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Roslyn Village

Municipal offices for the Village of Roslyn are located at 1200 Old Northern Boulevard, Roslyn NY 11576; phone: 516-621-1961.

Beginnings [1]

The village of Roslyn is located approximately 30 miles east of New York City on Long Island's North Shore ... and includes land area of approximately 400 acres at the base of Hempstead Harboro, one of approximately a dozen deep water inlets extending inland from Long Island Sound. The village is generally situated in the lower elevations of a ravine, extending a short distance south of the head of this inlet. The boundaries of the incorporated village parallel topographic features to some extent and are generally defined by the Oyster Bay branch of the Long Island Railroad and a steep hillside at the east, Warner Avenue, near the southern extent of the ravine, to the south, Willis Avenue, near the the top of the ridge at the west side of the village, and Northern Boulevard at the base of Hempstead Harbor, north of the village.

The village of Hempstead Harbor, later re-named Roslyn, was settled by New Englanders in 1643 at the head of the five-mile-long inlet of the same name extending southward from Long Island sound. The site of the small village was designated the Port of Entry for the larger town of Hempstead, which, before its partition in 1784, included much of present-day Nassau County and the grazing lands known as Hempstead Plains. As Port of Entry, the small settlement became the focus of the town's early transportation network which provided access to the interior of the township from the head of coastal navigation on the inlet. Agriculture in the Town of Hempstead remained at subsistence levels for several generations, and, therefore, shipping activity in Hempstead Harbor was probably light and resulted in relatively little growth during Roslyn's first century of existence.

The village's first industry of any consequence was milling. Between 1698 and 1709, John Robeson built a grist mill and mill dam, with the town's permission, near the head of the harbor on the approximate site of the existing mill building. The mill appears to have flourished and by the middle of the eighteenth century it was replaced by a mill of larger capacity. Before the time of the American Revolution, a saw mill and a paper mill were also built and the two extant mill ponds had assumed their present-day forms. Increased manufacturing and shipping resulted in modest growth in the village and perhaps a higher standard of living for some of its residents.

  1. Peckham, Mark L., Roslyn Village Multiple Resource Area, 1986, nomination document, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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