Walker Park: Snug Harbor, Staten Island NY
Posted by Anthony Licciardello on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at 8:20am.
From the beginning of the American Civil War, Major General Richard Delafield was in charge of the defenses at New York Harbor. By 1864, he became the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, a title he held until his retirement in 1866. At the time of his retirement, he resided at his estate on Bard Avenue, which was located in northeastern West Brighton, a community known as Livingston. Major General Richard Delafield passed away on November 5, 1873.
In 1872, one year prior to Major General Richard Delafield's passing, the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club was formed. The club had originally made their home at Camp Washington, which was a part of the current St. George neighborhood. In 1874, two years after having been establishing, the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club underwent a huge change. This was the year that a new sport was introduced to the club, as well as to the rest of Staten Island.
You've probably heard of the Outerbridge Crossing, the southernmost bridge in the state of New York. What you may not have known, however, is that the bridge was not named for its location, but rather for the first Chairman of the Port of New York Authority, Eugenius H. Outerbridge. If you had never heard of him, there's a good chance you haven't heard about his sister, Mary E. Outerbridge. In 1874, Mary E. Outerbridge discovered the sport of lawn tennis in Bermuda. That same year, she came back to Staten Island, where she introduced the sport to the United States. The first game, as well as the first national tournament, was played on an hourglass-shaped court there.
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, everything began to intertwine. In 1886, the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club purchased $40,000 worth of land at the Delafield estate, which became their new clubhouse. By the twentieth century, tennis had become more popular than baseball, and in 1906, the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club had changed their name to the Staten Island Cricket and Tennis Club.
In 1930, the name was changed yet again to the Staten Island Cricket Club. The following year, the site was transferred to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, who named the site Livingston Park, after the neighborhood in which it was located. Three years after the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation had acquired the site, the name was changed to Walker Park. This name change was given to commemorate Lieutenant Randolph St. George Walker, Jr., who had also been a member of the Staten Island Cricket Club.
Today, Walker Park is roughly 5 acres of land between the streets of Bard Avenue, Davis Avenue, Delafield Place, and Livingston Court. Sports that can be played in the park include baseball and softball, basketball, cricket, football, soccer, and tennis. Football and cricket are often played on the softball field, as they do not have their own fields within the park. Aside from the sports fields, smaller children can enjoy the playground, which was renovated in 2001. Also found within the park is a monument, which also honors Lieutenant Randolph St. George Walker, Jr. Surrounding these facilities, you can find benches to admire the beautiful species of flora, which include evergreen trees, London plane trees, and sweetgums.
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