A Hands-on Learning Experience

Window sash constructed in the 18th and 19th century was assembled with mortise and tenon joints using wooden pegs to hold the joints tight. They were made to be taken apart, repaired and put back together easily.  Simple, yet ingenious.  

We were excited to visit the Henry Hogg Biddle House of Conference House Park recently with Park Director John Kilcullen to have a look at the room we would soon occupy and use for our office and research center.  The office space is located on the second-floor of the Biddle House.  The room is spacious with tall ceilings, wooden floors, and large, six-over-six sash windows that offer a sweeping view of Satterlee St. and the long entrance driveway.  A piece of plywood covered the bottom half of one of these windows. Removal of the plywood revealed three missing panes of glass in the lower sash; two of the remaining three panes were cracked and needed replacement.   The Tottenville Historical Society offered to make the necessary repairs.

Read more


Our Tottenville High School class of 1967 was celebrating their 50th class reunion; we decided to hold a two-day affair on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017.  Since so many of our classmates were traveling from other states, a lot of classmates took time to visit friends and family on Staten Island and to visit Manhattan.

We had our first event at the Hilton Garden Inn, where we hosted 97 people at a cocktail party.  We had a DJ who played songs from the 1960’s.  One of the ways we took a step back in time was to do a highlight of our class history.  Here is what I read at our reunion:

Read more
Oriental Park, Eltingville

oriental 1898


Frederick Wilkens owned and operated a grocery store and hotel, and later a resort known as Oriental Park at the intersection of Amboy Rd. and Richmond Ave. from the late 1860s to the early 1900s. Oriental Park featured a hotel, bowling alley, dancing pavilion, and even a shooting gallery according to this 1898 map detail.

Around 1900 the park was a favorite destination for bicyclists from all over New York City.

Later Westerleigh Savings Bank occupied the corner. Richmond County Savings Bank is located there today.

(Reprinted from the September 2016 issue of The CART, official newsletter of the Tottenville Historical Society.)

90 years young

Some of my happiest childhood memories that I still treasure today come from my elementary school days at P.S. 1 in Tottenville (1961-1967).  But it isn't the after-school programs, the yearly Maypole Dances or the weekly assembly programs that I remember most fondly; it is the excellent teachers who taught at PS 1.  I was fortunate to have some of the best. They not only taught us how to learn, they also instilled in us a desire to learn more. They cared about us, and we felt that, too. I am grateful to be able to keep in touch with my fourth and sixth grade teachers (Miss Schulz and Mr. "D") who still live locally, and I was lucky enough to celebrate Alva Schulz's 90th birthday in June 2017 with her.  More than 50 years later, Miss Schulz is still a role model for me.  A kind, generous, caring person always with a smile on her face.  Happy Birthday, Miss Schulz!