Joel Wolfe, a native of Richmond, Virginia, moved to Staten Island during the early part of the nineteenth century, when Staten Island was also known as Richmond. For about twenty years, he spent his days dealing with the importation of gin and brandy from Holland and France.  Wolfe retired in 1848, which is probably around the time that he removed to Manhattan.  While he resided in Manhattan, he still owned the enormous farm on Staten Island wolf1_400and allowed his servants to live there while they took care of the residence.

In 1857, Wolfe sold a parcel of his land to the State of New York who, by fall of that year, had a Quarantine hospital built on the site. The Quarantine hospital was used for immigrants coming to Staten Island who had acquired yellow fever elsewhere. This was particularly convenient, as the site was located right by the water. While non-residents of Staten Island were sent to the hospital, sick Staten Islanders were permitted to return to their homes, which the healthy residents deemed as inconvenient. These healthy Staten Islanders were fearful that the epidemic would spread with the return of sick residents, which it did. In April of the following year, the locals burned the hospital down.

The park itself is located in the Princes Bay neighborhood. On the site, there are a number of ponds that had formed naturally many years ago. Of these ponds, there are two which are quite prominent among the others. The first was named Wolfe's Pond, for Joel Wolfe. The second, which is actually connected to Wolfe's Pond by a stream, is Acme Pond.  Wolfe's Pond played a significant role in the naming of one of the island's most popular facilities,wolf3_400 whose history we will get into now.

During the early part of the twentieth century, there was a housing boom on Staten Island. The Wolfe farm was originally intended to have a new housing development, but it never actually saw fruition.  By 1929, the Estate was acquired by the City of New York. It was here that they decided to create a park, as the area was already being used as a recreational site by local residents. This park became known as Wolfe's Pond Park. With roughly 340 acres, the park is surrounded by the streets of Holten Avenue, Chisolm Street, Luten Avenue, and Cornelia Avenue. Other boundaries include the Raritan Bay and the Staten Island Railway.

As stated, the site is right by the water. Consequently, Wolfe's Pond Beach is quite popular, just as it had been before the site was transformed into a park. In addition to the beach, however, there are a number of other recreational facilities for people to enjoy throughout the year. These include barbecuing areas, an area for dog runs, hiking trails, playgrounds, a roller hockey rink, and tennis courts. 

There are a number of events which occur at Wolfe's Pond Park during the year. The majority of these events are hosted by the Urban Park Rangers, who supply you with all the materials you will need at no cost. Just to give an beach1_400example, one of the recent events that took place at the park was the Million Trees NYC Spring Volunteer Planting Event.  At this event, if you couldn't guess, volunteers helped to plant trees within Wolfe's Pond Park, among a few other parks in New York City. Aside from the event being free, another benefit was that volunteers were provided with breakfast and lunch. With free programs and free food, how much better can you get?

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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