Memory Lane



St. John's Episcopal Church in Oakdale

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Oakdale is located on Montauk Highway between Locust Avenue and Berard Boulevard.  Built in 1765 by William Nicoll, descendant of the first patentee of Islip, it was originally named Charlotte Church, after the wife of King George III of England. During the Revolutionary War, the church is believed to have been occupied by the British and used as a barrack. (1) According to local lore, some British soldiers died there and are buried in unmarked graves in the cemetery.
When the Revolutionary War ended, the church was renamed St. John’s Church, and the Nicoll family remained stewards of the church, which was adjacent to their home. The last Nicoll family descendant overseeing the church, Nicoll Ludlow, died in December 9, 1915 and his cremated remains are buried in the churchyard. (2) The church, which was placed on the National Register in 1994, is still active as an Episcopal congregation.
On a cold windy St. Patrick’s Day this year, George Munkenbeck, Islip Town Historian, gave us a tour of St. John’s Episcopal Church and its cemetery. He also filled us in on the remarkable lives of some of the members of the Nicoll/Ludlow families.   Click on the link and join us on Mr. Munkenbeck’s very informative tour of this historic Oakdale gem.


  1. Havemeyer, H. W. (1996). Along the Great South Bay: from Oakdale to Babylon, the story of a summer spa, 1840-1940 (p.10).
  2. “Admiral N. Ludlow Dies in 74th Year.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 10, 1915, pg. 8. Accessed April 20, 2017. Old Fulton NY Post Cards (