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Today in History

Tottenville Historical Society

Tottenville Historical Society
The former Village of Tottenville had no organization or place to care for its records and treasures of the past. Scattered in shoeboxes, attic trunks, scrapbooks and dusty basement library stacks were the isolated repositories that contained clues to the Village's history.

Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum
You'll find publications pertaining to many fascinating subjects including - Nature, Wildlife, Architecture, Art, Staten Island History and much more! You can even purchase a membership online.

Alice Austen House

Alice Austen House
Located just one block east of Bay Street at 2 Hylan Boulevard is the childhood home of Alice Austen, one of America’s earliest and most accomplished female photographers. Known as Clear Comfort, Alice’s home was built in 1690 as a seaside cottage

Conference House

The Conference House
The Conference House, built in the 17th Century and located at the southern most tip of New York State in Staten Island, is famous for the Peace Conference held there on September 11, 1776

Staten Island Historical Society

Staten Island Historical Society
Historic Richmond Town is New York City’s living history village and museum complex. Visitors can explore the diversity of the American experience, especially that of Staten Island and its neighboring communities, from the colonial period to the present.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a distinguished Smithsonian Affiliate, is Staten Island's premier destination for culture and entertainment.

Sea View Historic Foundation

Sea View Historic Foundation

Affordable Supportive Senior Housing will include hotel-like services such as three meals daily, weekly laundry and linen service, activities, jitney service to the local malls and will also include cable TV.
Tibetan Museum

Tibetan Museum
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art celebrates its 60th anniversary of the Museum's official opening with the installation of a new exhibition, From Staten Island to Shangri-La:

Preservation League of Staten Island

Preservation League of Staten Island
The Preservation League of Staten Island (PLSI) is the only borough-wide historic preservation organization in New York City. Organized in 1977, the PLSI’s mission is to:
Staten Island History on the Web

Staten Island History on the Web
Libraries are the memory of humankind, irreplaceable repositories of documents of human thought and action.
Help Find Your Ancestors.

Help Find Your Ancestors
or those of you interested in tracing your family tree, I have listed several web sites that can be helpful. I will be attaching more as times go by.
Moravian Cemetery

Moravian Cemetery
AmericanTowns offers communities a single online location for everything--and everyone -- needed to navigate daily life in their town. The AmericanTowns site is an indispensable practical tool and the most effective way to bring neighbors together.
Richmond Recovery

RRR Logo

Uncovering Staten Island's past through modern metal detecting technology

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

Book on Staten Island
From the moment Giovanni da Verrazzano first spied it in 1524, Staten Island has been recognized as a verdant oasis at the mouth of one of the world's most breathtaking natural harbors. Since that time, Staten Island has evolved from a hunting ground and farming community to one of suburban homes and small businesses.

For your copy of "Staten Island" contact me Dr. Thomas W. Matteo


Time Line

  • 1524 - Giovanni da Verrazzano anchored in New York Bay - April.
  • 1609 - Henry Hudson anchored in the lower bay - September 3rd.
  • 1636 - David deVries obtains possession of Staten Island from Governor van Twiller - August 13th.
  • 1639 - Colonists arrive from Holland - January.
  • 1640 - Governor Kief sends troops to attack Indians - July 16th.
  • 1641 - Indians retaliate by destroying de Vries’ plantation (Pig War) - September 1st.
  • 1643 - Indians attack settlers (Whiskey War).   
  • 1655 - Indians destroy settlement (Peach War) - September 16th.
  • 1661 - Permanent Dutch settlement of Oude Dorp established.
  • 1663 - Fort Wadsworth established as a Dutch fort.
  • 1664 - English fleet anchors in Gravesend Bay and capture block house on Staten Island. Dutch surrender to English - August 18th.
  • 1670 - Governor Lovelace purchases Staten Island from the Indians - April 13th.
  • 1683 - Staten Island becomes Richmond County - November 1st.Thomas Dongan appointed Governor.
  • 1696 - The oldest schoolhouse still standing in the United States was built.
  • 1698 - Population, 1,063.
  • 1729 - The county seat was established in Richmond Town.
    Court held in the new county court house, southeast corner of Richmond and Arthur Kill Roads.
  • 1740 - Ferry from Staten Island’s east shore to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn established by Thomas Stillwell.
  • 1747 - Ferry from Staten Island’s north shore to New York established.
  • 1776 - British seamen fired upon by General Sterling at Watering Place (Tompkinsville) - April 15th.
    British land 29,000 troops on Staten Island - July 2-3 and 12th. Conference in the Billopp House between Admiral Lord Howe, Benjamin Franklin,   Edward Rutledge and John Adams - September 11th. Colonial troops engage British troops near St. Andrew’s Church - October 24th.
  • 1777 - Captain Andre composed his will at Richmondtown - June 7th. General Sullivan attacks British with 1,500 troops - August 22nd.
  • 1780 - General Stirling attacks British with 2,500 troops - January 15th.
  • 1783 - British evacuate Staten Island. Final shot of the Revolutionary War was fired on Fort Wadsworth by a departing British warship - November 25th.
  • 1788 - New York State Legislature establishes Staten Island’s original four towns: Castleton, Northfield, Southfield and Westfield.
  • 1799 - The State establishes a quarantine station in the town of Castleton (Tompkinsville) - February 25th.
  • 1800 - Population, 4564.
  • 1807 - Daniel D. Tompkins elected governor of New York.
  • 1817 - Daniel D. Tompkins elected Vice-President of the United States.
  • 1824 - General Lafayette visited Daniel D. Tompkins at his home - August 15th.
  • 1825 - Daniel D. Tompkins dies in Tompkinsville - June 11th.
  • 1827 - End of slavery in New York State celebrated - July 4th.
  • 1829 - The Farm Colony was established - October 23rd.
  • 1830 - Sandy Ground was founded.
  • 1831 - Sailors’ Snug Harbor cornerstone laid. Seamen’s Retreat, the old Marine Hospital, opens - October 1st.
  • 1836 - Aaron Burr dies in Port Richmond - September 14th.
  • 1838 - First bank established.
  • 1847 - Captain Jacob Vanderbilt purchased an estate on Grymes’ Hill.
  • 1850 - Sir Edward Cunard built “Bellevue” on Grymes’ Hill.
    Population, 15,961.
    Sandy Ground’s AME Church incorporated.
  • 1851 - Garabaldi and Meucci opened a brewery in Rosebank which later became Bachmann’s Brewery. Staten Island’s first hospital to admit the general public when the Dr. Samuel Russell Smith Infirmary opens on January 8th. In 1917, the hospital is renamed Staten Island Hospital and eventually becomes Staten Island University Hospital.
  • 1853 - Bechtel’s Brewery founded.
  • 1856 - First meeting of The Staten Island Historical Society - January 21st.
  • 1857 - Wolfe farm purchased for quarantine station.
  • 1858 - Quarantine buildings burned by citizens - September 1- 2nd.
  • 1860 - Staten Island’s first railroad begins operating - April 23rd. The first magnetic telegraph line reaches Staten Island - June.
  • 1863 - Draft riots spread to Staten Island - July 14th.
  • 1872 - Staten Island Cricket Club founded - March 22nd.
  • 1873 - The first linoleum plant in the United States began production.
  • 1874 - Lawn tennis was played for the first time in North America - March 20th.
  • 1877 - Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt died - January 4th. Richmond County Hunt Club, forerunner of the Richmond County Country Club, was formed. Staten Island Athletic Club was formed.
  • 1878 - P.S. 1, the oldest continuously used public school on Staten Island was built.
  • 1881 - Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences was organized (originally as the Natural Science Association) - September.
  • 1882 - Electricity used for the first time on Staten Island to illuminate the American Linoleum Manufacturing plant in Travis.
  • 1883 - Metropolitan Baseball Club (Mets) was formed.
  • 1884 - Staten Island Academy opened - September 15th.
  • 1885 - Mount Loretto established.
  • 1886 - Consolidation of ferry and rail service at St. George in a terminal built by Erastus Wiman.
    Ferry from St. George to New York began - February 23rd. Rail service to St. George began operation - March 8th. Staten Island Advance began publishing - March 27th. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West opened at Erastina. The Metropolitans Baseball Club plays its first game in St. George
  • 1888 - Prohibition Park opened. Richmond County Country Club is organized - April.
  • 1890 - Trolley from Port Richmond to Meier’s Corners established - July 4th.
  • 1895 - The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce was organized.
  • 1896 - Bill creating Greater New York, including Staten Island, became law - May 11th. A new house in Westerleigh costs $200.00
  • 1898 - Staten Island joins the other boroughs in forming the Greater City of New York – January 21st.
    George Cromwell became Staten Island’s first Borough President after election was settled in court - January 1st.
  • 1899 - Pants were made to order for $4.00
  • 1900 - Population, 67,021. First golf course opens at Fox Hills.
  • 1902 - The Actors’ Home was founded on Clove Road.
  • 1905 - New York City takes over the operation of the Staten Island Ferry - October 25th. New York City takes over fire fighting responsibilities – October 1st.
  • 1903 - One pound of coffee sold for 12 1/2 cents.
  • 1907 - Procter & Gamble opens its factory in Port Ivory - October.
  • 1910 - The first airfield began operation (Baldwin’s Flying Field). Population, 85,969
  • 1911 - Mount Manresa, the first laymen’s retreat house in the United States, was opened.
  • 1913 - Sea View Hospital opened - November 12th.
  • 1916 - Oystering in Staten Island waters shut down by the Health Department.
  • 1917 - Staten Island began to use water from the Catskills - October 25th.
  • 1918 - Wagner College moved from Rochester to Cunard Estate on Staten Island becoming the island’s first institution of higher learning.
  • 1920 - Richmond Memorial Hospital opened its doors in two wood frame houses. Population, 116,531
  • 1926 - U.S. Gypsum Company began production on Richmond Terrace on the site of the former J.B. King Plaster Mills. First commercial airport in the Greater New York began operation (Donovan-Huges Airport in New Springville-Greenridge area).
  • 1928 - The Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing opened - June 20th.
    First organized baseball league formed by William J. Twyford and William Muche.
  • 1929 - The Staten Island Stapes join the NFL
  • 1930 - Population, 158,346
  • 1931 - The Bayonne Bridge opened - November 14th. One pound of coffee sold for 25 cents. Catsup sold for 15 cents a bottle.
  • 1934 - The last trolley ran from Clove Road to St. George - January 26th.
  • 1936 - Staten Island Zoo opened - June 10th.
  • 1937 - The first free trade port in the United States opens in Stapleton. Staten Island Coach Company replaces trolleys with buses.
  • 1940 - Population, 174,441
  • 1941 - Halloran Hospital established on current site of College of Staten Island.
  • 1946 - Fresh Kills garbage dump opened.
  • 1947 - First secession bill introduced in the State Legislature. Tibetan Arts Center opened under a state museum charter. New York City takes over bus services.
  • 1948 - New York City’s first drive-in-theater (Fabian’s) opens in New Springville - April 22nd.
  • 1949 - Population, 196,000.
  • 1950 - Population, 191,555
  • 1952 - Richmondtown Restoration was established.
  • 1956 - Staten Island Community College opened - March.
  • 1960 - Population, 221,991
  • 1961 - Broadway tickets cost $18.80
  • 1963 - The last Staten Island brewery, owned by Piel’s, closed.
  • 1964 - Staten Island’s last airport ceased operation. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened - November 21st. Mid-Island Little League won the Little League World Series - August 29th.
  • 1969 - The Arthur Kill Rehabilitation Center opened.
  • 1970 - Population, 295,443
  • 1971 - St. John’s University opens on the former site of Notre Dame College on Grymes’ Hill. 
  • 1973 - The Staten Island Mall opens – August 9th.
  • 1980 - Population, 352,029
  • 1981 - Broadway tickets cost $70.00
  • 1989 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the elimination of the New York City Board of Estimate.
    State Legislature passed a bill authorizing a study and initiating the process of secession.
  • 1990 - Population, 378,977. 
  • 1993 - In a non-binding referendum, voters on Staten Island approve secession from New York City by a 2-1 margin.
  • 1999 - Professional baseball returns when the Staten Island Yankees’ play their first home game at the College of Staten Island - June.
  • 2000 - Population, 443,728


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