“Amersfort” is a fairly well-used Brooklyn name. Like Utrecht, it is Dutch in origin. It’s also used for Amersfort Park, a full city block in East Flatbush defined by Avenues I and J and by East 38th and 39th Streets.
Amersfort Park is a pleasant surprise if you’re passing through. It is atypical of NYC neighborhood parks in that there are no athletic fields or even jungle jims or swings — it’s just a pleasant green space with lawns, paths and benches. A former name for Flatlands is “New Amersfort” and the decorative stone monument in Amersfort Park is a copy of a 200,000-year old rock found in Amersfoort, Holland. The nickname for Amersfoort, Keistad (stone-city), originates in the Amersfoortse Kei, a boulder that was dragged into the city in 1661 by 400 people because of a bet. This story embarrassed the inhabitants, and they buried the boulder in the city, but after it was found again in 1903 it was placed on a prominent spot as a monument. The town is a province of Utrecht, from whence many colonial-era Dutch settlers hailed, and the namesake of New Utrecht Avenue in Borough Park.
There had even been a third Amersfort in Brooklyn… the former Amersfort Avenue, which ran for a block from Avenue T at East 53rd Street south to Flatbush Avenue at Avenue U. In a true puzzler, after the nearby Kings Plaza Shopping Center opened in 1970, the then-Department of Traffic renamed it as a southern continuation of East 53rd Street, and the older East 53rd between Avenues T and U was then renamed East 53rd Place. Why the DOT didn’t leave well enough alone is beyond me.