Central Islip, New York - A Community Rich in History and Culture

Brief Overview

Central Islip, located in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, is a hamlet and census-designated place and unincorporated area with a rich history and diverse culture. The community has seen significant growth and development since its early beginnings, evolving into a bustling suburb with a range of attractions and amenities.

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Once home to the Secatogue tribe, Central Islip saw the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century, marking the start of dramatic transformations. Agriculture dominated the landscape with thriving farms and windmills scattered across its sprawling land. The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road in the 1840s further bolstered Central Islip’s growth, attracting more settlers and economic prosperity.

Early Beginnings

Central Islip, originally known as “Islip Central. Central Islip was originally home to the Secatogue tribe before being settled by Europeans. The name is believed to be derived from an Algonquin word for “place of the snake.”

Agricultural Community

Throughout the 1800s, Central Islip was primarily an agricultural community, with farms and a rural population.

Development and Growth

Central Islip experienced significant growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, largely due to the construction of the Central Islip Psychiatric Center and the Long Island Railroad. The psychiatric center, once one of the largest in the U.S., was a key employer, driving the local economy and shaping the community. Over time, it transformed from a small farming community into a bustling suburban town.

After World War II, Central Islip experienced rapid development and suburbanization, as families moved to the area for its affordable housing and amenities.


While Central Islip is not officially divided into separate neighborhoods, the community is characterized by distinct residential, commercial, and public areas, each with its unique features and characteristics.

Notable Attractions

Central Islip is home to several notable attractions, including:

  • The Central Islip Recreation Village Park: This park offers a range of amenities, including sports fields, a swimming pool, and a community center.
  • Bethpage Ballpark: Home of the Long Island Ducks, this ballpark is a popular destination for baseball fans.
  • The Central Islip Public Library: This library is an important community resource, offering a variety of programs and services.
  • Courthouse Complex: The Cohalan Court Complex and the Alfonse M. D’Amato United States Courthouse are significant regional legal hubs.
  • Bethpage Ballpark: Home to the Long Island Ducks, a member of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
  • Touro Law Center: An important educational institution offering law programs.

Statistical Data

As of the 2010 census, Central Islip has a population of approximately 34,450 people. Central Islip spans an area of about 7.1 square miles. The community has a diverse economy with sectors including retail, healthcare, and education providing significant employment. The community is racially diverse, with a mix of White, African American, Hispanic, and Asian residents. The median household income is approximately $66,657, slightly lower than the state average.

In terms of education, Central Islip is served by the Central Islip Union Free School District, which operates several elementary, middle, and high schools.


With its rich history, diverse culture, and range of attractions, Central Islip offers a unique blend of suburban living and community charm. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, there’s always something to explore in this vibrant Long Island community.

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