History of Long Island, NY

Long Island is about 118 miles long, and extends east – northeast from the mouth of the Hudson River. There is a total of 1,377 square miles of land, and the area is divided into four counties (Kings, Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk). Suffolk is the farthest east, and the largest of the four counties (covers more than 910 square miles).

Pre-1800s Long Island

Native American tribes called Long Island their home for many years. The Dutch settled in the western region and called the area Lange Eyland. The Puritans settled mostly in the western area of the island. There are two Indian Reservations (Shinnecock and Poospatuck) that remain, and are now protected by the federal government. The Shinnecock Tribe welcomes visitors to learn about their culture and heritage, and to participate in a seasonal festival.

Urbanization of Long Island

Long Island Rail Road MTA

The nineteenth century brought a reliable stream ferry. This made it easier for people working on Wall Street, to arrive at their Brooklyn homes in time to have dinner with their families. In addition to the ferry, trolleys were also a frequent form of transportation for commuters. The Long Island Rail Road began full service in 1836.

The Long Island population grew in leaps and bounds, between 1830 and 1930. By the end of the 19th century, the island had become a summer refuge for New York City residents.

Joining with New York

The Brooklyn Bridge, which was completed in 1883, was the first of seven bridges that connect Long Island to Manhattan.During the 20th century, a wave of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe created a nationality diversity that was lacking in many other areas.

In the 1920’s and 30’s, Long Island began to move from being mostly farmland, to suburban-based communities. The popularity of the area rapidly grew after the Second World War.

In the more recent past, Long Island was hit hard with the Financial Recession of 2008/2009. More than 7,000 jobs were lost, and the price of homes dropped close to 20%.

War Plane near Roosevelt Airfield in Long IslandLong Island Aviation

Long Island has a long and rich aviation history. Roosevelt Air Field, that was located in Garden City (Nassau County), NY, was the airport that Charles Lindbergh began his historic nonstop flight from New York to Paris, France. This airfield was closed in 1951. Today, that space has been re-developed for commercial use, including Hofstra University, homes, and shopping malls.

Long Island is also the home of several aerospace companies, including Republic Aviation, which framed the P-47 (the Mustang) fighter aircraft that was used during the Second World War. Northrup/Grumman Aviation has locations in Calverton and Bethpage, and they were the producers of the F-14 fighters for the United States in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Floyd Bennet Field was established during the 1930’s, and was considered the first commercial airport in New York. John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are the two main airports in New York today.

Long Island Dentist

We are proud to serve as a dentist to Smithtown and the greater Long Island area.