Lake Ronkonkoma, New York

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{household, population, female}
{island, water, area}
{water, park, boat}
{land, century, early}
{god, call, give}
{area, part, region}
{township, household, population}
{city, population, household}
{town, population, incorporate}

Lake Ronkonkoma is a hamlet (and census-designated place) in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 19,701 at the 2000 census.

Lake Ronkonkoma is located mainly in the Town of Islip, but has small sections in the Towns of Smithtown and Brookhaven.

Sachem High School North is located in Lake Ronkonkoma.

Contents

Geography

Lake Ronkonkoma is located at 40°49′47″N 73°6′47″W / 40.82972°N 73.11306°W / 40.82972; -73.11306 (40.829709, -73.113015)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.9 square miles (12.7 km²), all land.

History

The actual lake, Lake Ronkonkoma, adjacent to the hamlet, is the largest lake on Long Island. The land surrounding the lake itself is in the jurisdiction of Islip. The elevation of the lake surface is given as 55 feet (17 m) on the most recent USGS map, but as the lake is a "groundwater lake," not fed by streams, it has no surface outlet and its water surface reflects the current level of the local water table. This can undergo significant changes over time and the lake level experiences slow periods of rise and fall. In the late 1960s it was quite low; after several intermediate changes in level, in 2007 the lake was higher than at any time since, with a difference of well over five feet between the 1960s low and the 2007 high.

As a result of the lake's existence, Lake Ronkonkoma was once a resort town, until the area experienced a population explosion in the mid-1900s. Remnants of old resorts and hotels can still be seen around the lake's shores. Many summer cottages and bungalows from that period remain, now converted to year-round use.

The lake is the subject of a number of urban legends, mainly rooted in the area's rich Native American heritage. For example: 1. It's bottomless (and/or empties into the Long Island Sound or other waterways). In fact, the lake is relatively deep (approx. 100 feet) at its southeastern side, and is what's known as a kettle hole lake; 2. Every year the lake sacrifices someone. Specifically, "The Lady of the Lake" calls young men out to the middle of the lake and drowns them. In all versions, the lady is an Indian princess who herself drowned in the lake, for reasons that vary depending on the story. 3. There is a mysterious rise and fall of the lake that doesn't have any noticeable relationship to local rainfall totals. This has not been sufficiently explained either way.

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