Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Arrochar
On December 25, 1066, William the Conqueror became the king of England. During his reign, he decided to take over Northumbria. At this time, an Anglo-Saxon known as Arkil fled to Scotland. Malcolm IV, the King of Scots at the time, granted Arkil the district of Lennox. The land was passed down to his great-grandson, Malduin, who had become the third Earl of Lennox. Gilchrist, Malduin's brother, acquired the village of Arrochar from his brother in 1225 AD, becoming the Lord of Arrochar. His son, Duncan, became the second Lord of Arrochar.
The Gaelic word for "son" is Mac, which is why it is so often used as the prefix of surnames. Duncan's grandson, Parlan, became the fourth Lord of Arrochar. With him, the surname began to be used. If you used Gaelic pronunciation, his name would be Pharlain, as the "P" would be pronounced as "Ph" and an "I" would be added before the last syllable, as it often is in Gaelic. Taking this into consideration, Duncan's son would use the surname MacPharlain.
By the late 18th century, a descendant of the MacPharlains, Hugh Norman MacFarlane, came to America, where he settled in New York. At this time, his surname was changed to McFarland. In his honor one of Arrochar's streets were named after him. By the next century, William Wallace McFarland, Hugh's great-grandson, purchased 200 acres of land in Staten Island. The land he purchased was located in the area of Clifton and was previously used as a campsite of the Lenape Indians. McFarland named his land Arrochar, in honor of his ancestor's land. Currently, the community of Arrochar is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Fort Wadsworth, Grasmere, and South Beach.
By 1850, William Wallace McFarland built his estate upon his land. By the early twentieth century, a William Knauth resided at the estate. In 1920, his sold his estate to Reverend Mother M. Kostka Bauer, who began an all-girls Roman Catholic school in the building. This school, which is located on a fourteen-acre estate, has since been enlarged and is now known as St. Joseph Hill Academy.
In addition to St. Joseph Hill Academy, there is another area which has been transformed from part of McFarland's estate. This area, which is no more than two acres, is Arrochar Playground. In 1945, the small acreage of land was assigned to the Parks Department as well as to the Board of Education, as the land was adjacent to P.S. 39, which was built in 1920. First known as P.S. 39 Playground, the name has since been changed to Arrochar Playground. Aside from the obvious playground equipment, the park also features basketball courts, handball courts, and a softball field.
Many buses travel through the neighborhood of Arrochar. You have the s51, s52 and s78, which all leave the St. George Ferry Terminal to get to their destinations. The s51 goes to Grant City by taking Father Capodanno Boulevard, while the s52 travels along Tompkins Avenue to get to Staten Island University Hospital and the s78 takes Hylan Boulevard to the Bricktown Mall. You also have the local buses which travel into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. They are the s53, which takes Clove Road from Port Richmond; the s59, which takes Hylan Boulevard from the Staten Island Mall; and the s93, which leaves the College of Staten Island and travels along Victory Boulevard. In addition to the local buses, there are a number of express buses which utilize the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to get into different sections of Manhattan.
Due to its proximity to Brooklyn, it is easy for students living in Arrochar to attend schools in Brooklyn. If you would prefer to stay local, however, there are several schools close to the community. The nearest public schools are P.S. 39, at 71 Sand Lane; Concord High School, at 109 Rhine Avenue; and the Michael J. Petrides School, at 715 Ocean Terrace. There are many more Catholic schools in the area, such as St. John Villa Academy, at 57 Cleveland Place; St. Joseph Hill Academy, at 850 Hylan Boulevard, St. Joseph's Parochial School, at 139 St. Mary's Avenue; the Holy Rosary School, at 100 Jerome Avenue; and the Academy of St. Dorothy, at 1305 Hylan Boulevard. While these schools may be the closest ones to the neighborhood, they may not be the ones students residing in the area are zoned for and should only be used as a point of reference. To find out which schools your child is zoned for, please check with your local public school board and/or school administration.