Rossville, located on Staten Island’s South Shore, is a neighborhood positioned to the north of Woodrow, west of Arden Heights, and bordered by the Arthur Kill to the south and east. This suburban community is known for its historical significance and its diverse, close-knit population. It offers a peaceful place to live, surrounded by the beauty of the area. Join us in exploring a neighborhood where historical charm seamlessly combines with modern convenience, offering a comfortable suburban lifestyle with easy access to urban amenities.
Early History and Colonial Roots
The history of Rossville can be traced back to the indigenous Raritan Indians who inhabited the area for centuries. It remained untouched by European settlers until 1684 when Huguenot Daniel Perrin was granted 80 acres of land, making him one of the first European landowners in the region. In the mid-18th century, the area was known as “Old Blazing Star,” named after a local tavern. However, it was later christened Rossville in honor of Colonel William E. Ross, who built a striking castle overlooking the Blazing Star Ferry landing in the 1830s.
19th Century Growth and Challenges
During the mid-19th century, Rossville flourished as a thriving farm community. However, a significant turning point came with the opening of the Staten Island Railroad in 1860, which bypassed Rossville, causing many residents to relocate to neighborhoods along the railway line. This shift marked a period of decline for Rossville, as poor transportation options limited its growth.
It wasn’t until the completion of the West Shore Expressway in 1976 that Rossville experienced a resurgence. This vital transportation link rekindled interest in the area, leading to a residential building boom as long-time farmers sold their land to developers.
Modern-Day Rossville: A Quiet Suburban Oasis
Today, Rossville has evolved into a tight-knit community with over half of its residents boasting Italian heritage. Most residents are homeowners, and they appreciate the peaceful, suburban atmosphere Rossville provides, all while enjoying the convenience of a short train ride to bustling Manhattan.
Map of Rossville
Points of Interest and Attractions
Rossville features a variety of attractions for different interests.
Staten Island Boat Graveyard (Tugboat Graveyard): This unique marine scrapyard, located in the Arthur Kill, is home to abandoned and decomposing vessels, primarily cargo ships and tugboats. Despite its remote location and posted “No trespassing” signs, it has become a tourist attraction, drawing visitors who are fascinated by its haunting beauty and historical significance.
Blazing Star Burial Ground: This abandoned cemetery, dating from the mid-1750s, is a historical gem located just off Arthur Kill Road, north of Rossville Avenue. It offers a glimpse into the past and is a reminder of the area’s early settlers and their enduring legacy.
Sandy Ground Historical Museum: Situated within the Sandy Ground community of Rossville, this museum is dedicated to the oldest continuously inhabited free black settlement in the United States. It boasts the largest documentary collection of Staten Island’s African-American culture and history. The museum is also said to be the home of the only intact 18th-century African cemetery in America. Operated by the Sandy Ground Historical Society, it hosts an annual festival that celebrates black history, culture, and freedom.
Rossville A.M.E. Zion Church: A significant historical structure in the community, this church stands as a symbol of faith and community. With a rich history and strong ties to the neighborhood, it remains an important part of Rossville’s heritage.
These attractions, each with its unique story and significance, add depth to the cultural and historical tapestry of Rossville, making it a compelling destination for those interested in history, heritage, and the beauty of nature.
Parks and Recreation
Rossville’s natural beauty is exemplified by its proximity to the Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve. This 265-acre nature preserve is a diverse ecosystem, featuring wetlands, ponds, sand barrens, spring-fed streams, and wooded areas, offering a unique opportunity to observe the intersection of various landscapes. For golf enthusiasts, the South Shore Golf Course overlooks the Arthur Kill, providing an 18-hole course and a dining experience with waterfront views. Fishing is also popular along the shoreline of Arthur Kill, known for its catches of bluefish, striped bass, and weakfish.
Future Development and Economic Growth
A promising chapter in Rossville’s future is the transformation of a 33-acre city-owned waterfront site into a wind turbine manufacturing and assembly facility. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has indeed awarded a conditional designation to NorthPoint Development with the goal to transform a Rossville Municipal Site, a 33-acre city-owned waterfront industrial property in Staten Island, into a state-of-the-art offshore wind (OSW) port facility for manufacturing and assembling wind turbine components. This initiative will not only bring new job opportunities to the area but also contribute to the sustainability of the region.
Rossville is well-connected by various transportation options. In addition to the Staten Island Railway, the neighborhood is served by several bus routes (S74, S76, S78, S84, and S86) that link it to other parts of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry, located approximately 6 miles away in St. George, offers a convenient route to Lower Manhattan, making it a choice for some Rossville residents’ daily commute. For motorists, the West Shore Expressway (NY 440) runs along the western edge of Rossville, providing access to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.
Education and Schools
Rossville is home to several public and private schools that provide quality education for the community’s children. Among the notable institutions in the neighborhood are:
- P.S. 56 The Louis Desario School: This public elementary school is dedicated to providing a strong foundation for young learners. The school’s commitment to academic excellence, along with its engaging programs, makes it a cornerstone of education in Rossville.
- I.S. 075 Frank D. Paulo: As an intermediate school, I.S. 75 plays a crucial role in preparing students for the transition to high school. The school focuses on providing a well-rounded education and fostering the development of essential life skills.
- P.S. 004 Maurice Wollin School: P.S. 4 is another elementary school in Rossville, dedicated to shaping the minds of young students. With experienced educators and a nurturing environment, it strives to help children reach their full potential.
Real Estate Trends in Rossville
The real estate market in Rossville, Staten Island, has shown increased median sale prices and price per square foot in recent quarters. As of August 2023, Rossville is considered a buyer’s market, providing homebuyers with more options, and homes tend to sell relatively quickly, with an average of 32 days on the market. These trends reflect the neighborhood’s desirability and accessibility.
- Is Rossville, Staten Island a good place to live?
- Rossville, Staten Island, is often considered a great place to live, offering a quiet suburban atmosphere while maintaining easy access to New York City. Its rich history, diverse community, and recent developments make it an attractive destination for residents.
- What is the history of Rossville, Staten Island?
- Rossville’s history dates back to pre-colonial times when it was inhabited by Raritan Indians. It was later settled by European colonists, with notable events including the opening of the Staten Island Railroad in 1860 and the completion of the West Shore Expressway in 1976, leading to its modern transformation.
- What is the population of Rossville, Staten Island?
- As of the last available data, Rossville has a diverse population, with over half of its residents of Italian descent. For the most up-to-date population figures, you may refer to the latest census or local demographic reports.
- What are the notable schools in Rossville, Staten Island?
- Rossville is home to several schools, including P.S. 56 The Louis Desario School, I.S. 75 Frank D. Paulo, and P.S. 4 Maurice Wollin School, which contribute to the educational well-being of the community.
- Are there any unique attractions in Rossville, Staten Island?
- Yes, Rossville offers unique attractions such as the Staten Island Boat Graveyard (Tugboat Graveyard), the Sandy Ground Historical Museum, the Rossville A.M.E. Zion Church, and the Blazing Star Burial Ground, providing a glimpse into its history and cultural diversity.
- What’s the current state of the real estate market in Rossville?
- The real estate market in Rossville has seen rising home prices and property values. As of August 2023, it’s considered a buyer’s market, providing more choices for homebuyers, and homes tend to sell relatively quickly.
- Is there a local library in Rossville, Staten Island?
- Yes, Rossville has a local library, providing a valuable resource for residents looking to expand their knowledge or enjoy reading. The library often hosts educational programs and community events.
- What recreational activities are available in Rossville, Staten Island?
- In addition to golfing and fishing, Rossville offers various recreational opportunities, including parks, sports facilities, and clubs for activities such as tennis, swimming, and biking.
- What future developments are on the horizon for Rossville, Staten Island?
- Exciting developments include the transformation of a 33-acre city-owned waterfront site into a wind turbine manufacturing and assembly facility, which will bring new job opportunities to the area and contribute to sustainability.
- What transportation options are available in Rossville, Staten Island?
- Rossville is well-connected by the Staten Island Railway and several bus routes. Additionally, the Staten Island Ferry provides service to Lower Manhattan, and the West Shore Expressway offers easy access to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and other areas.
In conclusion, Rossville, Staten Island, is a community that beautifully blends the charm of a suburban oasis with the convenience of urban accessibility. With its rich history, diverse population, and unique attractions like the Staten Island Boat Graveyard and Sandy Ground Historical Museum, Rossville offers a captivating journey into the past and the vibrant present. Whether you’re considering making it your home, exploring its cultural tapestry, or venturing into its dynamic real estate market, Rossville welcomes you with open arms. Its promising future, exemplified by the transformation of a 33-acre waterfront site into a cutting-edge wind turbine facility, ensures that this neighborhood remains a place of growth, opportunity, and endless possibilities. In summary, if you are looking for a location that combines history with modern amenities and offers a peaceful suburban environment with easy access to the city, Rossville is the ideal destination for you.
Greetings! I'm Dr. Andrew Stepanov, a passionate explorer of Staten Island's vibrant neighborhoods. Rooted in the heart of the borough as a devoted resident, I've dedicated myself to unveiling the unique history and experiences that define Staten Island. Through my blog, Staten Island Explorer, I aim to share insights into the rich diversity shaping our community. Come join me on a journey to uncover hidden gems, embrace diverse cultures, and revel in the beauty that makes Staten Island a place I am truly honored to call home.