In 1907 the sites that are now Sports Park, Toad Hall Playground, and Todt Hill Houses were part of a 35-acre estate owned by Moritz and Elsa Glauber. The Glaubers incorporated and sold portions of their property to their company, Glauber Land Estates, and then to the City. Parks acquired this property on January 17, 1958, in connection with the building of the Clove Lakes Expressway. In the planning stages of the expressway, several intersecting streets were closed and six parcels of land set aside for parks. This site was one of them. It remained a grassy, tree-filled park until 1991.
The surrounding neighborhood has variously been called Yserberg, Todt Hill, The Old Hill and Toad Hill. In each of these names is buried a piece of local history. From the 1600s to the end of the Revolutionary War, the Dutch name Yserberg or its English translation, Iron Mount, referred to the area’s exceptional iron resources. Evidence of iron mining on Todt Hill dates to 1644, but it is known that intensive mining took place between 1832 and 1881. In 1832 Walter Dongan granted Warmaldus Cooper permission to mine the land at the intersection of Ocean Terrace and Todt Hill. Business boomed in 1865 when iron ore was discovered in the serpentine rock that stretches from the Kill Van Kull to Fresh Kills. Because the iron lay close to the surface, it could be extracted with relative ease. By 1881 more abundant sources of iron had been found in the west.
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