Bethpage Historical Collection
Thomas Powell, a devout Quaker was the original owner of what is today parts of Farmingdale, Bethpage, Old Bethpage, Plainview, Huntington and Plainedge. When the first settlers came to what today is Bethpage, the land was still owned by the Powells, who have been in the area since 1695.
The first man to settle the area was Rowland Pearsall, who bought his farmland from a Powell. He lived near where Plainview Rd. intersects with Cherry Ave. from about 1748 until his death. The farm was in his family until the mid-1850's. The makeup of Bedeltown (as Bethpage was then known), remained basically unchanged for almost 100 years after its initial settlement. The growth of the town continued through the rest of the 19th century following the connection to the Long Island Railroad. Following the 1932 opening of nearby Bethpage State Park, the name of the local post office was changed to Bethpage on October 1, 1936. The name Bethpage was, however, already in use by an adjacent community,which resisted suggestions of a merger and instead renamed itself Old Bethpage. From 1936 until 1994, Bethpage was home to the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation.
Scope of Collection
Black and White photograph of the Powell Avenue School Class taken in 1935 in Bethpage, NY.