43 • Second County Courthouse Foundation
The foundation is all that remains of the Second County Courthouse, a wood frame structure that was built in 1793-1794 on the west side of Arthur Kill Road. It is visible today as a rubble stone foundation between the Boehm House and the Treasure House.
The two-story courthouse building had two rooms on the first floor, the larger of which served as a public hall, and the courtroom occupied the entire second floor. The building served its public function until the Third County Courthouse was completed in 1837. It was then sold at auction to Walter Betts, who moved the building back from the road, enlarged it, and made it into his private residence.
In 1861, the house was sold to Isaac M. Marsh, owner of the Marsh and Nolan Carriage Factory on Richmond Road. After Marsh's death in 1896, his daughter sold the property to Otto Schaeffer. Schaeffer added an addition to the front of the building and turned it into a tavern and restaurant known as "Schaeffer Hotel." The building continued to serve as a tavern and restaurant, as well as a residence, into the early 1940s.
In 1942 William T. Davis, a local historian and an early president of the Staten Island Historical Society, purchased the building and its property as a gift for the Society. Plans were made to restore the building to its 1794 appearance, but it was destroyed by arson in 1944.