- 150th Anniversary
- North Babylon Community Profile
- North Babylon - the Name, the Zip Code, Etc.
North Babylon - the Name, the Zip Code, Etc.
The earliest written evidence of the name “Babylon” is found in the home of Nathaniel Conklin, built at the corner of Deer Park Avenue and East Main Street, in 1803. The name is commonly credited to Phebe Smith Conklin, Nathaniel’s mother, though two differing legends exist.
The first legend purports that she chose the name from the Bible Psalm “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.” However, a more scandalous version suggests that Mrs. Conklin was unpleased with the proximity of her son’s home to a raucous tavern at the American House. Referring to the alleged debauchery of Ancient Babylon, she declared “It is another Babylon!” Nathaniel retorted that “It is a New Babylon,” and engraved the name in his chimney stone.
Instead of “New Babylon,” the name Babylon was adopted. The post office name was changed from Huntington South to Babylon in 1830.
The Nathaniel Conklin House and stone inscribed “New Babylon – This House Built by Nat Conklin 1803.” The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The Nathaniel Conklin House, 280 Deer Park Avenue, Babylon, is now a museum. Images from the Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, 1936.
The name “North Babylon” appears to have started as a general reference to being the northern end of Babylon or an area north of Babylon. The broad area now known as North Babylon, West Babylon and the Village of Babylon was generally referred to as “Babylon” up through the late 1800s. The incorporation of the Village of Babylon in 1893 established a municipal boundary between the village and the hamlet of North Babylon, but much of the area north and west of the Village of Babylon continued to be referenced as “Babylon,” up until the mid-1900s.
In the decades after World War II, the rapid population increase and expansion of community facilities – schools, stores, and businesses – created the individual North Babylon community identity.
The Babylon Post Office was established on March 8, 1851, with Nathan E. Bassett as Postmaster, and likely served the areas now known as North Babylon, West Babylon and the Village of Babylon. In the 1800s and early 1900s, post office operations were typically conducted from an existing store/office location, and the merchant/Postmaster received modest compensation for the job.
Up through the mid-1900s, it was common for residents to pick up their mail from the post office. In 1910, for example, a letter addressed to “Miss Mary Jackson, Babylon, New York” or “Babylon, Long Island,” was sufficient to have the letter delivered to the Babylon Post Office, where it would wait for Miss Jackson to pick it up. (Residential mail delivery was established around 1950.)
Through the efforts of local civic associations and residents who felt that the North Babylon community had grown large enough to have its own Post Office, separate from the Babylon Post Office, a North Babylon substation was opened in the Sunset Village Shopping Center in May 1963.
Not just in the Town of Babylon, but across Long Island, the assignment of zip codes can cause confusion about “where” things are located. In 1963, the U.S. Postal Service introduced the basic 5-digit zip code, across the country. The North Babylon Post Office was assigned 11703. 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. Here are examples of addresses within the North Babylon zip-code and school district.
|Address||Post Office ||School/Library||Fire Department||Village or Town |
110 Deer Lake Drive
Hamlet of North Babylon, Town of Babylon
17 Whalen Street
Hamlet of North Babylon, Town of Babylon
67 Southards Lane
Village of Babylon, Town of Babylon
85 Erlanger Boulevard
Undetermined – straddles the general boundary between the hamlets of North Babylon and Deer Park, Town of Babylon