Much of Tottenville’s history connects to the shoreline with the Tottenville-Perth Amboy Ferry, the shipyards, and a large oyster fishing trade. Hotels abounded, and the community was a bustling small town.
Do you have any memories of the Perth Amboy Ferry?
First operated in June 1860 with steamboats, the first true ferryboat was the Maid of Perth, which set sail in 1867. The ferry was a profitable enterprise as an adjunct to the Staten Island Rapid Transit. Even after the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, it continued as a profitable project because of its frequent and reliable service over a period of 81 years.
This company’s last ferry, the Charles Galloway, left Pert Amboy for Tottenville on Oct. 16, 1948. Smaller boats provided subsequent ferry service until 1963, when this service between Staten Island and New Jersey ended.
What do you think?
In these days when we seek to go green and reduce our dependence on cars, would the idea of a ferry from Tottenville to New Jersey interest you?
Tottenville was one of Staten Island’s first inhabited towns, once known as a place of hotels and summer homes. Over the years, Tottenville became a quiet, sometimes forgotten, residential area, affectionately known as the town with bars and churches on every corner.
Now it is somewhat less quiet, complete with strip malls and at times, what seems like a traffic light on every corner, but our churches are still here, and we still have bars.
What is most important, however, is that somehow with all the growth, we continue to hold tightly to the warmth and strong sense of community that has historically been, and will continue to be, our greatest strength.