Huguenot is the name of a neighborhood located on the South Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. 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 and early 18th centuries to escape religious persecution.
Huguenot is bordered by Arden Heights to the north, Woodrow to the west, Prince’s Bay to the south, and Annadale to the east. The community was named after French Protestants fleeing persecution in Catholic-dominated France who settled in the area in the 17th century, and formed one of the first permanent settlements on Staten Island.
The community gained the Huguenot 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.
Great Kills is a neighborhood within New York City’s borough of Staten Island. It is located on the island’s South Shore, and according to many local geographers, it is the South Shore’s northernmost community. It is bordered by Richmondtown to the north, Oakwood to the east, Eltingville to the west, and the Great Kills Harbor to the south.
Kill is an archaic Dutch word with various popular translations, including “creek” and “channel;” indeed, many small streams dot the neighborhood, and the name can be interpreted as meaning that a great number of such streams can be found there. The eastern half of what has been known since 1865 as Great Kills was originally named Cairedon, and the western half was named Newtown. Both later came to be known as Giffords, after Daniel Gifford, a local commissioner and surveyor. The name survives in Giffords Lane, which is located at the Staten Island Railway station, which was also formerly named Giffords and in Giffords Glen, which also near the train station. Another name associated with the neighborhood is Honeywood, which survived as the name of the telephone exchange for many South Shore communities through the late 1950s.