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The History of Melville, NY

The personal injury lawyers in Melville, NY at Banville Law would like to share the following about Melville's history.

Melville, NY


The Native Americans referred to the area of Melville as Sunsquams. However, by the 17th century, the area would be renamed after a prominent resident, Samuel Ketcham's Valley. School records show that the name would change one more time in 1854 to Sweet Hollow before Melville became its permanent name. There is speculation that the name Melville was derived from the Latin word for honey, "mel," due to the area's enormous population of honey bees. Others suggest it was in honor of the author, Herman Melville, but there were no records to tie him to the area.

A trolley line was completed in 1909 leading to the town. An extension took the trolley south to Amityville and as well as to Babylon and the Duryea Farm in Melville. Unfortunately, farmers opposed the trolley due to the noise upsetting the animals, and the line was shut down. Busses took over the commute of the trolley line, as did privately owned vehicles.

In 1947, the Melville Volunteer Fire Department was created. They are equipped with an annual budget of $1.5 million and offer the following services 24 hours a day:

  • any type of fire
  • heavy rescue or extrications
  • emergency ambulances
  • Haz-Mat
  • other related tasks


The neighborhood real estate ranks as one of the most expensive areas in America, with the average home costing $900,000. This predominantly white-collar town has a very low crime rate, and most of the residents hold four-year or higher college degrees. The average commute time for residents is above the national average, at over 30 minutes per day.

Melville is home to New York Senator and Senate Minority Leader Chuch Schumer's state offices.


The population was 14,533, as of 2000, consisting of 4,930 households. Of these households, 38.1% have children under 18. Married couples make up 72.2%, and only 6.6% were single mothers. The average income was $132,527, with 93.62% working in a white-collar occupation such as executive and sales roles. Some larger companies have their headquarters located in Melville, including the following:

  • Canon USA
  • ChyronHego Corporation
  • Leviton
  • Nikon USA

The community consists of residents with the following ancestries:

  • Italian
  • Irish
  • German
  • Russian
  • Polish

The racial breakdown of the area is as follows:

  • 89.93% White
  • 2.06% Black
  • 3.72% Hispanic or Latino
  • 0.03% Native American
  • 5.42% Asian
  • 0.07% Pacific Islander
  • 1.04% other races
  • 1.44% two or more races

If you found this article interesting, head over to our next on South Huntington in New York. 

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Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 243-8034

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: April 15, 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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