Veterans Park

Veterans Park

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

What was here before?

The Dutch and the French settled this area in the late 1600s, and it remained very sparsely populated through the century on all of Staten Island in 1698. The county seat was established in 1729 in Richmond, in the center of the island, but most development occurred on the shore at ferry landings.

Port Richmond village grew throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to become a small but important ferry landing, transferring people and property between Staten Island and New Jersey. The Staten Island Railroad built a station there in the 1880s, and it was a transportation hub for streetcars by 1900. Lumber and coal yards clustered around the waterfront, and freight and passenger boats originating in New Brunswick, NJ stopped off in Port Richmond on the way to New York City. Port Richmond also provided a departure point for the ferry route to Bergen Point, now known as Bayonne, New Jersey. The ferry service was discontinued when the Bayonne Bridge, which is visible from the park, opened in 1931.

How did this site become a park?

Veterans Park is Staten Island’s oldest and first public park. In 1836, Peter and Eder Haughwout purchased two large tracts of land for a public park which they presented to the Village of Northfield. Thirty years later, the town was incorporated as Port Richmond, and in 1898, the year of City’s consolidation, this park was named Port Richmond Park.

Located at Herberton Avenue and Vreeland Street, the Putnam Memorial is a large decorative drinking fountain with an engraved dedication to Eugene G. Putnam (1865-1913), who served as the principal of P.S. 20 for 17 years. It was presented by his colleagues and community as a gift to the City in 1915. On Park Avenue, a boulder with a plaque, erected in 1930, commemorates Sullivan’s Attack of August 22, 1777, when American Revolutionary War officer and political leader John Sullivan led an unsuccessful night attack against British forces on Staten Island.

Who is this park named for?

After World War II community residents urged the renaming of the park as a tribute to local veterans. They were successful in 1949 and many more sites all over the country were named in honor of American veterans around this time.

Park Information

Directions to Veterans Park

Highlights

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