Stony Brook, New York

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Stony Brook is a hamlet (unincorporated community and census-designated place) located in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York, which is on the North Shore of Long Island. The population was 13,727 at the 2000 census.


General information

Located on the picturesque North Shore of Long Island, the area is home to, among other things, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, The Stony Brook School, and "Stony Brook Village." The history of the unincorporated "village" has been closely linked to that of Ward Melville, a local businessman who at one point owned much of what is still sometimes called the "Three Villages" (consisting of Stony Brook, the hamlet of Setauket, and the incorporated village of Old Field). The Melville-created Three Village Central School District today serves all three communities. See the Ward Melville Heritage Organization for some history.

Beginning in 1939 with the creation of his Stony Brook Community Fund, Melville began the transformation of the hamlet into his idea of an idyllic New England village, with white clapboard and quaint stores. This effect has been largely achieved in the population center, which consists of a green and a crescent of stores. In further pursuit of this goal, Melville donated the land and funds for the creation of the State University of New York at Stony Brook to the State of New York, as well as for the local school district.

The area has virtually no industrial or commercial base due to current zoning, and the rapid growth of residential development in the past decade has begun to place serious strain on schools trying to accommodate the increasing class size. However, the Three Village schools are generally ranked much above average.

The hamlet's tourist attractions include the Stony Brook Grist Mill and The Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, a large complex of buildings originally known as the Stony Brook Carriage House and Suffolk Museum. Other Stony Brook attractions are the 19th-century William Sydney Mount House, the elegant St. James Chapel, and the West Meadow Beach Historic District.

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