Hempstead (village), New York
name = Hempstead
settlement_type = Village
official_name = Village of Hempstead
nickname = The Hub, The 'Stead, Blackville
pushpin_label_position = none
pushpin_map_caption =Location within the state of New York
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = U.S. Census Map
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_type3 = County
subdivision_name3 = Nassau County
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1643
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1853
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Wayne Hall (D)
area_total_sq_mi = 3.68
area_total_km2 = 9.53
population_as_of = 2005 est.
population_total = 52,829
population_footnotes= [cite web | url=http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2005-04-36.xls | title=Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in New York, Listed Alphabetically:
April 1 2000to July 1 2005| publisher=U.S. Census Bureau | year=2006 | accessdate=2007-08-13]
population_density_km2 = 5,547
population_density_sq_mi = 14,356
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
website = http://villageofhempstead.org
Hempstead is a village located in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County,
New York, United States. Economically a satellite citycomparable to the city of Mount Vernon and one of the least suburban suburbs of New York City, Hempstead is legally an incorporated village. It is sometimes referred to "Hempstead Village" to distinguish it from the town of Hempstead. Hempstead is one of the few Black and Latinomajority neighborhoods on Long Island (along with Roosevelt, Uniondale, Freeport and Wyandanch). It is also home to a large Salvadoranpopulation. The population was 56,554 at the 2000 census.
Hempstead is the official home of the
New York Jets. The club's headquarters and training facility are located at Hofstra Universityand every summer, the Jets hold their training camp there. Hofstra University is technically located in Hempstead, although the area itself is actually on the cusp of the Hempstead-Uniondale border.
Hempstead is the home to the most dangerous street in Nassau County, Terrace Avenue, according to the Nassau County Police Department.
The village is also notable for having one of the busiest
Justice Courtsin the entire state, generating more revenue than any other town or village court.
In the fall of 1643, Robert Fordham and John Carman crossed the
Long Island Soundby rowboat to negotiate with the local Indians for a tract of land upon which to establish a new community or "town spot". Representatives of the Marsapeague(Massapequa), Mericock(Merrick), Matinecockand Rekowake(Rockaway) tribes met with the two men at a site slightly west of the current Denton Green in Hempstead Village. Tackapousha who was the sachem(chief) of the Marsapeague was the spokesman for the other tribes. [cite web | url = http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html | title = History of Hempstead Village | publisher = Long Island Genealogy (James. B. York - Municipal Historian of Inc. Village of Hempstead) | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-08-18] The Indians sold approximately 64,000 acres (260 km²), the present day towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, for items worth less than $100 in today's market. [cite web | url = http://www.villageofhempstead.org/history.htm | title = History of The Village of Hempstead | publisher = The Incorporated Village of Hempstead | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
In the spring of 1644, thirty to forty families left
Stamford, Connecticut, crossed Long Island Sound, landed in Hempstead Harbor and eventually made their way to the present site of the village of Hempstead where they began their settlement. Subsequent trips across the Sound brought more settlers who prepared a fort here for their mutual protection. These original Hempstead settlers were Puritans in search of a place where they could more freely express their particular brand of Protestantism. The settling of Hempstead marked the beginnings of the oldest English settlement in what is now Nassau County. They established a Presbyterian church here. Today that Church is the oldest continually active Presbyterian congregation in the nation. [cite web | url = http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html | title = History of Hempstead Village | publisher = Long Island Genealogy (James. B. York - Municipal Historian of Inc. Village of Hempstead) | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-08-18] By 1843, as written in a history compiled by Benjamin F. Thompson and published in that year, Hempstead Village had 200 dwellings, 1,400 residents, was connected to New York Cityby a Turnpike and a railroad, had dry soil, excellent water and pure air and was in short, the principal place of mercantile and mechanical business in this part of the country. The village of Hempstead was incorporated on May 6, 1853, becoming the first community in Queens County (Nassau County did not exist as a separate county until 1899) to do so. [cite web | url = http://www.hempsteadchamber.org/php/subFrame.php?linkid=8 | title = About the Village | publisher = The Village of Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, New York | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
It has been suggested that the new settlement was called Hempstead as a reminder of the English town of
Hemel Hempsteadwhere most of the original English settlers were born. Other suggestions regarding the origins of the name include one referencing a law during colonial times, requiring all farmers in the area to alternate one year, growing their cash crop, and the other year, growing hempto replenish the soil. This method of soil regeneration was known as cover cropping. However, the most likely origin of the name "Hempstead" is the anglicized form of the original Dutch name for the town, Heemstede. In the days of Dutch settlement, predating the English Colonies, when New York City was known as New Amsterdamand the general Tri-State area was known as New Netherland, "Heemstede" was probably named for the Dutch town of the same name. Hempstead's proximity to New York City (25 miles from Herald Square), an area controlled by the Dutch in 1643 raises the prospect of this considerable Dutch influence over the early development of the Hempstead settlement and its name. [cite web | url = http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html | title = History of Hempstead Village | publisher = Long Island Genealogy (James. B. York - Municipal Historian of Inc. Village of Hempstead) | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-08-18] Several of Hempstead's original fifty patentees had Dutch surnames. In 1664, the new settlement adopted the Duke's Laws, an austere set of laws that became the basis upon which the laws of many colonies were to be founded. For a time, Hempstead became known as "Old Blue," as a result of the "Blue Laws". [cite web | url = http://www.villageofhempstead.org/history.htm | title = History of The Village of Hempstead | publisher = The Incorporated Village of Hempstead | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
Coming To Prominence
As the years passed, the population of Hempstead increased, as did its importance and prestige. In 1703, St. George's Church received a silver communion service from England's Queen Anne.
George Washingtonand other prominent leaders of the Revolution often stayed in Hempstead. Right after he became President, George Washington made a tour of Long Island, stopping overnight at Sammis Tavern here (Nehemiah Sammis's 1683 Inn). Hempstead can boast of its share of celebrities. Eleanor Rooseveltlived here for a time as did Lionel Barrymore. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, actually spent her summers here during her teen years. Her family had a summer estate in Hempstead. Peter Cooper, inventor and politician, was a Hempstead resident. He married a local girl and settled here during the mid 1800s. Cooper invented the steam locomotiveand ran for President on the "Greenback" ticket. Charles A. Lindbergh, arguably the world's most famous aviator, spent quite a bit of time in Hempstead both before and after his epoch solo flight from nearby Roosevelt Fieldto Le Bourget Field in Paris, Franceon May 20, 1927. [cite web | url = http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html | title = History of Hempstead Village | publisher = Long Island Genealogy (James. B. York - Municipal Historian of Inc. Village of Hempstead) | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-08-18] While living here, Christopher Morleywas so enamored with the place that on the three hundredth anniversary of its founding wrote a beautiful essay in tribute. His first novel, "Parnassus on Wheels", was written on a kitchen table at his Oak Street, Hempstead home in 1917. [cite web | url=http://www.poetrybay.com/summer2003/ontherocks.html | title = ON THE ROCKS: Christopher Morley's Harborside Retreat | publisher = Poetry Bay Online Poetry Magazine | year = 2003 | accessdate = 2007-08-12] In 1704 the first stage coach on Long Island stopped to water its horses here. [cite web | url = http://www.hempsteadchamber.org/php/subFrame.php?linkid=8 | title = About the Village | publisher = The Village of Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, New York | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
American Revolution, Hempstead was a center of British sympathizers or Tories, as they were known. The British attempted to occupy Hempstead after the Battle of Long Islandand used St. George's as a headquarters as well as a place to worship. Judge Thomas Jones faulted a lax peace treaty for forcing the evacuation of the loyalists. [cite web | url = http://www.villageofhempstead.org/history.htm | title = History of The Village of Hempstead | publisher = The Incorporated Village of Hempstead | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
In March 1898, Camp Black was formed on the
Hempstead Plains(roughly the shared location of Hempstead and Garden City), in support of the impending Spanish-American War. Camp Black was bounded on the north by Old Country Road, on the west by Clinton Road, and on the south by the Central Line rail. Camp Black was opened on April 29 1898as a training facility and a point of embarkation for troops. [cite web | url=http://longislandgenealogy.com/CampBlack/CampBlack.html | title = Camp Black - Garden City, Hemstead Plains 1898 | publisher = Long Island Genealogy | accessdate = 2007-08-18]
In the 1800s Hempstead became increasingly important as a trading center for
Long Island. In 1853 it became the first self-governing incorporated village. Many prominent families such as the Vanderbilts and the Belmonts built homes here, making Hempstead a center of Long Island society. Hempstead merchants established routes out to outlying farms, and served as a distribution point for many firms. Wagons would leave Hempstead loaded with tobacco, candy and cigarettes and return in a week to restock. Bakeries covered routes from Baldwin to Far Rockaway daily. Butchers ran routes to Seaford, Elmont, Valley Stream, Wantagh, East Meadow, Creedmoor, East Rockaway and Christian Hook. Drugs, medicines, perfumes, extracts, aprons, children's coats and dresses and men's clothes were peddled about the country by Hempstead merchants. People came from all sections of Queens to purchase stoves, and there were few places outside Hempstead where stoves could be purchased. Hempstead was Nassau County's shopping center for more than two centuries. Hempstead has historically been the center of commercial activity for the eastern counties of Long Island. In Nassau County, all major county roads emanate from this village. It is indeed the "Hub" of Nassau County. During the 18th and 19th centuries, all stage coaches en route to eastern Long Island from Brooklyn passed through Hempstead. Today, twenty six bus routes and three interstate buses leave from the village every day. In addition, the Hempstead Branchof the Long Island Railroadhas its terminal here. At one time, there were three railroad companies with terminals within the village.
Early Long Islanders made their living in agriculture or from the sea. Hempstead, with its' central location, became the marketplace for the outlying
ruralfarming communities. It was a natural progression, as the surrounding areas developed from small farms into today's suburbia, that Hempstead Village would remain as the marketplace. Chain department storessuch as Arnold Constable and Abraham & Strauscalled Hempstead home for many years. Hempstead's Abraham & Straus was the largest grossing suburban department store in the country during the late 1960s. Hempstead was Nassau's retail center during the 1940s through the 1960s. The advent of regional shopping malls such as the one at nearby Roosevelt Field, the demise of nearby Mitchel Air Force Basein 1961 as well as the changing demographicsput the retail trade in the village into a downward spiral that it was unable to recover from during the recessions of the 1970s and 1980s. Recent years have seen the redevelopment of the village as a government center as well as business center. There are more government employees from all levels of government in the village than there are in the county seat in Mineola. The population rises during the day to almost 200,000 from a normal census of 50,000. [cite web | url = http://longislandgenealogy.com/hempstead.html | title = History of Hempstead Village | publisher = Long Island Genealogy (James. B. York - Municipal Historian of Inc. Village of Hempstead) | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-08-18] [cite web | url = http://www.villageofhempstead.org/history.htm | title = History of The Village of Hempstead | publisher = The Incorporated Village of Hempstead | year = 2006 | accessdate = 2007-08-12] [cite web | url = http://www.hempsteadchamber.org/php/subFrame.php?linkid=8 | title = About the Village | publisher = The Village of Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, New York | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
Hempstead has developed over the past three hundred and fifty years into the largest incorporated village in the state of New York, with a population in excess of fifty thousand people. It is also the seat of government for the town of Hempstead, the largest township or township-equivalent in the nation with over seven hundred thousand people. Hempstead is just as urban (at least with regard to population density and activity) as any major city. In stark contrast to the surrounding villages in the town and county, it is more densely populated than Vancouver, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, Providence, Los Angeles and even New York's own
Yonkersand Staten Islandin New York City. If Hempstead were a city, it would be the 12th most densely populated city in North America.
Retailers are once again showing interest in the village, and two large tracts of retail property have recently undergone redevelopment. The former convert|8.8|acre|m2|sing=on Times Squares Stores (or TSS) property on Peninsula Boulevard and Franklin Street has been redeveloped as Hempstead Village Commons, a convert|100000|sqft|m2|sing=on retail center including
Pep Boys, Staplesand Rite-Aid. The former Abraham & Straus department store on 17 acres has recently undergone demolition and been replaced by a large retail development consisting of Home Depot, Old Navy, Stop & Shopand many other smaller establishments. A considerable infusion of state and federal funding as well as private investment have enabled the replacement of blighted storefronts, complete commercial building rehabilitations and the development of affordable housing for the local population. The replacement of the 1913 Long Island RailroadHempstead Terminal with a modern facility was completed in 2002 and a four-story, 112 unit building for senior housing, with retail on the ground level was completed at Main and West Columbia Streets in January 1998. Thirty two units of affordable townhouses known as Patterson Mews at Henry Street and Baldwin Road was completed and fully occupied in 1997.
In 1989, Hempstead residents elected James A. Garner (R) as their mayor. He was the first Black or African-American mayor ever elected to office in New York state. He served for four consecutive terms. In June 2003, Mayor Garner was elected to serve as president of the
U.S. Conference of Mayorsand in 2004, Garner was nominated by the Republican Party to challenge Representative Carolyn McCarthyof New York's fourth district. Although it was initially thought to be a potentially close race, he eventually lost 63% to 37%. Six months later, in March 2005, he was unseated as mayor by Wayne Hall (D), yet another Black (Jamaican-American) mayor elect.
Hempstead consists of several areas or
neighborhoods that occasionally don't get along and have been known to be one of the main sources of much of the crime. Originally, there were only two sides of town, "The Heights" (Hempstead Heights) and "The Hills" (Hempstead Hills). Hempstead Heights is the area east of Clinton St and west of Westbury Blvd. Over the years, several new regions, or "turfs" have been established, including "Terrace" (also known as "TA" or Terrace Ave.), "Parkside", "Trackside" and "Midway","D-Block". A concerted effort to align all the communities has brought, at best, mixed results. Parkside and The Heights have been at odds since the mid-seventies and early eighties. Recently, the neighborhoods have begun to make peace but tensions are still tight.
Hempstead was also one of the first Long Island communities that had to deal with the
Salvadorangang, MS-13 or "La Mara Salvatrucha". The on going intra-violence this gang has exhibited has led to the formation of their arch-rivals, "SWP" or "Salvadorans with Pride".
There are fifty-seven religious institutions located in the village of Hempstead. They include a vast range of denominations, including,
Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheranand other Christianchurches, a Hindutemple, a Sikh Gurudwara, a Korean temple, a Hebrew Congregation and a host of storefront establishments. [cite web | url = http://www.hempsteadchamber.org/php/subFrame.php?linkid=8 | title = About the Village | publisher = The Village of Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, New York | year = 2007 | accessdate = 2007-08-12]
Hempstead includes several secondary schools:
*Sacred Heart Academy (all-girls')
*Hempstead High School was named Long Island's "High School of the Year" by Newsday in 1980. Former NFL wide receiver Rob Moore and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee John Mackey are both graduates of Hempstead High School as is New York State's Governor David Patterson
The Hempstead Schools were known for their lack of school buses, which led to and helps sustain the high dropout rate. An ongoing problem regarding the Board of Education has led to charges of corruption and political
cronyism, and has led to indictments for assorted larcenies. Less than 30% of students who enter 9th grade in Hempstead will graduate. Students who live on Hempstead Heights walk approximately a half an hour to school, which is in the middle of Parkside.
Hempstead is located at coor dms|40|42|17.86|N|73|37|2.51|W|city (40.704962, -73.617363).GR|1
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.5 km²), all land.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 56,554 people, 15,188 households, and 11,178 families residing in the village. The population densitywas 15,366.1 people per square mile (5,933.6/km²). There were 15,579 housing units at an average density of 4,232.9/sq mi (1,634.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 25.67% White, 52.48% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 15.22% from other races, and 4.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.81% of the population.
There were 15,188 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 27.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.41 and the average family size was 3.76.
In the village the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 16.3% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.
median incomefor a household in the village was $45,234 and the median income for a family was $46,675. Males had a median income of $29,493 versus $27,507 for females. The per capita incomefor the village was $15,735. About 14.4% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.7% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.
Points of interest
Hofstra University Arboretum
* Hempstead Bus Terminal
* Nassau County African American Museum
* St. George's Episcopal Church
* [http://www.villageofhempstead.org Official Village of Hempstead Site]
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