Founded in 1815 by future Vice President and current Governor of New York, Daniel D. Tompkins (1774-1825), he established a ferry service to Manhattan in 1817 and began the process of developing this wonderful little community that remains a favorite destination of New Yorkers and visitors alike. He was elected Vice President with James Monroe in 1816, serving two terms. He passed away in Tompkinsville just three months after his second term and is buried in St. Mark's Churchyard in Manhattan. His wife Hannah Minthorne Tompkins is also remembered as were their children whose names were honored as street names. Many have since been changed however.
Vice President Tompkins son, Minthorne Tompkins and businessman William Staples established the village at Bay and Water Streets and a ferry to Manhattan. Many breweries were established by German immigrants during this time such as Bachmann, Bechtel and Piels, a business that survived through 1960. These businesses formed the cornerstone for the popularity of the town and region.The area continued to grow and prosper and many old buildings still stand as a testament to the history of the area. People that travel through the town enjoy seeing the popular multi-family buildings especially on Van Duzer and Swan streets. The Landmarks Preservation Report lists many famous buildings of note and historical value.Comparing street maps of Stapleton in 1874 and 2011 you will see that it is still the same basic design with a few new additions. Views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge can be seen in the northeast and southeast, bringing the city to its doorstep. It’s a great area to have a day walking tour and explore the area!
For an evening out, consider venturing over to Stapleton for the Full Cup Cafe that doubles as a club and bar and features local bands. Or, try Tapas or perhaps Gatsby on the Bay for traditional American fare, or the 120 Cafe near St. George for some contemporary comfort food such as Crab Cakes or Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
Don't forget to stop by Tompkinsville Park to see the “The Hiker,” a huge bronze sculpture by Allen Newman that remembers those who fell during the Spanish-American War. There are a number of specialty festivals going on in the area year-round, so check the local calendar to see what is happening. Whether you are a native New Yorker or area resident or just here for a visit, there is much to see and appreciate about this community.
Just take the Staten Island Ferry to St. George and then the Staten Island Railway for one stop to Tompkinsville. It will be a fun and memorable day or exciting weekend.