Long Island: East Rockaway

East Rockaway, Long IslandEast Rockaway is a village located in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. It is in the Town of Hempstead at the base of the Rockaway Peninsula.

As of 2010 census, there were 9,818 people, 3,825 households, and 2,566 families residing in the area. The median income for a household in the village was $94,514, and the median income for a family was $113,125. The latitude of East Rockaway is 40.641N. The longitude is -73.67W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 10 feet.




The village started as a shipping and trading center for the south shore of Long Island. It was formerly named Near Rockaway and derives from an Indian tribe called Rockawanahaha meaning “the place of our people.” Because of its location as deep channels inland, the village was desirable for many ships. Sooner or later, Joseph Haviland built a grist mill on the Mill River through a land grant in 1688.




An oven was purchased to make bread for the surrounding population. The village boomed in shipping and milling over the years, even after several sales of the land. In 1869, the village’s name was changed to East Rockaway and became incorporated in 1900 as Floyd Johnson served as the president. At the time of incorporation the town had a population of only 969.




The Haviland-Davison Grist Mill is one of the historic landmarks that can be found in the village. It derives its historical significance from an association with the early settlement pattern and economic success of its south shore community. In fact, it was included in the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places validating the high esteem in which the Haviland-Davison Grist Mill is held locally. Now, it serves as a museum that opens weekends every summer containing village artifacts and historical material.




In addition to the Grist Mill, the village boasts a flourishing sea port, whose business increased when the building of the New York City Customs House left this Village with Raynortown the only free ports of entry in the vicinity. The construction of the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Railroad drew the center of trade from this Village to Pearsall’s Corners and several years later, the causeway for the Long Beach Branch put an end to East Rockaway’s days as a seaport.




The Baisley Free Library has become The East Rockaway Free Library located in a fine colonial brick building that is open to anyone. The East Rockaway Public School District is committed to provide safety and quality education of their students. The village also has a low crime rate making it a very safe to live. It is protected by the 4th Precinct of the Nassau County Police Department.

Find a list of Long Island Towns and hamlets in our Long Island towns section.

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