Sandy Ground is a neighborhood in Staten Island, NY, and is located on the East Shore. It is located near Prince’s Bay, Arden Heights, and Rossville.
It is well known for its long history of having a large African American population.
Sandy Ground is also the oldest community in the United States founded by free African Americans.
It was once called “Sunnyside” by its original European settlers because of its pleasant view of the upper bay at a time when its beachfront served as Staten Island’s principal summer resort area.
Sandy Ground was originally settled by the Raritan band of the Unami tribe. In 1828, a few years after the formation of Staten Island’s town, Thomas Dongan, a member of a prominent New York family and a recent immigrant from Ireland began commercial oyster operations in Great Kills Harbor where he also leased land for his personal use to farm produce. To attract more people to the area, Thomas named his leased property “Sunnyside Farm.” Shortly afterward, the local usage of the name transformed itself into Sunnyside Landing.
Historically, the term “Sandy Ground” referred to a parcel of the Dongan property. Dongan leased Sunnyside Farm from 1836 until after 1847, when his family was evicted by their landlord in accordance with an anti-rent movement in which tenant farmers forced landlords to sign new leases at lower rates.
As a result, many buildings in Sandy Ground were built with the evicted Dongan family’s red bricks, which became an identifying mark of Sandy Ground architecture.
The Sandy Ground Historical Society is located in the former African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at 2875 Richmond Road and contains a museum depicting the local history of Sandy Ground.
The Titusville Lunatic Asylum (known by locals as “Old Blockley“) was built on land purchased from an African American freedman named Peter Williams. The facility had its first patients admitted in 1852 and opened in 1855. The building was at one time a psychiatric hospital, but after its closing, it served as an army facility for the US during World War II and then later as a nursing home.
Sandy Ground also has many historic houses. Some have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sandy Ground has a long history with African-American schools, church, and civic leaders. The community is home to a number of prominent African Americans whose accomplishments have defined important aspects of America’s social and political life.
Prominent residents have included Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, civil rights activist Rev. Frederick Douglass Patterson, NAACP founder and educator Mary White Ovington, journalists Ira Lewis and W. Adolphe Roberts, boxer Joe Louis, opera star Grace Bumbry, tennis pro Althea Gibson, civil rights leader Dr. Aaron Douglas, real estate developer John E. Nails Jr., writer Zora Neale Hurston, and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young.
GO 4 Junk Removal Staten Island is located at 83 Meisner Ave, Staten Island, NY 10306. From Sandy Ground, Head east on Woodrow Rd toward Dexter Ave, then take right onto Tynan St, then take another right onto Annadale Rd, now turn left onto Ladd Ave, then turn right onto Arthur Kill Rd, then another right onto Richmond Rd. Reaching soon, take left onto Lighthouse Ave, then slight right onto London Rd, now take last right onto Meisner Ave. Thus, you’ve now arrived at your destination and it’s on the left.