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Tottenville History

Tottenville History 1898 June 2016

June 2016
With 8 boxes of research done and only 3 more to transfer to my book writing software,  I’m experiencing progress in the completion of my book on the history of Tottenville. Making a connection with a university press showing interest in a book proposal for potential publication is added encouragement! 

Until that happy day when this long ongoing process allows the finished book, I will continue to share with you, my patient, & supportive readers, a glimpse of both the past and present of this town called Tottenville that we love.

Did you know?

January 1, 1898 was the date of the incorporation of the five boroughs into the one city of New York.   
Robert Anderson Van Wyck was the first Mayor of New York City after the consolidation.
Frank Swett Black was the 32 Governor of New York State from 1897 to 1898.
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25 President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term.  
Historical Setting in 1898 in the US & in the world
With the explosion and sinking in the harbor of Havana, Cuba of the USS Maine on February 15, suspicion of Spain helped initiate the Spanish-American War. During the war,Teddy Roosevelt & his Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill. When the Treaty of Paris ended the war, the United States acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
President McKinley signs the Organic Act to annex Hawaii.
Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium.
Will Kellogg invents Corn Flakes. 
Some Highlights in Tottenville in 1898


From 1840 to around 1900 the cultivation, harvest, shipment, and sales of oysters were important in Tottenville. Because of this, shipbuilding grew in the area.
In the 1880s and 1890s, Tottenville was thriving as an oyster town.

Atlantic Terra Cotta Works

Some artisans of the Perth Amboy Terra Cotta Company left to found the Atlantic Terra Cotta Works in Tottenville.

Businesses in Tottenville

When I was a reporter for the Staten Island Register, I wrote two articles about Tottenville businesses of the past as part of the newspaper’s series on the history of Staten Island. The paper’s former News Editor, the late Bill Franz, a journalist of the highest caliber, wrote many historical articles, and I am forever grateful for the gift to be under his mentorship as I began researching and writing about Tottenville history.  

Much of who I am as a journalist today developed from his teaching the importance of in-depth research to get all the facts in order to back up my words with substance and impartiality. By doing so, he helped to make me a strong writer. My debt to him is immeasurable.
Here are those two articles to share a sense of the business scene at the time:
September 12, 2000 Staten Island Register

August 28, 2001 Staten Island Register

Our Lady Help of Christians
February 18 was the formal incorporation of the Roman Catholic Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, with Fr. Byrnes the first Pastor. On February 28, the new congregation bought and paid for the corner property of Amboy Road and Yetman Avenue. The laying of the cornerstone was on June 12th, with Archbishop Michael A. Corrigan blessing the new church at its formal dedication on October 9.
On Sunday, June 5, 2016 from 11am-5pm at the Conference House, don’t miss the South Shore Artists Group Annual Art Show and Sale
Free admission
Rain Date: Sunday, June 12th
South Shore Artists Group:          

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