Hawks reconsidered having his friend’s name attached to such a location, and renamed it Ravenswood, a linguistic sleight-of-hand; Ravenswood and Ravenscroft bear the same meaning, as “croft” means “wood” in Middle English.