The Seguine Family

John SeguineThe Seguine family were a prominent family whom most were born and raised on Staten Island.  In 1786, James Seguine purchased a large parcel of land in Staten Island, that overlooked Prince's Bay. In 1838, his grandson, Joseph Seguine, built a house on the land in Greek Revival-style, which is currently still there today.

James Seguine has a son in 1812, Henry Stewart Seguine. He was the nephew of John G. Seguine. John Seguine was born on June 14th, 1805, on the family estate, known then as Seguine Point. During his youth, he chose not to devote his life to farming. However, as he became older, he purchased a farm at Prince's Bay, near the lighthouse. This was before he decided he would move to Rossville. Henry inherited John's estate, which included a business and a mansion where the family lived.

Henry SeguineThe Seguine Mansion, also known as The Seguine-Burke Mansion, is located on the South Shore of Staten Island, on Lemon Creek in Prince's Bay. The Greek Revival house is one of the very few surviving examples of 19th Century life on Staten Island. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of the Historic House Trust.

It is believed that James Seguine had purchased the estate between 1780 and 1786. In 1838, his grandson, Joseph H. Seguine, built the house on the property. This also included a hay barn, carriage house, and stables during that time. Joseph Seguine was not just in charge of operating the family's oyster harvesting business, but he also helped establish the Staten Island Railroad Company and founded the Staten Island Oil and Candle Making Company on his property. He even owned extensive farmland in the surrounding neighborhood. He passed away in 1856.

In 1868, the family was forced to sell the land and the house. In 1916, descendants were able to purchase the estate back and it had remained in the Seguine family until 1981.

By 1981, the house was in need of serious repairs. It was sold to George Burke, who has previously restored other historic buildings. Burke both saved the building and ensured the property not to be subdivided. The home's renovations took more than five years to complete and sixty gallons of paint. After restoring and furnishing the home, Burke donated the Seguine Mansion to the City of New York in 1989.

Today, the New York City Parks Department owns the house. The Seguine's House reflects the family's prosperity. Facing the water, the home has six monumental square columns supporting a second-floor gallery and classical pediment with a sweeping fanlight. The interior of the house has Greek Revival mantels and plasterwork within the spacious rooms. There are tall windows and doors to circulate the cool ocean breeze throughout the house. The landscape has a wide, sloping lawn that opens a broad vista to the bay.

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