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As soon as Upon A Time In Eltingville

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Household PhotoCap and Tina Kaasmann pose for a photo at Blossom’s grave.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — About 60 years ago, my dad and mom purchased a Swiss Chalet-model house with an acre of land on Hylan Boulevard in Eltingville.

The house sat empty for a yr or extra and was in need of some TLC. Indeed, the weeds had been so high that little me was utterly swallowed up by them until our neighbor got here over together with his tractor and cut them down.

After some renovations and converting the clay tennis courtroom into a baseball diamond, we settled in for an extended stay that isn’t over yet.

Our home was built in 1910 by the John Hales household, who lived simply across the road in a ravishing and elaborate seaside mansion situated on seven bucolic acres on Raritan Bay. Constructed sometime before 1874, the house was named Wakefield.
The Hales family owned vast acreage in Eltingville, roughly between Richmond Avenue (recognized then as Seaside Avenue) and Woods of Arden Road.

Hylan Boulevard (then known as Southfield Boulevard) had solely lately been prolonged previous Richmond Avenue, and was little more than an unimproved dirt lane.

John Hales constructed about 20 lovely houses there within the early 1900s, and since Eltingville at that time was called Seaside, they marketed the properties beneath the identify Seaside Estates.

Happily, nearly all of those homes, including ours, still survive, but sadly, the great Hales mansion is gone. The household, however, is remembered by Hales Avenue and Wakefield Street.

With the woods behind us and the ocean only a street away, rising up in Eltingville, in the 1950s and ‘60s, was simply the most effective!

We were fortunate youngsters and enjoyed our large yard with its pool and playhouse — designed to look identical to the principle house! The deep woods behind our house stretched more than a half mile to Amboy Road.

My brothers and i considered it our playground and we constructed forts there, skated on the ponds, climbed up and fell out of trees (I’ve the scars to show it) and picked copious quantities of wild blackberries and strawberries.

We pretty much lived in the woods together with the pheasants, possums and rabbits. If we weren’t in the woods then we had been down at the seashore. Who might ask for a greater childhood

Years later, when homes had been replacing “our” woods, the bulldozers plowed through the many ponds in the world and we stone island two pocket nylon quilted overshirt watched sadly because the water stuffed our brook and headed for the ocean — taking with it so very many fish. We tried in vain to scoop them up.

The corner of Richmond Avenue and Hylan Boulevard was a one hundred fifteen-acre parcel owned by J. Roberts, who had a horse farm there and a really large barn for his many prized horses.

One grey mare in particular was his favorite. Her title was Blossom. In 1887, Blossom died on the age of 35. Atop a hill on his property, Roberts buried his favorite horse, and marked the location with a large tombstone.

My father found the stone back in the woods and it became a really particular place for us to hike to. Blossom’s stone is inscribed:

In memory of
Our Mare Blossom
for twenty years
a faithful servitor
Died January 8, 1887
Aged 35 years

When the property was being developed with housing, a neighbor eliminated the stone for safekeeping. Immediately, as near as I can figure it, the location of Blossom’s grave is on the slight hillside that’s part of the playground for PS fifty five.

Blossom’s grave is certainly one of my fondest childhood recollections. A photograph exhibits my brother and myself at her grave. I am wearing a whistle around my neck in case I obtained lost in the woods!

I love Staten Island history — and its no wonder, since I grew up with it in my own backyard.
Behind our home is a large historic stone house constructed about 1692. It had a number of owners over time and in 1848, Frederick Law Olmsted got here to personal the 125-acre waterside property.

He named it Tosomock Farm. It was here that he experimented with totally different vegetable plantings and propagating various timber. By 1858, he was the landscape architect for the brand new Central Park in Manhattan.

His career flourished and his checklist of accomplishments in park designs is vast. Nonetheless standing and thriving on the old home are many bushes that he planted, together with two very uncommon Cedar of Lebanon bushes, plus Black Walnuts, Ginko and Horse Chestnut timber.

Our property was once part of his acreage and we have over 30 Osage orange trees planted by him. These bushes have very bizarre-wanting fruit that have been described as trying like inexperienced brains!

I’m certain stone island two pocket nylon quilted overshirt lots of you’ve seen these softball-sized green globes and questioned about them. Squirrels nibble at them however they serve no actual purpose, although some people do believe that they repel cockroaches.

We put them to good use, throwing them at each other throughout mock wars and rolling them out onto the boulevard to watch them get squashed by cars.

The Frederick Legislation Olmsted house is a brand new York Metropolis Landmark and has just lately been acquired by the Parks Division. Future plans name for its restoration.

We grow the most important and greatest tomato plants right here in Eltingville. I wish to think that Frederick continues to be looking over his land.

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