Written by Island Trees Superintendent Charles Murphy Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00
The Levittown Historical Museum is a wonderful place to learn the storied history of Levittown, including the area known as “Island Trees.” I highly recommend taking time to either stop by the museum located on Abbey Lane or browsing their website at http://www.levittownhistoricalsociety.org/index.html. There is so much to be proud of in Levittown and the Historical Museum is another hidden gem tucked away in our community.
If you’re a Levittown history buff and want to see even more pictures or documents, our district office in the Stephen E. Karopczyc School on Farmedge Road has many old photographs and artifacts lining the hallway, as well as a detailed timeline of the history of the school district beginning in 1902. Often I’ll stop to examine the historic black and white photos and wonder what life was like for those Island Trees children.
One can imagine that most of the children in these dated photographs are long gone; however, many of them witnessed the transformation from a rural farming community to a hustling and bustling post-World War II suburb. Amazingly, we have photo of a young man casually roller-skating with a group of friends in the middle of Hempstead Turnpike.
Today it’s difficult enough to safely navigate Hempstead Turnpike with a car; in fact, it’s probably safer to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel than roller-skate on Hempstead Turnpike.
In the museum, a copy of a 1950 Time Magazine cover featuring William Levitt, the founder of Levittown, can be found and if you have the “time” there’s a lot more to see and learn about America’s most famous suburb.
Even more incredible at the Karopczyc School is the account of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Stephen E. Karopczyc’s heroic and ultimate sacrifice paid for his men during the Vietnam War – the bravest act one could ever imagine. Indeed, there’s much to learn and discover about our town.