No city in the Union was, originally, more highly favored, by nature, with superior sites and advantages for the creation of fine public parks and squares than Brooklyn. When it was merely a suburban village, its cedarcrowned and wave-kissed Clover Hill, the “phetonga” of the aborigines an and the “Heights” of the present day, was the favored resort of city beaux and belles; while its magnificent capabilities as a public promenade, had attracted the attention of some of Brooklyn's most farsighted citizens. Years of agitation of the subject, however, failed to awaken their neighbors to the importance of securing this unrivalled opportunity, ere the crumbling banks should yield to time’s remorseless tooth, and the utilitarian grasp of commerce. Meanwhile, the enlightened liberality of some of the wealthy owners of this section, offered a free dedication of a large portion of the soil to so noble and grand a project. Indifference, however, reigned supreme, and finally the opposition of one (otherwise excellent) man, through whose beloved cabbage patch, the proposed promenade would have passed, was allowed to block the wheels of this most beneficent enterprise; and, to-day, Montague park is only represented by a few acres which the taste and liberality of its owner has rescued from brick-and-mortar-dom, and converted in a “thing of beauty and of joy forever.”1 So also it had almost been with that most commanding and attractive locality Washington Park, on Fort Greene, a spot consecrated by the thrilling scenes of the Revolution, and at a later period in 1812, by the patriotic labors of Columbia's Sons, when threatened by a foreign invasion. Despite the strenuous exertions of a few public spirited citizens, that beautiful eminence, with all its interesting associations, was rescued only at the eleventh hour, and then, not until its original proportions had been invaded by the pick and the Shovel. Its history is of some interest, as connected with the history and the fate of several other parks, etc., which were proposed when Brooklyn assumed the dignity of a city.

On the 23d April, 1835, the legislature of the state of New York passed a law “authorizing the appointment of commissioners to lay out streets, avenues and squares in the city of Brooklyn.” By this law exclusive power was given to said commissioners “to lay out streets, avenues and public squares of

1 Reference is here made to the beautiful little park between the foot of Montague and Pierrepont streets, opposite the residences of Mr. A. A. Low and Mr. H. E. Pierrepont.

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