An Offbeat Day in Staten Island: TOTTENVILLE  
FERRY, SUBWAY & WALKING TOUR: Join Justin Ferate as we travel the length of Staten Island to discover vestiges of the island’s rich past. Meet at the Manhattan Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry and travel across New York's Harbor, on an historic ferry journey initiated by a young Staten Islander, one Cornelius Van Der Bilt.

Once on Staten Island, we'll travel overland on SIR (Staten Island Railway) to the end of the line: Tottenville. The SIR train line was once the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and is now operated by the MTA. Tottenville was once the major New York ferry connection for Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The village still has unusual remnants of its maritime past. We'll see 19th Century houses of ship's captains and Victorian country villas. There's even a library by Carrère & Hastings, architects of the New York Public Library! We’ll make a special visit to Tina Kaasman-Dunn ‘s delightful home – an enchantingly restored 19th century gentleman’s country estate in the style of A. J. Downing. We’ll also view the Henry Biddle Mansion, a NYC Landmark Greek Revival mansion built circa 1850. The front and rear facades are identical, each boasting of a magnificent two-story portico – one of which overlooks the waterfront.

As special treat, we will tour Conference House, the 1680s stone house built by British naval officer, Captain Christopher Billop. At an unsuccessful peace conference here, during the American Revolution, the British government proposed to provide "clemency and full pardon to all repentant rebels." The unrepentant rebels (represented at the conference by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge) did not agree to the conditions offered and the War for Independence continued. Had this conference gone otherwise, the United States might still be part of Great Britain today.

We'll eat our picnic lunches on the lawn of Conference House or the new “Victorian” pergola – just along the water's edge. The country-like environment, with its trees, grass, and sedges, provides an unusual contrast to the skyline and harbor view of Perth Amboy, just across the water. Beachcombers are welcome to walk along the sandy beaches!

Our stroll will lead us back to the SIR and to the Staten Island Ferry for our homeward return to the "isle of joy."

MetroCard for the Staten Island Railway
Picnic Lunch and Beverage(s). There are very few places to stop for food or drink.
Towel or blanket (if desired) to sit on the grass for lunch
Please download, print and mail in your registration form along with payment.
» Download Registration Form
» Download the full Wolfe Walkers brochure including the Registration Form
Date: Sunday May 31, 2015
Time: 9:15 AM  to approximately 4:30 PM
Cost: $ 30 || $35 (Check to Johanna Sterbin) Includes Admissions
Meet: Upstairs at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on the Manhattan side – at the top of the escalator. We'll take the 9:30 AM Ferry.
Train: IRT 6 to South Ferry || BMT R to Whitehall Street/ South Ferry ||
IRT 4 Train to Bowling Green
Tours operate rain or shine. Please dress appropriately. For more information or to confirm meeting locations please call (212) 223-2777. Please note that tours sometimes run late. While tours are rarely cancelled you can call the number above to confirm, or join our mailing list to keep informed of cancellations due to extreme weather conditions.
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City |
Justin Ferate's Tours of the City    |    (212) 223-2777    |    
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