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Historic Findings in Oyster Bay, NY

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The personal injury lawyers in Oyster Bay, NY, at Banville Law, present this article to share some historical information about the area.

The town of Oyster Bay is a hamlet and census-designated place on the North Shore of Long Island, NY. The town contains 18 villages and 18 hamlets. Oyster Bay hosts an approximate population of 6,707 residents with a population density of 5,589 per square mile and is located in ZIP code 11771. The town also belongs to The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District, created July 1, 1960, which currently hosts the Roosevelt Elementary School, James H. Vernon Middle School, and Oyster Bay High School.


The town of Oyster Bay was granted its name from its reputation for traditionally farmed oysters. Today, the oysters are the only source of traditionally farmed oysters from Long Island, providing up to 90% of all the oysters harvested in New York State.

Oyster Bay was settled by the Dutch and was the boundary between the Dutch New Amsterdam colony and the English New England colonies. The English settled in 1653, during which the boundaries between the Dutch and the English were fluid, leading to each group having its own main street.

Oyster Bay was a saving grace for many Quakers escaping Dutch persecution from Dutch authorities in New Amsterdam. Some notable Quaker settlers are:

  • Elizabeth Feake and her husband, Captain John Underhill
  • John Townsend
  • Henry Townsend
  • George Fox

During the Revolutionary War, Raynham Hall was owned by home the founding Townsend family. From 1778-1779, the Towsend home was used as the British headquarters for the Queen's Rangers.

John Simcoe led the headquarters and was often visited by British officer Major John Andre. According to local legend, during one of Major John Andre's visits, Samuel Townsend's daughter, Sally Townsend, overheard the officers discussing Benedict Arnold's plot to surrender the fort at West Point to the British. The plot was prevented when three Americans captured Andre near West Point, preventing what would have been a disastrous defeat for the colonists in the Revolutionary War.

Long Island Railroad

In the 1880s, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) extended rail service to connect New York and Boston. Soon enough, on June 21, 1889, the railroad was extended to Oyster Bay. Around the time LIRR service was introduced, Theodore Roosevelt, the future 26th President of the United States, chose to move to Sagamore Hill, present-day Cove Neck, a neighboring incorporated village.

President Roosevelt lived in Sagamore Hill until he died in 1919. His wife Edith Roosevelt continued to occupy the house until her death in September 1948. On July 25, 1962, Congress established the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site to preserve the house.

Honoring President Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay has greatly improved the hamlet. Since his passing, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park was established, and various other Roosevelt-related landmarks have been restored. Including the location of the first telegraph in Oyster Bay. There are also proposals to restore the Oyster Bay Long Island Rail Road Station, which was the home station of Theodore Roosevelt, and the Octagon Hotel, which was once an office to Governor Roosevelt.

Today, you can take an audio tour of the historic site on the Oyster Bay History Walk, tour produce by a local non-profit, the Oyster Bay Main Street Association.

If you enjoyed this article, check out: All About Brookville, NY

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: May 6, 2021
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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