Grasmere was named by Roderick Cameron, a mid-19th-century developer who named the area after an English Lake District village. In the 1880’s, Mr. Cameron sold land to Philip Brady, who harvested ice from the pond that is now called Brady’s Pond. Grasmere has always been considered one of the most prominent communities on Staten Island, with the area around Brady’s Pond being particularly prestigious. During the 1800s, the harvesting of ice on Staten Island’s lakes and ponds was a very profitable business. At this time, a Philip Brady acquired a portion of the land in what is now Grasmere.
It is not certain whether Brady owned the land before Sir Roderick Cameron came to the area, or if Sir Cameron had sold him, a portion of the land, which included a very large swamp. Nevertheless, a dam was placed on the nearby swamp, and the swamp was converted into a pond. Philip Brady, in turn, began to harvest ice on the pond that is now known as Brady’s Pond. Brady’s Pond is New York City’s only freshwater pond that enables visitors to swim in it. The park in which the pond is located, which also bears the same name, is surrounded by the streets of Hylan Boulevard to the east and Narrows Road South to the north, as well as the pond itself, to the west.
People who do not reside in the neighborhood of Grasmere may access the park by Manorville Court, which almost juts into the pond, underneath the greenery of the park. To the south of Brady’s Pond, you have the smaller Cameron Pond. The pond is surrounded by a gated community and is owned, along with Brady’s Pond, by the Cameron Lake Club. This privately-owned club was established in 1930. Not only must the members of the club live in Staten Island, they must live within a certain distance of the pond. If you are one of the more fortunate residents who have “lake rights,” you will have access to a sand beach, as well as a club house and row boats. Being that Brady’s Pond is also owned by the Cameron Lake Club, the public may not use non-motorized boats in the pond unless they have these “lake rights.”
Although intersected by many major roads, Grasmere has maintained a quiet and more suburban character.
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