Arrochar, Staten Island
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Arrochar (// AR-oh-kar) is a neighborhood in northeastern Staten Island in New York City in the United States. It is located directly inland of Fort Wadsworth and South Beach, on the east side of Hylan Boulevard south of the Staten Island Expressway; the community of Grasmere borders it on the west. It is today primarily a neighborhood of one- and two-family homes and small businesses.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late 17th century to Staten Island, the area was the site of a Lenape encampment. The name "Arrochar" comes from the estate of William Wallace MacFarland in the 1840s, who named it for his hometown of Arrochar in Scotland, the seat of the ancient chiefs of the Clan MacFarlane.
At the beginning of the 20th century the neighborhood became a fashionable gateway to the resort communities of South Beach and Midland Beach. The house of the MacFarland estate is now part of the grounds of St. Joseph Hill Academy, a Catholic girls school. Across Landis Avenue from St. Joseph Hill Academy sits St. John Villa Academy, also a Roman Catholic girls school. Throughout the 20th century it became a residential neighborhood for various ethnic groups, Italian-Americans being chief among them. Arrochar today is still inhabited by many Italians and has a growing Chinese-American community as well.
Arrochar is served by the elementary school P.S.39 and St. Joseph Hill Academy (which is both elementary and high school).
Arrochar once had its own train station, on the South Beach Branch of the Staten Island Railway. The station was located at Major Avenue. This branch closed in 1953, and unlike the also now-dormant North Shore Branch, the tracks of the South Beach line have been removed and homes now stand on its former right-of-way.
Due to its proximity to the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge, Arrochar is served by numerous express buses to and from Manhattan, including the X4, X5, X7, and X8 on Lily Pond Avenue, the X1, X2, X3, and X9 on Stueben Street, and the X10 and X14 on Narrows Road South. It is served by numerous local buses as well. They include the S51/81 on Lily Pond Avenue, the S79 on Stueben Street, the S93 on Narrows Road, the S53 and S78 on Hylan Boulevard, and the S52 on Fingerboard Road.
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