Weeping Beech Park
The Weeping Beech tree that once rooted itself in this park lived for 151 years, from 1847 to 1998 -- one of the City's few trees to be landmarked. The tree originated at a nobleman's estate in Beersal, Belgium from whence it was transported to New York City by the efforts of one enterprising gardener. Samuel Bowne Parsons (1819-1907), a prominent horticulturalist and father of Parks Superintendant Samuel Parsons Jr. (1844-1923), obtained the seedling and planted it on the grounds of his renowned nursery. In its maturity, its branches touched the ground and re-rooted, creating a ring of offspring surrounding its immense canopy. In the years before it finally succumbed to old age, it reached sixty feet in height with a "leaf curtain" of eighty feet in diameter. Legend has it that this tree gave rise to generations of Weeping Beeches (Fagus sylvatica) in America.
This parkland was first acquired by Parks in 1925, and was originally known as Jackson Park due to its location on Jackson Avenue (now called Northern Boulevard). The playground opened on October 10, 1950 and a second parcel was added in 1951. The latter portion was named Carman Green in 1976 for Margaret I. Carman (1890-1976), a Flushing High School teacher who created the Flushing Freedom Trail to link the area's rich heritage through its landmarks. Adjacent to the park is the oldest landmark in the area, the Bowne House, located at Bowne Street and 38th Avenue. It was built by John Bowne in 1661 and, as perhaps the oldest existing house of worship in America, is celebrated as a "national shrine to religious freedom." From Bowne's courageous defense of the Quakers' right to worship, to Kingsland Homestead in the post-revolutionary period, to the Weeping Beech, a reminder of the nurseries that flourished in Flushing up through the 19th century, this cluster of landmarks unites three centuries of Queens' history.
Information from www.nycgovparks.org