Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Old Town

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Old Town Homes in Staten IslandWhen Henry Hudson discovered Staten Island in 1609, The Netherlands, who he was employed by, claimed the land, naming it New Netherland.  After several failed attempts to get settlers to reside on this newfound land, the Governor of New Netherland decided to give land to prospective settlers.  In 1661, Pierre Billiou and a group of fifteen more Dutch and French settlers applied for these land grants, or "Ground Briefs," as they were called.  At this time, a colony was established, which became the first permanent settlement on the Island.

After the English took over, the village was named Dover.  However, by 1670, a new settlement was established, which became known as Nieuwe Dorp.  From Dutch, this would translate to New Village.  To differentiate the two settlements, Dover was named Oude Dorp, or Old Village. It is now referred to as Old Town.

By the end of the nineteenth century, many recreational facilities were being created. The beaches on the East Shore of Staten Island began to open as summer resorts.  Eventually, these beaches became entire neighborhoods.  With this, much of Old Town's village was divided into different neighborhoods. Today, however, the community of Old Town still exists-it just does not take up as much land as it originally did.

Some houses, such as the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House in Dongan Hills, were originally located in Old Town.  The Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House, which was originally built in 1663 by Pierre Billiou, is the oldest building on Staten Island. It is located at 1476 Richmond Road and was acquired by the Staten Island Historical Society in 1922.  On January 1, 1976, the Billiou-Stillwell-Perine House was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1886, the weekly Richmond County Advance was established in West New Brighton. By 1918, it became a dailyNew construction near Old Town Rd. newspaper and had a name-change to the Daily Advance.  In 1921, the name changed yet again to the Staten Island Advance.  In 1960, a new plant was opened for the daily at 950 Fingerboard Road.  The current headquarters for the Staten Island Advance are still located at 950 Fingerboard Road and borders the town of Grasmere.

In 2010, the New York Tattoo Museum opened on the second floor of 203 Old Town Road, which houses the Island Tattoo shop on the first floor. The museum, however, small, consists of three exhibits, each depicting the history of tattooing rather than just showcasing the tattoo machines and other memorabilia. Dozer, the owner of Island Tattoo and its upstairs museum, also plans to open a tattoo school to teach people about becoming a tattoo artist.

In addition to the Old Town train station, which can be found at Old Town Road and North Railroad Avenue, there are a number of buses, which pass through the neighborhood of Old Town to get to their destinations.  On Ranch Home on Providance Old TownRichmond Road, you have the s74 and the s76.  The s74 travels to the Bricktown Mall and the St. George Ferry Terminal, while the s76 travels to Oakwood, as well as to the St. George Ferry Terminal.  On Hylan Boulevard, you also have the s78, which travels to the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Bricktown Mall, as well as the s79, which travels to the Staten Island Mall and into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  Many express buses can also be found on Hylan Boulevard.  You have the x1, x2, and x9, which all travel into Midtown Manhattan, and the x3, which travels into Lower Manhattan.  In addition, you also have the x15 on Richmond Road, which travels into Lower Manhattan.  These express buses all take the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to get to their destinations in Manhattan.

While they may not be the schools students living in the area are zoned for, there are a number of Public and Private schools conveniently close to the center of the community of Old Town.  The nearest public schools are P.S. 48, at 1055 Targee Street; P.S. 11, at 50 Jefferson Street; P.S. 46, at 41 Reid Avenue; Concord High School, at 109 Rhine Avenue; and the Michael J. Petrides School, at 715 Ocean Terrace.  The Catholic schools in the area are the Academy of St. Dorothy, at 1305 Hylan Boulevard; the St. Ann School, at 125 Cromwell Avenue; the St. Sylvester School, at 884 Targee Street; the Holy Rosary School, at 100 Jerome Avenue; St. Joseph Hill Academy High School, at 850 Hylan Boulevard; and St. John Villa Academy, at 25 Landis Avenue.  Other private schools in the area includeOldtown Colonial, Staten Island the Trinity Lutheran School, at 309 St. Paul's Avenue, and the Staten Island Academy, at 715 Todt Hill Road.  If you plan on enrolling your child in a school located in Brooklyn, traveling there is made easy, as the neighborhood is right by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. School. Schools listed in this report should be used as a point of reference. To determine the particular zone for a school contact the local school board and/or the school administration.

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