Okay, Staten Island History Detectives – did you know about this place? (it’s no longer there, of course) This photograph, taken in 1909 is of the St. James Hotel, the site where Aaron BURR spent the last year of his life. Located at (Port) Richmond Ave & Richmond Terrace, the site was originally inhabited by a Captain DECKER, commander of a troop of mounted Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. His house was burned down in a raid led by the American Patriot, General STERLING. The British promptly built a fort in its place; its location was advantageous due to its proximity to the Kill Van (Von) Kull.
Some years after the war, Judge David MERSEREAU built his house here, and books of the time describe the house as the most beautiful on the Island, with ornately carved wooden adornments and two prominently featured Willow trees on a lawn that extended out around the house, where the road is now, and reached to where the sidewalk is across the street.
In 1820, the house was sold and was converted into a hotel, aptly named the “Port Richmond”. A few years later it was renamed the Continental, and finally the St. James.
It was during the Continental Hotel years that its most (in)famous visitor, Aaron Burr resided and subsequently died in 1836. A brief biography follows.
Above is by SecretStatenIsland.com, below is from the Wiki:
Aaron Burr, Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician. He was elected twice to the New York State Assembly (1784–1785, 1798–1799), was appointed New York State Attorney General (1789–1791), was chosen as a United States Senator (1791–1797) from the state of New York, and reached the apex of his career as third Vice President of the United States (1801–1805), under President Thomas Jefferson. Despite these accomplishments, Burr is chiefly remembered as the man who killed his rival Alexander Hamilton in the famous 1804 duel. Controversy dogged Burr throughout his lifetime, and his reputation among historians remains contested.