Bloomfield and East Orange, Essex County, NJ
The park is bounded by the Garden State Parkway, Glenwood Avenue, Cleveland Terrace, Dodd Street, and Bloomfield Avenue.
Watsessing Park is adjacent to the Garden State Parkway (near exit 148) on the Southbound side and Bloomfield Avenue.
From the Garden State Parkway South exit 148, take the exit ramp to the third set of lights and make a right turn onto Bloomfield Avenue. Go to the next traffic light, which is Glenwood Avenue, and make a left turn. Soccer fields are approximately one-quarter mile from here.
The meandering Second River, joined here by Toney's Brook, flows through this long open park, the fourth largest park in the county system.
The Second Riverheads head northeast through Watsessing Park then turns east to go between Hendricks Field to the north and Branch Brook Park to the south. I continues on through Belleville Park and into the Passaic River.
The park name may have been derived from the Lenni-Lenape Indians (hill, (Watschu) and stone (Assan).
1884 -- the Rev. Charles Knox wrote a history of Bloomfield . He says that the park name is indeed Indian in origin but that the name meant crooked or elbow-like and was to have been applied to the very crooked Third River that makes a large elbow near the centre of the town.
1899 -- the Olmsted Brothers firm drew up the designs for the future park.
1901 -- land acquisition for Watsessing Park began when ten acres were donated by the City of East Orange to the Park Commission.
The park has been enlarged considerably over time, but was reduced slightly with construction of the Garden State Parkway.
Source: Bloomfield New Jersey Historical Photographs, History, Photos, Churches: YE OLDE TIME WATSESSING; http://www.firstbaptistbloomfield.org/watsessing.htm