Record ID: 98

Site Name

Staten Island

Type

Islands

Description

(area: 102 sq miles; 1990 pop. 378,977), SE N.Y., in N.Y. Bay, SW of Manhattan, forming Richmond co. of N.Y. state and the borough of Staten Isl. of N.Y. city; 40�33'N 74�08'W. It is separated from N.J. by Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill, which are crossed by bridges (Goethals, Bayonne, Outerbridge Crossing, and a RR-lift bridge). Ferries connect the isl. with Manhattan, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge links it with Brooklyn. The hills of NE Staten Isl. rise to 410 ft. at Todt Hill, the highest point along the Atlantic coast S of Maine. The availability of open space has made the isl. the site of large container-handling facilities. The isl. was visited by Henry Hudson in 1609 and was called Staaten Eylandet by the Dutch. The native pop. drove off the 1st Eur. settlers, but by 1661 a permanent settlement had been founded. Though there was considerable industrial activity here in the 19th cent., its predominant character was semirural, something which had not changed when it became a borough of N.Y. city in 1898. The turning point in its recent history was the completion of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (1964). Since then Staten Isl. has had an influx of new residents and industries, including Staten Isl. Teleport and a containerboard-recycling plant.