Gravesend, Brooklyn, New York City
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Gravesend (pronounced "GRAVES end", not "grave SEND") is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. It is bordered by Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, and Coney Island. The name is derived from the Dutch "'s-Gravensande" which means "the beach of the Grave". However, many speculate that the namesake of Gravesend comes from many roads that intersect the Washington Cemetery located in the area, between 65th Street, Bay Parkway and Ocean Parkway. Shoreline parks include Drier Offerman Park.
Gravesend was one of the original towns in the Dutch colony of New Netherland and became one of the six original towns of Kings County in colonial New York. It was the only English chartered town in what became Kings County and was designated the "Shire Town" when the English assumed control, as it was the only one where records could be kept in English. Courts were removed to Flatbush in 1685. The former name survives, and is now associated with a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Gravesend is notable for being founded by a woman, Lady Deborah Moody; a patent was granted to the English settlers by Governor Willem Kieft, December 19, 1645.
Gravesend Town encompassed 7,000 acres (28 km˛) in southern Kings County, including the entire island of Coney Island, which was originally the town's common lands on the Atlantic Ocean, divided up, as was the town itself, into 41 parcels for the original patentees. When the town was first laid out, almost half were saltmarsh wetlands and sandhill dunes along the shore of Gravesend Bay. An independent town up until the late nineteenth century, Gravesend was annexed to Brooklyn on May 4, 1894 as its 31st Ward.
The current community of Gravesend is centered on the former village square centered at the intersection of [Gravesend] Neck Road and McDonald (formerly Gravesend) Avenue. The center of the square is dominated and served by the Avenue U station of the IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway system.
Gravesend Race Track
In 1886, the Dwyer Brothers formed the Brooklyn Jockey Club and rebuilt the horse racing track at the Prospect Park fairgrounds. Opened in 1887, they called their new facilty Gravesend Race Track. Among the major graded stakes races launched at the track were the Brooklyn Handicap, Brooklyn Derby, Tremont Stakes, and the Gazelle Handicap. The facility closed in 1910 and the land was eventually sold to real estate developers
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