Deere Park, State Island...Not because there's Deer.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on Sunday, April 29th, 2012 at 7:38am.

When most people in the United States hear the name "Deere", they think of John Deere; and rightly so, as he is arguably the most famous of his family in the country.  For those of you who are only aware of his name's current Deere Park Sign Staten Islanduse as a brand name, John Deere was a blacksmith during the nineteenth century.  From Rutland, Vermont, Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836, at the age of thirty-two.  The following year, in 1837, John Deere opened a shop which dealt with the production of small tools.  That same year, he invented the first successful cast-steel plow.

John Deere would often have people come in to his shop to purchase a plow.  It would take some time for them to receive it, though, as he would have to construct it first.  Deere soon realized that it would be easier for him to manufacture the plows ahead of time and he began to do exactly that.  Having the supply at hand was a benefit for both Deere and his customers-not only because it would be sold immediately, but because customers would know exactly what they would be getting.  Customers began to give positive reviews to others and in time, demand spread.  John Deere's plows became popular each time he relocated his factory, enabling him to stay in business.

The year of 1837 was significant for John Deere for reasons which were not related to his business, as well.  That year, his wife gave birth to a son, Charles.  After having joined his father's company in 1853, he began to make most of the executive decisions for his father.  By 1886, at the time of his father's death, Charles Deere replaced his father as president of Deere & Company.

Ddeere_park_400uring the later years of the nineteenth century, Charles Deere purchased land on Staten Island.  In 1890, his wife had given this land to their daughter, Anna Deere, as a wedding gift to her husband, William D. Wiman.  In February of 1973, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation acquired this site, which is bounded by the Staten Island Expressway and the streets of Ocean Terrace, Staten Island Boulevard, and Tillman Street.  Another boundary, which encloses most of the northern part of the park, is the Michael J. Petrides School.  In 1996, New York City Parks Department Commissioner Henry J. Stern named the area Deere Park.

Today, Deere Park is approximately fifty acres in size.  It has been designated as one of Staten Island's twenty-four Forever Wild Nature Preserves.  The fifty-one Forever Wild Nature Preserves in New York City are made up of ecosystems of rare and endangered wildlife.  All of these sites-Deere Park included-are protected by the Natural Resources Group, which was founded in 1984 by Commissioner Stern, mentioned above.

The Staten Island Greenbelt consists of six major hiking trails.  If you're a fan of hiking, this is definitely the place to be, as you can find the longest trail in Staten Island here: The Blue Trail.  This 12.3-mile hiking trail starts off in Deere Park, at the Staten Island Boulevard entrance.  From here, you can head north for a short hike, where the trail will bring you to Clove Lakes Park.  If you head south, however, you will follow the western perimeter of the Richmond County Country Club, where you will be led through High Rock Park, LaTourette Park, and then north into Bloodroot Valley.

Leave a Comment