kids encyclopedia robot

Oyster Bay (town), New York facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Oyster Bay, New York
Town of Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay Town Hall in 2016.
Oyster Bay Town Hall in 2016.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Oyster Bay, New York is located in Long Island
Oyster Bay, New York
Oyster Bay, New York
Location in Long Island
Oyster Bay, New York is located in New York
Oyster Bay, New York
Oyster Bay, New York
Location in New York
Country  United States
State  New York
County  Nassau County, New York
 • Type Town Council
 • Total 169.40 sq mi (438.73 km2)
 • Land 103.74 sq mi (268.69 km2)
 • Water 65.65 sq mi (170.04 km2)
180 ft (55 m)
 • Total 301,332
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,904.68/sq mi (1,121.49/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code(s) 516
FIPS code 36-56000
GNIS feature ID 0979336
NWS SAME code 036059

The Town of Oyster Bay is the easternmost of the three towns which make up Nassau County, New York, United States. Part of the New York metropolitan area, it is the only town in Nassau County to extend from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island. As of the 2020 census, it had a population of 301,332.

There are 18 villages and 18 hamlets within the town of Oyster Bay. The U.S. Postal Service has organized these 36 places into 30 five-digit ZIP Codes, served by 20 post offices. Each post office shares the name of one of the hamlets or villages, but their boundaries are usually not coterminous.

Oyster Bay is also the name of a hamlet on the North Shore, within the town of Oyster Bay. Near this hamlet, in the village of Cove Neck, is Sagamore Hill, the former residence and summer White House of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and now a museum. At least six of the 36 villages and hamlets of the town have shores on Oyster Bay Harbor, an inlet of Long Island Sound, and many of these at one time or another have also been referred to as being part of the hamlet of Oyster Bay.


George Bradford Brainerd (American, 1845-1887). Camp Fire, Oyster Bay, Long Island, ca. 1872-1887
George Bradford Brainerd (American, 1845-1887). Camp Fire, Oyster Bay, Long Island, ca. 1872-1887. Collodion silver glass wet plate negative. Brooklyn Museum

Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. At the time of European contact, the Lenape (Delaware) nation inhabited western Long Island. By 1600 the band inhabiting the local area was called the Matinecock after their location, but they were Lenape people.

Following European colonization, the area became part of the colony of New Netherland. In 1639, the Dutch West India Company made its first purchase of land on Long Island from the local Native Americans. The English also had colonies on Long Island at this time. The Dutch did not dispute English claims to what is now Suffolk County, but when settlers from New England arrived in (present-day) Oyster Bay in 1640, they were soon arrested as part of a boundary dispute. In 1643, Englishmen purchased land in the present-day town of Hempstead from the Indians that included land purchased by the Dutch in 1639. Nevertheless, in 1644, the Dutch director granted a patent for Hempstead to the English.

The Dutch also granted other English settlements in Flushing, Newtown, and Jamaica. In 1650, the Treaty of Hartford established a boundary between Dutch and English claims at "Oysterbay", by which the Dutch meant present-day Cold Spring Harbor (to the east) and the English meant all of the water connected to present-day Oyster Bay Harbor. Meanwhile, the government of England came under the control of Oliver Cromwell as a republic, and smugglers took advantage of the unresolved border dispute. In 1653, English settlers made their first purchase of land in Oyster Bay from the local Matinecock tribe, though there were already some rogue English settlements there. For this purchase, the English settlers paid to the Native American Moheness (aka Assiapum), "six kettles, six fathoms of wampum, six hoes, six hatchets, three pairs of stockings, thirty awl-blades or muxes, twenty knives, three shirts and as much Peague as will amount to four pounds sterling." The monarchy was restored in England in 1660, and in 1664 King Charles gave Long Island (and much else) to his brother James, leading to the Dutch relinquishing control of all of New Amsterdam.

In 1667 the settlement at Oyster Bay received its charter from the new English colony of New York, becoming the Township of Oyster Bay. By 1687, the last piece of land was sold by the Indians, and few remained by 1709.

During most of the American Revolution the town was under the control of British forces. The town was originally part of Queens County, until the western portion of that county was amalgamated into New York City in 1898 and Nassau County was created in 1899. In 1918 Glen Cove, to the west, incorporated as a city and formed a governing system separate from the town. Following World War II, housing replaced farmland as the population grew from about 40,000 in 1950 to more than 290,000 in 1990.

Oyster Bay is home to the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in the Western Hemisphere, which opened in 1871. There are 40 buildings and sites presently named Town of Oyster Bay Landmarks.


The town of Oyster Bay extends from Long Island Sound in the north, south to the waters of South Oyster Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by the town of North Hempstead on the northwest and the town of Hempstead on the southwest. It is the easternmost of the three towns of Nassau County, with Suffolk County immediately to the east.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 169.5 square miles (439 km2), of which 104.4 square miles (270 km2) is land and 65.1 square miles (169 km2), or 38.42%, is water. As with most of Long Island, the north shore is hilly, the south shore has sandy beaches, and the area between is a plain.

Between the 1990 Census and the 2000 census, the town exchanged territory with the towns of Hempstead (Nassau County) and Babylon (Suffolk County). It also gained territory from the town of Huntington in Suffolk County.


Rail lines

The Long Island Rail Road's Oyster Bay Branch serves the town's vicinity from Glen Head to Oyster Bay. The Main Line runs through the center of the town from with stations in Hicksville, and Bethpage. The Port Jefferson Branch begins at Hicksville, and goes through Hicksville and Syosset. Rail freight service also exists along the Central Branch which begins in Bethpage. Further south in the town, the Babylon Branch runs from Seaford to the Suffolk County Line with stations in Massapequa and Massapequa Park.

Bus service

The Town of Oyster Bay is served primarily by Nassau Inter-County Express bus routes, though some routes from Suffolk County Transit also enter the town from the county line.

Major roads

See also: List of county routes in Nassau County, New York
  • I-495.svg Interstate 495 is the Long Island Expressway, and the sole interstate highway in the Town of Oyster Bay, with interchanges from Exits 40 in Jericho to part of Exit 48 in Plainview near the Nassau-Suffolk County Line.
  • Northern Pkwy Shield.svg Northern State Parkway is a suburban continuation of the Grand Central Parkway that has interchanges from Exit 35 in Jericho to Exit 38 in Woodbury. The route runs along the south side of the Long Island Expressway until Exit 37A, where it crosses the expressway and moves to the north side. As a parkway, no trucks are allowed.
  • Bethpage Pkwy Shield.svg Bethpage State Parkway A one-lane south-to-north parkway spanning from Southern State Parkway to Bethpage State Park that was proposed for expansion into the Northern State Parkway.
  • Southern Pkwy Shield.svg Southern State Parkway cuts through the southern portion of the town from in North Massapequa at Exits 29, 30, and 31. The rest of the road runs between the borders of South Farmingdale, and East Massapequa before finally crossing the Nassau-Suffolk County Line.
  • Ocean Pkwy Shield.svg Ocean Parkway is an at-grade parkway spanning almost the entirety of Jones Beach Island and completely dominating that island within the Town of Oyster Bay. After leaving Jones Beach State Park territory, it serves Tobay Beach before crossing the Nassau-Suffolk line in West Gilgo Beach.
  • NY-25A.svg New York State Route 25A
  • NY-25.svg New York State Route 25
  • Old Country Road
  • NY-24.svg New York State Route 24
  • NY-27.svg New York State Route 27
  • Merrick Road
  • NY-27A.svg New York State Route 27A
  • NY-105.svg New York State Route 105
  • NY-106.svg New York State Route 106
  • NY-107.svg New York State Route 107
  • NY-109.svg New York State Route 109
  • NY-135.svg New York State Route 135


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 4,097
1800 4,548 11.0%
1810 4,725 3.9%
1830 5,193
1840 5,865 12.9%
1850 6,900 17.6%
1860 9,168 32.9%
1870 10,595 15.6%
1880 11,923 12.5%
1890 13,870 16.3%
1900 16,334 17.8%
1910 21,802 33.5%
1920 20,296 −6.9%
1930 36,869 81.7%
1940 42,594 15.5%
1950 66,930 57.1%
1960 290,055 333.4%
1970 333,342 14.9%
1980 305,750 −8.3%
1990 292,657 −4.3%
2000 295,164 0.9%
2010 293,214 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

The 2019 American Community Survey determined the population was 293,576, estimating a 1.6% increase from the 2010 United States census. The racial and ethnic makeup of Oyster Bay was 75.5% non-Hispanic white, 2.3% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 12.5% Asian, 2.0% from two or more races, and 8.1% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.

As of the 2010 census the population was 85% White (80% Non-Hispanic White), 2.3% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 9.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.5% of the population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 293,925 people, 99,355 households, and 80,278 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,816.2 people per square mile (1,087.3/km2). There were 101,076 housing units at an average density of 968.4 per square mile (373.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.83% White, 1.64% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 4.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.06% of the population.

There were 99,355 households, out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 16.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $99,873, and the median income for a family was $115,095. Males had a median income of $60,726 versus $39,420 for females. The per capita income for the town was $35,895. About 2.0% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

In popular culture

  • According to Cole Porter, in his song "Let's Do It," "even oysters down in Oyster Bay do it."
  • Billy Joel mentions Oyster Bay in his song "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" on the album Piano Man.
  • Oyster Bay is the home of Jack and Dina Byrnes in the movie Meet the Parents.
  • In the HBO TV show The Sopranos, Oyster Bay is where Phil Leotardo is hiding and eventually killed.
  • Roger Barnes, played by James Spader, mentions owning a home in Oyster Bay in the movie Wall Street (1987).


King Kullen, a supermarket chain, is based in Bethpage. Aer Lingus operates its United States office in Oyster Bay, centered on the hamlet of Jericho. Cablevision Systems, a major cable company in the tri-state area has its corporate headquarters in Bethpage, New York, as well as a satellite office in Jericho, New York that contains its medium to large business solutions division, Lightpath. Acclaim Entertainment was originally located in the hamlet of Oyster Bay. It originally occupied a one-room office in Oyster Bay. At a later time it occupied a brick structure with two stories. In 1994 Acclaim bought a headquarters building in Glen Cove.


Both the State University of New York at Old Westbury and New York Institute of Technology or NYIT (and its affiliated New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine) are located in Old Westbury. LIU Post, the largest campus of the private Long Island University system, is located in Brookville.

Additionally, The Town of Oyster Bay boasts being home to the Jericho Union Free School District, the 2nd best school district in New York State and the country.

Notable people

  • Carter F. Bales (1938–2019), co-founder, chairman and managing partner of NewWorld Capital Group, LLC
  • John Barry (1933–2011), Academy and Grammy Award-winning film composer (died at his home here on 30 January 2011)
  • Nicholas Braun (1988-), Emmy nominated actor known for his role in the HBO series Succession.
  • Marie Colvin (1956–2012), award-winning reporter (killed by shelling at Homs, Syria, February 2012)
  • David Cory, writer of fifty children's books.
  • Sean Hannity (1961–), conservative media personality
  • Dan Ingram (1934–2018), Radio Hall of Fame member best known as a disc jockey at WABC and CBS-FM Radio from the 1960s through the 2000s
  • Billy Joel (1949–), singer-songwriter and owner of a custom motorcycle shop called 20th Century Cycles
  • Steve Israel (1958–), former US House Representative
  • Ken Labanowski (1959-), American-Israeli basketball player
  • Thomas Pynchon (1937–), National Book Award-winning novelist
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), 26th President of the United States
  • Henry Norris Russell (1877–1957), dean of American Astronomers, Professor at Princeton University
  • Tyce Thompson (1999– ), Ice hockey player for the New Jersey Devils
  • Micah Townshend (1749–1832), former Secretary of State of Vermont
  • Robert Townsend (1753–1838), part of Culper Spy Ring utilized by George Washington to help sway the American Revolution in the colonists' favor
  • Charles Wang (1944–2018), Chinese-American businessman; minority owner of the New York Islanders hockey team

Images for kids

kids search engine
Oyster Bay (town), New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.