Westerleigh, Staten Island, New York City
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Westerleigh is the name of a neighborhood on Staten Island, New York in New York City.
Located in a region of the island popularly referred to as the North Shore and is made up of people of mostly Irish descent, 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
Westerleigh occupies high ground on Staten Island, which itself contains the highest point of land from Maine to Florida along the eastern coast of the United States - the extremely wealthy neighborhood of Todt Hill - at @ 400 feet above sea level. While not as high as Todt Hill, Westerleigh affords views from certain vantage points of Newark, New Jersey and further afield, on a clear day. The neighborhood has an abundance of coniferous and dedicuous trees, including blue spruce, cedar, chestnut, sweet gum, sycamore, and many types of pine, some of which reach 75 feet or more in height.
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 compiled at the site. Many of the local streets are named after early leaders of the Prohibition movement (Neal Dow, Clinton B. Fisk), 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, as does minor b-movie actor Brian "the Duke" Crimmins. 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.
One of the oldest Boy Scout groups, Troup #2, was formed in Westerleigh, for a long time operating out of the Immanuel Union Church on Jewett Avenue.
Westerleigh is also home to the oldest tennis club in the US, tennis having been introduced to the US (from England, via Bermuda) at the home here of Mary Ewing Outerbridge. She played the first game in the US at the Staten Island Cricket Club on a hourglass shaped court. The location, on College Avenue, still sports a tennis court.
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