|Author||Sr. Anne Frances Pulling|
|Publication Date||May 5, 2004|
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Babylon by the Sea focuses on a seaside community that, once rich in salt marshes, attracted many of the area’s first settlers. Originally called Sumpawam, it was purchased from Native Americans in 1670. The township was formed from South Huntington and named Babylon in 1802 by Mrs. Conklin, a staunch advocate of the Bible. Babylon includes the villages of Lindenhurst and Amityville, and the hamlets of North and West Babylon, Copaigue, Deer Park, Farmingdale, and Wyandanch. This vibrant community evolved from a humble beginning of farming, fishing, and whaling into an attractive resort community.
The area was unknown until the nearby barrier beach, Fire Island, gained prominence as a summer resort. The South Shore line of the Long Island Railroad gave the seaside locality impetus when the train reached Babylon in 1867. Hotels and boardinghouses sprang up around town and beside the sea. Among the pleasure seekers were many wealthy New Yorkers who came in quest of the invigorating air and relaxation outside the city. The trip from New York took just over an hour; a trolley would meet the visitors and transport them to the Great South Bay. For many years, the South Shore Railroad was the only electrified train, and Babylon became the point of convergence for travelers bent on speed. The village also witnessed the birth of radio and wireless communication when Marconi contacted ships at sea from Babylon.
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