Preserving the Past

...FOR THE FUTURE.

If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are.  ~ Wendell Berry

In 2009, the highly-acclaimed, award-winning book, Tottenville, the Town the Oyster Built, was published jointly by the Preservation LeaguCovere of Staten Island and the Tottenville Historical Society.  The book began as a resource survey of the community's historic architecture in 2004.  Although many buildings had already been destroyed or defaced, Tottenville still retained a large number of 19th century buildings worthy of recognition and preservation.  As defacement and demolition became more widespread, it became clear that the stories they told about the early history of the village needed to be recorded.  These structures and their stories became the foundation for the book. 

Historian Barnett Shepherd, author of the Tottenville book, sends a message of hope in the final chapter as follows:  The publication of this book will assist residents new and old in rediscovering the history of the small coastal town that is still part of Tottenville. As the transition to a suburban culture becomes more complete, we can only hope that the residents of Tottenville may not be condemned to live without a sense of their past and their community. We can hope that the next generation of Tottenville citizens, especially new residents, will embrace the history of this small coastal town which the oyster built.

The Tottenville Historical Society has researched more than 350 buildings to determine the approximate date of construction and biographical information about the original owner.  Learn more about researching the history of your home and the services we offer here: Research Services/House History

Learn more about the history of Tottenville in Tottenville, the Town the Oyster Built, available in our Online Store.

Learn more about the history of Charleston in an upcoming book, The History of Charleston (Kreischerville), Know That They Thrived Here, to be published by the Tottenville Historical Society in 2017.

Research services

A
FAMILY HISTORY

REQUESTS

Millions of Americans are searching for their ancestors. It can be exciting. And it can uncover the expected! 

More info
B
HOUSE HISTORY

Chronology report

How old is your home and who was it built for? Are you interested in learning the history of your property and home?

More info
C
YEARBOOK SEARCH

YEARBOOK COLLECTION

The Tottenville High School Yearbook Collection has proven to be a valuable genealogical resource.

More info
D
FAMILY KEEPSAKES

organizing family PAPERS

Organizing, preserving and storing your important family keepsakes - documents, photographs and artifacts - is important!

More info