1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Islip
ISLIP, a township of Suffolk county, New York, U.S.A., in the central part of the S. side of Long Island. Pop. (1905, state census) 13,721; (1910) 18,346. The township is 16 m. long from E. to W., and 8 m. wide in its widest part. It is bounded on the S. by the Atlantic Ocean; between the ocean and the Great South Bay, here 5-7 m. wide, is a long narrow strip of beach, called Fire Island, at the W. end of which is Fire Island Inlet. The “Island” beach and the Inlet, both very dangerous for shipping, are protected by the Fire Island Lighthouse, the Fire Island Lightship, and a Life Saving Station near the Lighthouse and another at Point o’ Woods. Near the Lighthouse there are a United States Wireless Telegraph Station and a station of the Western Union Telegraph Company, which announces to New York incoming steamships; and a little farther E., on the site formerly occupied by the Surf House, a well-known resort for hay-fever patients, is a state park. Along the “Island” beach there is excellent surf-bathing. The township is served by two parallel branches of the Long Island railroad about 4 m. apart. On the main (northern) division are the villages of Brentwood (first settled as Modern Times, a quasi free-love community), which now has the Convent and School of St Joseph and a large private sanitarium; Central Islip, the seat of the Central Islip State Hospital for the Insane; and Ronkonkoma, on the edge of a lake of the same name (with no visible outlet or inlet and suffering remarkable changes in area). On the S. division of the Long Island railroad are the villages of Bay Shore (to the W. of which is West Islip); Oakdale; West Sayville, originally a Dutch settlement; Sayville and Bayport. The “South Country Road” of crushed clam or oyster shells runs through these villages, which are famous for oyster and clam fisheries. About one-half of the present township was patented in 1684, 1686, 1688 and 1697 by William Nicolls (1657-1723), the son of Matthias Nicolls, who came from Islip in Oxfordshire, England; this large estate (on either side of the Connetquot or Great river) was kept intact until 1786; the W. part of Islip was mostly included in the Moubray patent of 1708; and the township was incorporated in 1710.