Amityville, New York

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Amityville is a village in the town of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, in the United States.

The population was 9,441 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Huntington settlers first visited the Amityville area in 1653 as a source of salt hay. Chief Wyandanch granted the first deed to land in Amityville in 1658.[1]

The area was originally called Huntington West Neck South (it is on the Great South Bay and Suffolk County, New York border in the southwest corner of what once called Huntington South but is now the Town of Babylon. According to village lore, the name was changed in 1846 when residents met to find a better name for its new post office. The meeting turned into bedlam and one participant was to exclaim, ``What this meeting needs is some amity." Another version says the name was first suggested by mill owner Samuel Ireland to name the town for his boat the Amity.[2]

The place name is strictly speaking an incident name, marking an amicable agreement on the choice of a place name [3]

The village was formally incorporated on March 3, 1894.

In the early 1900s Amityville was a popular tourist destination with large hotels on the bay and large homes.

Annie Oakley was said to be a frequent guest of vaudevillian Fred Stone. Will Rogers had a home across Clocks Boulevard from Stone. Gangster Al Capone also had a house in the community.

Amityville has been twinning with Le Bourget, France since 1979.[1]

The Amityville Horror

Amityville is best known as the setting of the novel The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson which was published in 1977, and has been turned into a series of films made between 1979 and 2005. The story of The Amityville Horror can be traced back to a real life murder case in Amityville in November 1974, when Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family at 112 Ocean Avenue. In December 1975 George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house, but left after twenty-eight days, claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena produced by the house. Jay Anson's novel is said to be based on these events but has been the subject of much controversy. The house featured in the novel and its film versions still exists, but has been renovated and the address changed in order to discourage tourists from visiting it. The Dutch Colonial Revival architecture house built in 1927 was put on the market in May 2010 for $1.15 million and sold in September for $950,000.[4]

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