A Brief History of Central Islip

For centuries the Algonquin Indians inhabited Long Island. A sub-division of the Algonquins known as the Secatogues occupied all of the area now known as Islip Township.

On November 28, 1683 William Nicoll bought a 8 x 10 mile tract of land from Sachem (Chief) Winnequaheagh of Connetquot. This famous purchase eventually became the largest manor on Long Island, which he aptly named 'Islip' after his hometown of Islipe, England. His main residence was located in the area we now know as Heckscher State Park.

Nearly two centuries later on July 14, 1842 the Long Island Railroad had reached eastward into Nicoll's tract of land and the Suffolk Station was established (at the present Islip Avenue crossing). For three decades Suffolk Station was the center of commerce for the neighboring communities, hence the name Central Islip was given to this spot where stage and rail met. 

Dr. Edgar Peck of Smithtown was among the first to discover the value of the area soil as farmland. Dr. Peck studied the soil and reported it to be "... a very fine yellow loam in every way suitable for cultivation." - this discovery was in contrast to the previous belief that it was 'worthless gravel'... 

In 1848 George Kasson Hubbs bought 939 acres of land from the seventh William Nicoll. Hubbs moved his family to Central Islip and eventually held the titles of Postmaster, Railroad Stationmaster and School Inspector. He married Ruth Wheeler, for whom he named Wheeler Road. 

As the population of the area grew, the Union Free School District No. 13 was formed. Several Churches were also built in this area during the late 1800's. The Episcopal Church of Central Islip and the First Methodist Church were both built in 1869. In 1903 the cornerstone for the St. John of God Church was laid. 

A major New York State mental hospital opened in 1887 and served as the main area employer. The influx of Doctors, attendants, and other workers included many Irish immigrant families. More recently, Central Islip has become home to the Cohalan County Court Complex, a $198 million federal court building, and the Long Island Ducks - a premier Minor League Baseball franchise.

The Central Islip Public Library was first opened in 1952 - moving to our present location in 1976...

Stop in and ask about our collection of local history materials... Discover the wonderful past at your library!

Translate »