This southernmost Staten Island neighborhood was originally called Bentley Manor, after a ship owned by Captain Christopher Billop (the owner of the area) in the late 1600s.
The Captain was born on Staten Island and later won a bet to have Staten Island included as part of New York City, rather than New Jersey, if he could sail around the island in 24 hours. The area was renamed Tottenville in 1869 after a local prominent family due to the Captain’s disgrace as having Tory loyalties during the Revolution – the Captain fled to Nova Scotia.
The historic area features many restored Victorian-era landmark homes, as well as townhouses and apartment complexes. Quiet and steeped in history, Tottenville is a desirable place for people and families who want to be close to the city without having the bustle follow them home.
On the southern shore of Tottenville resides Conference House Park, the area of the original settlement for Captain Billop. The house was originally built in 1680 and updated in 1720. It was the site of many historic meetings, as well as later becoming an inn for local travelers. Within the grounds visitors can find historic buildings, monuments, a playground, and a variety of hiking and biking trails.
Besides its historic feel and charm, Tottenville offers a variety of opportunities for food and shopping. On Main Street (which curiously, was once paved with oyster shells when oyster harvesting was the area’s primary industry), residents and visitors can access restaurants, convenience stores, and shopping.
Tottenville is the terminus for the Staten Island Railway and offers three access points at Tottenville, Atlantic, and Nassau stations. Via the railway commuters can travel to the Staten Island Ferry and into lower Manhattan where they can transfer to points beyond. The Outer Bridge crossing to New Jersey is just a few minutes north of Tottenville.
Although originally a location for manor homes, Tottenville has expanded over the years with older homes converted into multi-family units, as well as developments for condo and apartment complexes. One bedroom apartment units start at $800; two bedroom units start at $1350.
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