island of many fine homes and gardens
Long Island, largest island in the continental United States, located in southeastern New York. It thrusts eastward from New York Bay to a point abreast of the Connecticut-Rhode Island state line, with Long Island Sound to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east. The island's eastern end is split by Peconic Bay to form two narrow peninsulas, or forks. The northern fork is 43 km (27 mi) long and ends at Orient Point, and the southern fork is 68 km (42 mi) long, ending at Montauk Point.
Cathedral of the Incarnation
(built by Mrs. Stewart in 1876)
gothic cross on the altar
St Paul's private boys school
school boy chapel bench engraving
Long Island was built up by a glacier, which, as it melted and retreated, left deposits called moraine. The island features two separate moraines, running almost its entire length. Over most of Long Island, the two deposits are virtually indistinguishable from each other. At the eastern tip, however, the two moraines are separated by water into the two forks.
(fine example of Greek Revival architecture)
The north shore of the island is hilly and deeply indented. On the south shore the ocean breaks on a narrow sandbar, backed by Great South Bay, Moriches Bay, and Shinnecock Bay. These bays are connected to the ocean through occasional breaks, or channels, in the protective sandbar. This ribbon of sand widens at various points to form virtual islands fronting the open sea. These islands have developed into a series of bathing beaches and summer colonies, including the Fire Island National Seashore.
Long Island marks the southernmost and easternmost part of New York State and comprises four counties: Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. Kings County, which is coextensive with Brooklyn and is on the island's southwestern end, and Queens, at the island's western end, are also boroughs, or administrative units, of New York City. These two counties account for more than half the island's population. Nassau is a sprawling, thickly settled suburban area adjacent to the great metropolis to its west. Suffolk, which comprises the eastern two-thirds of the island and is the largest in area, has many suburban communities. It is also the most productive agricultural county in New York State, with large farms, known especially for growing potatoes. In addition, Long Island has a large duck-raising industry and an important commercial fishing industry, in particular oyster and clam fishing.
Pollock, (Paul) Jackson (1912-1956), American
abstract painter, who developed a technique for applying paint by pouring or
dripping it onto canvases laid on the floor.
(Pollock's famous "on-the-floor" painting studio is behind this house)
After moving to a larger studio on Long Island in 1947, Pollock began creating his characteristic large-scale abstractions. He placed the canvas on the floor, attacked it from all directions, and poured paint directly on it. His new method resulted in part from his interest in Native American sand paintings, which are created on the ground with sand of various colors let loose from the hand.
Pollock reinforced this dynamism with compositions that emphasized all parts of the canvas equally and had no visual center of attention. He became less productive in the last years of his life, and died in an automobile accident in 1956.
Long Island has become a major industrial center. The manufacture of transportation equipment, particularly aircraft, is one of the largest industries; the production of electrical equipment is also important. The island is home to Brookhaven National Laboratory, a center for the study of atomic energy, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Westbury House and Gardens
(75-room Beau-Art Georgian style Mansion)
Long Island is also a recreation and resort area for New York City. Numerous state parks, beaches, golf courses, fishing grounds, yacht clubs, and other resort facilities cater to the needs of both suburbanites and city dwellers. Many beautiful estates are located on the island, particularly at Southampton and along the north shore.
residence in Sag Harbor
More Photos of Sag Harbor
The island has an extensive highway and train system and is served by the Long Island Rail Road, the largest commuter railroad in the country. Brooklyn and Queens are connected with the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx by bridges and tunnels that carry vehicular, railroad, and subway traffic across the East River. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, one of the world's longest suspension bridges, connects Brooklyn with the borough of Staten Island across the Narrows, a short strait between Upper and Lower New York Bay. Long Island is home to two major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport and La Guardia Airport, both in Queens.
The first European to explore Long Island was English navigator Henry Hudson, who landed at Coney Island in 1609. The island was sparsely inhabited by several tribes of the Algonquin people, after whom many villages, streets, and bays on the island are named. The island was included in the grant to Plymouth Colony in 1620 and conveyed to William Alexander, earl of Stirling, in 1635. The Dutch were the first to settle the island, in about 1636, confining themselves to the western end. The north shore was settled soon after by New Englanders from Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay Colony.
entrance to Sagamore Hill
Oyster Bay gained fame through its most notable
resident, President Theodore Roosevelt, whose three-story mansion “Sagamore
Hill” (built 1880 at Cove Neck) became the summer White House (1901–09); it is
now a national historic site. The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary (a bird
sanctuary) and Trailside Museum are nearby, and Roosevelt's grave is in the
adjacent Young's Memorial Cemetery.
President Theodore Roosevelt's Office and hunting trophy chair
President Theodore Roosevelt's bedroom
Friction soon developed between the two groups of settlers. In 1650 a treaty was signed in an attempt to alleviate the friction. It assigned territory west of Oyster Bay to the Dutch and the eastern portion to the English. In 1664, however, King Charles II of England claimed the entire island as part of the new British province of New York. Thereafter the island's inhabitants were little affected by outside events until the American Revolution (1775-1783).
Coe Hall in Oyster Bay
English, Medieval and Elizabethan style
interior wall covering
The Battle of Long Island was fought on August 27, 1776, in what is now Brooklyn. Colonial troops led by General George Washington tried to delay the movement of the British up the Hudson River but were ultimately forced to retreat. The British held the island until 1784.
St. Andrews Dune church
the church transformed from a life boat station
The first major boon to the island's economy came with the completion of the railroad to Greenport, at the island's east end, in 1844. The railroad permitted the rapid development of the island's agricultural resources. The suburban development of Nassau and Suffolk counties began in the late 1940s as city dwellers began moving to the suburbs. Growth continued into the 1970s on much of the island, although the eastern end retained its rural character.
19th century Smith cottage
Long Island is 190 km (118 mi) long from east to west and 19 to 37 km (12 to 23 mi) wide, covering an area of 4,463 sq km (1,723 sq mi). Population 6,882,362 (1997 estimate).
Text from Microsoft Encarta
Roses and Azaleas of Long Island
Return to New York State page
Return to United States page
People and Places