Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Westerleigh, Staten Island
Located in a region of the island popularly referred to as Mid-Island, Westerleigh is sometimes confused with the adjacent neighborhood of Meiers Corners; however, Victory Boulevard east of Jewett Avenue and Watchogue Road west of it is the commonly-recognized boundary between the two, with the area north of this line belonging to the former and that south of it to the latter. Both neighborhoods are bounded on the west by Willowbrook and on the east by Castleton Corners, with Port Richmond lying immediately to the north of Westerleigh.
Westerleigh first attracted notice when a temperance group, the National Prohibition Campground Association, bought 25 acres (101,000 m²) of land there in 1877, and named the property Prohibition Park — noted chiefly today for the fact that the official climate records for Staten Island are complied at the site. Many of the local streets are named after early leaders of the Prohibition movement (Neal Dow, Clinton B. Fiske), or for states that supported anti-liquor laws (such as Maine and Ohio).
Some of Westerleigh's earliest residents excelled in letters, including Isaac Funk , co-founder of Funk and Wagnalls, and poet Edwin Markham. Heiress Amy Vanderbilt also once lived there. Today, however, the community is heavily working-to-middle class, with a large segment of its population being employed in the civil service, especially the NYPD and the New York City Fire Department.
The neighborhood gained much local attention for the abundance of patriotic decorations festooned on its homes in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
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