Named after medal of Honor recipient Major General Albert L. Mills, Camp Mills, in what is now modern Garden City, was once bustling with nearly 40,000 transient troops waiting for deployment overseas during World War One. Now Garden City is still bustling, but instead of a tent city there is an upper middle class neighborhood and near the center of the former camp sits a park which is now accustomed to children playing rather than troops marching.
Once the largest prairie east of the Allegheny Mountains the Hempstead Plains once exceeded 60,000 acres. The plains were famous for the breeding of horses and use for horse racing. In 1905 Belmont Park was created on the grasslands with a mile and a half track, the largest dirt Thoroughbred race course in the world. The grasslands are now covered with residential and commercial property spreading from Hempstead Village, Garden City and the majority of Nassau and some of Suffolk Counties.
Since the 1880’s over 140 million yards of sand has been dredged from the sand mines of Port Washington. This “Cow Bay Sand” as it was called accounts for 90% of the sand used to produce the concrete which built the sidewalks, skyscrapers, and infrastructure. Since ceasing production in 1989 the area has been redeveloped into a golf course.
Originally called the Hempstead Plains Aerodrome, Roosevelt Field Airport was renamed in 1919 in honor of Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was killed in ariel combat over the skies of France on July 14, 1918. The airport was also the takeoff point for Charles Lindbergh’s famous solo transatlantic flight in 1927. In the 1950’s the airport was converted inro one of the east coast’s largest indoor shopping mall.
Babylon Village was the home of the first professional African American baseball team. The team consisted of black service personnel of the Argyle Hotel who named the team the Babylon Black Panthers.
The Republic Aviation Corporation was once the predominant aircraft supplier for the Army Air Corp. and later the US Air Force. Now the site is home to shopping center.
Located in the village of Babylon, the spot where Guglielmo Marconi helped pioneer radio and first communicated with ships from his shore based radio station is now a quiet suburb.
East Farmingdale was once home to farms as far as the eye could see with homesteads strewn about. Now a large portion of what once was farmland is cemeteries and the mountain which is the Town of Babylon Dump and Incinerator.
Developed in the late 20’s American Venice was a section of Copiague modeled after Venice, Italy complete with gondola rides and all. The only remains are two pillars affixed with winged Lions.
Once home to one of the most notable family in Long Island history, the Belmont Estate now exists as much of modern day North Babylon and as the Belmont Lake State Park. This was once the road to the Estate's Mansion. Now the roadway sits barren of the carriages and vehicles which once came and went from the estate. The roadway sits tucked between the eastbound and westbound Southern State Parkway which sees thousands of cars pass by this unsuspecting strip of ancient roadway everyday.