Welcome to Port Richmond
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Welcome to Port Richmond

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On Monday, Sept. 20, 2010, Wagner College sponsored a panel presentation on Port Richmond, a historic community that formerly served as Staten Island's "Fifth Avenue" and has recently become home......

On Monday, Sept. 20, 2010, Wagner College sponsored a panel presentation on Port Richmond, a historic community that formerly served as Staten Island's "Fifth Avenue" and has recently become home to a large community of American immigrants from Mexico. Wagner College is deeply involved with the community through a partnership with its schools, churches and helping agencies, the Port Richmond Partnership, which links courses in nursing, sociology, government & politics, and history with specific projects in the community. This Power Point presentation, which combines presentations by historians Philip Papas and Lori Weintrob, was delivered at the beginning of the panel.

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  • 1. Academic and Cultural Enrichment Lecture Series Presents… Book Talk and Slide Show with authors Philip Papas and Lori Weintrob and community members Steve Ruggirello Gonzalo Mercado Maria Morales (Potrillos Restaurant) and Kathleen Bielsa Come learn about the "Fifth Avenue of Staten Island" as it was changed by French, Dutch, German, Norwegian and many other immigrants. Monday, Sept. 20 st 1:00pm Spiro 2
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  • 4. Plaque on the front façade of the Reformed Church in Port Richmond honoring the Mersereau brothers Joshua, Jacob, Cornelius, John, and Paul for their service in the Continental army and navy during the American Revolution (Photo by Lori R. Weintrob)
  • 5. Cornelius Vanderbilt Born 1794 Port Richmond to Pheobe Hand, of a New Jersey patriot family, and Cornelius Vanderbilt Sr.
  • 6.
    • Aaron Burr, Vice-President to Thomas Jefferson
      • Died 1836 in the St. James Hotel
      • (Photo Courtesy of the SI Historical Society)
  • 7. Faber Pool and Park : public pool built in 1932 on land once owned by Eberhard Faber, a German Immigrant businessman and yachting enthusiast
  • 8. Helen Zazakos (center right) and many other Port Richmond women worked in the Naval Division of ELCO in Bayonne, New Jersey during World War II (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Criaris Bontales)
  • 9. Sense of Community: Homemade ice cream and cherry Cokes were all the rage at Stechmann’s “ where the High School crowd all goes to meet their friends and forget their woes.” (Sketch courtesy of Tom Flanagan)
  • 10. Carmelo Tirone (center) at work with his son Sal (foreground) and Joe Mantia (background) (Photo courtesy of Joe and Lou Tirone)
  • 11. Demolition derby at Weissglass Stadium From 1953 to 1972, the stadium hosted stock car races, demolition derbies, the circus, high school and exhibition football and baseball games, and a farmers market. (Photo courtesy of the Staten Island Advance)
  • 12. Sense of Identity : The “Fifth Avenue ” of Staten Island, 1920-60s
  • 13. Ritz Theater , 1924-1980s
  • 14. Academic and Cultural Enrichment Lecture Series Presents… Book Talk and Slide Show with Authors Philip Papas and Lori Weintrob Steve Ruggirello Maria Morales Gonzalo Mercado Kathleen Bielsa Come learn about the "Fifth Avenue of Staten Island" as it was changed by French, Dutch, German, Norwegian and many other immigrants.     II. THE ETHNIC IDENTITY OF PORT RICHMOND Monday, Sept. 20 st 1:00pm Spiro 2
  • 15. Rev. James Brownlee Born Scotland Northfield Township Schools Commissioner Pastor, Dutch Reformed Church 1835-1895 (Huguenot/Dutch/English Protestant)
  • 16. Factories after 1819 attract new Irish and German workers, largely Catholic immigrants. First Catholic Churches in PR, St. Mary of the Assumption Church 1855 (before worship at St. Peter’s, New Brighton, 1839). Rise of Know-Nothing, anti-Catholic party in Port Richmond, 1856, led by Police Chief.
  • 17. Louise and Gregers Jensen of Risor, Norway. Louise hosted other Norwegian seaman. With four of his five sons, Gregers, a sawmaster, worked in the shipyards along Richmond Terrace. (Photo Courtesy of Dotty Jensen Donahue)
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  • 19. Emmanuel Katsoris, of Molaous, Greece, travelled by horse and wagon from NJ, opened Port Richmond Square Candy Kitchen, 1911 (Greek Orthodox Church begins 1927)
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  • 22. “ Just a few years ago Staten Island…” Diary of Ida Dudley Dale (Staten Island Historical Society) Palace Theater , 1915-51 owned by Moses Brothers
  • 23. St. Roch’s, an Italian Parish, opens in 1922, with services in Italian and English. English classes were taught by Msgr. Joseph “Joe” Brzoziewski, from St. Adalbert’s, a Polish parish. John (Gioacchino) Merlino, arrives 1930, opened Merlino Photo Studios on Port Richmond Avenue
  • 24. “ There are fair-haired Scandinavians, Scotch, English, Irish, Italians, Greek and Negro children, and perhaps other nationalities which I have not noticed…” wrote one librarian in the 1930s, calling Port Richmond the “League of Nations.” The Port Richmond Public Library, built 1905 on land purchased from Garcia Alvarez, a Cuban businessman.
  • 25. Rev. William A. Epps Born in Georgia Pastor St. Phillip’s Church, 1954-1992 Jailed with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama (March 1965)
  • 26. Among newer immigrants: Elva Randle, born in Aruba in the Dutch Antilles, arrived in 1984 and heads St. Phillips Baptist Church youth ministry; Emma Vidals, of Puebla, Mexico, who arrived in 1997, volunteers at El Centro de Hospitalidad Happy Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 16!!