North Hempstead is one of three towns in Nassau County, New York, USA. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 222,611.
The Town of North Hempstead occupies the northwest part of the county. Its Supervisor is Jon Kaiman, a Democrat.
The area was first settled around 1643 and became part of the Town of Hempstead. During the American Revolution the south part of the Town of Hempstead was primarily Tory while the north part, having been settled by Yankees, supported the revolution. Following the war, the Town of North Hempstead was split off in 1784.
According to the "Our History" series in the LI-based newspaper, Newsday, "In September, 1775, almost a year before the future nation declared its independence from George III, the people of Great Neck, Cow Neck and other areas north of Old Country Road signed their own Declaration of Independence."
"The signers, passionate Patriots, declared their independence from the Town of Hempstead, which, in their opinion, had the bad habit of pledging allegiance to the king. Therefore, the northern necks declared themselves 'an entire separate and independent beat or district.' The 'beat' would officially become the Town of North Hempstead in 1784."
"During the Revolution, the northern Patriots had their own militia headed by Capt. John Sands of Cow Neck (now Port Washington), which invaded South Hempstead in search of arms. The rift caused a north-south animosity that would take years to heal."
"The first North Hempstead Town Board, headed by Patriot Adrian Onderdonk, had to cope with an impoverished area, devastated by an avenging British occupation. The councilmen met in Roslyn taverns and didn't get a permanent home until 1907, when the present town hall opened in Manhasset."
The Town of North Hempstead became more affluent with the opening of the Long Island Rail Road through to Great Neck, and the inauguration of steamboat service from Manhattan in 1836.
The Town of North Hempstead is made up of 30 incorporated Villages that had the right to set zoning restrictions to protect their rights and resources. No new villages have been created since 1936, when a revised county charter denied zoning power to future villages. There are also some unincorporated area in the Town of North Hempstead that are not part of Villages.
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