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Long Island Title.jpg

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Nassau County
Suffolk County
(Brooklyn, Queens)
North Shore · South Shore
North Fork · South Fork
Long Island Sound · Barrier islands

Long Island is an island located in southeastern New York, United States, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs (Queens and Brooklyn) of New York City, and two of which (Nassau and Suffolk) are mainly suburban. Nine bridges and thirteen tunnels connect Brooklyn and Queens (and thus Long Island) to the three other boroughs of New York City. Ferries connect Suffolk County northward across Long Island Sound to the state of Connecticut. Two of New York City's major airports, La Guardia and JFK, are located on Long Island.

Both the longest[1] and the largest island in the contiguous United States, Long Island extends 118 miles (190 km) from New York Harbor, and has a maximum width of 23 miles (37 km) between the northern (Long Island Sound) coast and the southern Atlantic coast.[2] With a land area of 1,401 square miles (3,629 km2), Long Island is the 11th largest island in the United States, the 148th largest island in the world, larger than any U.S. territory except Puerto Rico,[2] and just smaller than the state of Rhode Island (1545 sq mi).

Long Island had a population of 7,448,618 as of the 2000 census,[2] making it the most populated island in any U.S. state or territory. It is also the 17th most populous island in the world, ahead of Ireland, Jamaica and the Japanese island of Hokkaidō. Its population density is 5,470 inhabitants per square mile (2,110 /km2). If it were a state, Long Island would rank 12th in population.



Long Island
Native name: Paumanok
New york long island.jpg
Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk of Long Island with approximate, but notably incorrect, county boundaries
Long Island is located in New York
Long Island (New York)
Location Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates 40°48′N 73°18′W / 40.8°N 73.3°W / 40.8; -73.3
Area 1,401 sq mi (3,630 km2)
Length 118 mi (190 km)
Width 23 mi (37 km) at widest part
Highest point Jayne's Hill (401 ft (122 m))
United States
State  New York
Population 7,559,372 (as of 2006)
Density 5,395.7 /km2 (13,975 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups 57.16% White, 20.18% African American, 0.36% Native American, 9.06% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 8.17% other races, and 4.01% from two or more races and 21.82% Hispanic or Latino

The westernmost end of Long Island contains the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn (Kings County) and Queens (Queens County). The central and eastern portions contain the suburban Nassau and Suffolk counties. However, colloquial usage of the term "Long Island" refers only to Nassau and Suffolk counties; the more dense and urban Brooklyn and Queens are not usually referred to as "Long Island," since they are politically part of New York City.

Nassau County is more developed than Suffolk County, with pockets of rural affluence within the Gold Coast of the North Shore. South Shore communities are built along protected wetlands and white sand beaches fronting on the Atlantic Ocean and Outer Barrier Islands. Old money from the time of the Revolutionary War populated the island and still does to this day. American aristocrats and European nobility in the gilded age built lavish country homes on the North Shore of Nassau county. Today, (although many of the massive estates have been demolished) many exist in their original state, while others have become parks, arboretums, universities and museums

Owing to economic growth and the suburbanization of the metropolitan region after World War II, Nassau was the fastest growing county in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s. Suffolk County remains less congested despite substantial growth in high technology and light manufacturing sectors since 1990. In its far east sections, Suffolk remains small-town rural, as in Greenport on the North Fork and some of the outward areas of The Hamptons, although summer tourism swells the population in those areas.

Long Island is geographically part of the Mid Atlantic, however many towns and hamlets along the island's north shore and in eastern Suffolk County, such as Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Sag Harbor seem to resemble New England towns, while many of the towns and hamlets along the south shore, such as Long Beach, Valley Stream, and Babylon seem to resemble Mid-Atlantic coastal communities, especially those on the shore between New Jersey and Virginia.

Long Island is known for its affluence and high quality of life. According to Forbes Magazine, as of March, 2010, Nassau and Suffolk Counties are among the top 25 richest counties in America[3]. Additionally, Nassau County is the third richest county per capita in New York State, and the 30th richest in the nation. Long Island's Nassau County has the second highest property taxes in the United States.[4] Suffolk County has redeveloped North Fork potato fields into a burgeoning wine region. The South Fork is known for beach towns, including the world-renowned Hamptons, and for Montauk Point, home of Montauk Point Lighthouse at the eastern tip of the island.




NASA Landsat satellite image of Long Island and surrounding areas.

Long Island, as part of the Outer Lands region, is formed largely of two spines of glacial moraine, with a large, sandy outwash plain beyond. These moraines consist of gravel and loose rock left behind during the two most recent pulses of Wisconsin glaciation during the Ice Ages some 21,000 years ago (19,000 BC). The northern moraine, which directly abuts the North Shore of Long Island at points, is known as the Harbor Hill moraine. The more southerly moraine, known as the Ronkonkoma moraine, forms the "backbone" of Long Island; it runs primarily through the very center of Long Island, roughly coinciding with the length of the Long Island Expressway.

The land to the south of this moraine to the South Shore is the outwash plain of the last glacier. Known as the Hempstead Plains, this land contained one of the few natural prairies to exist east of the Appalachian Mountains.[5]

The glaciers melted and receded to the north, resulting in the difference between the North Shore beaches and the South Shore beaches. The North Shore beaches are rocky from the remaining glacial debris, while the South Shore's are crisp, clear, outwash sand. Running along the center of the island like a spine is the moraine left by the glaciers. Jayne's Hill, at 401 feet, is the highest hill along either moraine; another well-known summit is Bald Hill. The glaciers also formed Lake Ronkonkoma, a kettle lake.


Long Island has a climate similar to other coastal areas of the Northeastern United States; it has warm, humid summers and cold winters. The Atlantic Ocean helps bring afternoon sea breezes that temper the heat in the warmer months and limit the frequency and severity of thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorms are not uncommon, especially when they approach the island from the mainland areas of the Bronx, Westchester County and Connecticut in the northwest.

Average yearly snowfall totals range from approximately 20 to 35 inches (51 to 89 cm), with the north shore and western parts averaging more than the south shore and the east end. In any given winter, however, some parts of the island could see up to 75 inches (190 cm) or more. There are also some very quiet winters, in which most parts of the island could see less than 10 inches (25 cm).

An Animated Map of a Nor'easter's Movement.

Long Island is somewhat vulnerable to hurricanes.[6] Its northern location and relatively cool waters tend to weaken storms to below hurricane strength by the time they reach Long Island, although despite this, some storms have made landfall at Category 1 or greater strength, including two unnamed Category 3 storms in 1938 (New England Hurricane of 1938) and 1944, Hurricane Donna in 1960, Hurricane Belle in 1976, Hurricane Gloria in 1985, Hurricane Bob in 1991 (brushed the eastern tip) and Hurricane Floyd in 1999. (There is debate among climatologists as to whether Hurricane Floyd made landfall as a Category 1 or as a very strong "almost hurricane strength" tropical storm. The official records note it as the latter.)

Monthly Normal High and Low Temperatures for Various New York Locations
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Islip, LI 39/23 40/24 48/31 58/40 69/49 77/60 83/66 82/64 75/57 64/45 54/36 44/28
New York City 38/26 41/28 50/35 61/44 71/54 79/63 84/69 82/68 75/60 64/50 53/41 43/32
Temperatures listed using the Fahrenheit scale
Source: [7]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 37,108
1800 42,907 15.6%
1810 48,752 13.6%
1820 56,978 16.9%
1830 69,775 22.5%
1840 110,406 58.2%
1850 212,637 92.6%
1860 379,788 78.6%
1870 540,648 42.4%
1880 743,957 37.6%
1890 1,029,097 38.3%
1900 1,452,611 41.2%
1910 2,098,460 44.5%
1920 2,723,764 29.8%
1930 4,103,638 50.7%
1940 4,600,022 12.1%
1950 5,237,918 13.9%
1960 6,403,852 22.3%
1970 7,141,515 11.5%
1980 6,728,074 −5.8%
1990 6,861,474 2.0%
2000 7,448,618 8.6%
Est. 2008 7,713,454 3.6%

Long Island is one of the most densely populated regions in the United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the total population of all four counties of Long Island was 7,448,618. New York City's portion of the census was 4,694,705, with Brooklyn's population at 2,465,326 and Queens having 2,229,379 residents.

The combined population of Nassau and Suffolk counties was 2,753,913 people; Suffolk County's share at 1,419,369 and Nassau County's at 1,334,544. Nassau County had a larger population for decades, but Suffolk County surpassed it in the 1990 census as growth and development continued to spread eastward.

As Suffolk County has over twice the land area of Nassau County, the latter still has a much higher population density. Combining all four counties, Long Island's population is greater than 38 of the 50 United States.

If it were an independent nation, it would rank as the 96th most populated nation, falling between Switzerland and Israel.

Population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau Census 2000[8] show that non-whites are in the majority in the two urban counties of New York City, while whites are in the majority in the two suburban counties of Nassau and Suffolk. Catholics are the largest religious group, with non-affiliated in second place.

Long Island has substantial Catholic and Jewish populations. Catholics make up 52% of Nassau and Suffolk Counties population verses 23.9 for the country as a whole, and Jews 16% and 7% respectively verses 1.7% nation wide. Even more surprising is the small percentage of Protestants, 7% and 8% respectively for Nassau and Suffolk Counties, verses 51.3 for the country. Long Island has also been referred to as the most segregated suburb in the United States.[9]

Racial groups, ethnicity, and religious groups on Long Island
of any
 % not
of % not
Race Ethnicity Religious groups
Kings 2,465,326 41.2% 36.4% 7.5% 10.6% 4.3% 19.8% 37% 4% 15% 8% 33%
Queens 2,229,379 44.1% 20.0% 17.6% 12.3% 6.1% 25.0% 29% 37% 11% 5% 15%
Nassau 1,334,544 79.3% 10.1% 4.7% 3.8% 2.1% 10.0% 52% 9% 16% 7% 15%
Suffolk 1,419,369 84.6% 6.9% 2.4% 4.0% 2.1% 10.5% 52% 21% 7% 8% 11%
Totals 7,448,618 57.2% 21.2% 9.0% 8.6% 4.0% 17.8% 40% 18% 12% 7% 20%
Source for Race and Ethnicity: 2000 Census[8]
American Indian, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander make up just 0.4% of the population of Long Island, and have been included with "Other".
Source for religious groups: ARDA[10]


Montaukett tribe and their neighbors

At the time of European contact, the Lenape people (named the Delaware by Europeans) inhabited the western end of the Island, and spoke the Munsee dialect of the Algonquian language family. Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to record an encounter with these people when he entered what is now New York Bay in 1524. The eastern portion of the island was inhabited by speakers of the Mohegan-Montauk-Narragansett language group of the same language family, indicative of their ties to the aboriginal peoples inhabiting what is now Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The western portion of Long Island was later settled by the Dutch, while the eastern region was settled by English Puritans from New Haven, Connecticut, settling in Southold on October 21, 1640.

The entirety of Long Island came under English dominion in 1664 when the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was taken over by the English and renamed New York. In 1683, the English established the three original counties on Long Island: Kings, Queens, and Suffolk.

During the American Revolutionary War, the island was captured from General George Washington early by the British in the Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the entire war. The island remained a British stronghold until the end of the war, and was the center of much of General Washington's espionage activities due to the proximity to the British North American military headquarters in New York City. After the British victory on Long Island many Patriots fled, leaving mostly Loyalists behind.

In the 19th century, Long Island was still mainly rural and agricultural. The predecessor to the Long Island Rail Road began service in 1836 from the ferry terminal (to Manhattan) through Brooklyn to Jamaica in Queens, and completed the line to the east end of Long Island in 1844. From 1830 until 1930, population roughly doubled every twenty years, and several cities were incorporated, such as the City of Brooklyn in Kings County, and Long Island City in Queens.

The Brooklyn Bridge is the first of seven bridges constructed across the East River, connecting Long Island with the Borough of Manhattan (in background).

Until the 1883 completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, the only connection between Long Island and the rest of the United States was by boat. Other bridges and tunnels followed, and a suburban character spread as population increased. On January 1, 1898, Kings County and portions of Queens were consolidated into The City of Greater New York, abolishing all cities and towns within them. The easternmost 280 square miles (730 km2) of Queens County, which were not part of the consolidation plan,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] separated from Queens in 1899 to form Nassau County.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Long Island began the transformation from backwoods and farms to the paradigm of the American suburb. Railroads made possible commuting suburbs before construction of the Long Island Expressway and other major roadways. Robert Moses created various parkway projects to span the island, along with state parks for the enjoyment of many. Gradually development started to follow the parkways, with various communities springing up along the more traveled routes.

After World War II, Long Island's population skyrocketed, mostly in Nassau County and western Suffolk County. People who worked and lived in New York City moved out to Long Island in new developments built during the post-war boom. The most famous post-war development was the town of Levittown: the area became the first place to massively reproduce houses on a grand scale- providing opportunities for GIs returning home to start a family. The immigration waves of southern and eastern Europe, followed by more recent ones from Latin America, have been pivotal in creating the diversity on Long Island that many other American regions lack. These immigrations are reflected in the large Italian American, Irish American and Jewish American populations.


F-14 Tomcat on static display pedestal at Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton, New York

The counties of Nassau and Suffolk have been long renowned for their affluence.

From about 1930 to about 1990, Long Island was considered one of the aviation centers of the United States, with companies such as Grumman Aircraft, Republic, Fairchild, and Curtiss having their headquarters and factories on Long Island.

Long Island has played a prominent role in scientific research and in engineering. It is the home of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in nuclear physics and Department of Energy research.

In recent decades companies such as Sperry Rand, Computer Associates (headquartered in Islandia), Motorola Enterprise Mobility (now occupying the former headquarters of Symbol Technologies, previously a Grumman plant in Holtsville), and OpenLink Financial (headquartered in Uniondale), have made Long Island a center for the computer industry. Gentiva Health Services, a national provider of home health and pharmacy services, also is headquartered on Long Island. Stony Brook University of the State University of New York conducts far-ranging medical and technology research.

Long island tercentenary half dollar commemorative reverse.jpg

Long Island is also home to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which was directed for 35 years by James D. Watson (who, along with Francis Crick, discovered the double helix structure of DNA).

Long Island is home to the East Coast's largest industrial park, the Hauppauge Industrial Park. The park has over 1,300 companies employing more than 55,000 Long Islanders. Companies in the park and abroad are represented by the Hauppauge Industrial Association. As many as 20 percent of Long Islanders commute to New York City jobs. The eastern end of the island is still partly agricultural. In the last 25 years, development of vineyards on the North Fork became a major new industry, replacing potato fields. Pumpkin farms have been added to traditional truck farming. Farms allow fresh fruit picking by Long Islanders for much of the year. Fishing continues to be an important industry, especially at Northport and Montauk.

Government and politics

Nassau County, New York seal.png
Suffolk County ny seal.png
Long Island boundaries

Nassau County and Suffolk County each have their own governments, with a County Executive leading each. Each has a county legislature and countywide-elected officials, such as district attorney, county clerk and county comptroller. The towns in both counties have their own governments as well, with town supervisors and a town council. Within Nassau, there are two small incorporated cities (Glen Cove and Long Beach) with a combined population of about 65,000.

Flag of New York City.svg

Brooklyn and Queens, on the other hand, do not have independent county governments. As boroughs of New York City, both have Borough Presidents, largely ceremonial offices with little political power.

The shutdown of the city's Board of Estimate due to a Supreme Court decision declaring it unconstitutional, led to a reorganization of the city government.

Longisland Indian.jpg

Long Island Native American History is home to two Indian reservations

Both Reservations find their home in Suffolk County. Numerous island place names (Towns) are Native American in origin.

Law enforcement and crime

NYPD helicopter N319PD.jpg

In 2005, Forbes magazine listed Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk counties) as having 2,042 crimes per 100,000 residents, less than half the US average.[18]


Queens and Brooklyn are patrolled by the New York City Police Department;

Nassau has its own police department, as does Suffolk. New York State Police patrol state parks and parkways; several dozen villages and the two cities in Nassau have their own police departments.

Both Nassau and Suffolk have a sheriff's office that handles civil process, evictions, warrant service and enforcement, prisoner transport and detention, and operation of the county jail.

The Nassau County Sheriff's Department employs about 1,000 correction officers and 100 deputy sheriffs and performs the above duties although deputy sheriffs have full police officer powers and can make arrests for any crime they come across.

Suffolk County New York Police Boat on Fire Island.jpg

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has approximately 900 correction officers and 260 deputy sheriffs and operates the two jail facilities in Suffolk County. The deputy sheriffs in Suffolk County have a full service patrol unit, including K9, Aviation, SWAT, and Marine divisions as well as a Criminal Investigation Division and various other special details and assignments. N.Y.S Court Officers secure court houses for Long Island courts. Additionally, the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department now maintains patrols along the Long Island Expressway as well as Sunrise Highway. State parkways are still patrolled by the New York State Police.

Secession proposals

L-I's-Independance Flag.JPG

On March 28, 2008 Suffolk County, New York Comptroller Joseph Sawicki and Keith Durgan proposed a plan that would make Long Island (specifically, Nassau and Suffolk counties) the 51st state of the United States of America.[19] Sawicki says that all the Long Island taxpayers' money would stay on Long Island, rather than the funds being dispersed all over the entire state of New York. The state of Long Island would include over 2.7 million people. So far Nassau County executives have not expressed interest in joining in the secession proposal, which would need to be approved by the NY State Legislature.[19]


Platforms at Jamaica
LaGuardia Airport Aerial view
I-495 NY Nassau County

Every major form of transportation serves Long Island, including John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport, multiple smaller airports, railroads, subways, and several major highways. There are historic and modern bridges, recreational and commuter trails, and ferries serving various parts of all of Long island.

The Long Island Expressway, Northern State Parkway, and Southern State Parkway, all products of the automobile-centered planning of Robert Moses, make east-west travel on the island straightforward, if not always quick.

There are currently ten road crossings out of Long Island, all within New York City limits at the extreme western end of the island. Plans for a Long Island Crossing at various locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties have been discussed for decades, but there are currently no firm plans to construct such a crossing.

The MTA implements mass transportation for The New York metropolitan area, including all five boroughs of New York City, the suburban counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester, all of which together are the "Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD)".

The MTA is the largest public transportation provider in the Western Hemisphere. Its agencies serve 14.6 million people spread over 5,000 square miles (13,000 km²) from New York City through southeastern New York State (including Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley), and Connecticut.

Combined the MTA agencies now move more than 2.6 billion rail and bus customers a year while employing some 70,000 workers.

Major roads of Long Island
West-East Roads

NY-27A.svg Montauk Highway

NY-27.svg Sunrise Highway*

Belt Pkwy Shield.svg Belt Parkway / Southern Pkwy Shield.svg Southern State Parkway

NY-24.svg Hempstead Turnpike

Grand Central Pkwy.png Grand Central Parkway / Northern Pkwy Shield.svg Northern State Parkway

I-495.svg Long Island Expressway

NY-25.svg Jericho Turnpike/Middle Country Road

NY-25A.svg Northern Boulevard

South-North Roads

I-278.svg Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

I-678.svg Van Wyck Expressway

Cross Island Pkwy Shield.svg Cross Island Parkway

Meadowbrook Pkwy Shield.svg Meadowbrook State Parkway

Wantagh Pkwy Shield.svg Wantagh State Parkway

NY-106.svg Newbridge Road

NY-107.svg Cedar Swamp Road/Broadway

NY-135.svg Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway

NY-110.svg Broad Hollow Road

NY-231.svg Deer Park Avenue

Robert Moses Cswy Shield.svg Robert Moses Causeway

Sagtikos Pkwy Shield.svg Sagtikos State Parkway

Sunken Meadow Pkwy Shield.svg Sunken Meadow State Parkway

NY-111.svg Islip Avenue

Suffolk County Route 97 NY.svg Nicolls Road

Suffolk County Route 46 NY.svg William Floyd Parkway

Roads in boldface are limited access roads. *Sunrise Highway is only limited-access from western Suffolk county eastwards.

All bus stops are in effect at all times unless otherwise indicated by signage.

Sign color Type of service
  • New York City Bus and MTA Bus limited-stop service.
  • N6 Limited bus stops within Queens (pick-up only to Nassau County; drop-off westbound stops are not signed).
  • Express bus service (New York City Bus, MTA Bus, and BxM4C) charging the express bus fare.
  • QBx1 Limited-stop service.
  • B110 service (privately operated) in Brooklyn.
  • Service operating to a particular stop during late night hours only.
  • Special school service (stopping at that stop only when New York City public schools are in session,
    usually at the end of the school day).
  • N6 Limited pick-up and drop-off points within Nassau County.
  • Long Island Bus service within Nassau County


The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the busiest commuter railroad system in North America, carrying an average of 282,400 customers each weekday on 728 daily trains. Chartered on April 24, 1834, it is also the oldest railroad still operating under its original name.[20]

Schematic map of LIRR system


Primary and secondary education

Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties are home to 125 public school districts containing a total of 656 public schools. In contrast, all of Brooklyn and Queens are served by the New York City Department of Education, the largest school district in the United States. Long Island is also home to a number of private and parochial schools.

Stony Brook West Campus

Colleges and universities

Nassau and Suffolk counties are home to numerous colleges and universities, including:


For colleges in Brooklyn and Queens, see List of colleges and universities in New York City.

Leisure and recreation

Resort areas

East-End Resort areas


Both Nassau and Suffolk County are home to thousands of restaurants. As New York is known as a melting pot, every kind of restaurant from Mexican to Hungarian to Indian to Bengali can be found. These specialty restaurants are often family owned.

Small family-owned pizzerias are ubiquitous. It is not uncommon for a town on Long Island to have several different pizzerias, each with its own distinct flavor. The Long Island Pizza Festival & Bake-Off is an annual competition in which "mom and pop" pizzerias compete to be named best on Long Island.

Bagel stores and delis are common. Some bagel stores are Jewish-owned and approved as kosher. Long Island bagels are considered some of the best in the world. Often more than one deli can be found in a town.

Diners also abound on Long Island; many are Greek- and German-owned, and many, depending on the business of the town, are open all night, for late-night patrons.

Almost all major fast food and casual dining chains have a presence on Long Island.

Long Island Attractions

Long Island counties, Long Island, New York.png
New York City - Long Island Landmark Photo Description Dates
Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum June 2008 sunset jeh.JPG Located on Long Island in the New York City's borough of Brooklyn, It is the second-largest art museum in New York City, and one of the largest in the United States.
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Brooklyn-Tab.jpg The Brooklyn Tabernacle is one of New york cities largest Churches and Grammy Award winning Choir
Brooklyn Bridge
Pont de Brooklyn de nuit - Octobre 2008 edit.jpg Built in 1874, it is the oldest existing suspension bridge in the U.S.
Coney Island
Nathan's Coney Island July 2007.jpg Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States
1880's to present
Prospect Park
Long-Meadow-Panorama-M01.jpg The country’s longest open park meadow, with ancient trees in Brooklyn’s only extant forest.
The Mets at Citi Field
Citi FIeld Night.jpg
The home stadium of the New York Mets baseball team.
Rockaway Peninsula
Rockaway Boardwalk jeh.JPG Also known as The Rockaways, is a popular summer resort area since the 1830s,
The Unisphere
Flushing Meadows Globe.jpg The symbol of Queens, the Unisphere is a giant globe in Flushing Meadows Park.
Jones Beach
Jones Beach WantaghPkwy Approach.jpg Jones Beach Tower, now a familiar Jones Beach State Park landmark, was modeled on the campanile of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice.
Old Westbury Gardens
OldWestburyGardens.JPG Charles II - Westbury House, style mansion designed by George A. Crawley, contains 23 rooms. The grounds cover 160 acres.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
Plantfield5597.JPG an arboretum and state park covering over 400 acres (160 ha) located in the Village of Upper Brookville in the town of Oyster Bay, New York.
1918 - 1921
Sagamore Hill
SagamoreHill.JPG Sagamore Hill was the home of the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt from 1886 until his death in 1919.
American Airpower Museum
AmericanAirpowerMuseum.jpg The American Airpower Museum, the former site of the Republic factory in Farmingdale, New York, maintains a collection of Republic artifacts, and an array of aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factories history.
Bald Hill
Bald-hill-memorial.jpg Bald Hill Memorial is located in Farmingville, NY This destination pays tribute to our Veterans to honor the men and women that served our country during the Vietnam War.
Captree State Park
Captree state park NY docks.jpg A state park located on the south shore off Jones Island (the barrier island that includes Jones Beach), overlooking the Fire Island Inlet Bridge and the westernmost section of Fire Island. Captree is a fisherman's haven and a picnicker's delight.||
Fire Island Light
Fire Island Lighthouse 09.jpg Fire Island Lighthouse is a 180 foot Stone tower that began operation in 1858 to replace the 74 foot tower originally built in 1826.
1826 (Rebuilt) 1858
Great South Bay Bridge
GreatSouth-B-B.jpg The Robert Moses Causeway, over The State Channel and Fire Island inlet Bridges to one of Long Island’s great Atlantic coast Islands such as Fire and Jones Island connecting New York’s Ocean Parkway
Long Island Game Farm
Wikiproject zoo logo.jpg (Petting Zoo) with over 200 animals. The Long Island Game Farm is one of the Islands oldest and most well-known establishments.
Port Jefferson Harbor
Port Jefferson Harbor.jpg Port Jefferson Harbor continues to attract mariners, visitors, tourists, and families to an area where natural beauty is the setting for a wide variety of human activities, including ferry service to Connecticut.
Early 1900's
Splish Splash
Water pluss water.jpg Splish Splash is a 96-acre water park in Riverhead, New York.


Long Island is home to numerous famous athletes, including hall of famers Jim Brown, Julius Erving, John Mackey and Carl Yastrzemski. Others include Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Billy Donovan, Jumbo Elliott, Mick Foley, Zack Ryder, Matt Serra, Boomer Esiason, Vinny Testaverde, Craig Biggio, Frank Catalanotto, Greg Sacks, Rob Burnett, Steve Park, Frank Viola, Marques Colston and Speedy Claxton. Several current NHL Players such as New York Rangers Christopher Higgins and Matt Gilroy as well as Toronto Maple Leaf Mike Komisarek and Los Angeles King Rob Scuderi were all raised on Long Island. Both Komisarek and Higgins played on the same Suffolk County Hockey League team at an early age, and later played on the Montreal Canadiens together.

Professional Teams on Long Island

Long Island Rough Riders
United Soccer Leagues
Mitchel Athletic Complex
New York Islanders
Ice hockey
National Hockey League
Nassau Coliseum
Long Island Lizards
Major League Lacrosse
Mitchel Athletic Complex
New York Titans
Indoor lacrosse
National Lacrosse League
Nassau Coliseum/MSG
New York Dragons
Arena Football
Arena Football League
Nassau Coliseum
Long Island Ducks
Atlantic League
Citibank Park
Strong Island Sound
American Basketball Association
Suffolk County Community College
New York Mets
Major League Baseball
Citi Field
Brooklyn Cyclones
New York-Penn League
KeySpan Park

Ebbets Field, which stood in Brooklyn from 1913 to 1957, was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, who decamped to California after the 1957 season to become the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won several National League penants in the 1940s and 1950s, losing several times in the World Series—often called Subway Series—to their Bronx rivals, the New York Yankees. The Dodgers won their lone championship in Brooklyn in the 1955 World Series versus the Yankees. The Barclays Center is a proposed sports arena, business and residential complex to be built partly on a platform over the Atlantic Yards at Atlantic Avenue, and is intended to serve as a new home for the New Jersey Nets.

The New York Mets baseball team now plays at the new Citi Field in Flushing, Queens. Their former stadium, Shea Stadium was also home for The New York Jets football team from 1964 until 1983. The new stadium is designed with an exterior facade and main entry rotunda inspired by Ebbets Field. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a minor league baseball team, affiliated with the New York Mets. The Cyclones play at KeySpan Park just off the boardwalk on Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Nassau County is home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League and the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League, who both play at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. Long Island has been a hot spot for outdoor lacrosse at the youth and college level, which made way for a Major League Lacrosse team in 2001, the Long Island Lizards. The Lizards play at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale. The longest dirt Thoroughbred racecourse in the world is located in the Nassau County community of Elmont at Belmont Park.

Long Island is also home to the Long Island Ducks minor league baseball team of the Atlantic League. Their stadium, Citibank Park, is located in Central Islip. The American Basketball Association's Strong Island Sound play home games at Suffolk County Community College. The two main rugby teams are the Long Island RFC in East Meadow and the Suffolk Bull Moose in Stony Brook. It also has a professional soccer club, the Long Island Rough Riders, who play at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale. The Rough Riders have won two national championships, in 1995 and 2002.

Another category of sporting events popular in this region are Firematic Racing events, involving many local Volunteer fire departments.

Long Island also hosts one of the four tennis grand slams, the US Open. Every August (September, in olympic years) the best tennis players in the world travel to Long Island to play the championships, which is held in the USTA National Tennis Center, in Corona Park, near the La Guardia Airport. The complex also contains the biggest tennis stadium in the world, the Arthur Ashe Stadium.


Music on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk) is influenced by the proximity to New York City and by the youth culture of the suburbs.

Psychedelic rock was widely popular in the 1960s as flocks of disaffected youth travelled to NYC to participate in protest and the culture of the time. R & B also has a history on Long Island, especially in Nassau County, where population is denser and more closely influenced by New York City.

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater is an outdoor amphitheatre, located at Jones Beach State Park.

Jones Beach State Park is a popular place to view summer concerts, with new as well as classic artists performing there during the summer months at its outdoor venue. It hosts a large Fourth of July fireworks show every year, and the stands are filled. People park cars along the highway leading to the show, and others watch from the nearby beaches.[22]

Long Island is also known for its schools' music programs. Many schools in Suffolk County have distinguished music programs, with high numbers of students who are accepted into the state-wide All-State music groups, or even the National All-Eastern Coast music groups. Both the Suffolk County and Nassau County Music Educator's Associations are recognized by The National Association of Music Education (MENC),[23][24] and host numerous events, competitions, and other music-related activities.

Notable musicians of the Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk County) music scene include;

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

Long Island gallery

See also


  1. ^ John Burbidge (2004-11-21). "Long Island at its Best; Who's the Longest of Them All?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-16. ""But the court wasn't saying Long Island isn't an island in a geographical sense", he continued. "In fact, all parties involved in the case agreed Long Island is a geographical island. It was only for the purposes of the case that the island was declared an extension of New York's coastline."" 
  2. ^ a b c "Long Island". Encyclopedia Britannica (Britannica Concise ed.). Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. 2007. 9370515. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Study: Property Taxes Sky-High in Metro Areas". WCBS. October 4, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  5. ^ DeWan, George. "Long Island History: The Prairie That Was".,0,5519292.story. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  6. ^ "Vulnerable Cities: Long Island". The Weather Channel. Retrieved December 5, 2005. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau Census 2000
  9. ^
  10. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), Year 2000 Report Churches were asked for their membership numbers. ARDA estimates that most of the churches not reporting were black Protestant congregations.
  11. ^ "Of Interest to Politicians.". The New York Times. 1894-09-13 (before vote). p. 9. Retrieved 2007-12-28. "The question of the Greater New-York, which is also to be submitted to the people at this coming election, involves the proposition to unite in one city the following cities, counties, and towns: New-York City, Long Island City, in Queens County; the County of Kings, (Brooklyn;) the County of Richmond, (S.I.;) the towns of Flushing, Newtown, Jamaica, in Queens County; the town of Westchester, in Westchester County, and all that portion of the towns of East Chester and Pelham which lies south of a straight line drawn from a point where the northerly line of the City of New-York meets the centre line of the Bronx River, to the middle of the channel between Hunter's and Glen Islands, in Long Island Sound, and that part of the town of Hempstead, in Queens County, which is westerly of a straight line drawn from the south-easterly point of the town of Flushing in a straight line to the Atlantic Ocean." 
  12. ^ "Vote for Greater New York". The New York Times. 1894-10-16 (before election). Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  13. ^ "New-York's Place in Danger; Consolidation Defeated, She Must Yield, to Chicago.". The New York Times. 1894-11-04 (before election). Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  14. ^ "Greater New-York in Doubt: The City Vote is for it and Brooklyn is uncertain.". NY Times. 1894-11-08 (before results of Queens vote known). Retrieved 2007-12-28. "The increase in area and population that New-York will acquire if consolidation becomes a fact will become evident by a glance at the following table... Flushing... * Part of the town of Hempstead... Jamaica... Long Island City ... Newtown... The townships in Queens County that are to be included in the Greater New-York have not been heard from yet..." 
  15. ^ "Report Favors Consolidation; An Argument Against the Claims of the Resubmissionists.". The New York Times. 1896-02-22. p. 1. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  16. ^ "The East City Line Fixed". The New York Times. 1899-02-12. p. 15. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  17. ^ Geoffrey Mohan (Staff Writer) (2007). "Nassau's Difficult Birth; Eastern factions of Queens win the fight to separate after six decades of wrangling". Newsday.,0,7026626.story?page=4. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and the rest of Hempstead were excluded from the vote." 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b "Secession Dreaming". Staten Island Advance Editorial. May 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  20. ^ MTA
  21. ^ Main campus is in Queens, branch campus in Suffolk County St. John's University: Oakdale Campus
  22. ^ "Jones Beach Amphitheater". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  23. ^ "About the SCMEA". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  24. ^ "NYSSMA Zone Map". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  25. ^ "Lou Reed". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  26. ^ "Sounding Off in Suburbia".,0,1403302.story. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  27. ^ "Long Island Music Hall of Fame Inductees". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°48′N 73°18′W / 40.8°N 73.3°W / 40.8; -73.3

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Long Island (disambiguation).

Long Island is an island stretching eastward from New York City in the Metro New York region. The largely suburban area is approximately 115 miles long from Brooklyn and Queens at the western end, to Montauk at the easternmost point. At its widest the island is approximately 20 miles from north to south. While Long Island geographically includes Brooklyn and Queens, politically Long Island in general includes Nassau County and Suffolk County of New York State only.

The primary tourist attractions are the large number of excellent beaches along Long Island Sound to the north and especially along the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The North Fork is also home to many wineries. Other attractions include harbor towns such as Port Jefferson, where a variety of eateries and small businesses thrive in a bohemian atmosphere.


Long Island is essentially a suburban area throughout (except for the Twin Forks region, which is rural) and has few major cities.


Long Island consists of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Queens and Brooklyn are boroughs of New York City, and are generally not considered to be part of "Long Island," even though they are physically part of the island. A generation or so ago, Suffolk had a lot more farmland; the only remaining farmland is on the East End, where one can find many farmers' markets and wineries. Brookhaven National Laboratory's particle accelerator in Upton is visible from space.

Tourist Information

The Long Island Conventions & Visitors Bureau [1] provides information about Long Island and the places to visit.

  • The daily, Island-wide newspaper is Newsday, which also provides a detailed history of the island. [2].
  • News 12 on Cable TV (Cablevision) also covers local news.
  • MacArthur Airport in Islip is a convenient regional airport centrally located on Long Island.
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), [3] is convenient because the AirTrain connects JFK's monorail system to the LIRR at Jamaica or Howard Beach Stations for only $5.
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA), [4].
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), [5] is located to the west of the Island (and New York City) in the state of New Jersey.
  • The Long Island Railroad [6] runs from Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan to various points on Long Island on many branches. Service is not as frequent as the NYC subways.
  • Ferries from north shore of Long Island Sound.
  • There are many controlled-access highways that run through New York City from Connecticut and New Jersey. It is advisable, however, to travel on routes that do not cross Manhattan Island (where traffic is perpetually horrendous). From New Jersey, I-278 runs across Staten Island to Brooklyn where major roads (including Route 27 and the LIE) can be reached. From Connecticut, take I-95 South to I-678 and the Throgs Neck Bridge. Once into Queens, nearly every major thoroughfare is encountered while still heading south on 278.
  • A convenient way to bypass most traffic is to take a car ferry from either Bridgeport, CT to Port Jefferson (on the North Shore in the center of Suffolk County) [7] or New London, CT to Orient Point (on the North Fork). [8] However, always check the ferry schedules while they do not operate overnight.
  • The Southern State Parkway runs from East Islip to Queens where it becomes the Belt Parkway. The SSP is a very busy thoroughfare during rush hours and connects most of Nassau to each other. The Meadowbrook Parkway runs from Jones Beach, through Long Beach connecting the south shore towns to Mineola and The Northern Parkway. The Long Island Expressway, or The LIE is billed as the world's longest parking lot, especially during peak rush hours. The LIE connects Manhattan to Riverhead. Sunrise Highway, or NY-27, as a divided highway goes from Queens along the south shore of Nassau County, becoming an expressway in Babylon, back to a divided highway in Suffolk County and ending at the east end of the island in Montauk.
  • Long Island Bus has a main terminal in Hempstead. There is also a terminal which serves about 4 or 5 different buses in Mineola that take you to the North Shore. Long Island Rail Road (which has a major transfer point at the Jamaica LIRR which nearly EVERY train line goes through) can take you to Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
  • Atlantis Marine World Aquarium [9] - Located in Riverhead at the end of the Long Island Expressway. Has stingray and shark petting, large tank with sharks, moray eel, turtles and manta rays, outdoor exhibits including emus and tortoises. Many conservation efforts.
  • The Americana mall (popularly called the Miracle Mile, like in the Billy Joel song "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me). Some of the richest people on the island shop in this stretch of conspicuous consumption, beautiful store layouts, and mind-boggling prices. On Northern Boulevard in Manhasset.
  • Long Island has some great villages, like Great Neck and Huntington where you can just wander around and see cute little stores and take in nice views.
  • Port Washington has a beautiful bay with a public park where you can see all the boats and the water.
  • Drive around Old Brookville and look at how gigantic the houses are.
  • Sagamore Hills [10] It is the summer-home of President Theodore Roosevelt. Includes tours, a museum, and a visitor center. It is run by the National Park Service.
  • The Hicksville Gregory Museum [11], which has hundreds of scientific specimens.
  • The Cradle of Aviation [12], a museum about airplanes and the history of aviation.
  • Garvies Point Museum and Preserve [13], which has Native American artifacts.
  • Sands Point Preserve [14], with its two castles.
  • Old Bethpage Village Restoration, which has a farm as well as houses and businesses from the early-to-mid 1800's.
  • The Village of Roslyn, which is a historic town located on Hempstead Harbor on the North Shore. Homes date from the 17th Century.
  • Sagtikos Manor [15] Montauk Highway and Manor Lane, West Bay Shore. Sagtikos Manor, built in 1697, served briefly as headquarters for the British army during the Revolutionary War. President George Washington stayed there during his tour of Long Island in 1790. Take a tour of the Manor House led by costumed docents and stroll through the grounds and nearby Gardiner County Park. June, Sundays 1-4PM, July & August, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday 1-4PM, 631-854-0939. Robert Moses Causeway Exit RM2E Bay Shore. Turn right onto Rt 27A and continue east approx. 1/2 mile. Entrance on left.
  • Splish Splash water park at exit 73 of the LIE.
  • Tanger Outlets in Riverhead & Deer Park.
  • Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City.
  • Bar hop through Huntington
  • Strike Go-Karts/Bowling/Arcade in New Hyde Park.
  • ICE Nightclub in Farmingdale.
  • Jones Beach and Captree State Park
  • Go see the Amityville Horror House in Amityville.
  • Swim at any of the great beaches. Jones, Hamptons, Montauk


Long Island is a lot like New Jersey and parts of Connecticut inasmuch as a there are a lot of 24 hour diners that serve pretty much anything whenever. Young people congregate in these diners at odd hours, and they can be found spread out on the major roads like Jericho Turnpike or Sunrise Highway. Long Island is also like a lot of suburbia as some of the most popular restaurants are just classy chain restaurants.

  • Peter Leuger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn is a decent steakhouse
  • The restaurant at the Jedediah Hawkins House [16] in Jamesport is really good and in a beautiful setting.
  • The really amazing New York restaurant, Il Mulino, has a location in Roslyn.
  • Mama's in Copiague has some of the best Italian food
  • Kitchen Kabaret in East Hills (Roslyn), while not the best ambiance for a restaurant, has great food to take out. Very popular for rich kids getting lunch and upscale north shore catering.
  • The Cider Mill in Laurel on Route 25 has the best pies.
  • All-American Drive-in in Masssapequa has the great hamburgers.
  • Bobbique in Patchogue has fantastic real pit barbecue and lots of great beers on tap. Not for vegetarians.
  • The Milleridge Inn in Jericho is a rustic eatery perfect for dinner or classy lunch.

Many major fast food chains and chain casual dining restaurants have locations on Long Island.


The well known cocktail, the Long Island Iced Tea, was first created on Long Island. One of the most celebrated local beers is called Blue Point [17], named for the town of the same name.

Drinking on Long Island is tough because you need a car to get around. At night, there is little public transportation, but there are taxis. The south shore has some good bars, but except for Huntington the north shore is notoriously at a lack for popular hangouts. The Hamptons have many classy bars.

Stay safe

Be smart, don't travel to towns with a lot of crime at night. These towns include: Roosevelt, Hempstead, North Amityville, North Baldwin, Wyandanch, Rosedale, North Bay Shore, Central Islip, New Cassel, Uniondale, Brentwood, Freeport and West Babylon. In the daytime, these areas are generally safe.

Get out

Manhattan or Connecticut.

Or Brooklyn!

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LONG ISLAND, an island, 118 m. long and 12 to 23 m. wide, with its axis E.N.E. and W.S.W., roughly parallel with the S. shore of Connecticut, U.S.A., from which it is separated by Long Island Sound (115 m. long and 20-25 m. wide) and lying S.E. of the mainland of New York state, of which it is a part, and immediately E. of Manhattan Island. Area, 1682 sq. m. The east end is divided into two narrow peninsulas (the northern culminating in Orient Point about 25 m. long, the southern ending in Montauk Point, the eastern extremity of the island, about 40 m. long) by the three bays, Great Peconic, Little Peconic (in which lies Shelter Island) and Gardiners (in which lies Gardiners Island). The N. shore is broken in its western half by the fjords of Flushing Bay, Little Neck Bay, Manhasset Bay, Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington Bay (nearly landlocked), Smithtown Bay and Port Jefferson Harbor,,which also is nearly landlocked. East of Port Jefferson the N. shore is comparatively unbroken. The S. shore has two bays, Jamaica Bay with many low islands and nearly cut off from the ocean by the narrow spur of Rockaway Beach; and the ill-defined Great South Bay, which is separated from the Atlantic by the narrow Long Beach, Jones Beach and Oak Island Beach, and by the long peninsula (35 or 40 m.), called Fire Island or Great South Beach. Still farther E. and immediately S. of Great Peconic Bay is Shinnecock Bay, about to m. long and cut off from the ocean by a narrow beach.

The N. side of the island was largely built by deposits along the front of the continental glacier, and its peculiar surface is due to such deposits. At Astoria the dark gneiss bed rock is visible. The S. half of the island is mostly built of a light sandy or loamy soil and is low, except for the hills (140-195 ft.) of Montauk peninsula, which are a part of the " back-bone " of the island elsewhere running through the centre from E. to W. and reaching its highest point in its western extremity, Oakley's High Hill (384 ft.) and Hempstead Harbor Hill, W. of which are the flat and fertile Hempstead Plains. North of the back-bone or central ridge the country is hilly with glacial drift and many boulders along the coast and with soil stonier and more fertile than that of the" South Side." There is good clay at Whitestone and at Lloyd's Point on the north side. This north shore is comparatively well wooded; the middle of the island is covered with stunted oaks and scrubb y pines; the south side is a floral mean between the other divisions. It is cut in its middle part by a few creeks and tidal rivers 1 flowing into the Great South Bay. Another " river," the Peconic, about 15 m. long, runs E. into Peconic Bay. On the north side there are few waterways save Nissequoge river, partly tidal, which runs N. into Smithtown Bay. Near the centre of the island is Lake Ronkonkoma, which is well below the level of the surrounding country, and whose deep cold waters with their unexplained ebb and flow are said to have been so feared by the Indians that they would not fish there. There are salt marshes (probably 100 sq. m. in all) on the shore of the Sound and of the Great South Bay.

As regards its fauna Long Island is a meeting-place for equatorial and arctic species of birds and fish; in winter it is visited occasionally by the auk and in summer sometimes by the turkey buzzard. James E. DeKay in his botanical and zoological survey (1842-1849) of New York state estimated that on Long Island there were representatives of two-thirds of the species of land birds of the United States and seven-eighths of the water birds - probably an exaggerated estimate for the time and certainly not true now. There is snipe and duck shooting, especially on the shores of the Great South Bay; there is good deer hunting, especially in Islip town; and there are several private preserves, some stocked with English game birds, within 50 m. of New York City. There are many excellent trout streams and the island was known in aboriginal times for its fresh and salt water fish. Indian names referring to fishing places are discussed in Wm. W. Tooker's Some Indian Fishing Stations upon Long Island. Long Island wampum was singularly good - the Indian name, Seawanhacky (Seawanhaka, &c.), of the island has been interpreted to mean " shell treasury " - and black wampum was made from the purple part of the shell of the quahaug. Soft clams are dug on the north shore at low tide and hard clams are found along the southern shore, where (at Islip) they were first successfully canned; scallops and other small shell fish are taken, especially at the E. end of the island. But the most important shell fishery is that of oysters. The famous Blue Points grow in the Great South Bay, particularly at Sayville and Bellport, where seed oysters planted from Long Island Sound develop into the Blue Points with characteristics of no other variety of oyster. Farther west, on the S. shore are grown the well-known Rockaway oysters. The New York State Fish Commission has a hatchery at Cold Spring Harbor on the N. shore. The largest commercial fisheries are on the south side, in the ocean off Fire Island Beach, where there are great " pounds " in which captured fish are kept alive before shipment to market. Sag Harbor and East Hampton on the E. end of the island were important whaling ports in the 18th century and the first part of the 19th, and they and other fishing villages afterward did a large business in the capture of menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), a small shad-like fish, which, following the custom of the Indians, they manufactured into fertilizer. At Glen Cove there are now great starch factories. The west end of the island has been called New York's market garden. On the Hempstead Plains and immediately E. of them along the north shore great quantities of cabbage and cucumbers are grown and manufactured into sauerkraut and pickles. There are large cranberry fields near the village of Calverton, immediately W. of Riverhead.

There are a few large farms on Long Island, mostly on the north side, but it is becoming more and more a place of suburban residence. This change is due in part to cool summer and warm winter winds from the ocean, which makes the July mean temperature 68°, ,to.70° F. at the east end and the south side, and 72° on the north shore, as contrasted with 74° for the west end and New York City. The range of temperature is said to be less than in any other place in the United States with the exception of Corpus Christi (Tex.), Eureka (California), Galveston (Texas), and Key West (Florida). Even on the south shore the humidity for August and September is less than that of any location on the Atlantic coast, or Los Angeles and San Diego on the Pacific, according to Dr Le Grand N. Denslow in a paper, " The Climate of Long Island " (1901). Surf-bathing on the south shore, 1 G. K. Gilbert, in an article, " The Deflection of Streams " in the American Journal of Science (xxvii. 427-432), points out that each of these streams is " bounded on the west or right side by a bluff 10 to 20 ft. high." yachting and boating on the Sound, the Great South Bay and the Ocean, and hunting and fishing are attractions. At Garden City, Nassau (Glen Cove), Great River and Shinnecock Hills are well-known golf links; there are several hunt clubs; andat Southampton are some of the best turf tennis-courts in the United States. Few parts of the island are summer resorts in the ordinary use of the word; there are large hotels hardly anywhere save on Coney Island, at Far Rockaway, on Long Beach and on Shelter Island; and a large part of the summer population lives in private mansions. Some Long Island " country places " are huge estates with game and fish preserves and luxurious " chateaux." The roads are good. The course of the Vanderbilt automobile races is along the roads of the Hempstead Plains. Also on the Hempstead Plains are the Creedmoor Rifle Range, where, in an Interstate Park, E. of Jamaica, annual international rifle shooting tournaments for the championship of America were held until 1909; Garden City, which was founded by A. T. Stewart for the purpose of providing comfortable homes at low cost to his employes and others, and where are the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, St Paul's School for Boys and St Mary's School for Girls; and, near Hempstead, the grounds of the Meadowbrook (hunt and polo) Club and those of the Farm Kennel Club. The only railway is the Long Island Railroad (owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad) with western termini on Manhattan and in Long Island City and Brooklyn, whence lines meet at Jamaica, and thence three principal lines branch, the north shore to Wading River, the main line to Greenport, and the south side to Montauk.

Long Island is a part of New York State, its western third forming Brooklyn and Queens boroughs of New York City - these boroughs were formed respectively from Kings county and from the W. half of Queens county upon the erection of Greater New York. What was formerly the E. half of Queens county then became Nassau county (area 252 sq. m.; pop., in 1900, 55,44 8, in 1905, 6 9,477), whose county-seat is Mineola. The eastern and the larger part of the island is the less thickly settled Suffolk county with an area of 918 sq. m. and a population in 1900 of 77,582 and in 1905 of 81,653. The county-seat of Suffolk county is Riverhead, so named from its position at the head of the Peconic river on the W. end of Great Peconic Bay. The ten townships of Suffolk county are large governmental units, showing, by their similarity to the towns of New England, the relation of the early settlers to New England. The largest in area is Brookhaven, which reaches all the way across the island near its central part. The townships of Suffolk county with their population in 1905 were: Huntington (10,236). Babylon (7919), Smithtown (3325), Islip (13,721), Brookhaven (16,050), Riverhead (4950), Shelter Island (1105), Easthampton (4303), Southold (8989) and Southampton (11,024). The total population of Long Island was 1,452,611 in 1900, and 1,718, 056 in 1905 (state census), the population of the borough of Brooklyn alone for these years being 1,166,582 and 1,358,686.


The principal Indian tribes on Long Island at the time of the first settlement by the whites were the Montauk, on the eastern end of the island, where they gave their name to the " point " and where their last " king," David Pharoah, died in 1785; the Shinnecock, who, much admixed with negro blood, now live on the reservation between Canoe Place and Shinnecock Hills; the Manhasset, on what is now Shelter Island; the Patchogue, near the present village of that name; the Massapequa, between the Hempstead Plains and what is now Islip, who were defeated and practically exterminated in 16J3 by John Underhill; the Canarsie, who lived near the present Jamaica; and on the north side the Nessaquague or Nissequoge (in the present town of Smithtown), and the Sealtocot who gave their name to Setauket in Brookhaven town. The first pastor of the church (Presbyterian-Congregational) at Easthampton, Thomas James (c. 1620-1696), is supposed to have translated a catechism and parts of the Bible into the dialect of the Montauk, among whom Samson Occum had a school between 1755 and 1765.

The territory of Long Island was included in the grant of 1620 by James I. to the Plymouth Company and in 1635 was conveyed to William Alexander, earl of Stirling. The conflicting claims of English and Dutch were the subject of the treaty concluded at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1650, by which the Dutch were to hold everything west of Oyster Bay, the English everything east - a provision which accomplished no agreement, since Oyster Bay itself was the matter of contention, and English settlers on what the Dutch called the west side of Oyster Bay refused to remove. Long Island was included in the territory assigned to the duke of York in 1663-1664, when the New England towns on the island objected to separation from Connecticut. On the recovery of New York by the Dutch in 1673 the eastern towns refused to submit to the Dutch governor. In 1674 by the treaty of Westminster Long Island became a part of the British colony of New York. The Dutch settlements were more important ethnically than historically; on the west end of the Island the Dutch Reformed Church is still strong and there are many Dutch names; at West Sayville, on the " south side," about 50 m. from New York, in a settlement made about 1786 by Gustav Tukker, who did much to develop the oyster fisheries, Holland Dutch was the common speech until the last quarter of the 19th century. The " Five Dutch Towns " were: Nieuw Amersfoord (after 1801 officially called Flatlands), on Jamaica Bay, where the first settlement was made about 1623 and the first grant in 1636; Midwout (later Vlackte-Bosch and Flatbush), settled between 1645 and 1650 and having in 1654 the first Dutch church; Nieuw Utrecht, settled soon after 1650 and incorporated in 1660; Breuckelen (now Brooklyn), which was settled a little before its organization as a town in 1646; and Boswijck (Bushwick), first settled by Swedes and Norwegians and incorporated in 1660. These five towns became one administrative district in 1661.

Apparently the earliest English settlement was at Hempstead in 1640 by colonists from Lynn, Massachusetts, who based their claim on the patent (1621) of Nova Scotia to Lord Stirling, but were almost immediately driven out by the Dutch. In 1643 another English settlement was made at Hempstead by men from Stamford, Connecticut, who in 1644 secured a patent from Governor Kieft of New Netherland. In 1645 Kieft granted land at Gravesend to Lady Deborah Moody, who had settled there about 1643, when she had left Lynn and the Salem church because of her anti-pedobaptist views. At Gravesend in 1664 Colonel Richard Nicolls first landed the English troops which occupied the island; and in 1693 it became one of its three ports of entry. The Connecticut towns on Long Island were as follows: Southampton was settled in 1640 by the Lynn men driven out of Hempstead by the Dutch, and in1644-1664was in the Connecticut jurisdiction. Southold (the " South Hold of New Haven "), called from 1640 until 1644 by the Indian name Yennicock, had a church in 1640, and a court based on the Levitical law, which was abolished in 1643 upon the remonstrance of the authorities of New Haven. The Southold settlers were from Hingham, Norfolk and New Haven, and the colony joined New Haven in 1648, in which year the colony of Forrett's (now Shelter) Island also submitted to New Haven. Easthampton was settled in 1648 from Lynn. Oyster Bay was also settled by Lynn men in 1640 and contested by the Dutch and English. Newtown, officially called Middleburgh, was settled in 1652, purchased from the Indians in 1656, " annexed to the other side of the Sound in 1662, in the same year took the name of Hastings, in 1706 was the scene of the arrest of the Presbyterian itinerants Francis Mackemie and John Hampton, and in 1766 was the site of the Methodist Episcopal Society at Middle Village, the second oldest of that denomination in America. Huntington was settled in 1653 from New Haven, Hempstead, Southold and Southampton. Other early settlements were: Jamaica, about 1657; Brookhaven, first settled at Ashford (now Setauket) from Boston in 1655, and Smithtown, patented in 1677 to Richard Smith of Setauket, who was said to be a soldier of Cromwell, and of whom there is a story that having bargained with the Indians for as much land as a bull could cover in a day he rode his trained bull in a great circuit about the land he coveted and was thereafter known as " Bull " Smith. Almost all these English settlements were made by Presbyterians and from Jamaica east this was the prevailing denomination. During the War of Independence the battle of Long Island (see below) was fought within what is now the borough of Brooklyn.


Benj. F. Thompson, The History of Long Island (New York, 2nd ed. 1843); Nathaniel S. Prime, History of Long Island (New York, 1845), especially valuable for ecclesiastical history, particularly of the Presbyterian church; Martha B. Flint, Early Long Island (New York, 1896); Gabriel Furman, Antiquities of Long Island (New York, 1875), edited by Frank Moore; and the publications of the Long Island Historical Society (of Brooklyn) and of the Suffolk County Historical Society (of Riverhead). (R. WE.) Battle of Long Island, 1776. - The interest of this battle lies in the fact that it was the first engagement in the campaign of 1776 (see American War Of Independence) and was expected in England to be decisive of the contest in the colonies. After the evacuation of Boston (March 1776), Lord Howe moved against New York City, which he thought would afford a better base of operations for the future. The Americans undertook its defence although recognizing the difficulties in the case, as the bay and rivers adjoining would enable the British fleet to co-operate effectively with the army. To protect his left flank Washington was forced to throw a portion of his troops over to the Long Island side of the East river; they fortified themselves there on the site of the present Borough of Brooklyn. Lord Howe, who had encamped on Staten Island at the entrance to the harbour, determined to attack this isolated left wing, and on the 22nd of August landed at Gravesend Bay, Long Island, with about 20,000 men. The Americans maintained strong outposts in the wooded hills in advance of their fortified lines. On the morning of the 27th Howe, after four days' reconnaissance, attacked these posts with three columns, the left and centre delivering the holding attack, and the right and strongest column turning the enemy's left by a detour. Howe himself, accompanied by Generals (Sir H.) Clinton and Lord Cornwallis, led the turning movement, which came upon the rear of the enemy at the moment when they were engaged with the two other columns. By noon the Americans had been driven back into the Brooklyn lines in considerable confusion, and with the loss of about half their number. This constituted the battle. The completeness of the English victory was due to the neglect of the Americans in guarding the left of their outposts. Howe has been criticized for not immediately assaulting the American works which he might have carried on the evening of the battle. In view of the fact that he had only defeated a small portion of the American forces, and that the works were of considerable strength, he decided to make a formal siege, and Washington took advantage of the delay in operations to retreat across the river to New York on the night of the 29th. This successful movement repaired to some extent the bad moral effect of the defeat of the 27th in the American camp. In the engagement of Long Island Washington lost about 1200 prisoners and 30 guns, and 400 killed and wounded; of the latter the British lost nearly the same number. (C. F. A.)

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Proper noun

Long Island

  1. An island in New York.

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Simple English

Long Island is a large island in New York. It is the longest and largest island in the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska). The island has four counties: Queens and Brooklyn in the west, Nassau County in the central area, and Suffolk County in the east. To the north is Long Island Sound and to the south is the Atlantic Ocean. Over 7,536,000 people live on Long Island, making it the most populated island in all of the United States, and more populated than Ireland and Jamaica. Long Island is in the eastern time zone. The term "Long Island" often refers only to the mostly suburban counties of Nassau and Suffolk because Brooklyn and Queens are part of New York City.


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