Copiague Community Profile
Copiague has been known by many names including "Powell's," after one of its earliest landowners, East Amityville and Great Neck. The name Copiague, derived from a Native American word meaning "sheltered place," was chosen in the 1890s.
Known then as Huntington South, President George Washington visited Copiague in 1790 during his tour of Long Island. In 1906, the Sovereign Realty Co. purchased large tracks of land north of the railroad, which were developed by John Campagnoli as the Italian-American neighborhood of "Marconiville" – named for wireless communications inventor Guglielmo Marconi.
Several other housing developments arose in the following decades, including Amity Harbor, Deauville Gardens and American Venice. Unique in concept and layout, the American Venice project was designed to emulate the grand City of Canals, Venice, Italy, complete with gondolas and bridges linking the neighborhoods. The Hawkins Estate neighborhood was once the stately residence of William E. Hawkins.
Established in 1911 as a two-story wooden schoolhouse, the Great Neck Road Elementary School is the oldest elementary school, still in use, in the Town of Babylon.
The name Copiague is derived from a Native American term meaning “sheltered place.” The community was also known as Powell’s, Great Neck and East Amityville, before the name Copiague was chosen around 1900.
President George Washington visited Copiague, then known as Huntington South, on April 21, 1790, during his tour of Long Island. Washington dined at the home of Zebulon Ketcham, writing in his diary that it was “a very neat and decent one.”
President Washington reportedly traveled Long Island in a cream-colored coach led by four gray horses, as depicted in this drawing from Historic Long Island in Pictures, Prose and Poetry, by Paul Baily, 1956.
In 1906, real estate developer Giovanni “John” Campagnoli designated the area north of the railroad tracks as Marconiville. The predominantly Italian–American settlement was named in honor of his schoolmate, famed wireless communications inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi made two known visits to Marconiville, in 1917 and 1927.
Guglielmo Marconi, the famed wireless inventor (center), made two known visits to Marconiville, in 1917 and in 1927. Giovanni “John” Campagnoli is pictured, at left. Courtesy of Robert LePorte.
The oldest elementary school in the Town of Babylon is the Great Neck Road Elementary School, which was built in 1911 as a two-story wooden schoolhouse.
The 1920s brought a number of summer and year-round developments to the bay front community, including American Venice, Amity Harbor and Hawkins Estate. The American Venice neighborhood was designed to emulate Venice Italy, complete with gondola rides down the Grand Canal. Hawkins Estate was once the property of William E. Hawkins, whose mansion later became Lakeside Hospital.
A postcard view of American Venice, circa 1926.