The history of Staten Island's Livingston neighborhood includes a railroad above ground, and one underground. NY1’s Amanda Farinacci filed this report.
Train tracks are all that remain of the long-abandoned North Shore line of the Staten Island railway that once passed through Livingston.
"Livingston was a train station," says Carlotta DeFillo of Historic Richmondtown.
The station was created from the 19th century mansion of wealthy resident Anson Livingston. The railway, in fact, named the whole area after Livingston. Before that, it was noted for a very different history.
"They say that it's fact—that it was an underground railroad in these houses around here," says one area resident.
The neighborhood was a hot-bed of abolitionist activity, and it had been called "Elliottville" after Samuel Mackenzie Elliott.
A prominent eye doctor and active abolitionist, Elliott also built homes here.
Dr. Elliott built 15 homes in the area. His own home was declared a New York City landmark in 1967.
Many of Elliott's wealthy friends moved to the area. Most of them were celebrated abolitionists, too.
"They were white people who were influential citizens. George William Curtis is one of the most famous ones, who was a nationally prominent speaker," says Barnett Shepherd of the Preservation League of Staten Island.
Curtis lived and died in this house.
A neighbor was his brother-in-law, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who lost his life leading the first Black regiment during the Civil War.
Shaw's life was the subject of the movie "Glory," and a sign on the street where his house still stands pays him tribute.