Since 1885, this park has been home to the Staten Island Cricket Club, the nation's oldest continuously active cricket club, which was founded as the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club in 1872. It was at the club's original home in St. George that, according to many, modern tennis was introduced to the US in 1874 by Mary Ewing Outerbridge (sister of the Outerbridge Crossing's eponym), who had seen the sport being played while on vacation in Bermuda.
along the old North Shore branch of the Staten Island Railway toward where I was standing when I took this shot
of the old North Shore branch of the Staten Island Railway
This structure is quite reminiscent of the Staten Island Criminal Courthouse we saw on Targee Street; it turns out they were designed by the same architects. And as was the case with the criminal courthouse, it was surprising to come across this imposing government building in a quiet outlying neighborhood.
Of the city's five zoos and one aquarium, this is the only one that's independently operated (i.e., not run by the Wildlife Conservation Society). It once had the world's most complete collection of rattlesnakes, and it's currently home to Staten Island Chuck (a.k.a. Charles G. Hogg), New York's weather-prognosticating groundhog guru, who supposedly has a much better track record than his more celebrated Pennsylvanian counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil. The role of Chuck has been played by different groundhogs over the years, and two of them have been involved in notorious Groundhog Day incidents in recent memory. One bit Mayor Bloomberg during the festivities in 2009, and the most recent Chuck — a female, actually — died a week after wriggling out of the arms of 6-foot-6 Mayor de Blasio and tumbling to the ground, although it's unclear if the fall contributed to her death.
Outside the Gardiner-Tyler House
Built around 1837, this former country manor was once the home of Julia Gardiner Tyler, President John Tyler's widow and "one of New York's most conspicuous rebel sympathizers". Her mother had purchased the place in 1852, and Mrs. Tyler crossed Civil War battle lines to move here from Virginia after her husband's death in 1862. In 1878, the house was acquired (though not necessarily ever lived in) by William M. Evarts, the US secretary of state, who had previously served as US attorney general and would go on to become a US senator, and it was also occupied for a time by the Russian consul general, who "lived there in great style".
Speaking of John Tyler, he was the first person to become president without being elected to the position. Dubbed "His Accidency" by his foes, he ascended from the vice presidency in 1841 when William Henry Harrison kicked the bucket a mere month after being sworn in. His first wife died in 1842 and he married Miss Gardiner in 1844, making him the first president to be widowed, and the first to get hitched, while in office. As the father of 15 children with his two wives, he was the most genetically prolific of all our presidents (as far as we know, anyway; politicians/slaveholders have occasionally been known to sleep around). And thanks to old widowers marrying much younger women, two of his grandchildren, remarkably, are still alive! (Or at least they were as of last fall.)
This original part of this house, at far left, was built in 1722 as a one-room cottage. The subsequent additions date to about 1770 and 1836.
Prescription drug abuse on Staten Island has become a major problem in its own right, and it has also fueled the island's heroin epidemic.
from the dead end of Davis Avenue
2011 real estate listing here