Elmont, New York

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Elmont is a hamlet (and census-designated place) as well as a bedroom suburb of New York City, New York, United States in Nassau County, on Long Island. Elmont is an unincorporated area of the Town of Hempstead. The population was 33,657 at the 2000 census.

Elmont is famous as the home of Belmont Park Race Track, which has the world's largest dirt thoroughbred racecourse. Like many suburbs, Elmont has tree-lined streets, parks, old churches and temples, cultural festivals, parades and restaurants.

NFL quarterback and Heisman Award winner Vinny Testaverde grew up in Elmont and graduated from Sewanhaka High School.

Contents

History

In 1650, Christopher and Thomas Foster purchased a large plot of land controlled by Dutch settlers with the intention of raising cattle and sheep. They named this place “Foster’s Meadow” — a name which would remain for the next 200 years of the village’s history. Control of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam shifted to England in 1664, marking the first gradual cultural shift in Foster’s Meadow with the establishment of a community of predominantly English, Protestant farmers and their families. In 1683, Long Island was divided into three counties, Kings, Queens and Suffolk Counties; under this new structure, Foster’s Meadow was part of Queens County. The current boundaries of Elmont were decided upon in 1898; at this point, Nassau County was erected, leading to conflict over land and monies owed as a result of Elmont’s boundary shift from Queens. It was during the mid-19th century that Foster’s Meadow experienced its second cultural shift, with the influx of farmers from Brooklyn and Middle Village to the west. These groups were largely of German descent and practiced Catholicism. Indeed the Catholic population in Foster’s Meadow grew to the extent that St. Boniface Church was built in 1852, providing a focal point for the gradual development of a Catholic population base.

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