Lit up in blue
ISLIP TOWN—Drive past Islip Town Hall and look up. The cupola of the iconic brick structure is now lit up in the color blue, which just so happens to be one of the town’s official colors (the other is orange). The new hue is in tribute to the town’s 335th anniversary, which began last Thursday.
Just before dusk on Nov. 29, crowds gathered in front of Town Hall for the kickoff ceremony for the one-year celebration of the milestone. The Brentwood High School marching band led the festivities, which concluded with a community party complete with a birthday cake.
Supervisor Angie Carpenter presided over the ceremony and was joined by the Islip Town Board and community dignitaries. Among them was Islip resident Kay Erwood, who had worked on the committee for the town’s 300th anniversary and will offer advice on planning this year’s celebrations as well.
“We have a long history,” said Carpenter during her speech, noting that it was the same day William Nicholl had purchased the 500,000 acres of land from Chief Winnequaheagh of Connetquot and named the area Islip Grange after his hometown in Islip, England.
A timeline that’s on the town’s website notes that the first record of elections took place in 1704 and the first recorded town board meeting was held in 1720, which was presided over by supervisor Benjamin Nicholl.
During the Revolutionary War, British troops occupied Islip. The occupation, which ended in 1783, was followed by a visit by then-president George Washington in 1790, who spent the night in the now Suffolk County-owned Sagtikos Manor in West Bay Shore before heading east, stopping at various points along the way. That ride was reenacted during the 300th anniversary of the town in 1983.
Erwood had been the co-chair of the 300th anniversary, where a parade and reenactments were presented. She even hosted the Mayor of England at the time, Sally Morris, who had crossed the pond to attend some of the events. “It was a lot of work, but hugely successful,” Erwood said, noting that she’s looking forward to the 335th anniversary as well.
“People are looking for things to celebrate,” she added.
The upcoming planned celebrations include a Living History event at the Islip Grange on June 8, 2019, which will be followed by a Family Fun Day at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood on Aug. 29. An Islip Day with the Long Island Ducks is also planned, with the date yet to be announced. The celebrations will conclude at the end of 2019 with the burial of a time capsule.
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