The first Tiffany in America, Humphrey Tiffany (1630-1685), was killed by a lightning bolt during a ride from Swansea, Massachusetts to Boston with a woman named Low. A couplet of the time memorialized the event:
Squire Tiffany and Mistress Low
By a stroke of lightning into eternity did go.
His descendant, Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), established the famous jewelry store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. H. D. Tiffany, another family member, was one of the many 19th century landowners whose names appear on streets and monuments throughout the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Tiffany Playground bears his name, as does Tiffany Street, where the playground is located. Fox Street, which intersects Tiffany, is named for William H. Fox, Tiffany’s father-in-law and a descendant of George Fox (1624-1691), the charismatic Quaker leader.
The original inhabitants of the area were the Weckguasgeek Native Americans, corn and tobacco farmers who called their land Quinnahung, or “planting neck.” European settlers displaced the Weckguasgeek in the 17th century. They named the peninsula Hunts Point for Thomas Hunt, who settled there in 1670. The newcomers built elaborate estates and farmed the land as well.
Originally part of West Farms in what was then lower Westchester County, Hunts Point became part of New York City in 1874. It underwent significant growth after the IRT subway line to Manhattan was completed in 1908, but later urban development put an end to the farms and the mansions and the area went into a period of decline in the 1950s. Today, community groups are making Hunts Point a desirable place to live once again. The neighborhood is famous for the Hunts Point Terminal Market, the largest produce market in the United States
Tiffany Playground, previously P.S. 150 Playground, was built in 1923 as part of P.S. 20, which was replaced by P.S. 150 in 1982. Parks acquired the 1.205 acres in 1959. In 1987, Commissioner Stern officially named the site Tiffany Playground. It underwent extensive reconstruction in 1996 with a $460,000 allocation from Borough President Fernando Ferrer. The main portion now contains brightly colored adventure equipment on a safety surface, with separate areas for handball, basketball, and table games. A sprinkler is set off to one side to keep others dry when children are cooling off on hot summer days, and a sitting area with benches is also sectioned apart. London planetrees (Platanus x acerifolia) provide shade and greenery to the entire site.