Richmond County Apartments for Rent
There’s some question as to how Staten Island (Richmond County) came to belong to the state of New York. Some claim that Captain Christopher Billopp was challenged to sail around the island in one day, and if he could, the island would go to New York. Others claim the Duke of York held a sailing competition with the island as the prize. No matter how it happened, Staten Island became part of New York in the late 1600s. Giovanni Da Verrazano is considered the father of Staten Island because he landed here in 1524. The Verrazano Bridge, which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn, is named in his honor.
Staten Island is one of New York’s five boroughs. The others are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The boroughs were established in 1898, when the area was consolidated into the City of New York.
With the best transportation system in the country at your doorstep, you don’t need a car in Staten Island. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) features bus service and rapid transit, while the Staten Island Railway runs from the ferry terminal to Tottenville. The best possible way to get to Manhattan is via the Staten Island Ferry; it is free and it offers an amazing view of the New York City skyline, as well as great views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Although the island is very densely populated, there are hundreds of acres of parkland, including five sites that are part of the gateway National Recreation Area, such as Fort Wadsworth. Built in 1663, the fort didn’t close until 1994, making it the longest continually-manned military facility in the nation. Hoffman Island and Swinburne Island are two artificially created islands dating to the late 1800s. The islands were used to quarantine immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island with diseases. The islands can’t be visited and are havens for many birds, including ibis, herons, egrets, gulls, and cormorants. Harbor seals can also be seen around the islands. The islands are visible from Staten Island’s South Beach area.
Staten Island has many claims to fame (such as its legendary pizza; locals will tell you it’s the water). The Staten Island Zoo, which opened in 1936, is a popular tourist destination, and Historic Richmond Town is a unique living history village and museum that contains former government buildings, farm houses, and more than 30 historic buildings and sites. The oldest building in the village is the Voorlezer’s House, a schoolhouse that was built sometime between 1680 and 1690. It is the oldest known schoolhouse in the country.