Far beyond the southernmost reaches of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst lies a forgotten land. Built upon landfills and only accessible by bridge or ferry, it is merely a faint memory to many New Yorkers, who once heard tales of its former glory as a haven for aristocratic Manhattanites seeking cricket, tennis, and beachfront resorts.

“From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012,” a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, hopes to bring this forsaken domain back to life in the eyes of its visitors. “There are a lot of surprises about Staten Island for people who don’t know Staten Island very well, and for Staten Islanders as well,” said Sarah Henry, chief curator of the exhibit, citing a history of agriculture and “elegant mansions” belonging to the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt that once dotted the Island.

For those who’d like to delve into the history of this deserted borough, the exhibit runs through January 21.

(Image: George Lezenby/Flickr)