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George, Tompkinsville, Clifton, and Stapleton—is the most urban part of the island; it contains the designated St. Paul's Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian houses. The West Shore is the least populated and most industrial part of the island.Motor traffic can reach the borough from Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and from New Jersey via the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge.

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Evidence of their habitation can still be seen in shell middens along the shore in the Tottenville section, where oyster shells larger than 12 inches (305 mm) are sometimes found.

Burial Ridge, a Lenape burial ground on a bluff overlooking Raritan Bay in Tottenville, is the largest pre-European burial ground in New York City.

This evidence was first discovered in 1917 in the Charleston section of the island.

Various Clovis artifacts have been discovered since then, on property owned by Mobil Oil.

The island was probably abandoned later, possibly because of the extirpation of large mammals on the island.

Evidence of the first permanent Native American settlements and agriculture are thought to date from about 5,000 years ago, Rossville points are distinct arrowheads that define a Native American cultural period that runs from the Archaic period to the Early Woodland period, dating from about 1500 to 100 BC.

They are named for the Rossville section of Staten Island, where they were first found near the old Rossville Post Office building.

At the time of European contact, the island was inhabited by the Raritan band of the Unami division of the Lenape.

In 1626, the colony transferred to the island of Manhattan which was designated as the capital of New Netherland.

The Dutch did not establish a permanent settlement on Staaten Eylandt for many decades.

Captain Christopher Billopp, after years of distinguished service in the Royal Navy, came to America in 1674 in charge of a company of infantry.

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