Crocheron House #32

The Crocheron House is now located on Richmond Road near the foot of St. Patrick's Place.  It was originally located at 84 Woodrow Road in Greenridge. It was moved to Historic Richmond Town in 1987.

The house is a wood frame structure built ca. 1819-1820. It is a large one and one-half story gambrel-roofed farmhouse with dormers and full-width porches front and back. The roof has spring eaves over the porches, supported by wood columns. It is sided with flush boards on front and rear and hand-cut cedar shingles on the side elevations. Each side features two tall brick chimneys. The fieldstone basement has two identical kitchens with cooking fireplaces and beehive ovens.

The house was built for Jacob Crocheron (1758-1827), a successful merchant in Manhattan. Crocheron was born on Staten Island, but moved to Manhattan a few years after his marriage in 1783. He became a wholesale grocer, and his success as a merchant is suggested by directory listings that show his grocery business continuing from 1790 through 1824. His residence was on Whitehall Street, and the business was listed over the years at various addresses in lower Manhattan, including Whitehall slip, Whitehall Street, and Front Street. Jacob was also active in civic affairs, serving at different times as a tax assessor and a fireman.

In 1818, Crocheron decided to return to Staten Island. He purchased 46 ½ acres of land (to which he later added 19 acres) that included meadowland and a woodlot, and constructed his new house. He and his wife Ann moved into the house in 1820, while still maintaining the business in Manhattan. The 1820 census shows three white adults (perhaps Jacob, Ann, and their daughter Hannah) and two slaves living in the household. Jacob Crocheron died in 1827, and the house passed to his wife and grandsons. It remained in the Crocheron family until it was sold in 1849.

Ann apparently tried unsuccessfully to sell the house in 1830, and the advertisement provides a detailed description: "For Sale. That valuable and elegant country residence, situated in the county of Richmond, Staten Island, about one and a half miles from the town of Richmond, on the main road leading to Old Blazing Star Ferry, and fronting on the Fresh Kills, and has a commanding view of the sound, Newark Bay, and the adjoining country; and is known as the late residence of Jacob Crocheron, Esq. deceased...The Mansion House was built by the late proprietor of the best materials by days work, and is finished in modern style with folding doors, etc. it is 46 by 38 ft, with piazzas front and rear, with two kitchens, and cellar under the whole building...There are few farms that command as many advantages as this, the Steam Boats pass by several times a day, which affords an easy and expeditious communication to New York. The beach in front of this farm, abound with oysters, fish, etc..."

From 1849 until its acquisition by Historic Richmond Town, the house had 15 owners. Some were full-time residents, some used the house only as a retreat, and some used it as a money-making property. Among the residents were a Manhattan sugar refiner, a Brooklyn ironworks owner, and a stable owner. One long-time owner was Henry Barger, who bought the property in 1868 and farmed it for the next 32 years. (Barger is believed to have constructed the large privy now located behind the Edwards-Barton House.) During the 20th century, the land around the house was subdivided and developed, and the Crocheron house was purchased by the Staten Island Historical Society in 1987 to save it from demolition.

Sarah Hermann