Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Travis
he decades after the Civil War were significant in population growth on Staten Island. The population had gone from roughly 28,000 in 1865 to 65,000 in 1898. This population growth resulted in the growth of industries--especially factories. During this time, a man named Melvin Wild developed a process for the creation of inlaid linoleum, which is often used in flooring. Due to his creation, Staten Island became home to the first linoleum factory in the United States in 1873. This factory, the American Linoleum Manufacturing Company, encompassed 300 acres of land in the neighborhood of Long Neck.
Having been in Long Neck for almost sixty years, the neighborhood of Long Neck received a name change to Linoleumville. With its closing in 1931, residents of Linoleumville believed that their community's name should be once again changed. Many felt that Travisville was appropriate, as the prominent settlers of that name had resided in the area long before the American Linoleum Manufacturing Company was constructed.
In the early days of December 1930, a ballot took place where residents voted on which name the community would be given. Residents had voted for the names of Linoleumville, Melvin, and Travis. When the final votes were given, the verdict was quite clear. Only four residents had voted to keep the community's name as Linoleumville, while fifty-eight residents chose to name it after the man who created the process, Melvin Wild. The votes for Travis, however, added up to three hundred and thirty-three votes.
In 1938, a seven-acre area of land in the neighborhood of Travis was donated to the City of New York. In October of 2010, this land began its transformation into Schmul Park, to commemorate its previous owners, Mr. Heiman and Rosa Schmul. The area of the park, which is surrounded by the streets of Wild Avenue, Pearson Street, and Melvin Avenue, is planned to be the entrance park to the neighboring Fresh Kills Landfill, which is planned to be turned into a park over the next thirty years. Shmul Park is occupied by a many recreational facilities; however, it is only just a small part of the planned nine-hundred acre Fresh Kills Park. The facilities of Schmul Park include a baseball field, basketball court, handball courts, and playgrounds.
Since 1911, the neighborhood of Travis has hosted an annual Fourth of July parade. The patriotism of the community can be seen at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Cannon Avenue. It is here where you will find a World War I Memorial, accompanied by a Civil War era cannon. The cannon was unearthed at Ye' Old Burial Ground/Sylvan Grove Cemetery, which is located at Victory Boulevard and Glen Street, when the area was under construction.
The 1980's saw the construction of the UA Movie Theater Complex and the West Shore Plaza in Travis. Since then, the building of more houses and building has taken place. However, the farmland that once populated the area is still evident. This can be seen in the Greenbelt Native Plant Center at Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue, a thirteen-acre greenhouse nursery which had been the farmland of the Mohlenhoff family since 1911.
The neighborhood of Travis is served by the local s62 bus, which travels from the neighborhood to the St. George Ferry Terminal along Victory Boulevard. While this is the only local bus in the neighborhood, there are several transfer points to other buses, including the Ferry Terminal itself, where over a dozen buses operate. As far as your express buses go, you have the x11 and x19, which both travel into Lower Manhattan via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Just as well, there are the x22, x23 and x24, which all travel into Midtown Manhattan by means of the Goethals Bridge.
There are several schools nearby the neighborhood of Travis. The closest of these are public schools, which include P.S. 26, at 4108 Victory Boulevard; P.S. 69, at 144 Keating Place; P.S. 60, at 55 Merrill Avenue; I.S. 72, at 33 Ferndale Avenue; the Staten Island School of Civic Leadership, at 280 Regis Drive; the Staten Island Residential Center, at 1133 Forest Hill Road; the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, at 100 Essex Drive; and the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, also at 100 Essex Drive. The closest Catholic schools in the area are St. Joseph/St. Thomas School at 50 Maguire Avenue, and Moore Catholic High School, at 100 Merrill Avenue. The above schools are only the closest ones to the neighborhood of Travis. Many public, Catholic and Private schools populate the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the rest of the Island.