Staten Island: Before There Was A Place Called Tottenville
Earliest Settlers, Native American Indians
The original residents were the Algonquin Indians of the Lenape culture. The Unami, one tribe of the Algonquin nation, settled in a string of communities along the western shores of Staten Island from West Brighton to Tottenville. Tottenville is home to the largest known American Indian burial ground in the metropolitan area. Known as Burial Ridge, this protected site is located within Conference House Park.
Charleston is located along the southwestern shore of Staten Island. With seven NYC Landmarks within one square mile, it can easily be classified as a historic community.
Prior to the mid-19th century, the area was known as Androvetteville or Androvettetown. The Androvette family came to Staten Island in 1699. During the 1700's, they settled in Charleston and engaged in farming. Later, the family name would also become associated with the maritime tug and towing industry. Around 1850, eight of the twenty nine structures in the village belonged to the Androvette family.
History Richmond Valley
Tucked into a small natural depression just north of Tottenville, Richmond Valley blends into the landscape. It is an area of great natural beauty that offers exceptional landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna, woodlands, and historic legacies.
In 1828 a post office was established on Richmond Valley Road near Amboy Road. A grocery store and one-room schoolhouse soon followed. In 1860, when the Staten Island Railway was extended to Tottenville, a station and ticket office were built here. The office is long gone, but the Richmond Valley Station exists today.