Staten Island Fun Facts

Published
10/25/2015
Did'ja Know?

First discovered by Europeans almost 500 years ago, Staten Island is replete with reminders of its multi-cultural roots that compose its unique history. Add in some of the more distinctive geography along  the Eastern Seaboard, and Staten Island is one of the most intriguing areas in the nation. Here are a few fun facts about the borough that might make you see the landmarks you pass on a daily basis in a  whole new light.

The Goethals Bridge is named for General George Washington Goethals, the first consulting engineer for the Port Authority, and one of the supervisors of the Panama Canal’s construction.

The Staten Island Ferry transports approximately 20 million passengers every year. The fleet of ferries traverses New York Harbor 109 times each weekday, 75 times on Saturday, and 68 times on  Sunday.

It is believed that well over 30,000 Revolutionary War troops were stationed on Staten Island while George Washington and British General William Howe organized their troops for what would later become  the Battle of Long Island.

The Conference House Museum along the island’s southern shore is the only structure built before the Revolutionary War that still stands on the island. The Conference House was built in 1680 and housed  an unsuccessful peace conference between the British forces and the Continental Congress in 1776.

Staten Island’s Todt Hill, with a height of nearly 410 feet above sea level, is one of the highest points on the entire East coast of the United States. You’d have to travel all the way up to Maine to get any  higher along the Eastern Seaboard.

The Outerbridge Crossing and the Goethals Bridge, both of which connect Staten Island to New Jersey, also both opened on the same day: June 20, 1928.

In 1788, Staten Island was divided into four towns by the New York government: Castleton, Northfield, Southfield and Westfield. Middletown was added as a fifth in 1860.

Today, close to 60 million vehicles cross the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing every year, compared to just over 1.1 million in their first full years of operation.

The Bayonne Bridge opened in 1931, and was the first major bridge to use manganese steel in its main structure. At the time of its construction, it was the longest steel arch bridge in the world.

Ken Strong, Hall-of-Fame NFL halfback, played for the Staten Island Stapletons, a football franchise that played four seasons in the NFL before it fell on hard financial times and disbanded.

The Dutch are the borough’s first known European settlers, and named the island Staaten Eylandt, which means States Island, when they settled in the 1600s.

Historic Richmond Town is comprised of more than 30 original centuries-old buildings across nearly 50 acres of land in the heart of the Island. Richmond Town is the only restored historic village in New York City.

Staten Island was once inhabited by the Raritan and Lenape Indian tribes. Rare arrowheads from those tribes have been discovered throughout the island.

Staten Island is the third largest of the five boroughs that New York City is comprised of, measuring roughly 60 square miles, but is the least populated, with approximately 465,000 residents

Historic Richmond Town is comprised of more than 30 original centuries-old buildings across nearly 50 acres of land in the heart of the Island. Richmond Town is the only restored historic village in New York City.

Staten Island, aside from being a borough of New York City, is also its own county: Richmond County. Until officially renamed the Borough of Staten Island in 1975, Staten Island was called the Borough of  Richmond.

A tulip tree in Clove Lakes Park in the Sunnyside neighborhood is recognized by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation as the oldest and largest tree in the borough. The tree stretches 107 feet high and is over three centuries old.

When the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn, was built in 1964, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. The 4,260-foot span has since been eclipsed by several bridges overseas, but the Verrazano is still the longest suspension bridge in the in Western hemisphere.