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Tottenville Books

The Tottenville Historical Society has published two books on the history of the community.  Please check our online store for selection and availability. 

The #1 resource for Tottenville history:

Tottenville, The Town the Oyster Built. A Staten Island Community, Its People, Industry and Architecture, published in 2008, was written by Barnett Shepherd, historian, educator and former executive director of Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town.  This comprehensive book is the result of a three-year project of extensive research and documentation led by Mr. Shepherd.


Tottenville is a valuable resource for historians, scholars, researchers and school children. The book is illustrated with many rare and never-before-published photographs and prints. It promises to educate and to become a treasured family keepsake.  261 pages.  Over 290 images.  Available in hardcover ($30) and softcover ($25) through our Store.  Also available in softcover only at major book retailers.   



Barnett Shepherd’s book is a model of what every local history should be – carefully-researched, set within a regional context and chock full of informative photographs. What is now the quiet suburban town of Tottenville once had industrial works that ranged from oystering to shipbuilding to the manufacture of terra cotta, including the notable terra cotta façade of the Woolworth Building. It is good to be reminded that New York’s industrial waterfront once stretched to the southernmost tip of Staten Island. Kent Barwick, President Municipal Art Society

An excellent history of a small town in a huge metropolis, Barnett Shepherd's Tottenville mixes meticulous closeups of local specifics, like oystering and boat building, with wide angle analysis of citywide issues, like industrialization and deindustrialization, historic preservation and suburban development. The splendid array of images – culled from archives or shot by Shepherd – are woven smoothly into the narrative, and help bring the story to life. Every community should be so lucky as to have such a chronicler. Mike Wallace, Distinguished Professor of History, John Jay College (CUNY); founder of the Gotham Center for New York City History; co-author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898.