“Oyster Bay, a great place to live, work and play,” is our town motto. I whole heartedly agree with this statement. Oyster Bay is a beautiful town full of cute shops and restaurants. It has wonderful schools, a low crime rate, and friendly folks. The town has lots of parks. Of course, one of my favorite things about our town is that you can enjoy fresh fish and oysters year-round. Many folks enjoy coming to our town for its yearly Oyster Festival or learn more about our town’s rich history.
Oyster Bay has a unique geographical location on long island and is located in Nassau County, New York. Nassau County includes two other towns besides Oyster Bay; they are Hempstead and North Hempstead. The town runs from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island.
Indigenous people lived in the Oyster Bay area for thousands of years. In 1639, during the European colonization, the Dutch West India Company purchased the land from the Native Americans. The Dutch bought the land as part of a providence they called New Netherland. They referred to the land as Oyster Bay, because it was rich in fine oysters. Around the same time, the English were also creating settlements on Long Island. Boundary disputes between the two broke out over Oyster Bay. In 1643, the English purchased land from the Native Americans that included the land already bought by the Dutch. This caused further disputes between the Dutch and English. A lot of smugglers were able to profit from all the confusion. In 1653, the English settlers purchase Oyster Bay from the Matinecock tribe for six kettles, six fathoms of wampum, six hoes, six hatchets, three pairs of stockings, thirty awl-blades or muxes, twenty knives, three shirts, and Peague. In 1664, King Charles gifted his brother James with Long Island, and the Dutch relinquished their control of the land. The Oyster Bay settlement received its charter from New York in 1667 and became the township of Oyster Bay.
Long Island was mainly full of Loyalists during the Revolutionary War. Patriot Samuel Townsend, opened his home, Raynham Hall, to British troops to use as their headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Townsend was later jailed for his support of the patriots and the fear of him being a spy. His son, Robert, was an undercover agent for General Washington. He and his sister, Sally, obtained the information that led to the discovery of Benedict Arnold’s plot to defect to the British and turn over West Point to their control.
President Theodore Roosevelt grew up in Oyster Bay. He used his family home in Oyster Bay, Sagamre Hill, as the White House’s summer address from 1902-1908. You can tour this beautiful Victorian mansion today; it has been restored and is open for tours.
World War I and World War II brought change to Oyster Bay; the agricultural economy gave way to industry. Farms became businesses, factories, and housing. Today, Oyster Bay has a nice balance of industry and agriculture. After all, the town’s slogan is that “Oyster Bay is a great place to live, work and play.”
Oyster Bay has a population of 293,214 people. It is comprised of 18 villages and 18 hamlets with 99,355 households. The population density is 2,816.2 people per square mile. The median income for a household is $99,873, while the median income for a family is $115,095.
Oyster Bay is a wonderful town to have grown up in. I have found my community to be full of good, hardworking people. The schools and neighborhoods are safe and provide my children with a great education. The town provides plenty of places to shop and eat, but still has that rural feel. Whether you are just visiting the beaches, shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, or moving in, you will be happy you took the time to see what Oyster Bay has to offer.