Travis, Staten Island

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Travis is a neighborhood at the west-central shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Some local geographers classify Travis as being on the island's West Shore, while others reckon it as a Mid-Island neighborhood.

Contents

Name

Located north of the Fresh Kills along the shoreline of the Arthur Kill, Travis is one of the most isolated and sparsely-populated locales on Staten Island, known at times as Long Neck and New Blazing Star Ferry,[1] it became the site of the USA's first linoleum factory in the 1860s, leading to its being named Linoleumville; however, in 1930, residents overwhelmingly chose to rename the community after Colonel Jacob Travis, whose family had resided there before the linoleum plant opened.

Transportation

The western terminus of Victory Boulevard, a major thoroughfare on Staten Island, is at Travis. Established in 1816 by Daniel D. Tompkins as the Richmond Turnpike, this road was "promoted as the fastest route from New York to Philadelphia." [2] On this road, bus service along the Island's North Shore to the College of Staten Island and St. George Ferry Terminal is provided by the S62 route. A ferry across the Arthur Kill linked Travis with Carteret, New Jersey. It stopped running in 1929. However, a passenger ferry did remain in operation until the mid 1960s.

Travis is served by the Travis freight branch of the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway, which leads into the Howland Hook Container Terminal. One proposal for the West Shore Light Rail has it using these tracks.

Culture

Travis is noted throughout Staten Island for the colorful Independence Day parade held there annually.[3] Many members of the community's founding families are buried in Sylvan Grove Cemetery, a small, triangle-shaped burial ground near the junction of Victory Boulevard and the West Shore Expressway, which has fallen into severe disarray, mostly due to vandalism. An island-wide charitable organization, the Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries of Staten Island, was founded in 1982 in an effort to restore this and other assorted small cemeteries on the island that have been unused for decades, and in some cases, even centuries.[4] Construction is scheduled for the area next to the cemetery to be turned into "Independence Park". The park is set to be completed in June 2010 in time for the parade's 100th anniversary.[dated info] Work began in November.[5]

Travis is home to the Mid Island Little League, who won the 1964 Little League World Series. Mid Island Little League is located at the intersection of Travis Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

Facilities

The 1980s saw an expansion of commercial development along the West Shore Expressway, including a giant UA Movie and Bowling Complex. (That complex no longer houses a movie theater.) The West Shore Plaza was also built into this area with the island's only Burlington Coat Factory (before this, it was a flea market, Bradlee's Store and Caldor before that) as the anchor store. Also part of this expansion was a large industrial park called the Teleport located at the eastern edge of Travis. It houses mostly companies engaged in the Internet and telecommunications industries. The service roads of the West Shore Expressway are also the site of many retail and other businesses.

Travis is home to FDNY Engine company 154, which also houses a spare fire engine and Brush fire unit 4. Also protecting Travis is one of the last volunteer fire houses in the city, and second on Staten Island, Oceanic Engine 1. Oceanic was formed in 1881. This makes it one of the oldest volunteer fire houses in the country. The fire house itself was located on the other side of town and moved down Victory Blvd. by horse to where it resides today.

The building of the UA movie theater complex has changed Travis dramatically over the last decade. Traffic patterns have changed along with new development of homes. Many of the older homes that sat on large plots of land are being torn down and replaced with new row homes. Even with this building boom, Travis has retained many of its characteristics that made it the last frontier on Staten Island. Still standing is the old Tennyson's confectionery . It now is a balloon and party store, but this once held a penny candy store that was operational for almost one hundred years. This is located across from the Oceanic Hook and Ladder firehouse and was a popular hang out for the town locals, and firemen. Owned by "Snappy" Ed Tennyson, called that because he moved so slow, was handed down to his son in law, Robert Minto Jr. who ran the store just about up to his death in 1986.

Health

Because Travis lies directly across the Arthur Kill from New Jersey's Chemical Coast, its air quality is often very poor, and inordinately high rates of cancer and other diseases have been discovered among its long-time residents. The closing of the infamous Fresh Kills Landfill in the early 2000s, however, did improve the situation somewhat.[citation needed]

Famous residents

  • Paul Zindel was born and grew up in Travis. During his teenage years, he stayed at 123 Glen Street. Zindel based many of his young-adult stories in Travis, particularly The Pigman, which is set in Howard Avenue and Grymes Hill.

References

  1. New York Public Library Staten Island's Old Names, accessed August 18, 2006
  2. New York Public Library Staten Island Timeline, accessed August 18, 2006
  3. www.travisparade.org Travis Parade
  4. Friends of Abandoned Cemeteries
  5. NYC Parks Daily Plant, 2010 November 15 Groundbreaking for Independence Park

Template:Staten Island

Coordinates: 40°35′37″N 74°11′14″W / 40.59361°N 74.18722°W / 40.59361; -74.18722

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