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Hempstead Village is the oldest English settlement in Long Island's Nassau County and the county's first political core. Diverse from its inception, the village's historic scenery includes stately Hempstead Town Hall, elegant St. George's Episcopal Church, and the white spires of the United Methodist Church of Hempstead and Christ's First Presbyterian Church. Hempstead's network of founding families established an enduring community from which other communities were spawned. Its central location made it the go-to destination for early travelers; its renowned Sammis Tavern hosted Pres. George Washington during his 1790 trip across Long Island. In the late 1800s, Hempstead's transport accessibility and lovely scenery lured the fabulously rich to build estates and summer homes within and surrounding its borders. By 1910, Hempstead had become a retail and banking center, and by 1920, it was known as "the Hub." Today, Hempstead embraces a population that reflects the growth and change occurring throughout our nation.
About the Author
Reine Duell Bethany, Hempstead Village historian and author of Balanchine: Russian-American Ballet Master Emeritus (2012), accessed the archives of Hempstead Public Library, Nassau County Photo Archives, and Hofstra University Special Collections to curate this compilation of images detailing the village's history.