East Rockaway is a village on the south shore of Nassau County, Long Island. In 1689, Joseph Haviland built a gristmill, which became the center of economic, social, and cultural life for the next century and a half, until the arrival of the railroad changed the focus of East Rockaway. Shipping waned, milling became obsolete, and new families arrived as East Rockaway entered the 20th century. A picturesque community, the village was incorporated in an effort by the village fathers to fight against unnecessary taxation. Today East Rockaway is a suburban community, with many of its residents employed locally, and it embraces its portrayal as a somnolent, quiet village.