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Third County Courthouse: Center of Civic Life on Staten Island

Courthouse1908Color Postcard from 1908



Third County Courthouse: Center of Civic Life on Staten Island explores the building's form, function, and its central role in Staten Island's civic life. Sections of the exhibit describe courthouse architecture, notable trials, the political process, and the county jail.

In the early 1800s, the growing County of Richmond needed a new and bigger courthouse to replace the nearby 1790s courthouse, so leaders commissioned an impressive structure in the new style known as Greek Revival.

In 1858, two Staten Island residents, considered the ringleaders of an angry mob, were charged with arson after taking steps to eradicate hospital buildings...
Completed in 1837, the building was designed to reflect and inspire civic power and pride.

This was the place where generations of Staten Islanders exercised their political rights--once they'd been granted. In the early years of our nation's history, voting was generally restricted to white men who owned property and paid taxes. Constitutional amendments brought voting rights to a broader segment of Americans, and laws continued evolving due to the diligent work of determined citizens.

Among the criminal cases documented is the matter of the destruction of the quarantine. In 1858, two Staten Island residents, considered the ringleaders of an angry mob, were charged with arson after taking steps to eradicate hospital buildings that were seen as a danger to the community. The sensational case of accused murderer Polly Bodine is also presented, as well as the conviction and execution of Edward Reinhardt in 1881.

Images of historic photographs and documents show the fortress-like jail building that was constructed in 1860s (it was rebuilt in 1903, vacated in 1953, and demolished afterward). Among the imprisoned were Civil War soldiers charged with desertion, as well as the more typical larcenous, drunk or disorderly miscreants.

After Staten Island became one of the five boroughs of New York City in 1898, government and court functions were gradually moved to new facilities at St. George. The last court session at Richmondtown was in 1919. The structure continued in use for much-needed community service agencies until finding its current role as the proud centerpiece of Historic Richmond Town.

 

Upcoming Events

  • Dinner at Bennett Café
    Fri - Nov 17, 2017 6:00PM
    Enjoy a delightful evening at our quaint café. Delicious!
  • Breakfast with Santa
    Sat - Nov 25, 2017 10:00AM
    Children, enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa!
  • Thanksgiving Kitchen Tour
    Sat - Nov 25, 2017 1:00PM
    Tour the kitchens on the site and discover recipes and the sources of Thanksgiving meals we enjoy today.
  • Thanksgiving Kitchen Tour
    Sun - Nov 26, 2017 1:00PM
    Tour the kitchens on the site and discover recipes and the sources of Thanksgiving meals we enjoy today.
  • Bennett Cafe Breakfast
    Sun - Dec 3, 2017 10:00AM
    Homestyle breakfast at Bennett Cafe!
  • Christmas in Richmond Town & Traditional Tree Lighting
    Sun - Dec 3, 2017 11:00AM
    Experience nostalgia all through the Historic Village.
  • Candlelight Tours
    Sat - Dec 9, 2017 5:00PM
    Visitors of all ages take a journey through three-hundred years of tradition as they discover how America's most festive season came to be.
  • Dinner at Bennett Café
    Sat - Dec 9, 2017 6:00PM
    Enjoy a delightful evening at our quaint café. Delicious!
  • Candlelight Tours
    Sat - Dec 16, 2017 5:00PM
    Visitors of all ages take a journey through three-hundred years of tradition as they discover how America's most festive season came to be.
  • Victorian Valentine Workshop
    Sat - Feb 3, 2018 1:00PM
    Make your own!
  • Easter Egg Hunt
    Sat - Mar 31, 2018 10:00AM
    Bring an egg carton to decorate in high Victorian style!
  • NYC BBQ Cookoff 2018
    Sat - Apr 7, 2018 12:00PM
    NYC's only KCBS sanctioned cookoff for the whole family. Sample, stroll, quench and enjoy fun stuff with the kids.

718 • 351 • 1611

Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue

Staten Island, NY   10306


Newsroom

Skip the leftovers and enjoy open-hearth fire-cooked Thanksgiving samplings

Thanksgiving TableThe meal that many American families enjoy on Thanksgiving has deep roots in the earliest American food traditions. Historic Richmond Town’s three historic kitchens will be crackling with hardwood fires and open-hearth cooking on Saturday November 25 and Sunday November 26. Historic Interpreters will serve food samples that feature original old-world recipes that include food items that the colonists learned about from Native American culture, and then infused with the spices used in Europe. 

Rosemarie Mangano Cavanagh joins Historic Richmond Town Board

Rosemarie Mangano Cavanagh 300x411July 1, 2017 - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Rosemarie Mangano Cavanagh as the Mayor’s representative on the Board of Directors of the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town.

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Online tickets are available up until 3pm, two weekdays before the event. For  Saturday and Sunday events, tickets are available online until 3 pm Thursday.

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