Thursday, February 3, 2011

These Old Streets

A British officer wrote in 1776 about Staten Island: "Surely this country is the Paradise of the world...the inhabitants of this Island are tall, thin, narrow shouldered people, very simple in their manners, know neither Poverty nor Riches, each house has a good farm, and every man a trade, they know no distinction of Persons, and I am sure must have lived very happily till these troubles."

 After doing a lot of research on Staten Island, I kept seeing a lot of the last names in documents matched a few street names that i knew and had seen. So here is a list of street names and a little history about them.

Amboy Rd - Amboy road is one out of nine of the oldest streets on our island. It went from one side of the island straight to the ferry on the other side. It was most known for its straight way to the ferry.

Lovelace - Governor Lovelace had signed a treaty prohibiting the use of Native Americans as slaves

Flagg St. - Named after a famed architect that built extravagent houses in Grasemere.

 Giffords Lane - named after Daniel Gifford, a local commissioner and road surveyor. Great Kills used to be named Gifford before it was changed in 1865

Fingerboard Road - The road once had a large finger-shaped sign pointing the direction to the county courthouse at Richmondtown. And people would say make a turn at the fingerboard. 

Victory Blvd-  Used to be named Richmond Turnpike was built in 1816 

Van Pelt Ave - A well known family and maiden name of  Polly Bodine's victim and sister-in-law, Emeline.

Housman Ave - Last name of the fisherman's family that fell victim to Polly Bodine. Emeline's married name. 

Seguine Ave - Named after descendants of the French Huguenots who were among the South Shore's earliest settlers. This was their last names. 

Yetman Ave . - This street was named for Hubbard R. Yetman, teacher, justice of the peace, state assemblyman, and first Borough Superintendent of Schools in Richmond County. Yetman lived at 5336 Arthur Kill Rd., at the southeast corner of Yetman Ave. The house was built by William Joline, Yetman's father-in-law, ca. 1845. Yetman Ave. was originally mapped as William Street, possibly to honor Joline. In the 1890's, it was popularly referred to as Hogan's Alley. The street was graded and paved in 1896,  more than a year earlier than the town's most important road, Main St.

 Butler Ave.- Named after Daniel Butler, a man who made his living in the Staten Island oyster trade. He lived and owned land on and around the corner of Butler and Amboy Rd.

Hylan Blvd . - Named in honor of John Francis Hylan (1868-1936). He was the Mayor of New York City from 1918 to 1925. Hylan Blvd. was constructed in 1927.  A median, though short-lived, ran down the center of the road from Page Ave. to the Conference House.  And Hylan Blvd. continued to the water's edge, not ending at Satterlee St., where the Pavilion is today.

Fisher Ave.- The Fisher family came to Tottenville in the early 1800's. They owned a few acres of land and built one of their earliest houses that still stands today, to face the Arthur Kill. It was later turned in order to accomadate the newly opened road Fisher ave.. Before the 1940's traffic crossed the railroad tracks on Fisher to take Broadway, also known as today's Arthur Kill, into Richmond Valley.

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