Where is Exact Middle of Long Island

Middle Island Mail

February 5, 1941

Where is Exact Center of Long Island

     The two dots in the midrift of sketch map indicate roughly the center, depending on how you figure it. Eastward dot, for Yaphank, has certain authority; westward, near Lake Ronkonkoma, is the hub, by another reckoning. Read how the “engineers” labored to get the facts.

    The exact geographical center of Long Island is a matter of opinion, depending largely on the method used in determining the location of the central point of the irregularly shaped island. One of the methods is balancing an island map on a pin.

   This, in substance, was the reply received from the United States Coast and Geodetic survey in Washington, following an inquiry made by this newspaper.

   Another method, of bisecting the longest dimension, is given, with the result.

   Some of the old Yaphank folks say they have the central point of the island located to a certainty, with a surveyor’s mark (a short, stout, round post) to prove it. This post, says John Jones; who lives nearby in the hilltop residence on the Yaphank-West Yaphank road across from Camp Siegfried, was set out, according to his recollection, by the War department many years ago-perhaps as long as the eighteen-nineties.

   It is just east of Carman’s river, (the stream between the two ponds), we have it; the real center of Long Island. And where was it?

   The pinhole was found to be a trifle north of the Portion road, two and three-quarters of a mile east of the eastern shore of Lake Ronkonkoma.

   Just as a sideline test, another cardboard map was made with all the bay waters out, out, but leaving the beaches and the islands between the headlands. The central point on this map, determined again by balancing on a pin, was to be found a little way off the northwestern shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, at the junction of Rosevale Avenue and Smithtown Boulevard.

  So: Yaphank and Lake Ronkonkoma divide the honor, whatever that may amount to, of being the center of Long Island, all depending upon how you figure it.


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