Links to more resources below in Tabs:
Tottenville Historical Society
Staten Island Museum
Alice Austen House
Staten Island Historical Society
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Sea View Historic Foundation
Preservation League of Staten Island
Staten Island History on the Web
Help Find Your Ancestors.
Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries
FACSI is a 501C3 New York State not for profit, charitable organization founded in 1981 whose mission it is to identify, restore, project and beautify the abandoned, neglected or otherwise forgotten cemeteries and those interred within. We currently maintain approximately 40 acres of cemetery properties as well as an archive of original obscure records dating back 200 years. All donations are tax deductibe.
Read "Staten Island"
by Dr. Thomas W. Matteo
For your copy of "Staten Island" contact me Dr. Thomas W. Matteo
About Staten Island
THE HISTORIAN’S LAW OF 1919
In 1919 New York became the first state to designate a historian for each city, town, and village. This was accomplished when the State Legislature passed a bill known as the Historian’s Law of 1919. The bill, approved by Governor Alfred E. Smith, ensured that New York’s long tradition of studying and preserving local history would continue.
“It shall be the duties of each local historian...to collect and preserve material relating to the history of the political subdivision for which he or she is appointed...” (excerpt: 57.09. Duties of local historian)
“...each local historian promote programs for management, preservation of local government records, encourage the coordinated collection and preservation of nongovernmental historical records and cariy out and actively encourage research in such records.” (excerpt: 1987 Amendment)
Local Government Historians are mandated by statue to report annually to their appointing authority and to the State Historian.
The work of New York State Local Government Historians falls into four broad categories:
The Borough Historian works with other public officers, arts, cultural and historically minded people to share, communicate, preserve, encourage, educate, and encourage dialogue and interactions that benefit the individual groups and the broader New York community.
The Borough Historian coordinates with the New York State Department of Education, Office of the Borough President and numerous city mayoral agencies such as the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Departments of Education, Finance, Parks and City Planning; elected officials, community boards, and a cross section of arts, cultural, civic, educational, ethnic and community organizations inclusive of the Preservation League of Staten Island, Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries, Staten Island Historical Society, Sandy Ground Historical Society, and many of the 450,000 residents of the borough.
PAST BOROUGH HISTORIANS
Charles W Leng (1859-1941) Born on Staten island prior to its consolidation with New York City in 1898, Leng graduated Polytechnic Institute in 1877, but continued studies in entomology and natural sciences. In 1881 he was among the founders of the current Staten Island Institute for Arts and Sciences. An accomplished author, lecturer, scientist, and historian, Leng was appointed as Staten Island’s first Borough Historian by then Borough President Calvin Decker Van Name in 1922. In 1930 Leng, along with William T. Davis, authored the five volume Staten Island and Its People.
Loring McMillen (1906-1991) Born on Staten Island, McMillen developed an interest in local history as a child. McMillen studied Civil Engineering at Union College in Schenectady, New York and after graduation he studied architecture at Columbia University McMiIIen immersed himself in local history; art, photography, and preservation. In 1932 McMillen was appointed Borough Historian. He was foremost among those in the Staten Island Historical Society inaugurating the preservation and restoration of the historic village buildings of Richmond Town. McMillen also researched and wrote on the history of Staten Island, much of which he shared in the Chronicles of Staten Island, a quarterly newsletter he founded in 1985.
Richard B. Dickenson (1929-2006) Born in Greenville, Jersey City; New Jersey, Dickenson received a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1957 and a M.Ed. from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1971. Possessing an abiding interest in genealogy and geography, Dickenson relocated to Staten Island in 1978 and founded Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries in 1982. Appointed Borough Flistorian by then Borough President Guy V. Molinari in 1991, Dickenson’s research into the island’s Afro-American history was compiled and published; other responsibilities included coordination of centennial information related to Staten island’s role in the consolidation of New York City in 1898. Reappointed by Borough President James P. Molinaro in 2002, Dickenson edited and compiled Holden’s Staten Island: The History of Richmond County with an eye toward integrating material on Staten Island’s African American history throughout the book.
It will be our mission to bring as much of our Island’s history into the public domain as possible.
Three goals have been established for 2007:
The purpose of the website is to provide access to information about Staten Island in one place. Books, tours, and links to other website will be found here. As you look through this website, you will find links to such places as Richmond Town, the Staten Island Museum, the Conference House, Tottenville Historical Society, Sea View Historic Foundation, Snug Harbor, the Alice Austen House, among others. In addition, you will find tours, that have been created by the Preservation League of Staten Island and the New York State Council on the Arts, available for you to download and enjoy.
Staten Island Historian, 460 Brielle Avenue, Staten Island, N.Y. 10314