Tottenville is located on the south-western tip of Staten Island and is the southernmost point in New York City and New York State. Far from the urban culture of Manhattan, Tottenville boasts a feeling of independence and isolation. The village of Tottenville came into being around 1840. Its ecomy and culture arose from oyster fishing, shipbuilding and ship repair, and agriculture. Its trade routes with New Jersey and New York City linked it to the metropolitan region and the greater world. It became the largest town in Westfield, the historic name for this quarter of State Island. Even today, although a part of New York City, and encroached upon by modern suburban culture, the feeling of a small coastal town prevails with characteristics unlike any other place on Staten Island. This book documents the activities of the people who created Tottenville and caused it to flourish.
Barnett Shepherd has resided on Staten Island since 1972. Before coming to Staten Island he taught art history at the University of Florida in Gainesville.