Saturday, November 27, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS GRASMERE

On the recent poll that I posted on to my blog, I asked readers what town in Staten Island they wanted to learn about next. The winner was Grasmere. It isn't very rich in history, but does have interesting facts none the less. It sits on the lower end of Clove Valley, its original name was Southfield, and was founded in 1683.

Sir Roderick W. Cameron who was a founding member of the American Jockey Club played a big part in the development of the town Grasemere. He built his dream house in the town and named it after his birth town Grasmere, which was apart of England's Lake District. Many believe the reason behind this was that this town reminded him of his birth place due to the amount of lakes in the area. One of the more popular ponds in the area in Brady's pond, also known as Grasmere's pond. Brady's pond was named after Philip Brady, a man that purchased the land around 1800. Another pond in the area is Cameron Lake, although only the expensive homes that surround it get to benefit from the beautiful view. Roderick Ave. is also named after the founder as well. He had also built a stone manor on what is now Radclif Rd., along with 5 other smaller ginger bread looking houses across from his house. Also a gate house to his estate stood on Stuben and W. Fingerboard up until mid-1980's. The Sir had a shipping company that connected New York to Australia. The main town in the area is Concord, Grasemere is just a division of it, along with Dongan Hills, Emerson Hill, and Old Town. Well at least in the 1800's it was this way. At this time Grasemere was the most exclusive place to live in Staten Island. The woods surrounding Brady's pond was once called Haunted Woods due to a murder that was committed in the area. 

Most of the more extravagant home built in the area around Radclif Ave, Lakeside Pl, Leslie and Whitney Ave, as well as Hillside Terr., where built by famed architect Ernest Flagg.

 Another interesting fact is the beginning of Easy Money, staring Rodney Dangerfield, is filmed on the intersection of Hylan Blvd and W. fingerboard, and Sand Lane. Also the second drummer to the rock group Twisted Sister grew up on W. Fingerboard.

3 comments:

  1. I am thoroughly enjoying this information!

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  2. Grasmere is indeed very interesting. The association of the name with Sir Roderick W Cameron is probably a myth. Sir Roderick was born in Glengarry County Ontario Canada in 1825 and he had no connection with English Lake District. Sir Roderick's 300 acre country estate and stud farm was known as Clifton Berley. Until his death in 1900 the location was known as Clifton. The original Cameron mansion stood on the site of 101 Radcliff Road. It burned down in the 1930s. All of the stone houses on Radcliff were built by Ernest Flagg in the late 1920s.

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