Former school principal Peter DiMento says he mainly chose to move his family to Islip 39 years ago because its small school district had a sound reputation. Those are qualities the town still boasts, DiMento says. However, in 1971 he paid only $47,000 for a five-bedroom house on an acre of land that abuts the National Wildlife Refuge. That’s a deal that no one would dream of finding in today’s market, he adds.
These days, DiMento volunteers at the Seatuck Environmental Interpretive Center — a 70-acre nature center on the former Scully Estate on South Bay Avenue — which opened to the public earlier this year. Volunteers like DiMento are still “cutting trails in the woods” and caring for the Scully mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Long-time Islip resident Chris Trojcak describes Islip as “small and friendly” with “cute shops” along Main Street. “A lot of the people I went to junior high and high school with still live here,” which is another reason she has no desire to leave, she says.