Barnum Island, New York

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Barnum Island, New York
Hamlet and census-designated place
Barnum Island Sign.jpg
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Barnum Island, New York is located in New York
Barnum Island, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°36′19″N 73°38′51″W / 40.60528°N 73.64750°W / 40.60528; -73.64750Coordinates: 40°36′19″N 73°38′51″W / 40.60528°N 73.64750°W / 40.60528; -73.64750
Country United States
State New York
County Nassau
 • Total 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
 • Land 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
Elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,414
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 11558
Area code(s) 516
FIPS code 36-04550
GNIS feature ID 1867393
Aerial view of Barnum Island and Harbor Isle from the west.

Barnum Island is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in Nassau County, New York, United States. The population was 2,414 at the 2010 census.

Barnum Island is an unincorporated area of the Town of Hempstead. Most of Barnum Island is separated from the Village of Island Park by the LIRR's Long Beach Branch rail line to Long Beach.

Barnum Island has its own fire district, but is under contract with the Island Park Fire Department for emergency services. Barnum Island is included in the Island Park School District and ZIP code 11558.


U.S. Census Map

Barnum Island is located at 40°36′19″N 73°38′51″W / 40.60528°N 73.64750°W / 40.60528; -73.64750 (40.605203, -73.647403).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), of which 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (28.24%) is water.[citation needed]


Previously called Hog Island, after the feral pigs introduced by early European explorers to the Native Americans, it was later renamed for Sarah Ann Baldwin Barnum. Between 1851 and 1870, her husband Peter owned large parcels of land on Long Island, though his primary business was a Manhattan clothier. Sarah Ann arranged the purchase of Hog Island for use as a "poor farm" - a self supporting almshouse, a social innovation for that period, and the island was renamed in her honor.[2][3]

Local lore connects the island's name to P.T. Barnum, the circus impresario, but this is incorrect, and likely due to confusion between "PT" and "PC" (Peter C.).[2]

The county discontinued the almshouse and sold teh island to developers in 1898 for $40,000.

The center part of the island was incorporated as the village of Island Park in 1926. The rest of the island remains unincorporated, withe the western portion known as Harbor Island, and the northeastern portion retaining the name Barnum Island. However, all three make up the original Hog Island/Barnum Island, and are part of the Town of Hempstead.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,487 people, 836 households, and 671 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,631.8 per square mile (1,021.5/km²). There were 854 housing units at an average density of 903.7/sq mi (350.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.56% White, 0.36% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.54% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.29% of the population.

There were 836 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.3% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 32.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $79,656, and the median income for a family was $82,742. Males had a median income of $56,563 versus $37,727 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $33,498. About 9.1% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.

Nunley's Ferris wheel[edit]

Nunley's Ferris wheel, formerly located at Nunley's Carousel and Amusement Park on the Baldwin-Freeport, New York border, is now located in Barnum Island, in Baldwin, New York. Nassau County purchased Nunley's Carousel in 1995, restored it, and reopened it in 2009 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York. Other Nunley's rides and games were sold at auction after the park closed in 1995 and are now scattered all over the country.[5]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b Amon, Rhoda. "Life Was No Circus". Newsday. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. [dead link]
  3. ^ Village of Island Park - History
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Berman, Marisa L. (2013). Nunley's Amusement Park. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 113–114. ISBN 9780738598222.