The Elsworth House, located in the South Shore of Staten Island, at 90 Bayview Ave in Prince's Bay, received its name from the original owners, John and Elizabeth Elsworth. The house was built around 1880, during which Prince's Bay became a major focal point of the oyster industry. John Elsworth was an oyster planter, and his home demonstrates the prosperity of the industry at the time.
History Behind The Elsworth House
As aforementioned, John Elsworth was an oyster planter. From early in his life he became involved in the oyster planting business alongside his uncles. He moved to Staten Island in 1977, after marrying to his wife, Elizabeth Waters Jones. Together, they bought what is now the historic Elsworth House on April 7, 1879, and resided there for 39 years. In addition to his oyster business, he participated in local politics since his youth and became sheriff of Richmond County on January 1, 1889. In 1892 Elsworth was elected Richmond County Clerk, which he held until his death in 1899. After his death Elizabeth continued to live on Staten Island. The house saw many other owners following John and Elizabeth, with its current owner being Russell and Gayle Powell. They purchased the property on July 12, 1991, and completed a restoration of the house, which now stands as a designated landmark.
The Design of The Elsworth House
90 Bayview Avenue is a beautiful, two-story, three-bay Italianate town house that combines both Italianate decorative features, as well as many features traditional to Staten Island buildings. Aspects of the home such as its dramatic trim, and its pediments and brackets demonstrate the Italianate style, inspired by Renaissance buildings. On the other hand its wood frame construction, and front porch with four columns, all reflect building traditions within Staten Island. Overall the house contrasts greatly with many other homes within the area considering it is Italianate Style, where many other houses were in the Greek Revival Style, as well as its dramatic height which was unusual to see in a sparsely settled area.
This gorgeous home gives us a little glimpse of Staten Island's living history of the 19th century. Stay tuned to our website tomcrimminsrealty.com to see the multitude of other historical landmark homes located throughout Staten Island.