Staten Island in the Early 1880s

Posted by Tom Crimmins Realty, Ltd. on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 at 12:45pm.

September 1880 - Nation’s first lawn tennis tournament is played in New Brighton.  

Tennis was introduced to North America from Bermuda by Mary Outerbridge in March 1874. With the help of Outerbridge's brother, the first lawn tennis court was set up in West Brighton. “Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club” was set up and was located on an estate that was originally named Livingston Park.

The first national tennis tournament in America, the Davis Cup, was held at the club on September 1, 1880. In 1906, the club's name was changed to the Staten Island Cricket and Tennis Club, and changed a second time in 1931 to the Staten Island Cricket Club. In 1930, the city bought the estate and renamed the property Walker Park. Walker Park is in memory of Randolph St. George Walker Jr., a soldier in WWI and was the son of a prominent member and officer of the club.

The Staten Island Cricket Club still have matches in Walker Park.

Nov. 29, 1883 — Child-care pioneer Rev. John Drumgoole founds St. Vincent’s Home for Homeless Newsboys at Mount Loretto.

In 1844, John Drumgoole was a janitor at St. Mary's. Drumgoole turned the basement of the church into a shelter for thousands of homeless and orphaned children who lived on the streets of New York City after the Famine and Civil War. 

He started his studies into the priesthood in 1863; two years later, became an ordained priest at the age of 53 at Our Lady of Angels. In September 1871, Drumgoole was placed in charge of the “Newsboys’ Lodging House.” He also became the Chaplain of the St. Vincent’s Home for Homeless Boys in Stapleton.

In 1871, Drumgoole founded the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin in Manhattan as a safe haven for residents to avoid the spread of influenza and tuberculosis. Drumgoole felt that the City was not healthy for the younger children, he purchased land on Staten Island and founded Mount Loretto. Mount Loretto was named as a tribute to the Sisters who accompanied him on site to teach the children. 

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