Village of Hempstead's 375th Anniversary

Welcome to Village of Hempstead's 375th Anniversary Historical Timeline. Here you will discover notable events that occured throughout our history. Move the grey box at the bottom left of the screen to view events across the timeline. Thank you and enjoy!

Founded in 1643, the Incorporated Village of Hempstead spans 3.7 square miles in the heart of Nassau County and has a population of more than 53,000 according to a 2010 census. In 1853 it became the first self-governing incorporated village, and is currently the largest and most densely populated village in the country. Within easy commuting distance of Midtown, Manhattan, it is one of the most convenient, sought-after residential and commercial locations on Long Island.

1643-12-13 00:00:00

The Founding of The Village of Hempstead

Seven representatives of Long Island native groups, led by Tackapousha of the Marsapeag (Massapequa), developed and signed a land use agreement with Englishmen John Carman and Robert Fordham near the center of today’s Hempstead Village -- an area controlled by Holland.

1644-04-14 00:00:00

Denton and Followers Move to Hempstead

In late spring 1644, Eighteen to twenty families followed Carman and Fordham from Wethersfield, Connecticut, under the leadership of Presbyterian Reverend Richard Denton, to create the new community of Hempstead.

1644-04-26 00:00:00

Hempstead's Earliest Church

During late spring 1644, Hempstead's first church -- later known as Christ's First Presbyterian Church -- was established with Reverend Richard Denton as pastor. Its congregants were not all Presbyterians, but nonetheless worshiped together in the meeting house built in the middle of the “town spot.”

1660-01-01 00:00:00

Nehemiah Sammis Builds Hempstead's Best-Known Hotel

Between 1660 and 1680, Sammis Tavern (Sammis Entertainment, Sammis Hotel – the name changed across centuries) established itself as the major hospitality business in Hempstead. An unbroken line of Sammis proprietors operated the hotel until its last vestiges were removed in 1929.

1664-03-01 00:00:00

English Laws Established in Hempstead

In 1664, Holland lost a war with England, so England gained control of Dutch counties on Long Island as well as Westchester. In March 1664 (1665 by the Gregorian calendar), Governor Richard Nicolls wrote out "the Duke's Laws" - an early constitution named after England's Richard, Duke of York.

1702-01-01 19:10:39

St. George's Episcopal Church Begins

In the year 1702, St. George’s Church, which is now called St. George’s Episcopal Church, began ministry as an Anglican (Church of England) congregation under Reverend John Thomas.

1735-04-01 19:10:39

St. George's Steeple

In the year 1735, St. George’s raised a new building whose dedication was attended by the Governor of New York and other officials. Its steeple with its famous golden weathercock still rises above Front Street.

1776-07-04 19:10:39

Hempstead's Residents Become Outlaws

On July 4, 1776, the legal status of Hempstead's residents changed. Nearly 100 percent were loyal to King George III of England. Hempstead resisted the American Revolution, so in the eyes of the very new U.S. government, Hempstead became an outlaw stronghold.

1802-09-22 19:10:39

Hempstead Gets a Post Office

On September 22, 1802, the tiny Village of Hempstead became the first seat of a U.S. Post Office east of Jamaica. Abraham Bedell acted as postmaster.

1812-01-01 19:10:39

First Days of Hempstead's United Methodist Church

During the year 1812, the United Methodist Church was established in Stephen Bedell’s home in the Village of Hempstead. Its present building was dedicated in 1822.

1831-01-01 19:10:39

Hempstead's First Newspaper

In the year 1831, Hempstead establishes its own newspaper, called "The Hempstead Enquirer." About 100 years later, the Enquirer merged with other papers to become the Nassau Daily Review-Star.

1832-12-15 19:10:39

Hempstead's First Fire Department

On April 23,1832, the State of New York legislature authorized the formation of fire departments. Hempstead established its own fire department on December 15, 1832.

1840-01-01 19:10:39

Jackson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

In the year 1840 (some sources say 1827), Jackson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was established in Peter Treadwell’s house.

1853-07-25 19:10:39

Hempstead Village Incorporates

On July 25, 1853, Hempstead Village residents voted to incorporate the village, with 88 votes for incorporation, 41 against. Village trustees were voted in during the same election. They immediately appointed John Augustus Bedell as village president.

1868-07-01 19:10:39

Liberty Hall on Front Street

In the year 1868, Liberty Hall arose across Front Street from St. George's. It contained a theater where famous actor Edwin Booth performed.

1869-07-01 19:10:39

Garden City Founded by A. T. Stewart

In the year 1869, Alexander Turney Steward bought nine thousand acres on Hempstead’s northern border and established Garden City.

1870-01-01 17:14:33

New York Socialites Call Hempstead Their Summer Home

During the years 1870 through 1920, wealthy New York socialites established summer homes throughout Long Island. Elliott Roosevelt who was Eleanor Roosevelt’s father, owned a summer home, 1888–1894, on Richardson Place, where St. Ladislaus Rectory now stands. August Belmont, Jr., who built Belmont Racetrack, owned an estate at Bennett Avenue and Fulton Street. Henry Van Rensselaer Kennedy and his wife Marion Robbins Kennedy built the estate that became today’s Kennedy Park. William and Kate Hofstra built their mansion at the east end of the village, which in 1934 became the site of Hofstra University’s first classes. Alva Belmont, a relative by marriage to August Belmont, Jr., built her mansion, Brookholt, just east of the village limits.

1874-01-01 19:10:39

Town of Hempstead Takes Over Washington Hall

In 874, the Town of Hempstead took over Washington Hall (built in 1870 by the Ladies Washington Sewing Society). The building functioned as the Town of Hempstead Town Hall until 1918.

1883-01-01 19:10:39

Hempstead's First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church of Hempstead held its first services in 1883. With its support, Union Baptist Church opened its doors in 1922.

1886-01-01 17:14:33

Hempstead Gets Electrified

Hempstead established itself as an up-to-date municipality when it installed its first village electrical system in 1886.

1887-05-01 17:14:33

Hempstead Bank

In 1887, Hempstead Bank opened its doors in the Samuel Seabury Building on Main St. Twenty years later, the proud stone Hempstead Bank was erected at the corner of Main Street and Fulton Avenue. This building still stands.

1889-01-01 17:14:33

Hempstead's Grand Public School

In the year 1889, Hempstead Public School was built at Henry and Prospect Streets with a large gym and 25 classrooms--by far the most impressive school building in Hempstead up to that time.

1893-01-01 17:14:33

Hempstead's Police Department Begins

In 1893, the Village of Hempstead named three officers to its first official police force: Robert Vandewater, George "Cutie" Gardner, and William L. Hooper. They patrolled at night only. Town of Hempstead constables patrolled during the day.

1899-01-01 17:14:33

Nassau County Is Formed

Until 1899, Hempstead was one village in the huge county of Queens. In response to the area's increasing population, Nassau County was created from the eastern half of Queens, which mainly included the Town of Hempstead, the Town of North Hempstead, and the Town of Oyster Bay.

1901-01-01 00:00:00

Black Episcopalians Found St. John's

Enter s1901 founding of St. John Episcopal Church on South Franklin Street, the first Episcopal church for African American congregants in the Village of Hempstead. (It has since merged under the same name with a congregation in Lynbrook.)tory info here

1902-06-01 00:00:00

Hempstead's First Trolley Service

In 1902, trolley lines began running from Brooklyn and Jamaica through Hempstead to Freeport. The trolley service continued for 25 years.

1905-01-01 17:14:33

Hempstead Develops Parks

Around 1905, Fulton Park, which is today’s Denton Green, was established in the center of the village. Harper Park was developed in 1913. Hempstead became known for its lovely parks, brooks, and ponds (which were subsequently enclosed in pipes to reduce persistent street flooding).

1906-01-01 17:14:33

Prospect School Opens on Prospect Street

The central section of Prospect School, initially called Public School No. 2, opened its doors Hempstead's elementary school students in 1906. Prospect Street was widened and renamed Peninsula Boulevard in 1957.

1907-01-01 05:09:02

Hempstead Bank Building Opens

As noted previously, in 1907, the Hempstead Bank Building at Main Street and Fulton Avenue invited its wealthy business customers into its new lobby. The offices of Hempstead Village government as well as the Hempstead Police Department moved from the second floor of the former Fire Department Headquarters into offices on the Fulton Avenue side of the Hempstead Bank.

1912-01-01 05:09:02

Hempstead's Sewer System Leads the Way

During 1912, Hempstead Village completed its sewer system -- the first in Nassau County.

1912-09-01 05:09:02

Hempstead's Washington Street School Opens

In the year 1912, the Washington Street School opened. Physician and Hempstead school board president Charles H. Ludlum helped establish smaller schools throughout the village, enabling young children to attend classes in their own neighborhoods.

1913-07-01 14:16:13

Alva Belmont Leads a Woman Suffrage Parade

In 1913, Alva Belmont led a huge women’s rights rally down Franklin Avenue from Mineola to Hempstead's Harper Park. The parade stopped in front of Prospect School, where speeches and awards were given.

1915-04-01 14:16:13

Hempstead Congregation Beth Israel Is Established

The first Hebrew minyan gathered in 1907 in Liberty Hall. It grew into the Hempstead Hebrew Congregation by 1915 -- today's Congregation Beth Israel on Hilton Avenue.

1918-01-01 14:16:13

Hempstead's Aviation Fields

The plains just north and east of Hempstead and Garden City had been military training camps since the Civil War. Now they became military aviation fields: Hazelhurst Fields #1 and #2. Hazelhurst #2 was renamed Mitchel Field in 1918 to honor former New York City Mayor John Purroy Mitchel.

1918-06-01 14:16:13

New Town of Hempstead Town Hall

Today's dignified, glamorous Town of Hempstead Town Hall arose on Front Street in 1918 built to replace the 1870 building.

1919-04-05 12:12:09

Hempstead High School Disappears in Flames

On April 5,1919, the 1889 Hempstead Public School, which had become Hempstead High School, burned irreparably. Dr. Charles H. Ludlum oversaw the erection of the new Hempstead High School on Greenwich Street in 1922.

1919-09-30 12:12:09

Hazelhurst #1 Renamed Roosevelt Field

Teddy Roosevelt’s son Quentin joined the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot in World War I. He was killed in action in 1918. The airfield Hazelhurst #1 was renamed Roosevelt Field in 1919.

1920-08-01 12:12:09

Legendary Coach Joseph Fay

From 1920 through 1947, Coach Joseph Fay led the Hempstead High School Athletics Department. Under his leadership, Hempstead High School became dominant in Long Island sports. Coach Fay broke the color barrier for participation by African American students in 1933 when he placed Zach Embry on the football team.

1921-05-01 12:12:09

Hempstead Country Club Opens

A broad tract of land known as Parsons Farm opened as the Hempstead Country Club. The wives of its members converted the old Parsons house into an elegant clubhouse.

1922-01-01 12:12:09

Hempstead First Theater was Built

Hempstead Theater, the first of three theaters built in Hempstead by Salvatore Calderone and his son Frank, opened on Fulton Avenue in 1922 with a seating capacity of 1,800.

1922-01-01 12:12:09

Union Baptist Church of Hempstead Is Established

Union Baptist Church, with a mainly African American congregation, officially began its thriving, still-ongoing ministry in 1922.

1922-01-01 17:14:33

1922 Union Baptist Church Established

En1922 Union Baptist Church, the first African American Baptist church in Hempstead and still one of the largest African American Baptist churches on Long Island, is founded. ter story info here

1923-08-01 12:12:09

Hempstead Professional Building Opened

In August 1923, the Hempstead Professional Building opened on Fulton Avenue near Cathedral Avenue. It was the first of its kind in the area: a central location for doctors and dentists, equipped with X-Ray machines and medical laboratories to serve the needs of the doctors’ and dentists’ offices.

1925-11-01 04:00:11

Our Lady of Loretto Roman Catholic Church

In 1925, Our Lady of Loretto Roman Catholic Church opened in its current location on Greenwich Street. Its present buildings were dedicated in 1954.

1926-05-01 04:00:11

Hempstead Lake State Park

During the second half of the nineteenth century, Hempstead Lake provided water to Brooklyn. After 1900, water systems underwent revision while New York State began establishing state parks. Hempstead Lake State Park opened in 1926.

1928-01-01 00:00:00

Antioch Baptist Church Established

1928 Antioch Baptist Church, a second specifically African American congregation, is founded on Union Avenue (now James L. Burrell Avenue).

1928-01-08 04:00:11

St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church

The congregation of St. Ladislaus began services in 1915 in the building that now serves as its rectory on Richardson Place. On January 8, 1928, the present St. Ladislaus Church was dedicated by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy.

1931-01-01 00:00:00

South Hempstead Baptist Church Established

1931 South Hempstead Baptist Church is founded, another response to the increasing population of African American families in Hempstead.

1932-01-01 04:00:11

Hempstead NAACP Branch Founded

1932 Hempstead Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded, the first NAACP branch on Long Island. Alverta B. Gray Schultz is its first president. Schultz was a Hempstead business woman and educator for whom the Hempstead middle school is named.

1933-09-01 04:00:11

A. Holly Patterson

In 1933, lawyer and village counsel A. Holly Patterson became the first Nassau County Presiding Supervisor to hail from the Village of Hempstead.

Village of Hempstead's 375th Anniversary

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