The legend of Captain Jacob Conklin is one of the most illustrious on Long Island. Having sailed with the infamous Captain Kidd, in his youth, Conklin later became a respected citizen of Colonial Huntington. In 1710, Jacob Conklin reportedly built the first dwelling in the Town of Babylon, on the north side of Colonial Springs Road in present Wheatley Heights.
The home built by Jacob and Hannah Conklin, around 1710. The Conklin home stood for more than 200 years until it was destroyed by fire in 1918.
Situated in the lower Half Hollow Hills, which have long been cherished for their natural properties, the clay and sand were found to be ideal for brick making. Capitalizing on the popularity of the region’s mineral springs, which were considered to have medicinal and curative properties, the Colonial Mineral Springs Company bottled water from several of the region’s mineral springs, in the mid-1800s.
An example of the bottle label used by a local water bottling company, around the late 1890s to early 1900s.
A small portion of the famed Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, operated from 1908 to 1938, ran through Wheatley Heights. Wheatley Heights was historically part of the hamlet of Wyandanch, although the community was separated by two school districts starting in the early 1800s.
The name Wheatley Heights comes from residential developments mapped out by real estate investor William Geiger, in the 1910s. In 1974, civic leader Hermann Griem led the effort to name the post office substation Wheatley Heights, establishing the community’s current identity.
Postcard image depicting Wheatley Heights Estates. The scene is believed to be Geiger Lake.
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