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Long Island Facts

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If you live on Long Island then chances are you know about its many great beaches, countless delectable pizzerias, and nearly infinite array of local delis and bagel shops, but there’s a lot more to LI than just scenic state parks and good food.

Check out these fun facts that will provide some insights into Long Island for anyone, whether they are a resident themselves or a visitor to the Island!

  • According to 2013 US Census data, LI is the most populus island in the United States.
  • If geographical Long Island were its own state, it would be the 13th biggest in the union with the highest population density.
  • There are 10 islands in the US that are physically larger than Long Island, but LI is larger than the State of Rhode Island.
  • Long Island is 118 miles long and 23 miles wide at its most distant points.
  • Both Queens and Brooklyn, boroughs of New York City, are physically located on the west end of LI, but the term “Long Island” is colloquially used to refer Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
  • Hargrave Vineyard was Long Island's first vineyard in 1973.
  • The Big Duck off Route 24 in Flanders was originally built by a duck farmer named Martin Maurer as a place to sell his duck eggs in 1931.
  • Long Island’s Gold Coast served as the backdrop to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby.
  • Glen Cove was the first Long Island community to have telephone service.
  • Long Islanders love their 7-11s! Back in 2013, 8 of the company's top locations by sales were all located in Suffolk County.
  • The Long Island Rail Road is the oldest railroad still operating under its original name in the US, and is also the busiest commuter railroad in North America.
  • Though many think it a monument, the large structure you view as you approach Jones Beach is actually a water tower.
  • Many famous bands and musicians came from Long Island, including Dream Theater, Twisted Sister, Mariah Carey, Blue Öyster Cult, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Billy Joel.
  • The windmill on the Stony brook Southampton campus is where Tennessee Williams lived and wrote in the summer of 1957.
  • The Grateful Dead have played at Nassau Coliseum more times (35 times) than any other musical act that has played there.
  • Suffolk Theater in Riverhead was once known as, "the Radio City Music Hall of Long Island."
  • The Hauppauge Industrial Park is the largest industrial park on the East Coast, containing over 1300 companies which in turn employ over 71,000 people.
  • Several professional sports teams play on LI, including the New York Cosmos and Long Island Ducks.
  • Well-known from books, movies and legend, the Amityville Horror House has had to have its address changed multiple times since the 1970s.
  • Belmont Park in Elmont is the site of the Belmont Stakes—the final leg of the horse racing’s Triple Crown.
  • The now-Brooklyn Nets were called the New York Nets when they played in Commack, West Hempstead, and Uniondale between 1968 and 1977.
  • In addition to vineyards, Suffolk County’s east end is also the site of many pumpkin farms.

[Source: US CensusEncyclopædia Britannica, State University of New York, State of Rhode Island, Newsday]