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Arrochar - Clifton - Concord - Dongan Hills - Egbertville - Fort Wadsworth - Grant City - Grasmere - Emerson Hill - Midland Beach - New Dorp - New Dorp Beach - Oakwood - Oakwood Beach - Ocean Breeze - Rosebank - Shore Acres - South Beach - Todt Hill

Boundaries
East-Lower New York Bay, from Ft. Wadsworth to New Dorp Lane.
North-Staten Island Expressway, from the Verazzano Bridge to South Avenue.
South-Arthur Kill Road & Richmond Road to New Dorp Lane to Lower New York Bay.
West-Richmond Avenue, from the Staten Island Expressway to Arthur Kill Road.

Important Places
CSI Willobrook Campus
Gateway National Park at Midland Beach
Greenbelt
Latourette Golf Course
Miller Field
Old CSI Sunnyside Campus
Richmond County Country Club
Richmondtown Restoration
S.I. Advance Complex in Grasmere
S.I. University Hospital
South Beach
South Beach Psychiatric Center
Staten Island Mall
St. Charles Seminary
St. Francis Seminary

 

Precise parameters vary, but the most commonly-used definition of the East Shore is that is stretches from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Staten Island Expressway, or some line slightly south of this, on the north, to the southern property lines of the Staten Island Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area (formerly known as Great Kills Park) and United Hebrew Cemetery on the south, and from the Lower New York Bay on the east to the western boundaries of ZIP Codes 10304, 10305 and 10306, on the west. Not only the term "East Shore," but the entire concept itself, is often attributed to New York Telephone's East Shore Central Office (now officially known as the East Staten Island Central Office), which has served this part of the island since the 1920s (the northern boundary of this office's territory is situated, on average, about ¾ mile south of the Staten Island Expressway, which was not built until the early 1960s). Such Staten Island neighborhoods as Arrochar, South Beach, Grasmere, Dongan Hills, Grant City, Midland Beach, New Dorp, Oakwood, Richmondtown, and Bay Terrace, along with part of Todt Hill, are usually reckoned as belonging to the East Shore, although all of Arrochar and most of South Beach and Grasmere do not qualify using the telephone company's criteria.

Like all of Staten Island except for the North Shore, the East Shore was mostly farmland until residential home construction burgeoned after World War II. Many small, one-family homes sprung up on the East Shore in the 1950s, with the rate of new home construction accelerating rapidly after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which links Staten Island with Brooklyn, opened in November 1964. The opening of the bridge brought a wave of transplants from Brooklyn, especially from neighborhoods such as Flatbush, which many white (especially Italian-American) families sought to leave because African-Americans were relocating there from the Southern States. This factor has contributed to the East Shore becoming the most politically conservative locality on Staten Island, and for that matter, in all of New York City.

The commercial core of the East Shore can be found in New Dorp, at the region's geographic center. Hylan Boulevard, a major commercial boulevard, connects all the East Shore neighborhoods with each other. Points of interest located on the East Shore include Historic Richmond Town, the nearby Tibetan Museum on Lighthouse Hill, Moravian Cemetery (where members of the Vanderbilt family are buried) and a significant portion of the Staten Island Greenbelt. Also the beautiful woodcutters estates.

 


 


Dongan Hills Firehouse

 


Richmondtown House Move

 

The two photos below are music shops owned by Joseph Heintz, he was a German immigrant, and had one of the first radio shops on the Island (before 1910, I believe).  As was common, he also sold musical instruments and sheet music, and it was said that he could pick up any instrument, whether he had ever seen it before or not, and play it on the spot.  
These were donated by his grandson - Eric Lonergan

 


Date - 1923
Music Shop, 12 - 6th Street in New Dorp
( The same location on what is now New Dorp Plaza where Paul's Sweet Shop was )


Date - 1923
Later , he moved his music shop to 183 New Dorp Lane


Right down the block
at #28 - 6th Street New Dorp
was an Auto Supply / Sporting Goods Store

 

( 6th Street in New Dorp was renamed New Dorp Plaza )

          SEMLER’S PARK AND TAVERN
(Midland Park Hotel)
Grant City

 Located where the Lincoln Avenue Condos are now built

 

Born and raised in Grant City, I was privileged to spend many hours of my youth participating in sports and other activities at Semler’s Park. Besides the large picnic grounds, which took an entire city block, there was a sizable tavern at the northwest corner of the property. Staten Island lore has this establishment on record in the 1800s/early 1900s, first known as Midland Park Hotel, I believe.

Exactly when Gus and Ida Semler became the proprietors, I’m not exactly sure, but I believe it was in the late 1930s. I became familiar with this establishment in the mid-1940s as a small boy, when my father, Anthony, would take me for the “best birch beer” in the world, on tap. Of course, he and his friends would sample the “real beer” which was also on tap.

One memory that I recall, was when Gus or one of his bartenders served the beer, and would always wipe away the top of the head with a flat plastic or wooden device to even it off at the top of the glass. This art has since gone the way of the trolley car that used to ride past Semler’s down Lincoln Avenue to Midland Beach.

As expected, the tavern was a “hangout” for the local, male, inhabitants of Grant City. They all seemed “so old” to me and my friends but were probably in their early 40s or late 30s back then. My friends and I, who used to consider those men “old”, are now approaching or reached 70 years of age or older. Looking back, they were men in their prime who we thought were so “ancient”. Time puts all things in perspective. Here I am nearly 70 years old and those “old” men were so much younger than I am today.

Gus and Ida were quite the couple. They lived upstairs over the bar on the 2nd. floor.  It was probably the main reason that all patrons were “shown the exits” at about 11:00PM unless there was a special event thereat which I will explain later.

I was privy to their living area because my dad was, not only a customer, but a good friend of theirs. In fact, they occasionally baby sat for me if my parents had an engagement of some kind to attend. I believe that they had a son who passed away at an early age and Gus would treat me almost as his own son. Gus called me “Mickels”, a pet name he created for me.

Gus may have appeared stern or even grumpy at times but he was a generous neighbor to those of us who knew his real persona. To this day, whenever I visit my parent’s gravesite at Moravian Cemetery, I occasionally visit the Semler gravesite also and say a prayer while reflecting on my memories of Gus and Ida. But, as they say, “here I digress”.


             Notice how the place was located, at the train stop from the ferry and the trolley stop from the beach
( This is the corner of Lincoln Avenue & North Railroad Avenue )

 

 

 I don’t have enough space to list the names of many friends that Gus had a direct influence on. He did things for the youth of the neighborhood back then that would be considered a “no, no”  in this day and age for fear of trivial law suits which have come into to play over the decades.

Where else could kids play softball, baseball and most importantly, football on someone’s property with his permission? He wasn’t too concerned that he may be sued by some “enterprising” family if their child was hurt while playing thereat. I like to think, that in his own mind, he was happy just to see us enjoying ourselves and developing our skills on the football field or baseball diamond, while simultaneously “staying out of trouble”.

There were many sandlot and semi-professional teams who competed in the various “now extinct” football leagues in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Teams such as the New Dorp Queens, S.I. Tigers, Melody Lounge, Marrone’s Hardware, Diamond Chateau, Grant City A.C., to name a few, all utilized Semler’s as their home field. In fact, the Tigers and Queens brought in other semi-pro teams from the Tri-State area. It was common place to see the Brooklyn Mariners, Throgs Neck Bulldogs, Jersey City Greyhounds, Mid-Island Association, South Beach Robins, and the Concord Dukes competing thereat during many football seasons on Sunday afternoons.

Admission was usually free and several hundred fans would line up along the sidelines to enjoy the game. There were no stands for sitting in those days and since the  N.Y. Football Giants had not yet fully caught on, the fans enjoyed Sunday afternoons cheering for the local talent. The teams were funded by an assistant coach or manager from each team who would walk the sidelines “passing the hat”. Most spectators would toss in a “buck or two” and the proceeds would be split between the teams to pay for transportation and equipment (sometimes, even a “beer or two” for the trip home).  Incidentally, Gus never asked for “a share” but was quite pleased with the extra customers who would line up at the bar at half time or at the end of the game.

In addition to the sports memories, there were those of us who loved the various organizations that would utilize the facility for annual picnics. These took place soon after the weather became warm enough for such activities (usually from May thru September). These organizations were made up of social clubs, local parishes and others including Coxey’s Army, Manresa Council of the Knights of Columbus, etc.

 Sometimes the local kids (myself and several others) managed to use alternate routes into the picnic area (nice way of saying we managed to sneak in) to enjoy the hamburgers/hotdogs/corn on the cob and birch beer. If there was a softball game that sometimes took place, we even managed to get into the game (the highlight of the day for us). Again, here’s where Gus would come into the picture. He knew who belonged or didn’t belong at the picnic but, would overlook the local miscreants, as long as we behaved and caused no problems.

An occasional card game or crap game could sometimes find its way into the area as the picnic began to wane at dusk.

Late September would bring Semler’s “Annual Clambake”. The title was quite deceiving since there many other mouth watering treats that would be served in addition to the clams. Fish, lobster, shrimp, corn, and chicken were among the other delicious treats. They were all cooked on an “outdoor stone grill” which Gus would personally supervise to insure proper preparation of the fire. This consisted of large logs placed on the pile of stones and rocks. A large fire would be started and when the proper temperature was reached the stones would actually turn “white hot”. Gus would then oversee the installation of the “seaweed”, wire baskets containing the food and large tarps to trap the heat therein.

Several hours later (about 2 -3 depending on the contents) the tarps were removed, one by one, exposing each basket usually starting with the clams and chicken. Each course was then served individually in the tavern’s party room which held 150 people or so. If I recall correctly, the price was $7 for grownups and $2.50 for children 10 years of age up to 17 years.  Young children and infants were free. The price included unlimited amounts of beer and soda. Of course, no football was played on “clambake weekend” since the “grill” was between the 10 and 20 yard lines.

There were other events held, such as P.A.L. sponsored boxing matches. Occasionally, a celebrity, local politician or professional boxer would make a guest appearance to assist the in the fund raising which the police department used to sponsor other youth activities.

                                                                                                                           ~ written by Mike Lapetina

Someone asked for more photos of Grant City, unfortunately I only have a few, if anyone can come up with some please send them to me

Here are the few I have

St. Christopher School (The Old One)

St. Christopher Church

(Rumor has it this church was bought out of an old Sears Catalog)

SIRT Grant City

 

 

 

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This site was last updated 09/17/10

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