Sayville, New York

Sayville, New York

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Sayville, New York
settlement_type = CDP
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = U.S. Census Map

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = New York
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Suffolk
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 14.5
area_land_km2 = 14.3
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_total_sq_mi = 5.6
area_land_sq_mi = 5.5
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 16735
population_density_km2 = 1169.3
population_density_sq_mi = 3028.4

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 6
elevation_ft = 20
latd = 40 |latm = 44 |lats = 47 |latNS = N
longd = 73 |longm = 4 |longs = 52 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 11782
area_code = 631
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 36-65409
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0964554
website =
footnotes =

Sayville is the name of a hamlet (and a census-designated place) in Suffolk County, New York, (USA) on Long Island. The population was 16,735 at the 2000 census.

Sayville is a community in the southeast part of the Town of Islip.


The earliest Native American inhabitants of Sayville were of the Algonquian Nation.

Sayville was founded by Nolanbud (b. 1738, East Hampton, New York). He built his home, the first in Sayville, in 1761, located at what is now the northwest corner of Foster Ave. and Edwards St. The house was destroyed by fire in March, 1913. Another man, John Greene, settled what's now known as West Sayville in 1767.

The community had no formal name until 1838 when residents gathered to choose a formal name. Until that time, Sayville was known informally as "over south." The townspeople held a meeting to decide on a name, and after Edwardsville and Greensville tied in a vote, one resident suggested "Seaville." According to historical accounts, the clerk at that particular meeting did not know how to spell and had to go home and look in an old Bible he had brought from England years before. In the Bible, the word "Sea" was spelled "Say," and "Sayville" became the name he sent to Washington. After the error was discovered, the town sent a letter of protest to Washington; however, the Postmaster General responded that the town's name should stay "Sayville," as there were many Seavilles in the world but no Sayvilles. As a result, the name stuck. Incidentally, in some very old Bibles, the town name is also spelled "Saville."

Sayville became important for its timber, oysters, and beginning in 1868 when the South Side Rail Road arrived, the hamlet became a summer tourist destination. Over 30 hotels were built in the area and travelers took advantage of the Sayville based ferry to Fire Island.

Between 1880 and 1930, many grand homes and estates were built in Sayville, including Meadow Croft, the home of John Ellis Roosevelt, a cousin of Theodore Roosevelt. Meadow Croft still stands and is part of Suffolk County's San Souci Lakes Nature Preserve. [,0,3706131.story]

In 1912 a German Telefunken wireless transmitter was built in Sayville to broadcast to Germany. In 1915 the transmitter allegedly relayed a message from the German Embassy to "get Lucy" referring to the RMS Lusitania which was sunk on May 15. Whether the signals coming from the transmitter in Sayville authorized the attack or not, they caused concern for the US government which dispatched Marines to ensure encrypted messages were not sent. The station was seized by the government outright after war was declared in 1917. President Woodrow Wilson sent a contingent of Marines to take the wireless station, thus the first hostile action taken by the United States against Germany during World War I was in Sayville.

From 1919 to May 1932 Sayville was home to Father Divine, a controversial African American religious leader who claimed to be God. His religious movement, which came to be called the International Peace Mission movement, managed a commune-like house on 72 Macon Street which was the first black-owned residence in Sayville. At that time Sayville was predominantly a seasonal vacation community, and Father Divine's followers made good livings as native house sitters. Because followers turned over all of their profits to Father Divine, he was able to build several expansions on the house. He even bought an expensive Cadillac automobile when neighbors complained about his noisy Hudson.

Father Divine's apparent flaunting of wealth annoyed the middle class town. Street-clogging traffic that Father Divine attracted made him unpopular even to businesses he patronized with large cash purchases. Following a June, 1932 trial and prison sentence for disturbing the peace, Father Divine moved to Harlem, New York claiming that Sayville was bigoted. However, the commune remained on Macon Street for many years. Father Divine occasionally preached in Sayville afterward, but the home was only an outpost of his movement, not its center stage.

Famous residents of Sayville past and present include Melissa Joan Hart, star of "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"; Mark Lotito, Broadway star most recently appearing in "Jersey Boys"; author Robert Roosevelt; Tom Westman, a New York City fireman who won $1,000,000 on the reality show Survivor in 2005; and Marlon Brando, who was discovered for his first Broadway role shortly after having the starring role in a summer playhouse production. According to Cynthia Blair of Newsday, Brando was expelled from an acting company, of the New School, in Sayville. [,0,5139728.htmlstory?coll=4thrail-bottom-promo]

Sayville is the embarkation point for ferries to the Fire Island communities of Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines and Sailors Haven, popular vacation communities for New Yorkers and Long Islanders. In between the two ferry terminals on the main land is the famous "Mallory Square" bar and grille, taking its' name from the square of the same name in Key West, Fl. The Sayville station of the Long Island Rail Road connects with the ferries via taxi and van services, and also serves commuters to New York City.


The community borders the Great South Bay. Sayville is located at coor dms|40|44|47|N|73|4|52|W|city (40.746282, -73.081112)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.6 mi² (14.5 km²). 5.5 mi² (14.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 mi² (0.2 km²) of it (1.07%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 16,735 people, 5,603 households, and 4,353 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,028.4/mi² (1,168.4/km²). There were 5,721 housing units at an average density of 1,035.3/mi² (399.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.81% White, 0.72% African American, 0.04% Native American, 2.03% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.02% of the population.

There were 5,603 households out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $75,236, and the median income for a family was $85,229. Males had a median income of $57,055 versus $35,091 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $28,723. About 2.5% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


*cite book|author=Edwards, Clarissa|title=A History of Early Sayville|publisher=Suffolk County News Press|year=1935|id=no ISBN
*cite book|author=Dickerson, Charles P.|title=A History of the Sayville Community|publisher=Sayville Historical Society, The|year=1975|id=no ISBN
* Ask Plucky Purcell of

External links

* [ Discover Sayville, Long Island]
* [ Official Sayville community Site]
* [,0,3706131.story "Newsday" article on Sayville, NY]
* [ Official Sayville 1977 30 Year Reunion]

** [ 1873 map of Sayville]
** [ 1888 map of Sayville]

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