Huguenot, Staten Island
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Huguenot is the name of a neighborhood located on the South Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. In recent years it has become increasingly customary to refer to the western part of Huguenot as a separate neighborhood called Woodrow. Originally named "Bloomingview", its present name is derived from the Huguenots, led by Daniel Perrin, who settled in the area during the late 17th century and early 18th centuries to escape religious persecution.
The community gained a station along the Staten Island Railway soon after the line was extended to Tottenville in 1860. This station was given the name "Huguenot Park", even though no park was actually located nearby; by the 1970s the word "Park" had been dropped, but later a branch of the New York Public Library was opened one block west of the station, replacing what was once the smallest New York Public Library building just east of the station (still standing), and named the Huguenot Park Branch, perhaps in honor of the station's former name.
Long noted for the beauty of its woodlands, Huguenot had a transformation that led to a significant rise in the population of the neighborhood. The first visible sign of this transformation, however, came not in the form of new home construction, but rather with the building of the new Tottenville High School campus, which opened in 1972 in Huguenot (the existing high school buildings in Tottenville were converted into a junior high school).
Under the jurisdiction of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, Huguenot Lodge, No. 381 was instituted on May 19, 1855 with E. W. Hubbard as the first Master; and incidentally, the second, third and fourth, also. The first meeting place was in the Odd Fellows Hall, on Amboy Road. In 1859, the Lodge moved to the Chapel of St. Paul's Methodist Church, which it occupied until 1883, when rooms were procured over Fisher's Drug Store at Main Street and Arthuir Kill Road. The last place of meeting, prior to the erection of a Temple, was in Knights Pythias Hall. The cornerstone of the present Temple on Main Street, Tottenville, was laid on June 12, 1909. The lodge was not named after the town it was located in but of the Huguenots who fled to the new world fearful of religious persecution. E. W. Hubbard, the first Master, served for four years. This was nothing compared to the record created by his son, George C. Hubbard, who was raised in King Solomon's Lodge, and affiliated with Huguenot Lodge in 1857. He was Master of Huguenot Lodge in 1860, and again in 1867 through 1870, then again in 1888 through 1890 and finally 1893. He was District Deputy Grand Master on three different occasions, 1867-1868; 1870-1871, and then, nineteen years later, in 1889-1890. In 1894, he affiliated with Tompkins Lodge No. 471. [He was likely the only individual around who could afford it and willing to do so.]
Public amenities have not kept up with the explosive pace of population growth in Huguenot and the surrounding neighborhoods that has taken place from the 1970s onward, as public transportation and sewer lines have not been upgraded fast enough to meet the increasing demand. Road problems include potholes, and there are few organized activities for adolescents, a fact often blamed for the considerable amount of vandalism that occurs there. However, the region is one of the most mainstream on Staten Island, and one of the borough's most well maintained neighborhoods.
The local Roman Catholic parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, has completed a major reconstruction/expansion. It is one of the largest parishes on the South Shore, and has experienced overcrowding problems for many years because of the rapid boom of new residents in the area.
It is served by the S55 and S56 local buses along Luten Avenue, and the S59 and S78 along Hylan Blvd. It is also served by the X17 and X19 express buses along Huguenot Avenue, the X23 along Foster Road and Huguenot Avenue, and X24 along Woodrow Road.