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Islip History, New York

Islip history tells us that the region was inhabited by a sub-sect of the Algonquin Indians, known as the Secatogues. The Secatogues lived in communities in present-day Bay Shore (earlier known as Penataquit), Oakdale (Connetquot) and West Islip (Secatogue) regions.

Islip History – The Initial Years of European Settlements

Europeans settlements in Islip region started almost one-and-a-half centuries after Albany and/or New York City regions were settled by them. William Nicoll became the first legal property-owner of the Islip region when he purchased a property (a 50,000 acre agricultural estate extending from East Islip to Bayport) from Chief Winnequaheagh of Connetquot in 1683; Nicoll named his estate Islip Grange after the name of his native town. Nicoll was followed by people like Andrew Gibb, John Mowbray, Stephan Van Cortlandt, Richard and Thomas Willets who acquired land in different parts of modern-day Islip.

Islip History – The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

The Eighteenth Century proved very significant. First, the precinct (or district) of Islip was created in 1710 and then a decade later, the first election for a local governing body was held. Although there is no clear indication as to when Islip was incorporated as a town, a 1790-document first refers to Islip as a town.

Islip history took a new turn after the 1812 war came to an end; the economy picked up the pace soon after. Fishing, oyster-farming and shipping became the mainstay of the economy and started attracting outsiders resulting in an increase in population. As the population rose, the town started expanding.

The opening of the Long Island Railroad link in the 1840s was another significant event in Islip history as was the construction of the South Side Railroad because these were the things that ultimately led to Islip’s recognition as a tourism hub in the 20th century.

Islip History – The Twentieth Century to Present Times

The first decade of the 20th century was dominated by oyster trade, but then Islip’s scenic beauty started attracting tourists in hordes, with some even building summer-villas here. As Islip gained distinction as a vacationing haven, hotels and allied services further boosted its economy. Meanwhile, Islip’s population was also adding up but the Second World War proved vital. With New York City facing housing shortage, many war veterans chose to move to Islip and Islip came to known as the ‘bedroom of New York City’. Between 1950 and 1970, about 200000 people moved permanently to Islip. Housing complexes were developed to accommodate the ever increasing population and this was followed by the establishment of a number of industrial set-ups.

Islip made headlines for the wrong reason on account of the Mobro garbage-incident (the ship named Mobro carrying Islip’s garbage was denied entry in a number of US states) that took place in the late 1980s. Nevertheless, it all ended on a positive note after the trash was turned to ashes in Brooklyn and the ash was used as landfill in Islip.

Present-day Islip continues to be a hugely popular tourism destination as well as a great place to live in and according to the 2000 census, the town’s population reached 322,612 inhabitants.

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