About This Place
East Rockaway is a village in Nassau County, New York in the United States. The population was 10,414 at the 2000 census.
The Incorporated Village of East Rockaway is in the Town of Hempstead, adjacent to Lynbrook, Hewlett and Oceanside. The primary ethnicities are mainly Italian and Irish. The Waverly Park neighborhood, near the Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Center and along the border with Hewlett, has a sizable Jewish community.
Originally named Near Rockaway, the village began as a shipping and trading center for the south shore of Long Island. The village's location was desirable for ships because of its deep channels inland. Eventually a grist mill was built on the Mill River by Joseph Haviland through a land grant in 1688. The Haviland-Davison Grist Mill, located in Memorial Park, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Later an oven was purchased to make bread for the surrounding population. The village prospered in shipping and milling over the years, even after several sales of the land. Back in the 1960s A student from East Rockaway High School, named Donald Scaglione, attempted to steal the school's bell from the bell tower. Unknowingly the bell weighed to much to carry, even for Don, who was one of the football team's star offensive lineman. The bell was dropped. The Scaglione family was responsible for fixing the bell. The bell tower remains empty as of October 18, 2009.