Wyandanch, New York

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For the Chief of the Montaukett in the 1600s, see Wyandanch (sachem).
Wyandanch, New York
Hamlet and census-designated place
Motto: "We Believe"
U.S. Census map
U.S. Census map
Wyandanch is located in New York
Wyandanch
Wyandanch
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°44′50″N 73°22′6″W / 40.74722°N 73.36833°W / 40.74722; -73.36833Coordinates: 40°44′50″N 73°22′6″W / 40.74722°N 73.36833°W / 40.74722; -73.36833
Country United States
State New York
County Suffolk
Area
 • Total 4.5 sq mi (11.6 km2)
 • Land 4.5 sq mi (11.6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 56 ft (17 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 11,647
 • Density 2,600/sq mi (1,000/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 11798
Area code(s) 631
FIPS code 36-83294[1]
GNIS feature ID 0971769[2]

Wyandanch (/ˈwənˌdæn/, WHY-ən-DANCH) is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 11,647 at the 2010 census.[3]

History[edit]

This hamlet is named after Chief Wyandanch, a leader of the Montaukett Native American tribe during the 17th century. Formerly known as Half Way Hollow Hills, West Deer Park (1875), and Wyandance (1893), the area of scrub oak and pine barrens south of the southern slope of Half Hollow terminal moraine was named Wyandanch in 1903 by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to honor Chief Wyandanch and end confusion between travelers getting off at the West Deer Park and Deer Park railroad stations. The history of the hamlet has been shaped by waves of immigrants.

Native Americans[edit]

No archaeological evidence of permanent Native American settlements in Wyandanch has been discovered. Native Americans hunted and gathered fruits and berries in what is now Wyandanch/Wheatley Heights.

The Massapequa Indians deeded the northwest section of what now is the town of Babylon to Huntington in the Baiting Place Purchase of 1698. The northeast section of the town of Babylon "pine brush and plain" was deeded to Huntington by the Secatogue Indians in the Squaw Pit Purchase of 1699. What is now Wyandanch is located in the Squaw Pit Purchase area. Lorena Frevert reported in 1949 that in the Baiting Place Purchase the Massapequa Indians "reserved the right of fishing and 'gathering plume and hucel bearyes'."[4]

Earliest English settlers: 1706–1874[edit]

Wyandanch (West Deer Park before 1903) evolved out of what was originally known as the Lower Half Way Hollow Hills. The area was first settled by Captain Jacob Conklin after he was given a tract of land in what is now Wheatley Heights by his father, Timothy Conklin, about 1706. Gradually, pioneers from Huntington began settling along the southern slope of the Half Way Hollow Hills as they purchased farm and forestlands from the Conklins. What is known today as Wyandanch originated with the establishment of the West Deer Park LIRR station in 1875. The present-day Wyandanch railroad station sits on the site of the 1875 station on the Long Island Rail Road.[5] Jacob Conklin's 1710 "Pirate House" was the first house built in what became the town of Babylon.[6]

West Deer Park/Wyandance/Wyandanch: 1872–1903[edit]

The LIRR built the original West Deer Park railroad station, which incorporated a post office, in May 1875 at the request of General James J. Casey, a brother-in-law of President Ulysses S. Grant. Casey had purchased the 1,000-acre (400 ha) Nathanial Conklin estate in 1874, and he wanted a rail depot and post office located closer than the LIRR Deer Park depot that had opened in 1853. The 1875 West Deer Park/Wyandanch railroad station was demolished in 1958.[7][8][9]

The first lots were sold near the station, around the time of a Long Island land boom in 1872. These were offered by a realtor named Charles Schleier, who tempted potential purchasers, describing the area as being "The finest, healthiest location, good for till soil, splendid water, good market for produce, rapid and cheap transit," and as "level land and hills, romantic scenery, fine clay land, mineral springs; the most beautiful place for private residence and garden."[10][11][12] His efforts resulted in the first arrivals of German and German-American residents.[13]

Grant's second son, Ulysses S. "Buck" Grant, purchased the Casey estate in 1882.[14] After the demise of Grant and Ward bank in 1884, which caused the financial ruin of the Grant family, the estate was sold to Abraham H. Jonas for $60,000.[15]

In April 1903, the 1,343-acre (543 ha) ex-Conklin estate and historic Conklin family cemetery was sold to Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, who resumed the bottling of spring water from the Colonial Spring. Eventually the McDonnell property became the Catholic Youth Organization's (CYO) summer camp in Wyandanch. In 2011, 14-year-old Michael Berdon (Nesconset), the seventh great-grandson of Jacob Conklin, restored the 257-year-old cemetery and laid a brick path approach to the gravesite with the assistance of the Nicolock Corp. (Lindenhust), Splendor Landscaping and Masonry (Commack) and Charles Dolan, the chairman of Cablevision Corp. Since the cemetery is located on private property, visits must be coordinated with tours conducted by the Town of Babylon.[16][17]

On March 8, 1907, the Wyandanch post office was moved from the LIRR depot to Anthony Kirchner's General Store and Hotel on Merritt Avenue diagonally across from the railroad station.[18]

German-Americans: 1880–1955[edit]

Between 1880 and 1955, the dominant ethnic groups in Wyandanch were the German-Americans and Austrian-Americans. The earliest homes built in Wyandanch south of the LIRR were built by German and Austrian-American families. About a hundred "honest and frugal" German and Austrian-American families lived in Sheet Nine of the "City of Breslau" neighborhood as early as the 1880s. Many members of these Sheet Nine families were skilled workers, gardeners, carpenters, plumbers, stable workers and servants on the nearby August Belmont estate and horse breeding establishment in North Babylon (1865) and on the Corbin, Guggenheim and Phelps estates in North Babylon. Sheet Nine Germans and Austrians also worked in the Wyandance Brick and Terra Cotta works and cut brush and pulled stumps for the construction of Long Island Avenue (Conklin Street) in 1895.

Prosperous German- and Austrian-Americans also lived in the hilly, secluded and sylvan Carintha Heights section, west of Conklin Street, which was developed by Brosl Hasslacher after the construction of William K. Vanderbilt's Motor Parkway. Hasslacher helped Vanderbilt assemble plots of land in Wheatley Heights for the right-of-way for his state-of-the-art parkway. Hasslacher built the Chateau Lodge (later the very popular Chateau Restaurant) off Hasslacher Boulevard (later Chateau Drive).

Irish-Americans: 1920s and 1930s[edit]

Beginning in the 1920s and extending into the 1930s, intrepid working-class settlers (recently arrived from County Donegal in Ireland) began building small wood-frame bungalow-type homes in the dangerous fire-prone pine barrens in Wyandance Springs Park-there were no springs, no park and no roads-and in Home Acres in the area bounded by Straight Path, Long Island Avenue, Little East Neck Road and Grunwedel Avenue (now Patton Avenue).

Irish and Irish-American families built homes on land they had purchased in the 1920s land bubble from realtor Harry Levey in Wyandance Spring Park or Home Acres. Home Acres was located between Brooklyn Avenue and Patton Avenue. The newcomers wanted to escape from the crowded and economically depressed conditions in Manhattan and The Bronx and enjoy the fresh pine air, privacy and lower costs of rural Wyandanch yet be within an hour's ride of the "City" on the LIRR. American-Irish John Douglas Sr. and John Douglas, Jr. built the first home in Wyandance Spring Park (no spring, no park, no roads) at the corner of what is now South 29th Street and Jamaica Avenue in the early 1920s.[19]

More affluent and prominent Irish-American families in Wyandanch (pillars of the community and the Catholic Church) lived nearer the "village" in more prosperous homes with larger plots of land. Catherine "Kitty" McMahon, a Democrat, was postmistress in Wyandanch, having been appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, from September 1933 until November 1948.

African-Americans: 1920s and 1930s[edit]

African-Americans have lived in Wyandanch for almost a century. In the 1920s African-American families bought plots of land and built their own homes in the "Little Farms" section of the West Babylon school district between Straight Path, Little East Neck Road and Gordon Avenue.[20]

In the Upper Little Farms section bounded by Straight Path, Little East Neck Road and Grunwedel Avenue (now Patton Avenue) in the Wyandanch School District pioneering upwardly mobile African-American families also began building their own homes. Mortimer Cumberbach and Ignatius Davidson opened their C and D Cement Block Corp. on Booker Avenue at Straight Path on December 6, 1928; as late as the mid-1950s, C & D Cement Block was the only large business owned and operated by African-Americans in Suffolk County.

Italian-Americans: 1920s–1940s[edit]

In the 1910s, 1930s and 1940s, Italian-American families moved into Wyandanch and were very active in business, politics and the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Roman Catholic Church. In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, most businesses in Wyandanch (grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, gasoline stations and auto repair shops, liquor stores, butcher shops, barber shops, bars and lumber yards) were owned and operated by either Italian-American or German-American entrepreneurs.

Hispanic-Americans: 1940s–1960s[edit]

Hispanic-American families began to settle in Wyandanch in the late 1940s since the community offered affordable housing and land, within easy commuting distance of nearby defense plants and Pilgrim, Edgewood, Central Islip and Kings Park State Mental hospitals-where jobs were plentiful.

Origins of Carver Park and racial transformation: 1951–53[edit]

In March 1951, Taca Homes, Inc. offered expandable four-room Cape Cod style homes for sale in Wyandanch on a "non-racial" basis at the Carver Park development at Straight Path and Booker Avenue. The first estate plan was filed on February 6, 1950. The 59 first stage homes with basement, hot-water heat and tile baths sold for $7,200 and were eligible for Federal Housing Administration loan insurance. Veterans were told that they only need put $365 down and could have a 30-year 4% mortgage. (See Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 8, 1951) Carver Park was advertised as "interracial housing". (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 8, 1951) Homes in the first and second sections of Carver Park were purchased almost exclusively by African-Americans. The 72 ranch-style homes in the second section had 6 rooms with three bedrooms on 60' x 100'lots and featured "California picture windows" and sold for "under $10,000." (Long Island Star-Journal, February 20, 1953) These homes required $600 down and veterans only had to pay $58.50 per month. (See New York Age, March 22, 1952) Prospective buyers were told that Carver Park in Wyandanch was located "in one of Long Island's finest communities." (New York Age, March 22, 1952) The building of Carver Park and then the construction of Lincoln Park on Parkway Boulevard between Straight Path and Mount Avenue in 1956, with over 400 homes combined, triggered the transformation of Wyandanch from a mostly working class white community in 1950 to a majority working class African-American community in 1960. Many of the whites who lived south of the LIRR relocated and lower middle class African-Americans bought or built modest, individual homes in Wyandanch Springs Park and in the "Tree streets" area east of Straight Path.[citation needed] In the 1960s many whites living in the Wyandanch school district #9 north of the Long Island Railroad in the Wyandanch School District also relocated.

Upwardly mobile African-American families established homes south of the LIRR in the 1950s and 1960s. Many of these families—both middle class and working class—purchased homes in Wyandanch because they were denied opportunities to move into other fast-developing white housing tracts on Long Island (such as Levittown) due to exclusionist real estate practices: steering, restrictive covenants, red-lining or price points.[citation needed]

The rapid development of Wyandanch in the 1950s as one of the largest African-American communities in Suffolk County transformed Wyandanch politically into a hamlet which by 1960 voted overwhelmingly Democratic. In the 1950s and 1960s the political interest of African-Americans in Wyandanch was mainly focused on winning seats on the Wyandanch Board of Education.[21]

Racial disturbances-August 1967[edit]

Racial tensions in Wyandanch in 1967 were similar to those across the United States. On the first three nights of August 1967, racial disturbances broke out in Wyandanch as small groups of young African-American adults reportedly smashed windows in three stores, overturned two cars, set fire to the auditorium of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School on Mount Avenue, set fires at the Wyandanch VFW Hall and ambulance garage at S. 20th Street and Straight Path, threw stones at the Wyandanch Fire House and pelted police officers with rocks and bottles.

Suffolk County officials intervened quickly and inventoried problems included joblessness, lack of bus access to area businesses and factories, a lack of recreational facilities for youth, and a lack of African-American representation in the police force.[22]

As a result of the August 1967 disturbances in Wyandanch, governments, private businesses, the Wyandanch School District, community church groups and individuals, residents and non-residents acted to address the numerous problems facing the community. The U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity and its Wyandanch Community Action Center worked to improve bus routes, develop job training programs and assist the indigent with accessing government services. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) built a modern supermarket in downtown Wyandanch at the corner of Straight Path and Long Island Avenue. Today, this building houses Suffolk County's Martin Luther King, Jr Community Health Center. Genovese Drugs opened a modern new store on the east side of Straight Path north of the Blue Jay shopping center.

Demographics of the CDP[edit]

As of the census of 2010, and there were 11,647 people, 2,926 households, and 2,379 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,588.2 per square mile (1,004.7/km²). There were 3,157 housing units at an average density of 701.6/sq mi (272.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 16.4% White, 65.0% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 12.3% some other race, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.2% of the population.[23][24]

There were 2,926 households out of which 52.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were headed by married couples living together, 33.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.7% were non-families. 12.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.2% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.95, and the average family size was 4.07.[23]

In the CDP the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.4 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.[23]

For the period 2007-2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the CDP was $54,527, and the median income for a family was $54,223. Males had a median income of $35,262 versus $36,719 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,898. About 11.4% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.[25]

Transportation[edit]

Roads[edit]

The original roads in West Deer Park/Wyandanch were Colonial Springs Road and Main Avenue, Little East Neck Road, Upper Belmont Road (now Mount Avenue) and Straight Path. All were established before 1900 by the Conklins or the Belmonts or by real estate developers wanting access to filed lots by buyers. Straight Path in Wyandanch seems to have been developed in the early 1870s by the developers of the "North Breslau" filed lots north of the West Deer Park railroad station. What is now called Long Island Avenue (established in 1895) was originally known as Conklin Street, designed to provide easier access between the village of Farmingdale and the new real estate sites in the future Wyandanch.[26] A section of William K. Vanderbilt Jr.'s Long Island Motor Parkway (LIMP) toll road (1908) had two concrete overpass bridges crossing hollows at Little East Neck Road and Colonial Springs Road (across from the Wheatley Heights Post Office). The parkway (abandoned in 1938) was dug up and the bridges demolished in the early 1960s to make room for the Westwood Village housing estate in Wheatley Heights.

Working class Wyandanch was sandwiched in between the wealthy estates of the Belmonts, the Corbins and the Guggenheims in North Babylon, and the Dr. Herman B.Baruch estate in Wheatley Heights. What is now known as Wheatley Heights was mapped out as real estate sub-divisions of Wyandanch (including Wheatley Heights Estates, and Harlem Park) by Bellerose developer William Geiger (as in Geiger Lake park and pool) in 1913 following the development of the Long Island Motor Parkway. The filed lot sub-divisions south of the LIRR and east of Straight Path were known as the Colonial Springs Development Corp property. These lots ran from Straight Path to the Carlls River.[27]

In 1941, Robert Moses' Southern State Parkway was opened to Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon. Wyandanch residents were able to enter and exit the parkway at Exit 36 at Straight Path in West Babylon.

Railroad[edit]

In 1875, a station was built in Wyandanch on the Long Island Rail Road. It was demolished in June 1958 and replaced with a building which in turn was replaced in 1986.[28][29][30]

Bus Transit[edit]

Wyandanch is served by several bus routes operated by Suffolk County Transit:[31]

  • 2A: Wheatley Heights - Bay Shore
  • 2B: SUNY Farmingdale - Bay Shore
  • S23: Walt Whitman Mall - Babylon
  • S33: Hauppauge - Sunrise Mall

Government services[edit]

Fire service[edit]

To combat the danger of frequent forest fires, the Wyandanch Volunteer Fire Company was established in 1925 and incorporated in 1928. A new fire station was built in 1959, and a second one was added in 1964. Water wells were drilled in the 1950s.[32]

Medical services[edit]

Ambulance service began in 1951 with the community-formed Wyandanch Ambulance Club.[33] Other volunteer squads operated as well, and in 1980 the non-profit Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corps was formed.[34][35]

The Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center, a community health center, was opened in 1968, and moved into a new building in 1978.[36]

Public water[edit]

As late as 1980, hundreds of homeowners in Wyandanch were not served by the public water mains of the Suffolk County Water Authority but relied on private water wells. After community action, public water was extended to thousands of home in Wyandanch, West Babylon and North Babylon by the late 1980s.[37]

Sewers[edit]

In October 2011, a sewer pipe was being laid down on Straight Path from the Southern State Parkway into Wyandanch as part of the "Wyandanch Rising" program to upgrade downtown Wyandanch.

Education[edit]

Wyandanch was part of the Deer Park school district until 1923. Deer Park built the first permanent school building in Wyandanch on Straight Path at 20th Street in 1913. A modern Wyandanch grade school opened in September 1937, built for $120,000, $54,000 of which was provided by the New Deal Public Works Authority.[38] An addition to the Straight Path school was built in 1949 to accommodate the growing population.

In 1967, seven Wyandanch parents petitioned Dr. Gordon Wheaton, the Third Supervisory District principal, to dissolve the Wyandanch School District No. 9. The parents, supported by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also asked Dr. Wheaton to order the 2,295 students in the Wyandanch schools (86 per cent of whom were African-American) to be divided equally into the more affluent and predominantly white surrounding Half Hollow Hills, Deer Park, North Babylon, West Babylon and Farmingdale school districts. The Wyandanch school board (consisting of five African-Americans and one white man) opposed, and noted that the recently hired Superintendent of Schools had proposed a "$1,000,000 program designed to make Wyandanch a model school district." The superintendent noted that "the uprooting of culturally disadvantaged students to schools where the educational program is planned for the middle class would have damaging effects on our community's children." Rather than wait for a decision by Dr. Wheaton, the NAACP appealed directly to Dr. Allen, the chief of the State Education Department. On July 24, 1968, Allen rejected the petition to dissolve the Wyandanch School District; he told The New York Times that "serious obstacles imposed by existing law" prevented "dissolution of the district," which the Times reported "is now 91.5 per cent non-white."[39]

In 1979, teachers in the Wyandanch School District went on strike for two months. The Wyandanch Teacher's Association demanded a 32 percent wage increase over three years, limitation of class size to 32 students, and teacher input in educational policy decisions. A 13.3% increase was turned down; a final compromise granted the teachers a 19.5% salary increase.[40]

In 2010–11, the New York State Department of Education removed the Wyandanch Memorial High School from its "Needs Improvement" list and restored it to "In Good Standing" status for the 2010–11 school year.[41][42]

Elementary schools[edit]

In 1956, the Mount Avenue Elementary School was opened, at a cost of $1,155,000. The next year, influenced by the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the school was renamed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

On October 2, 1966, the $1.3 million, 29-room, Milton L. Olive Elementary School was opened at Garden City Avenue and South 37th Street with 870 pupils. The school was named for Milton Lee Olive III, an African-American private from Chicago who served in Vietnam where he saved the lives of four of his comrades by falling on an enemy grenade, an act for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. 70% of the students in the Wyandanch School District were African-American in 1966.[43]

Junior-senior high school[edit]

In August 1958, the Wyandanch Board of Education began planning the development of a junior-senior high school for Wyandanch. Wyandanch started a 9th grade class in 1957–1958 and added a class a year until the high school opened. The school district obtained 10 acres (40,000 m2) between South 32nd Street and Little East Neck Road and between Garden City Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue by condemnation for the high school and its athletic fields. The groundbreaking for the school took place on December 6, 1959, and the school opened in September 1961.[44]

LaFrancis Hardiman Early Childhood Center[edit]

The LaFrancis Hardiman Early Childhood Center opened for pre-K education in 1969 and was named for a resident who had been killed in the Vietnam War in 1967.[45][46][47] The original center was replaced in 1999 by the LaFrancis Hardiman Early Childhood Wing of the Martin Luther King Elementary School, having been demolished in 1996.[48]

Wyandanch College Center[edit]

A liberal arts college was started in Wyandanch, with evening classes for over 200 students, in early October 1969, but soon closed.[49]

Day Care Center: 1973[edit]

Following the August 1967 disturbances, the Wyandanch Day Care Center was opened on Commonwealth Boulevard. The Wyandanch school district first provided space for 35 children in a classroom in the Straight Path Elementary School and later provided room in an empty building adjacent to the Milton L. Olive Elementary School. Ground was broken for the new center on September 13, 1970, and the Wyandanch Day Care Center opened on February 25, 1973. The two-story, red brick, eight-classroom day care center was constructed with a $1 million loan from the New York State Social Services Department.[50][51][52]

Wyandanch Head Start to relocate: 2012[edit]

On March 12, 2012, Newsday reported that the Town of Babylon will be building a larger, more modern Head Start facility at 20 Andrews Avenue in downtown Wyandanch. The new Head Start building, financed by $850,000 in State of New York funding and $1 million in U.S. Community Block Grant funding, will be larger than the current 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) facility on Long Island Avenue near the LIRR station, which serves about 100 pre-schoolers. Head Start has served the children of Wyandanch since the late 1960s.[53]

Public library[edit]

In April 1974, the construction of a public library was approved. Initially operating from two rented portable classrooms, the permanent building eventually opened in 1989.[54]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.6 km2), all land.[3] Wyandanch is a suburb of New York City. It is served by Exit 36 on the Southern State Parkway and Exit 50 on the Long Island Expressway.

The community was formerly known as Half Way Hollow Hills, West Deer Park (beginning in 1875), and Wyandance (in 1888). Topographically, Wyandanch's nutrient-poor loam and sandy soils are part of the outwash plain which was formed as the last glacier melted about 10,000 BCE. The outwash plain slopes gently towards Belmont Lake State Park from the Half Way Hollow Hills terminal moraine and from Little East Neck Road.

In the mid and late 20th century, the Wheatley Heights area (Half Hollow Hills School District) developed as a separate community (due to class and racial dynamics) but is still served by the Wyandanch Fire Department and the US Postal Service.

Agriculture and industry[edit]

The early history of Wyandanch was mainly agricultural. West Deer Park was quite productive agriculturally in the nineteenth century. Before 1854 "peaches were produced in large quantities and at profitable returns on the backbone hills of the island, which lie north of the main line of the Long Island railroad, near West Deer Park or Wyandance station." In 1854, seventeen-year locusts so devastated the peach trees "that cultivation on any extensive scale has not been attempted since."[55]

Water bottling[edit]

Water from the Colonial Spring in West Deer Park (now Wheatley Heights) was bottled in small blue embossed "West Deer Park" water bottles by the Colonial Springs Mineral Company between 1845 and 1854. The bottlers claimed it had "special medicinal properties." When Dr. George Hopkins of Brooklyn ran the Colonial Springs bottling works, "A bottling house was built and the springs were welled in with enameled brick and covered with glass tops."[56]

Brick manufacture[edit]

Millions of building bricks were molded and baked at the Walker & Conklin and W.H. and F.A. Barlett brickyards using the Cretaceous clay and fine sand found in the area. The bricks were shipped out by railroad using a LIRR spur which ran along what is now North 23rd Street. In October 1888 the Wyandance Brick and Terra Cotta Corp. was organized on the site of the abandoned Walker and Conklin brickyard to produce solid and hollow building bricks. In 1875, the best "hard" West Deer Park bricks were selling for $7 per 1,000 delivered, but the plant was destroyed by a forest fire in the spring of 1893.[57]

Pickle farms[edit]

In the 1880s, cucumbers for the pickle trade were successfully grown in West Deer Park. As the Brooklyn Eagle reported in 1882: "To-day, in West Deer Park alone, there are one hundred acres of the finest farmland in the country devoted to this crop and on the average the farmers owing them will realize $150 per acre." The pickle farms were located north of the Colonial Springs Road and Main Avenue, in what is now Wheatley Heights.[58]

Industry[edit]

The Conservative Gas Corporation established a propane bottling business in Wyandanch in 1929. Today it operates as Amerigas Propane LP. In 1947, Joseph F. Walsh established a paper box factory in Wyandanch, and Ignatius Davidson and Mortimer Cumberbach expanded their C & D Cement Block factory, making it the largest African-American-owned business in Suffolk County. Fairchild Guided Missiles established a large factory in Wyandanch in 1951-2 and built the Lark anti-aircraft missile and the Petral anti-sub and ship missile for the U.S. Navy. Fairchild Stratos left Wyandanch in 1963 and was replaced by Grumman Aircraft, which fabricated custom-built fiberglass and Plexiglas sections and nacelles for U.S. Navy aircraft. Grumman left the community in 1977. Max Staller built the first supermarket and shopping center in Wyandanch in 1955. All these businesses were located near the Long Island Rail Road track in Wyandanch. Beginning in the 1950s and 1960s, light industrial factories were established in Wyandanch in the northern section of the Pinelawn Industrial Park in southwest Wyandanch and on the east side of Straight Path between two African-American housing estates.[59][60][61][62]

Recreation and culture[edit]

Geiger Lake[edit]

In July 1945, land located between Long Island Avenue and Grand Boulevard on the border between Wyandanch and Deer Park was donated by William Geiger to the Town of Babylon to be developed as a recreational site for residents of the Town of Babylon. The Babylon Town Board voted $3,500 to improve the "small lake." In 1946, Babylon cut the brush around the lake, dredged and cleared it, and rehabilitated "a sturdy log cabin" into concession and comfort stations. The Geiger Lake Town Beach and picnic grove was opened to the public on July 21, 1946. Geiger Memorial Lake was so popular that by 1948 "many houses" had been built on Elk Street on land with lake views.[63]

The town spent $156,000 refurbishing the Geiger Lake Pool in Wyandanch in the summer of 1989.[64] The Town of Babylon demolished the Wyandanch pool in 2011. A new children's spray park has been built and opened in July 2013. All other recreational facilities have been removed from the park including basketball courts (built less than 5 years prior), the children's playground, ball field and tennis courts. The William Geiger memorial monument regarding his donation and desires for land use has been removed.

Youth recreation[edit]

One of the major complaints voiced by young adults in Wyandanch after the August 1967 unrest was the lack of positive recreational activities. A youth center opened in January 1974,[65] and in 1984 the Wyandanch Youth Services, Inc. (WYS) was formed. Since 1998 WYS has operated a full service from a new purpose-built youth center.[66]

Religion[edit]

Catholicism[edit]

Until the early 1930s, Catholics from the area worshiped at St. Kilian's in Farmingdale. The first Mass to be celebrated in Wyandanch took place in June 1932 in a real estate building, with fund-raising eventually allowing construction of the Little Mission Chapel of the Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Roman Catholic parish, completed on June 28, 1936. An adjacent parish hall opened in 1941, followed in 1950 by an additional wing and a rectory.

The Franciscan Brothers[which?] moved their novitiate from Smithtown to the Wyandanch parish in 1949.[67][68][69][70][71][72]

Lutheranism[edit]

Lutherans in Wyandanch held their first services from August 1934 in the Republican Hall. In June 1938 the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church was opened on South 20th Street.[73]

Other religious institutions in Wyandanch[edit]

  • Community Nazarene Church, 58 Cumberbach Street (1950), the third oldest church in Wyandanch. The Community Nazarene Church was "founded in 1950 by the late Rev. Walter Eugene Hazard." The sanctuary of the Community Nazarene Church was opened in the early 1970s.[74]
  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Wyandanch (1995), established under the pastorate of Rev. Linda Smith. The initial church services were held in a church member's home, later in the Haskill's Funeral Home on Straight Path in Wyandanch and even later in a store front in Wyandanch.[75]
  • House of Prayer Church of God in Christ, 113 Mount Avenue (1988), created by Elder Charles Bond in May 1988. The initial service was conducted in Pastor Bond's house at 20 Russell Court in Copiague. Elder Bond moved the church to a rented storefront in Wyandanch at 1551-A Straight Path. In 1990, "the church had saved enough money to purchase its present building located at 113 Mount Avenue in Wyandanch."[76]
  • Al-Jamiyat Islamic Center, a multicultural Muslim community center on Straight Path road, where all five daily prayers are held.
  • First Baptist church on parkway blvd in wyandanch

Notable natives[edit]

  • Geoffrey Canada, activist and educator[77]
  • Rakim, rapper[78][79]
  • Daryl Mitchell, Born: July 16, 1965 (age 49), The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Dexter Walker on The John Larroquette Show, Leo Michaels on Veronica's Closet, and Eli Goggins on Ed

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Wyandanch CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  4. ^ Lorena M. Frevert, "The Town of Babylon", in Nassau-Suffolk: Two Great Counties, edited by Paul Bailey: Lewis Publishing, 1949:359–60.
  5. ^ Chauncey L.C. Ditmars, "A Story of the Conklin Family," Long Islander (Huntington) June 5, 1936: 4; Verne Dyson, Deer Park Wyandanch History, 1957.
  6. ^ Jasmin Frankel, "Teen's Eagle Scout Project Honors Lineage," Newsday online, April 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "West Deer Park". South Side Signal. June 5, 1875. p. 2. 
  8. ^ Seyfried, Vincent P. The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History: Part Three: The Age of Expansion. p. 189. 
  9. ^ Seyfried, Vincent P. The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History: Part Six: The Golden Age: 1881–1890. pp. 261–2. 
  10. ^ "BRESLAU! BRESLAU! Charles S. Schleier, Real Estate Dealer". Brooklyn Eagle. December 22, 1877. p. 3. 
  11. ^ "BRESLAU! BRESLAU! GRAND EXCURSION MONDAY, June 19". Brooklyn Eagle. June 6, 1878. p. 1. 
  12. ^ "TO THE CITY OF BRESLAU". Brooklyn Eagle. July 3, 1879. p. 3. 
  13. ^ Douglas, Roy (July 1987). "A Letter From Henry A. Brown". Long Island Forum. p. 152. 
  14. ^ "Timely Topics". The Long Island Traveler (Southold). June 9, 1882. p. 2. 
  15. ^ "The Sheep Fund". The Long Islander. May 16, 1884. p. 2. 
  16. ^ "The Old Conklin Farm at West Deer Park Sold," Brooklyn Eagle, October 26, 1902: 9; "Bishop Mc Donnell Gets Conklin Estate," New York Times, April 21, 1903: 8.
  17. ^ Denise M. Bonilla, "Fixing up the Family Plot: Aspiring Eagle Scout with notable lineage restores historic cemetery," Newsday November 17, 2011: A23
  18. ^ Rodriquez, J. Fred (Winter 1984). "The Wyandanch Post Office". Long Island Postal History Journal: 1–5. 
  19. ^ See "Pine Barren Pioneers," Long Island Forum, October 1982.
  20. ^ Douglas, "Pine Barren Pioneers," Long Island Forum, December 1982
  21. ^ "Non-Racial Dwellings Opened at Wyandanch," New York Times, March 11, 1951, 219; Louis B Schlivek, "Wyandanch: A Case Study in Conflict Over Subsidized Housing," in The Future of Suffolk County: A Supplement to the Second Regional Plan: A Draft For Discussion," November 1974: 52–56; Richard Koubeck, Wyandanch: A Political Profile of an African-American Suburb, 1971.
  22. ^ "When news of the tragic assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reached Wyandanch on Thursday evening, April 4, 1968, residents were stunned, saddened and angered. But, there was no violence in Wyandanch—unlike the major riots which erupted in many African-American communities in the U.S. The Wyandanch School District closed classes on Friday, April 5. In the months after Dr. King's killing, numerous efforts were made to assist Wyandanch." Abraham Rabinovich, "Wyandanch Negroes Cite Recreation Need," Newsday, August 5, 1966; Frances X. Clines, "Violence Strikes L,I, Village Again: New York Times, August 3, 1967: p.18; "LI Violence in 2nd Night", Long Island Press, August 3, 1967: p.1; Frances X. Clines, "Wyandanch Youths List Complaints in Move to End Strife," New York Times, August 5, 1967: p.8; John Childs and Gurney Williams, "Dennison Vows Wyandanch Aid," Newsday, August 10, 1967: p.3; Carole Ashkinaze and Maurice Swift, "Suffolk CORE, NAACP Plan United Effort," Newsday, April 14, 1968: p.23.
  23. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Wyandanch CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  24. ^ http://www.zip-codes.com/city/ny-wyandanch-2010-census.asp
  25. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Wyandanch CDP, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  26. ^ Dyson, The Deer Park-Wyandanch Story, 1957; Douglas, "Pine Barren Pioneers," 1982.
  27. ^ Dyson, The Deer Park-Wyandanch Story, 1957. On Long Island Avenue see: "Farmingdale," The Long Islander (Huntington) June 1, 1895: 4
  28. ^ "LIRR to Move Station at Wyandanch Crossing," Newsday, July 3, 1957
  29. ^ "Wyandanch to Get New RR Station", Babylon Town News, February 1958;
  30. ^ "Historic L.I.R.R. Station Is Razed," New York Times, June 11, 1958, 37.
  31. ^ http://www.sct-bus.org/assets/sct_systemmap.pdf
  32. ^ Dyson: 120.
  33. ^ Dyson, Deer Park-Wyandanch History, 1957; "VFW Post Burned: LI Violence in 2nd Night", Long Island Press, August 3, 1967: 1; Francis X. Clines, "Violence Strikes LI Village Again", New York Times, August 3, 1967: 18.
  34. ^ "Wyandanch Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corp". The Wyandanch Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corp. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  35. ^ Jane Snider, "2 Offices Join Ambulance Sanfu Probe", Newsday, February 15, 1979: 26; "Town O.K.'s Wyandanch Ambulance District," Babylon Beacon, December 4, 1980: 1; Scott Minerbrook, "A Nun's Effort Revives Dying Ambulance Corps," Newsday; Don Smith and Jean Schindler, "Official Seeks Better Ambulance Service", Newsday; "Town Approves Contract With Ambulance Service", Newsday; Mark Henry, "Nurturing a Needy World: Wyandanch Church Opens Its Doors, Heart to Help", Newsday, December 2, 1990.
  36. ^ Frank Mooney, "Health Care Dedication," New York Daily News, January 23, 1978: BNL1.
  37. ^ "Town To Work Towards New Water Plan", Babylon Beacon, September 25, 1980: 1; "Babylon Seeks Public Water For All Residents By '81," Babylon Beacon, November 13, 1980: 1.
  38. ^ "Two Long Island Villages Approve Propositions for New School Buildings," Suffolk County News (Sayville) October 25, 1935: 9; "Activities of School Supervisory Dist. 3," The Long Islander (Huntington) November 19, 1937: 12; "Deer Park Wyandanch," Lindenhurst Star, September 11, 1937; "Wyandanch Dedicates Its New PWA School," Lindenhurst Star, November 12, 1937: 9
  39. ^ C. Geral Fraser, "L.I. District First Target," New York Times, November 16, 1967; Jim Toedtman, "NAACP Bids State Act On Wyandanch", Newsday, November 16, 1967: 5; "Wyandanch Split By N.A.A.C.P. Plan," November 17, 1967: 38; John Childs, "School Board In Wyandanch Rejects Plan," Newsday; Gurney Williams, "What's Good For Wyandanch?" Newsday, January 8, 1968: 6-8W; Frances X. Clines, "State Weighing L.I. School Plan," New York Times, July 14, 1968: 32; Frances X. Clines, "Wyandanch Plan Refused by Allen," New York Times, July 26, 1968: 34.
  40. ^ Shawn G. Kennedy, "Wyandanch Teachers Strike Enters 7th Week in Standoff," New York Times, October 30, 1979: B2; "Wyandanch Teachers Gain a Tentative Pact After Long Walkout," New York Times, November 16, 1979: B4; "School Strike Ends," New York Times, November 17, 1979.
  41. ^ Oms.nysed.gov
  42. ^ P12.nysed.gov, John Hildebrand, "Schools added, taken off 'needs improvement' list," Newsday, November 4, 2010
  43. ^ "L.I. School Named For Negro Soldier Who Died a Hero," New York Times, October 3, 1966: 26.
  44. ^ News stories in Newsday and the Babylon Town Leader.
  45. ^ Progressing in Education: Chief School Officer: 1968–69 Annual Report: Wyandanch Public Schools. 
  46. ^ Prados, John (2009). Vietnam: the history of an unwinnable war, 1945–1975. University of Kansas Press. pp. 226–7. ISBN 978-0-7006-1634-3. 
  47. ^ "3 LIers Killed in Viet; One on Hill at Dak To". Newsday. November 21, 1967. 
  48. ^ Altherr, Stacy (September 20, 1999). "Martin Luther King Elementary Opens New Wing". Newsday. p. G23. 
  49. ^ "Propose College in Wyandanch To Train Ghetto Teachers," New York Daily News, March 6, 1969; "College Gets Moral Support," Long Island Sun, March 6, 1969; "Wyandanch College Plan Goes To State in 6 Weeks," Newsday, March 6, 1969; "Wyandanch Center 'Dream' Becomes Reality Wednesday," Long Island Press, September 29, 1969.
  50. ^ Kent D. Smith, "Day Care Group Breaks Ground", Newsday, September 14, 1970
  51. ^ Ahmid-Chett Green, "Helping Mothers Get Off Welfare," Newsday, July 23, 1973: A11
  52. ^ "The 'mayor' of Wyandanch", Newsday, February 4, 1973; Harriet Rosenberg, "Open Wyandanch Day Care Center," Babylon Beacon, March 1, 1973: 1,6; http://open.nysenate.gov/openleg/api/1.0/html/bill/J390
  53. ^ Denise M. Bonilla, "Head Start To Get New, Bigger Site," Newsday, March 12, 2012, A29.
  54. ^ "Wyandanch Library". Suffolk.lib.ny.us. 
  55. ^ "Peach Culture on Long Island", Brooklyn Eagle, November 3, 1885:25.
  56. ^ "Random Thoughts," South Side Signal, April 4, 1919:2; George Wm Fisher and Donald H. Weinhart, A Historical Guide to Long Island Soda, Beer & Mineral Water Bottles & Bottling Companies: 1840–1970. Nassau-Suffolk-Brooklyn-Queens, Long Island Antique Bottle Association, 1999. The Pennypacker Collection at the East Hampton Public Library holds several documents on water bottling in West Deer Park.
  57. ^ New York State Museum: 48th Annual Report to the Regents: 1894, Albany, N.Y.: University of the State of New York, 1895: 218–220; Verne Dyson, Deer Park Wyandanch History, 1957, 91–105; Roy Douglas, "Pine Barrens Pioneers," Long Island Forum, November 1982: 218–222
  58. ^ "Pickles and Peaches: Their Growth at West Deer Park", Brooklyn Eagle, September 24, 1882: 3.
  59. ^ Dyson, 118-9; "Paper Firm Buys Long Island Site," New York Times, October 5, 1947:R3;
  60. ^ "Start This Month on New Fairchild Plant," Newsday, March 2, 1951: 51;
  61. ^ Grumman archives, Bethpage, NY; "Lunn Laminates Moving to Town," Babylon Town Leader, November 23, 1961.
  62. ^ Roy Douglas' recollections
  63. ^ "Seek Lake For Kids' Beach," Newsday, May 15, 1945; "Kids to Get New Swimmin' Hole," Newsday, June 12, 1945; "Swimmin' Hole in Wyandanch May Get Aid From Township," Lindenhurst Star, July 6, 1945; "O.K. Swimmin' Hole," Lindenhurst Star, July 13, 1945; Dyson, Deer Park-Wyandanch History, 1957; "Babylon Dedicates Geiger Park Area," The Long Islander (Huntington) July 4, 1957: 11; "William Geiger" obituary, New York Times, June 14, 1934.
  64. ^ Dele Olojede, "Geiger Lake Pool Renovation OKd: Town Allots $156,000 for Wyandanch Work," Newsday, March 3, 1989: 33.
  65. ^ Kay Cordtz, "Nickels and Dime Add Up to a Center," New York Times, January 27, 1974.
  66. ^ Olojede, Dele (April 12, 1987). "A Site for Growing Youth Agency: Donation of Building to Center Considered". Newsday. p. 27. 
  67. ^ A.M.D.G. The Twentieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Parish of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal: Wyandanch, L.I.: 1932–1952. 
  68. ^ Our Parish History," Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Golden 50th Anniversary booklet: 1982. 
  69. ^ "New Parish Hall Is Dedicated". Suffolk County News (Sayville). December 5, 1941. p. 9. 
  70. ^ Firstman, Richard (November 21, 1984). "Church's Safety Net for the Needy". Newsday. 
  71. ^ Henry, Mark (December 2, 1990). "Nurturing a Needy World: Wyandanch Church Opens Its Doors; Hearts to Help". Newsday. 
  72. ^ Minerbrook, Scott. "A Battle in the War on Hunger". Newsday. 
  73. ^ "Trinity Church Opens Its Doors". Babylon Leader. June 10, 1938. 
  74. ^ Communitynazarenechurch.com
  75. ^ First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Wyandanch website. first-ame-church.org
  76. ^ houseofprayercogic.org House of Prayer Church of God in Christ
  77. ^ Current Biography, February 2005; HCZ.org Kery Murakami, "Geoffrey Canada inspires Wyandanch grads," Newsday online, June 25, 2011.
  78. ^ George, Nelson (2001). Buppies, b-boys, baps & bohos: notes on post-soul Black culture. Da Capo. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-306-81027-5. 
  79. ^ "The Microphone God". Vibe. Dec 1997 – Jan 1998. p. 134. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Verne Dyson, Deer Park-Wyandanch History, 1957 (Deer Park Public Library; available online at [1])
  • Roy Douglas, "Pine Barren Pioneers," Long Island Forum, October, November, December 1982 (West Islip Public Library)
  • Richard Koubeck, "Wyandanch: A Political Profile of a Black Suburb", Institute for Community Studies, Queens College, 1971 (Wyandanch Public Library).