Amityville - the Name, the Zip Code, Etc.

The area that is now the Village of Amityville was part of a land deed known as the “Indian Deed of Three Necks, Southside,” recorded by Town of Huntington in 1658. Two of the necks, or peninsulas, comprise the southern part of the Village of Amityville – West Neck and Josiah’s Neck. 

Huntington Town records documented that West Neck, between Narrasketuck Creek and Amityville Creek, was referred to as “Araca” by the Native Americans, believed to mean “beyond” or “furthermost.” Josiah’s Neck, between Amityville Creek and Ketcham’s Creek, was reportedly known as “Surraway,” believed to mean “snake place.”

Prior names for the Amityville area included West Neck South. One of the first residential homes in what is now the Village of Amityville was the Eliza Chichester House built around 1735 on Park Avenue, later moved to Avon Place and then Mill Street. 

The naming of Amityville is attributed to Samuel Ireland (1789-1869), owner of a local grist mill. Legend states that during an antagonistic community meeting, in 1846, he suggested that the community adopt the name “Amityville,” taking the name from his boat, the Amity, meaning friendly. As printed below, local newspapers announced the new name. 

  

Long Islander, August 14, 1846, p. 2

 

  

Long Islander, September 4, 1846

 

South Side Signal, June 20, 1891

Not just in the Town of Babylon, but across Long Island, the assignment of zip codes can cause confusion about “where” things are located. Originally named West Neck South or Huntington West Neck South, the Post Office was established around 1840. The name Amityville was adopted in 1846, as detailed above. The Post Office was originally located at the stagecoach stop, to the west of Amityville, at Carman’s and Merrick Roads until 1846. In 1858, it relocated to the northwest corner of Broadway (i.e., “Road to Farmingdale”) and Merrick Road (i.e. “Babylon-Hempstead Turnpike”).

The Amityville Post Office was headquartered in the Triangle Building until the mid-1900s, pictured circa 1910.

 

Up through the mid-1900s, residents picked up their mail from the post office. A letter addressed to “Miss Mary Jackson, Amityville, New York” was sufficient to have the letter delivered to the Amityville Post Office, where it would wait for Miss Jackson to pick it up. (Residential mail delivery was established around 1950.) If letters were not picked up in a timely manner, a notice may have been printed in the local newspaper as a reminder.

In 1963, the U.S. Postal Service introduced the basic 5-digit zip code, across the country. The Amityville Post Office was assigned 11701. Using the digits 11701, mail addressed to Amityville, North Amityville or Amity Harbor, will reach its destination, although the Post Office name is just Amityville. The zip code assigned to addresses is based on the post office assigned to deliver the mail, but can be confused with all of the other facilities associated with an address.  

Mail delivery is an important part of our lives, to receive packages, holiday greetings and utility bills. However, postal addresses do not describe everything about an addresses. Here are four examples of addresses under the jurisdiction of the Amityville Post Office: 

Address
Post Office
School/Library
Fire Department
Village or Town

4 Barry Road

Amityville

Copiague

Copiague

Amity Harbor community, Hamlet of Copiague, Town of Babylon

12 Elm Place

Amityville

Amityville

Amityville 

Village of Amityville 

7 Jefferson Avenue

Amityville

Amityville 

North Amityville

Hamlet of North Amityville, Town of Babylon

121 Miller Avenue

Amityville

Copiague

North Amityville 

Hamlet of North Amityville, Town of Babylon