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On the north shore of Staten Island along the Kill Van Kull is Snug Harbor.

People can get there via the Staten Island ferry to the S40 bus or take the car.

This national historic landmark district was originally built for retired merchant seamen in 1833.

The sailors’ community includes 26 revival, Beaux-Arts, Italianate and Victorian-style buildings.

The entire property is now a cultural center and botanical garden. Catch a performance, view art, tour the property – it even houses one of only two authentic classical Chinese gardens in the United States.

The retired seamen were called “inmates,” which only reflected the jargon of the time.

The third governor of the property was Thomas Melville, the youngest brother of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.


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