Islip Town: Hidden History

The patchwork of beach towns, villages and hamlets that make up Islip Town represents some of the most historic communities on the whole of Long Island.

Local historian Jack Whitehouse shares in his newest book, Hidden History of Islip Town, published by The History Press on Oct. 21, 2021, some fascinating facts about the region:

  • Local Secatogue Native Americans harrowingly saved the Dutch survivors of one of New York’s first shipwrecks in 1657.
  • New York City’s infamous Tammany Hall leased an entire summer resort island in Islip Town for decades.
  • In 1912, a young woman from Sayville sacrificed her own life for another on the RMS Titanic.
  • Islip Town’s founding father, William Nicoll, owned the largest parcel on Long Island’s South Shore but was blocked from owning even a grain of sand on Fire Island.
  • A penniless Dutch immigrant to Islip Town became the world’s “Oyster King.” 

Join Whitehouse as he reveals buried stories from Islip Town’s past. He is the author of two best-selling local histories, Sayville Orphan Heroes: The Cottages of St. Ann’s and Fire Island: Heroes and Villains on Long Island’s Wild Shore. Whitehouse is a 1968 graduate of Brown University, a Vietnam veteran and a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer. He grew up in Long Island’s Islip Town and lives there today.

Christy Hinko
Christy Hinko is a managing editor at Anton Media Group. She is a New York Press Association (NYPA) and Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) award-winning writer and photographer.

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