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Tottenville History

This Month in the History of Tottenville

I thought for this month’s blog that I would try something different.  The month in history format is a popular way of gathering tidbits of history, so here goes with random events related toTottenville and its people that have February dates. 
Please leave your comments about your interest in this attempt at a bit of the past followed by current events.
“On February 5, 1851, a post office was established at Tottenville; John Totten was appointed the first postmaster.”
“In 1897 a group of women founded the Philemon Club (later known as the Philemon Literary and Historical Society), to pursue their interest in literature, art, science, civics, philanthropy, and music; their male counterparts established the Philo Debating Society.
Together they called a public meeting on February 6, 1899, at which time the Tottenville Library Association was organized.”
“Spanish American War
Pvt. Joseph S. Decker, Co. I, 71st Regt., a resident of Tottenville, was the only Staten Islander killed in the war with Spain.  A grand parade in his honor took place in February 1899.”
On February 11, 1911 Mary Vassallo, my mother, was born near Naples, Italy; came to the US with her family to the Bronx; moved to Middle Village,Queens; then  lived the last years of her life on Swinnerton Street in Tottenville until her death on January 27, 1986.'s+Day+Look+at+two+Tottenville+mothers.aspx
Three views of Dorothy Day in February through the years from those posted on Catholic Worker from 1917 to 1970 with more information about her life.
February 1917
 February 1940
February 1968
Sharing a couple of articles that I wrote about Dorothy Day:
“The Legacy of Dorothy Day”
Carmine Mangino was born Feb. 12, 1949 and died Feb. 28, 2011.  In memory of my late husband, I am sharing information on two organizations that were a big part of his life in Tottenville:  our parish Our Lady Help of Christians and Boy Scout Troop/Post 46 out of Bethel Church at the now demolished Guthrie Memorial Scout Shack on Brighton Street. 
Carmine found solace in our parish, developing an extra special personal rapport with Father Burke and Father Quinn (who under medication he mistakenly called Father Burke in the hospital, the highest compliment he subconsciously bestowed on Father Quinn.)
In addition, the Boy Scouts were such a huge part of his life in Tottenville, with him especially proud watching both of our sons progress to the highest rank of Eagle Scouts, something Carmine, due to circumstances at the time, had not been able to do himself as a young man.
Our Lady Help of Christians Church
Boy Scouts Troop 46 Guthrie Memorial Scout Shack
“The Staten Island Playwright’s Collective presented “Tailor-made,” a short story adapted into an original short play, in Wacky Love Shorts in February 2011.  This led to their most recent presentation in February 2012 of 7 By 7: 7 Deadly Sinful Shorts, where I wrote of Pride in “In the House of Mourning.”  From my interview with Tottenville writer Jaclyn Lurker
This month Staten Island Parent Magazine published What is Love?  the second of a 3part series ReBuild, ReNew, ReCover  that I’ve written for them, which begins on page 72. The storm named Sandy continues to impact Tottenville, as well as so many thousands elsewhere.  

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