by Kevin Walsh

There was a time when Staten Island had separate towns, as Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens had before consolidation into Greater New York in 1898. The island was divided into four separate towns beginning in the 1680s: Westfield, Northfield, Southfield, and Castleton, and in 1860, Middletown was created from portions of Castleton and Southfield, and the village of Edgewater was created within Middletown in 1866. The towns’ locations can be seen on this 1874 atlas. Only a few street names are reminders of the existence of these former towns, including the most prominent, Castleton Avenue.

Castleton, on the NE part of the island including New Brighton and St. George, was named in the 1680s for the manor of Governor Thomas Dongan who named it for his home Castletown, in the town Kildrought (now Celbridge) in County Kildare, Ireland. Staten Island’s Dongan Hills are also named for the governor, a Roman Catholic, rare for a person in a power position in colonial-era New York.

 Castleton Avenue is a main shopping route in Livingston, West New Brighton and Port Richmond. It begins in New Brighton at Brook and Jersey Streets, running generally west, twisting and turning to get around some hills, before straightening out and continuing on to Nicholas Avenue in Port Richmond. The S53 bus from Brooklyn runs along Castleton Avenue between Broadway and Port Richmond Avenue.

In 2017, I walked Port Richmond and then along Castleton Avenue.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Jay Dee June 25, 2020 - 7:13 am

Dongan Hills is a neighborhood, it IS named for Dongan.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.