Locust Valley, New York

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Locust Valley is a hamlet (and a census-designated place) located in Nassau County, New York. Locust Valley is an unincorporated area of the Town of Oyster Bay. As of the United States 2000 Census, the CDP population was 3,521.



The rolling hills of the north Shore of Long Island were laid down as terminal moraines by the receding glaciers of the last ice age roughly 10,000 years ago. The Algonquin tribe that settled the area, spanning from Flushing to Setauket, called the area "hilly ground" or Matinecock and as a result the Algonquin Indians who settled there became known as the Matinecock Indians.[1]

In 1667, Captain John Underhill negotiated with the Matinecock Indians to purchase land for a settlement that he and his fellow colonists would call Buckram.[2] The town name lasted for nearly 200 years, when in 1856 the name was changed to Locust Valley based on the number of locust trees located in the area.[2] On April 19, 1869, the Long Island Rail Road opened the extension of the Glen Cove line, via a single track to Locust Valley, making it the terminus of the line until the railroad was extended to its current terminus in Oyster Bay in 1889.[3]

With the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road, a commercial center developed and thrived around the Locust Valley station and the nearby intersection of Forest Ave/Buckram Road and Birch Hill Road. As the North Shore of Long Island grew into the Gold Coast in the early 20th century, the commercial center grew to serve the great estates that were being established in the surrounding communities of Bayville, Centre Island, Lattingtown, Mill Neck, Matinecock, Muttontown and The Brookvilles.[2]

In fact, by 1927, the wealthy Harrison Williams had established himself at his 150-acre (0.61 km2) estate "Oak Point" at Bayville, on nearby Pine Island. Weekend guests ( which several times included the Prince of Wales) arriving at the Locust Valley Station were often fetched in one of his fleet of Rolls Royce Motorcars which would stop in the hamlet for last moment provisions. In the 1940s and 50's, Locust Valley was the country home of Robert A. Lovett, a partner (with Prescott Bush) in Brown Brothers Harriman Bank on Wall Street and a former United States Secretary of Defense; Elizabeth Shoumatoff, renowned portrait painter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and other local luminaries; and finally, Leonard Hall, The National Chairman of the Republican Party. The hamlet was also a regular stop for rest and relaxation for the Duke of Windsor and Cole Porter.

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