In 1675, a couple from Warwickshire, England immigrated to America. This couple, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Merrill, settled in Staten Island, where they owned much land. By 1683, the area in which they resided came to be known saw_mill_1_400as the town of Northfield. Beginning in 1866, the towns were dissolved and smaller villages were created. These villages became neighborhoods, in which you will find even smaller communities today. Now, the area in which Mr. and Mrs. Richard Merrill originally moved is known as Bloomfield.

From the beginning of the eighteenth century, well into the nineteenth century, Staten Island was largely dependent upon farming. The land owned by Richard Merrill was made up entirely of farmland, with a few exceptions, such as their house. Richard Merrill and his wife, Sarah Wells, had a handful of children. Of these children, the most prominent was possibly their son, Richard Merrill, Jr. This Richard Merrill was a member of the Colonial Assembly from 1725 until 1737, and was the Judge of the County Court beginning in 1737.



The Merrill farm lasted years, as it had been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, due to their prominence, the current neighborhood of Bloomfield was at the time known as Merrill Town. A creek ran through the property which was named after a descendent of Richard Merrill, Sr. It was sometimes called Maggie's Creek or Maggie Merrill's Creek. Today, however, it is known simply as Merrill Creek. There was also a grist mill on the land, which was erected in the early part of the nineteenth century. This structure had many different uses during the time it stood, but the owners never changed-it was always owned by a member of the Merrill family. By the middle of the nineteenth century, however, it was removed from the property.saw_mill_2_400

Over the years, the land was divided up and more houses were constructed. In 1895, land was purchased from descendent Marcellus T. Merrill. This land was used for P.S. 25, which served all of the children in the neighborhood. The school was demolished by the 1930s, however, as most of the residences began to be demolished, as well. By the early 1990s, the site was purchased by the City of New York, who transferred it to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Today, the land is known as Saw Mill Creek Marsh, whose name was given to the site due to another creek which runs through it.

Saw Mill Creek Marsh Park is mostly made up of marshland. You will not find any facilities with the park, but there are many varieties of animals and vegetation which inhabit the site. This park, like many others on Staten Island, is a Forever Wild Preserve. This means that many of the species within the park are quite rare. Among the fowl which reside or pass through the park, you saw_mill_3_400can find egrets, black- and yellow-crowned night herons, falcons, ibises, killdeer, mockingbirds, mourning doves, palm warblers, red-winged blackbirds, seaside sparrows, sharp-tailed sparrows, short-eared owls, spotted sandpipers, swamp sparrows, tree swallows, turkey vultures, Virginia rails, white-throated sparrows, wintering Northern harriers, wood thrushes, and woodcocks. There are also other organisms, such as diamondback terrapins, Eastern cottontail rabbits, fiddler crabs, muskrats, raccoons, and white-footed mice. As for the flora, you can find the black cherry, the flowering shadbush, the tree-of-heaven. Among the rare vegetation, you will find a clone of persimmon and oak hybrids.

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