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Islip is a close-knit hamlet where residents are active in many local civic and community groups.
"We have a lot going for us," says Kay Erwood, a second-generation resident, member of the Historical Society and commissioner of Keep Islip Clean, noting the school district, annual community events, historic churches, local businesses and the area's natural environment. Longtime resident Pat Smith, a sales agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman in East Islip, adds that she enjoys the shops and restaurants along Main Street, which is brick-paved and dotted by old-fashioned lampposts.
Spurred by local groups, Suffolk County acquired the 69-acre waterfront Scully Estate, a 27-room mansion, from the Audubon Society. At the foot of South Bay Avenue, past the Seatuck National wildlife refuge, lies Islip Town Beach, which offers a playground and views of Robert Moses Causeway bridge and the Fire Island Lighthouse.
Islip's neighborhoods offer housing choices from modest to lavish, including capes, ranches, Colonials, split-levels and contemporaries. Some residents living in an area by the bay belong to the Bayberry Association, which entitles homeowners to a private beach and docking. Buyers can also find condos, co-ops and a mobile home park on the Great South Bay.
Many residents turn out for annual events such as the Islip Street Fair in early May. The Holiday House Tour in December, which includes tours of houses by costumed guides, raises funds for Toys for Tots.
Brookwood Hall Park by Knapps Lake, the Islip Art Museum and Heckscher State Park are close by.
-Lisa Doll Bruno (5/28/2004)