Bohemia is a hamlet (and census-designated place) in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 10,180 at the 2010 census. It is situated along the South Shore of Long Island in the Town of Islip, approximately 30 miles from New York City.
Bohemia is bordered by Central Islip and Great River to the west; Islandia, Ronkonkoma and Lake Ronkonkoma to the north; Holbrook to the east; and Oakdale, Sayville, West Sayville, and Bayport to the south.
The main school district in the town is the Connetquot School District. The zip code is 11716 and the telephone area code is 631.
Many of Bohemia's current residents trace their ethnic heritage back to southern Italy, Ireland, and the former Czechoslovakia; although the town has become more diverse in recent years. A large percentage of Bohemia's growing population has migrated to the town from western Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. Accordingly, there is a sizable population of first generation Bohemians.
Long Island MacArthur Airport is partially located in Bohemia (along with the bordering town of Ronkonkoma, New York). The airport serves travelers from the Greater New York Metropolitan Area and around the nation who want a more convenient alternative to the congestion at JFK and Laguardia airports. The airport's most popular destinations include: Orlando, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Connetquot River State Park is also located in Bohemia. The park provides an ideal location for horse back riding and because of this, the town harbors a unique equestrian culture. Many of the homes located along the park have stables and it is common to see locals walking their horses through the town's tree lined streets.
The area was founded as Bohemia in 1855 by Slavic immigrants who were the first Europeans to settle there in large numbers. These migrants came from a mountainous village near Kadaň in the Central European Kingdom of Bohemia, which is the town's namesake (Kadaň is located in present day Czech Republic). Their pilgrimage coincided with a wave of Bohemian nationals emigrating to the United States, many of whom embodied the free spirited and enlightened lifestyles synonymous with Bohemianism. They had taken part in the widespread revolutions against autocratic rule that had shaken Europe in 1848 and came seeking a new life in the United States. Work was hard to come by in New York and many of the men tried to support themselves as street musicians. An important contribution they made to the development of Long Island was adding their rich Central European folklore to the local culture, a nice compliment to the also rich oral tradition of the native people. Many of the first homes they built are located on the town's avenues and are distinguished by their cross gable roofs.
For 100 years, Bohemia remained a very small village most of whose residents were of Czech descent. With the development of all of Long Island after World War II, Bohemia also grew. At the time of the centennial in 1955, the population was about 3,000. Today there about 11,000 inhabitants from many national and ethnic backgrounds.