Rockville Centre, New York

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Rockville Centre, New York
Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre
Rockville Centre's Eugene J. Murray Village Hall in September 2021.
Rockville Centre's Eugene J. Murray Village Hall in September 2021.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Rockville Centre, New York is located in New York
Rockville Centre, New York
Rockville Centre, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°39′48″N 73°38′13″W / 40.66333°N 73.63694°W / 40.66333; -73.63694Coordinates: 40°39′48″N 73°38′13″W / 40.66333°N 73.63694°W / 40.66333; -73.63694
Country United States
State New York
County Nassau County, New York
 • MayorFrancis X. Murray
 • Total3.34 sq mi (8.64 km2)
 • Land3.25 sq mi (8.42 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.22 km2)
30 ft (9 m)
 • Total24,023
 • Estimate 
 • Density7,551.52/sq mi (2,915.53/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)516
FIPS code36-63264
GNIS feature ID2391098

Rockville Centre, commonly abbreviated as RVC, is an incorporated village located in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County, on the South Shore of Long Island, in New York, United States. The population was 24,023 at the 2010 census.


Rockville Centre has been occupied by humans for thousands of years. Generally speaking, the people of the prehistoric Woodlands period East River culture are believed to have been the Algonkian-speaking ancestors of the historical Indian tribes of western Long Island.[4] The historical territory of their Lenape descendants, the Canarsie, Recouwacky (Rockaway),[5] Matinecock and Massapequa, included present-day western Long Island's Queens and Nassau Counties.

By the year 1643, there were roughly thirteen Algonquin bands (then referred to as tribes) living east of the Dutch-English settlements: the four or so Lenape chieftaincies in western Long Island, and Metoac descendants of the prehistoric Woodlands period Windsor culture living on eastern Long Island, considered by some to be branches of the Pequot: Merrick, Nissequoge, Secatoag, Seatauket, Patchoag, Poosepatuck (also called Uncachogee), Corchaug, Shinnecock, Manhasset and Montaukett.

Imported diseases had decimated the natives in 16th century. While disease was still a major factor during the decades of the 17th century, native mortality in western Long Island due to disease was similar to that of the settlers. Most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies; the colonies received many emigrants while the Munsee-speaking Indian communities did not. Their dire situation was exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts.

The Reckouakie tribe (the Reckonhacky chieftaincy) had left their original land in present-day Rockaway and its surroundings in Queens County to Dutch Governor Kieft in 1640 because he wanted it for better defense of New Netherlands.[6] Most settled to the east in what was to become Rockville Centre on the traditional land of the Matinecock (or of the Massapequa), with whom they had ties of kinship. Dutch and English settlers declared the 1639 treaty meant no Indians would remain in western Long Island (so they could sell it to emigrants), in contrast to the exact terms of the treaty which meant the Native Americans were willing to share the usufruct of unoccupied land, with the Dutch leadership having eminent domain superior to their sachem's eminent domain. This led to many conflicts, then four years of open warfare. The Reckonhacky / Rockaway were party to a peace treaty dated May 24, 1645 following the devastation of Indian communities by Dutch soldiers.[7][8][9] Violent expropriation dislocated them with the arrival of additional Dutch and English settlers.[10]

The hamlet was named "Rockville Centre" in 1849, after local Methodist preacher and community leader Mordecai "Rock" Smith. It was incorporated as a village in 1893.[11] Rockville Centre emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a commuter town connected to New York by the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).[12] In 1915, the New York Tribune went so far as to declare that Rockville Centre was a place in which "the average mortal could live happily."[13]

Like many Long Island communities at the time, Rockville Centre's population included a considerable number of supporters of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s.[14] When the white supremacist organization placed a wreath at the town's memorial to its war dead in 1923, the American Legion removed it in protest, but the city police received so many calls of complaint in response that they were forced to replace the wreath.[14] In the late 1960s, the village of Rockville Centre received a stinging rebuke for its failure to maintain public housing units primarily inhabited by African-Americans.[15] A report from Nassau County's Human Rights Commission stated Rockville Centre was "at best indifferent to, if not actually in favor of, Negro removal."[15] Martin Luther King Jr. visited Rockville Centre in 1968, where he addressed a large audience at South Side Junior High School on March 26, 1968.[16]

On February 17, 1950, two LIRR trains collided near Rockville Centre station, killing 32 and injuring more than 80.[17]

The Rockville Centre Post Office was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[18]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)24,550[3]2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

2000 census[edit]

At the time of the census[20] of 2000, there were 24,568 people living in the village, 9,201 households and 6,468 families. The population density was 7,496.5 people per square mile (2,892.0/km2). There were 9,419 housing units at an average density of 2,874.0 per square mile (1,108.7/km2); as of 2004,.[21] The racial makeup of the village was 84.3% White, 9.8% African American, 7.8% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.5% Asian, 0.08% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.0% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races.

There were 9,201 households, of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.25. The population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 women there were 87.9 men. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 81.9 men.

According to a 2007 estimate,[22] the median income for a household in the village was $99,299, and the median income for a family was $128,579. Males had a median income of $70,149 versus $43,800 for females. The per capita income for the village was $40,739. 5.0% of the population and 2.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 7.0% of those under the age of 18 and 5.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

2010 census[edit]

At the time of the census[23] of 2010, there were 24,111 people living in the village, 9,201 households and 6,468 families. The population density was 7,496.5 people per square mile (2,892.0/km2). There were 9,419 housing units at an average density of 2,874.0 per square mile (1,108.7/km2); as of 2010,.[24] The racial makeup of the village was 78.3% White, 8.6% Black or African American, 9.7% Hispanic or Latino, 0.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.0% Asian alone, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% Some Other Race, and 1.2% Two or More Races.

There were 10,002 households, of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 32.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.28. The population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 women there were 87.9 men. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 81.9 men.


U.S. Census map of Rockville Centre.

Rockville Centre is located at 40°39'48" North, 73°38'13" West (40.663390, −73.636831).[25] The village has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), of which 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) is water, the latter total comprising 2.38% of the total area.


The headquarters of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Sunrise Highway and North Park Avenue

Rockville Centre students attend the Rockville Centre Union Free School District, the Oceanside UFSD, and the Baldwin UFSD.

The Rockville Centre U.F.S.D. has five public elementary schools: The Watson School, The Covert School, The Wilson School, The Hewitt School, and The Riverside School. In addition to the elementary schools, Rockville Centre also consists of South Side Middle School and South Side High School. The district extends beyond Rockville Centre's borders, including part of South Hempstead, and Hempstead. Covert Elementary School is located in South Hempstead. Part of Rockville Centre is located in the Oceanside school district and a part in the Baldwin School District.

According to, South Side High School ranks 116th out of 752 schools in New York State. This is based on actual test scores. [3], In 2012, South Side High School was ranked #22 by U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools, and #2 in the state of NY. It has also consistently rated in Newsweek's The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,300 top U.S. Schools, #42 in 2008, #44 in 2007, #32 in 2006, #45 in 2005 and #65 in 2003.

Approximately 20 percent of the residents of the Village of Rockville Centre live in the Oceanside Union Free School District. Rockville Centre students attend Oceanside School #2 and Oceanside School #5 as well as the Oceanside Middle School and Oceanside High School and some live in the Baldwin School District attending Plaza Elementary School, Baldwin Middle School, and Baldwin High School in Baldwin, NY[26]

Rockville Centre has one private K-8 Catholic day school; The Saint Agnes Cathedral School. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School occupies a single campus. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School provides a day school education for Kindergarten through Eighth Grade for families across Nassau County. The Saint Agnes Cathedral School's upper school (9–12), though now defunct, shared the complex at one time. The school is widely regarded for their consistently high-rated academic program among Long Island private schools, as well as their diverse secondary school placement.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Rockville Centre include:

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax
Hall of Famer Floyd Patterson

In popular culture[edit]

  • The third season episode Long Island, of Dave Attell's television show Insomniac featured several locales in Rockville Centre, including Stinger's Irish Pub, the LIRR station, and the comedian's home.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Rockville Centre is mentioned as the home-destination of both Joel Barish (Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Winslet) when the two play hooky from work to visit Montauk.
  • Edward Burns has filmed scenes of several of his films in Rockville Centre.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ The Indian Archaeology of Long Island, Garvies Point Museum and Reserve, accessed February 2018.
  5. ^ Aboriginal Place Names of New York, Bulletin of the New York State Museum, 1907; page 179; accessed 8 February 2018.
  6. ^ Governor Kieft's Personal War, by Walter Giersbach; accessed February 2018.
  7. ^ Matinecock Masonic Historical Society: History Archived February 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, accessed February 8, 2018
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of Massachusetts Indians, by Donald Ricky, Somerset Publishers, Inc., January 1, 1998; page 158; accessed February 8, 2018.
  9. ^ The Munsee Indians: A History, by Robert S. Grumet, University of Oklahoma Press, October 22, 2014, page 61; accessed February 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Rather, John (September 10, 2000). "Rockville Centre: A Community Not Easily Pigeonholed". New York Times.
  11. ^ "History of Rockville Centre". Village of Rockville Centre. August 21, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  12. ^ "Rockville Centre a Growing Suburb". New York Times. August 14, 1910.
  13. ^ "Rockville Centre a Popular Town". New York Tribune. July 18, 1915.
  14. ^ a b "Seized Klan Wreath Ordered Replaced". New York Times. May 31, 1923.
  15. ^ a b Leventhal, Paul and RV Denenberg (February 15, 1966). "Rights Panel Report Assails Rockville Centre on Housing". Newsday.
  16. ^ Devlin, Marilyn Nunes (2011). A Brief History of Rockville Centre: the Heritage and History of a Village. London: The History Press. p. 101.
  17. ^ Strack, Ben (February 21, 2019). "Recalling Rockville Centre's deadly LIRR train crash 69 years later". Herald Community Newspapers. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ "Rockville Centre village, New York – Fact Sheet – American FactFinder". Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  23. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  24. ^ [2] Archived April 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  26. ^ portal (August 21, 2014). "Quick Facts about the Village". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  27. ^ Leggett, William. "Bioperse: Top Jockey Eddie Arcaro", Sports Illustrated, June 17, 1957. Accessed January 6, 2017. "Today he lives in his tastefully furnished home in Rockville Centre, on New York's Long Island, together with his wife (the former Ruth Mishkell) and their two children, Carolyn, 15, and Bobby, 13 (see picture above)."
  28. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob. "Comedy Schlub; Dave Attell's Insomniac kicks off its fourth season this week. A conversation with TV's funniest fat, bald, booze-loving loner.", New York (magazine). Accessed January 6, 2017. "Raised on Long Island, in Rockville Centre, Attell graduated from NYU in 1987 with a degree in communications, then began performing at open-mike nights, inspired by his comic heroes, Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison."
  29. ^ Valk, Garry. "Letter from the Publisher", Sports Illustrated, October 24, 1966. Accessed January 6, 2017. "With Whit Tower still in PAris after his coverage of the Arc de Triomphe, Pete was a natural choice to report the Big A's Champagne Stakes (page 28). He knows Aqueduct well, although his heart still hungers for the verdant Belmont Park (when he was growing up in Rockville Centre, N.Y., he spent a lot of time at Belmont, where he began betting horses at the age of 16)."
  30. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Sy Berger, Who Turned Baseball Heroes Into Brilliant Rectangles, Dies at 91", The New York Times, December 14, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2016. "Sy Berger, who transformed a boys’ hobby into a high-stakes pop culture niche as the father of the modern-day baseball trading card, died on Sunday at his home in Rockville Centre, N.Y., on Long Island."
  31. ^ Tommy Bianco, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed January 6, 2017.
  32. ^ Neuhaus, Cable. "Rude, Crude and Outrageous, John Byner's Bizarre Behavior Makes Him Cable's King of Comedy", People (magazine), December 12, 1983. Accessed January 6, 2017. "The chances of discovery were indeed bleak for Byner during his early years. The fifth of six children of Michael and Christina Biener, John does not have warm memories of his upbringing in Rockville Centre on Long Island, N.Y."
  33. ^ Staff. "John F. Carew Dies; Retired Jurist, 77; Member of the State Supreme Court 14 Years Presided at Vanderbilt Custody Suit Awarded Child to Aunt Figured in 1915 Row", The New York Times, April 14, 1951. Accessed January 6, 2017. "Rockville Centre, L.I., April 13—Former State Supreme Court Justice John Francis Carew died here last night at his home, 141 South Park Avenue."
  34. ^ Botte, Peter. "Cashman Knows Who's the Boss" New York Daily News, February 8, 1998. Accessed January 6, 2017. "Brian McGuire Cashman was born on July 3, 1967, in Rockville Centre, L.I."
  35. ^ "The Cast Of Characters In The Bc Caper". CNN. February 16, 1981.
  36. ^ Marshall, Angela. "Inventor wins national honor: Villager recognized for contributions to science" Archived May 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Rockville Centre Herald, April 10, 2003. "It is hardly a stretch of the imagination to believe that one day there will be a sign at the entrances to Rockville Centre saying 'Birthplace of Dean Kamen.'"
  37. ^ Kerry Keating Archived December 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, CSTV. Accessed November 17, 2007. "Keating was born on July 15, 1971 in Stoughton, Mass., and was raised in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He attended high school at Archbishop Molloy and graduated from Seton Hall Prep."
  38. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. "David Wong Louie, Who Probed Ethnic Identity in Fiction, Dies at 63", The New York Times, September 27, 2018. Accessed November 25, 2020. "Mr. Louie was born on Dec. 20, 1954, in Rockville Centre, N.Y., on Long Island, to Henry and Yu Lan (Mok) Louie."
  39. ^ Nichols, Joseph C. "30,000 Expected at Polo Grounds; Johansson's First Defense Likely to Bring Receipts of $750,000 at Gate", The New York Times, June 19, 1960. Accessed December 8, 2007. "Ingemar Johansson, a 27-year-old native of Goteborg Sweden, will make the first defense of his world heavyweight championship tomorrow night. He will oppose the previous title-holder, Floyd Patterson of Rockville Centre, L.I., in a fight scheduled for fifteen rounds at the Polo Grounds."
  40. ^ Howard Stern Archived December 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Newsday. Accessed December 4, 2007. "That was the last straw. In June, 1969, when Howard was 15, the Sterns made their move – to predominantly white, middle-class Rockville Centre."

External links[edit]