Matthias Nicoll relocated to New York from Islip, Northamptonshire, England, in 1664. His son, William Nicoll, became a royal patentee of the east end of what is now the Town of Islip, and his domain reached from East Islip to Bayport and included Sayville, West Sayville, Oakdale, Great River, Islip Terrace, Central Islip, Hauppauge, Holbrook, Bohemia, Brentwood, Holtsville and a portion of Ronkonkoma. All of this land was bought from Winne-quaheagh, Sachem (chief) of Connetquot in 1683. The yearly fee paid to Governor Thomas Dongan of New York was five bushels of quality winter wheat or 25 shillings. Other early land patentees were Andrew Gibb (Islip Hamlet), John Mowbray (Bay Shore, originally Awixa), Stephan Van Cortlandt (Sagtikos Manor), and Thomas Willets (West Islip).
By 1710, the colonial government passed an act to enable the precinct of Islip in the County of Suffolk to elect two assessors, a collector, a constable and a supervisor. The people had a voice. Growth, however, remained at a standstill until the Revolutionary War ended when, in the 17 years that followed, there was more progress than in the 50 years preceding. This activity was partly due to the impact of American shipping.
By 1825, it was necessary to install a Fire Island light across the Great South Bay and regular ferry service between Bay Shore and Fire Island began in 1862. In 1867 the Long Island Rail Road came to Islip and the first depot was built. People were discovering Islip and the tourist trade soon took hold.
Tourism brought much wealth into the area and business spung up to service the hotels that began to dot the landscape. Some of those tourists stayed on and built summer homes, thus the vacationers and the town seemed to enjoy a mutual prosperity. But the old guard was changing. Early in the 20th century, diesel-powered ferries replaced the whale boats while housing developments and small manufacturing firms sprang up on the sites of old farms. Like the rest of the country, Islip and all of Long Island suffered during the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression. When the veterans returned home from World War II, there was a housing shortage in New York City, but a rebirth on Long Island. Within a decade following the end of the war, Islip began to turn from a bucolic farming community into a bustling suburb, becoming what was once described as a "bedroom" of New York City. The influx of people was tremendous - from 71,000 in 1950 to 280,000 in 1970. Then, as growth continued eastward on Long Island, the pace in Islip slowed.
The town is governed by a Town Supervisor, and four councilmembers elected on an at-large basis. There is also a Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes, both duly elected. All of the elected officials serve staggered four year terms that are up for election in odd years, except when special elections are held pursuant to state law.
The town board has jurisdiction over governmental affairs within the town's boundaries, excluding incorporated villages which have their own local government. Such things include passing a budget and enacting new laws.
Communities and Locations
|Ocean Beach (Located on Fire Island)|
|Saltaire (Located on Fire Island)|
|Bay Shore||Islip Terrace|
|Bayport||Kismet (Located on Fire Island)|
|Baywood||Lake Ronkonkoma (partially; with the Towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown)|
|Bohemia||Lonelyville (Located on Fire Island)|
|Brentwood||North Bay Shore|
|Central Islip||North Great River|
|Great River||Ronkonkoma (partially; with the Town of Brookhaven)|
|Holbrook (partially; with the Town of Brookhaven)||West Bay Shore|
|Holtsville (partially; with the Town of Brookhaven)||West Islip|
|Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park|
|Brentwood State Park|
|Connetquot River State Park Preserve|
|Heckscher State Park|
|Robert Moses State Park|
Long Island MacArthur Airport and the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in the Town of Islip, are both in the hamlet of Ronkonkoma. A smaller rural airport known as Bayport Aerodrome also exists within the town used for antique aircraft.
The Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Branch is one of two lines running through the town spanning between the Village of Babylon and the Hamlet of Blue Point in the Town of Brookhaven, with stations from Bay Shore through Sayville. The other line is the Main Line which runs through the northern part of the town with stations in Brentwood, Central Islip and Ronkonkoma, which not only serves as a major transportation hub, but is also located on the Islip-Brookhaven Town Line.
The Town of Islip is served entirely by Suffolk County Transit bus routes.
|Southern State Parkway|
|Heckscher State Parkway|
|Sagtikos State Parkway|
|Robert Moses Causeway|
|New York State Route 27|
|New York State Route 27A|
|County Route 67 (Suffolk County, New York)|
|County Route 85 (Suffolk County, New York)|
|County Route 93 (Suffolk County, New York)|
|County Route 97 (Suffolk County, New York)|
|New York State Route 111|
|New York State Route 231|
|New York State Route 454|