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As Islip approaches maturity, it remains a varied, beautiful and interesting place to live. Few suburbs encompass ocean beaches, sparkling bays, a beautiful lake, vistas of forest fields, canals and ponds, historic villages and innumerable architectural treasures.
For centuries, the Algonquin Indians inhabited Long Island. A sub-division of the Algonquins known as the Secatogues occupied all of the area in the Town of Islip. Their principal villages were at West Islip (Secatogue), Bay Shore (Penataquit) and Oakdale (Connetquot).
On November 29, 1683, William Nicoll became the first patentee of Islip when he purchased land from Sachem (Chief) Winnequaheagh of Connetquot. He named his 50,000- acre plantation Islip Grange, in honor of the town from which he emigrated: Islip, England. The original settlement encompassed Bayport, Bohemia, Brentwood, Central Islip, East Islip, Great River, Hauppauge, Holbrook, Holtsville, Islip Terrace, Oakdale, Sayville, West Sayville, and part of Ronkonkoma. Part of Nicoll’s original domain is now the site of Heckscher State Park. Other early land patentees were Andrew Gibb (Islip), John Mowbray (Bay Shore), Stephanis Van Cortlandt (Sagtikos Manor) and Richard and Thomas Willets (West Islip).
In 1710, the precinct (or district) of Islip was established and in 1720, the first elections were held for the posts of supervisor, constable, collector and two assessors. The Town Clerk’s records of the annual meetings typically began, “At the Annual Meeting of the freeholders of the precinct of Islip ...”. The entry for the first Tuesday of April 1790, marked the first in which Islip was referred to as a “Town.”
Some early setters made their living raising grain and beef, but Islip’s proximity to the water made fishing and shipping the principal way of life. Jacob Ockers, whose Oakdale home on Montauk Highway is the only town-owned structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was known as the “Oyster King” at the turn of the