Touch NYC’s living history
Historic Richmond Town was first settled in the late 1600s, back when its inhabitants were still loyal to King George III. The architecture is heavily influenced by the Dutch settlers, who named the land Staaten Eylandt, or “States Island.”
Local historians and preservationists have turned the town into a living museum, where you can tour the buildings, try on a yoke and buckets for size, and see the artisans at work in period workshops. If you’re lucky -- or unlucky, depending on your stance on paranormal activity -- you might catch a glimpse of one of Richmond Town’s many rumored ghosts.
“Historic Richmond Town is the only living history village in New York City,” says Sarah Hermann, the Digital Content Creator for Historic Richmond Town. “If you’re looking for an immersive, tangible, touchable, history, we do that, but we’re also a 100-acre park site.”
75 acres of the 100-acre Historic Richmond Town is part of the Staten Island Greenbelt, a system of public land which covers over a third of the island. The park also has an outdoor beer garden, paranormal adventures, holiday events, candle-lit tours on summer nights, and a working farm.
“We’re trying to make it a place that is meaningful to everyone, because historic institutions for a lot of years were seen as elitist,” says Hermann. “If you like old stuff, if you like culture and food, if you like the outdoors and hiking, there’s a little bit for everybody.”