OLD HOTELS OF STATEN ISLAND - CHAPTER XII
This chapter writes about two hotels in Tottenville:
OLD FERRY TAVERN ---- The Ferry Tavern was located on the bluff, near the terminus of the Amboy road, Manor of Bentley, (now Tottenville). A ferry was established at that point as far back as 1650, by the Raritan Indians, who were on friendly terms with the Dutch. Shortly after that period it was found necessary to have ?a place for protection of ye passengers in waiting,? and a small log cabin was built. During the outbreaks of the Indians the building was repeatedly destroyed. The four generations of Billopps which lived in the Manor of Bentley, maintained this ferry. Thomas Farmar Billopp, who stood at the head of the second generation, caused to be built the little building, (which is still remembered by many of our old people as the Ferry Tavern), about 1740. At one time it was the only public house within several miles of Billopp?s Point. Captain Delotz, a Hessian soldier, kept it for a time after peace was declared, and it was a rendezvous for many years for his former companions in arms. Nothing more is known of the house until 1825, when John Fountain became its manager. He continued with it until late in the thirties. William Coddington, of Woodbridge, was it next proprietor. He was the largest man in this part of the country, and it was only with a great effort that he could move about. Its last proprietor as a public house was Henry Biddle. It was for several years the club house of the ?Clever Fellows,? of New York City, an appendage of Tammany Hall, and in a very mysterious manner, after a night?s skylark, in 1866, the old house was burned to the ground.
UNION HOTEL ----- The Union Hotel, at Tottenville, was for many years a farm-house on the Johnson estates, and was but a story and a half high. It was erected in 1784. Abraham Johnson was its last occupant before it became a public house. The former parlor of the house is now the large, low-ceiled bar-room, and it was in this room that Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt married his cousin, Sophia Johnson, in December, 1813. It was her home. Captain Latourette purchased the property from Mr. Johnson in 1865, and added tow or three stories to a part of it, and then opened its doors to the public. It has changed managers several times since, but has ceased to be a public house.