Elmont, New York

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Elmont, Nassau County, Long Island
Census-designated place
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Elmont, New York is located in New York
Elmont, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°42′06″N 73°42′09″W / 40.70167°N 73.70250°W / 40.70167; -73.70250Coordinates: 40°42′06″N 73°42′09″W / 40.70167°N 73.70250°W / 40.70167; -73.70250
Country United States
State New York
County Nassau
Area
 • Total 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 • Land 3.4 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 39 ft (12 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 33,198
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 11003
Area code(s) 516
FIPS code 36-24273
GNIS feature ID 0949582
Arched windows of the Belmont grandstand and tote board in 1999 photo
Covert Avenue School

Elmont is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) located in northwestern Hempstead in Nassau County, New York, along its border with the borough of Queens in New York City. It is a suburban bedroom community located on Long Island. The population was 33,198 at the 2010 census.

Elmont is famous as the home of Belmont Park which hosts the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing.

History[edit]

In 1650, Christopher and Thomas Foster purchased a large plot of land. The Fosters' land had been controlled by Dutch settlers from the Holy Roman Empire, under the Habsburg Dynasty-House of Lorraine (1524). The Fosters intended to raise cattle, and sheep on their newly settled land, the Hempstead Plains of Long Island. They named this place "Foster's Meadow" — a name which would remain for the next 200 years of the village's history.

Long Island has a rich cultural history, and the first settlers were First Nations. Native Americans were still here when Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailed on the South Shore, and discovered Long Island in 1524 under the House of Habsburg.

Long Island received its name used by the Indians of the mainland in preference to the Montauks recorded in early maps, narratives, or the rarer Paumanok. The explorer Adriaen Block called the island Lange Eylandt in 1614.[1]Long Island was called "'t Lange Eylandt" alias Matouwacs, Wamponomon, Paumanok, and Sewanhaka on Dutch maps of the 1650s.[2]

Lenape may have arrived as early as twelve thousand years ago. The Atlantic border of the United States of America was inhabited by the great Lenni-Lenape or "Original People," who believed themselves authentic. Among them the Algonquian peoples, or "Men of the East," who included the Long Island Indians, were called the "Eldest Sons of their Grandfather."

When Long Island was first settled by Europeans it was inhabited by 13 Tribes of Long Island or groups of Indians. The Canarsee, Rockaway, Merrick, Marsapeague, Secatogue, and Unkechaug lived on the South Shore. On the North Shore were the Metoac, Nesaquake, Setalcott, and Corchaug. On the East End of the Island were the Shinnecock, Manhasset and the Montauks. The Unkechaug Nation occupied the South Shore of Brookhaven with headquarters in Mastic, and Tobaccus was the Sachem of this tribe in 1664.

The Shinnecock were among the thirteen Indian bands loosely based on kinship on Long Island, who were named by their geographic locations, but the people were highly decentralized. "The most common pattern of indigenous life on Long Island prior to the intervention of the Europeans was the autonomous village linked by kinship to its neighbors." The Shinnecock are believed to have spoken a dialect of Pequot Mohegan, Montauk, similar to their neighbors the Montaukett on Long Island. Their languages became extinct sometime in the mid-19th century, as the numbers of native speakers drastically declined and they adapted to the majority culture of European Americans. A few words have survived to the modern day. The Shinnecock Reservation and Poospatuck Reservation, now federally protected, are the homes of these tribes, and they uphold this legacy on Long Island.

The earliest evidence for the Archaic period in North America of Native Americans was in Southern New York, dating from about 4,600 B.C. There are numerous archaic camp sites on Long Island, though few of them seem to date much before 2,000 B.C. The study of fossil plant pollen extracted from bog and marsh deposits indicate that the climate was warm and dry. The dominant forest trees were broad-leaved hardwoods, such as oak, hickory and chestnut. The nuts from these trees, as well as the forest undergrowth, provided ample food for a vast population of deer and turkeys.

Finds of charred hickory nut shells and other seeds and pits suggest that wild vegetable foods may have formed an important part of the Native Americans' diet. It is uncertain whether the Long Island sites were occupied the year around or if the band moved from place to place to exploit various food resources as they became seasonally available. This latter practice, known as the Seasonal Round, is documented much later in the 17th century A.D.

By the mid-17th century, ethnic descendents of Sephardi Jews were settling on the Hempstead Plains for agriculture. Control of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam shifted to England in 1664. This began the first gradual cultural shift in Foster's Meadow with the establishment of a community of predominantly English Protestant farmers, and their families. In 1683, Long Island was divided into three counties, Kings, Queens, and Suffolk County. Under this new structure, Foster's Meadow was part of Queens County. In 1790, George Washington passed through the town while touring Long Island. The current boundaries of Elmont were decided upon in 1898, when Nassau County was established. This led to conflict over land, and monies owed as a result of Elmont's boundary shift from Queens.

It was during the mid-19th century, that Foster's Meadow experienced its second cultural shift. There was an influx of Roman Catholic, and Ashkenazi Jewish agricultural farmers from Brooklyn, and Middle Village to the West. These ethnic groups were largely of German, and Italian descent practicing both Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. Indeed, the Catholic population in Foster's Meadow grew to an extent. The Church of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was built during the Wittelsbach Dynasty in 1852. The Roman Catholic Church was re-dedicated Saint Boniface Roman Catholic Parish, in honor of the Patron Saint of Germany in 1857. The Parish was providing a focal point for the gradual development of a Catholic population base. Rev. Peter Hartraub was essentially the founding pastor, and appointed the first resident pastor of Foster's Meadow in 1858. Rev. Peter Hartraub built a new rectory, and in 1887 a new school with four classrooms on the first floor, and an auditorium on the second. The Dominican Sisters were invited to teach in the Catholic School, and they built a Convent on parish land donated to them.

The community underwent its next political reshuffling in 1882, being subdivided into districts with unique names and boundaries (including Alden Manor and Locustwood); it was at this time that Foster's Meadow was renamed Elmont. In 1902, a syndicate headed by August Belmont II and former Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney sought land on Long Island to build the most elaborate track in America, one modeled after the great race courses of Europe. They found what they were looking for on the border of Queens County and Nassau County. Belmont Racetrack, was arguably the most significant milestone in the development of modern-day Elmont. Originally known as Foster’s Meadow, the 650 acres of land included a turreted Tudor-Gothic mansion owned by William de Forest Manice, which was to serve as the track’s Turf and Field Club until 1956.

With the opening of Belmont Park in 1905, Elmont reached a turning point in its history. The farms were sold, and subdivided for houses. Most of the new homes were owned by people, who worked at Belmont Racetrack. Many businesses were formed on Hempstead Turnpike, to support the blooming suburban location. By 1915, the Racetrack was opened to the public, attracting both visitors and migrant workers to the area. Housing developments and businesses grew in the area surrounding the racetrack to meet the needs of these workers. This process of development to meet the workers' needs followed in successive waves, ultimately representing a shift in Elmont from rural farmland to suburbia.

Belmont Racetrack hosted the first air race ever in the United States of America. In 1910 the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, staged an international aerial competition at Belmont Park that drew 150,000 spectators. This air race was flown from Elmont, Nassau County, to the Statue of Liberty, and back .

The United States Postal Service, in 1918, delivered their first inter-city Air Mail Service between New York, and Washington, D.C.. Belmont Park in Elmont, Nassau County, was designated as the delivery terminal for New York.

Belmont Park was the site of “War Relief Day” in 1940 to benefit the American Red Cross and in 1943 hosted “Back the Attack” Day, wherein fans had to buy a war bond to gain admission to the track. Total receipts that day were between $25 and $30 million. Towards the end of World War II, the United States Army liberated the House of Wittelsbach European Royal Family members that were in persecution. Many other poor and wealthy European Jewish families also survived by being rescued by the United States Armed Forces.

Elmont, Long Island was now creating a new widespread development of attractive suburban tract homes. Many of these homes were constructed with a brick-veneer ground story over basement in variations of the cape style, down towards Dutch Broadway in Elmont. Up on Hempstead Turnpike to the East, older smaller shingled homes cluster near Belmont Park.

Education[edit]

Long Island and Nassau County specifically are consistently ranked nationally for providing outstanding education.

Elmont is served mainly by the nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Elmont Memorial High School which is part of the Sewanhaka Central High School District.

Only a small section of Elmont is zoned to Sewanhaka High School. Most students who attend live in the villages of Floral Park and Stewart Manor, New York.

Elmont Memorial High School, former lacrosse powerhouse, recently was recognized as having the largest percentage of African-American high school students receive a "3" or higher on Advanced Placement tests nationally. In 2004, it had a graduation rate of 100 percent which was a first for the Sewanhaka Central High School District.

Elmont Memorial is also known for having its award winning Model United Nations club. Elmont's Model UN team is known for beating thousands of high schools in the conferences that they attend.<http://bestdelegate.com/north-americas-best-high-school-model-un-teams-2011-2012-spring-rankings-top-50/> Their slogan, Elmont is UNique, has been proven many times since 1978. Model UN is known for being in many affluent neighborhoods with students from affluent backgrounds such as Chelsea Clinton and Ryan Seacrest.<http://photos.state.gov/libraries/amgov/30145/publications-english/EJ_20120822_ModelUN_DGW_English.pdf>

Sewanhaka High School is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best high schools in the state of New York and the nation.<http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-york/districts/sewanhaka-central-high-school-district/sewanhaka-high-school-14066> Some students can also attend the other high schools in the district for special programs.

The Elmont Union Free School District provides outstanding primary school education for Elmont residents. In 2005, the Elmont Union Free School District was recognized by the New York State Comptroller as one of 5 out of 52 districts cited as "well managed."

Closest elementary schools[edit]

  • Dutch Broadway School (Grades K-6, Students: 997)
  • Clara H. Carlson School (Grades K-6, Students: 885)
  • Gotham Avenue School (Grades K-6, Students: 814)
  • Covert Avenue School (Grades K-6, Students: 721)
  • Alden Terrace School (Grades K-6, Students: 550)
  • Stewart Manor School (Grades K-6, Students: 344)

Closest high schools[edit]

Closest colleges and universities[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Elmont is located on the border of Queens County of New York City and Nassau County.

Closest airports include:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) provides race-day-only passenger service to Belmont Park from Jamaica and Penn Station. Elmont is near the Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Valley Stream stations of the LIRR which provide regular commuter service to NYC.

The Nassau Inter-County Express system serves Elmont with routes n1 (Elmont Road/Central Ave.), n2 (Meacham Ave./N Fletcher Ave.), n6 (Hempstead Turnpike) & n8 (Franklin Ave./Dutch Broadway/Hook Creek Blvd.) for connections to the LIRR & NYC subways and buses.

Elmont is located at the junction of the Cross Island Parkway, Belt Parkway, and Southern State Parkway, providing quick access to the Long Island Parkway system. Elmont is about 7 miles (11 km) from the Long Island Expressway and 10 miles (16 km) from the Throgs Neck Bridge for travel upstate.

Geography[edit]

U.S. Census Map

Elmont is located on the south shore of Long Island.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all land.

Elmont is on the Queens (NYC)/Nassau County border, earning it the name "The Gateway to Long Island."

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census[3] the population was 33,198. The makeup of the population was 47.2% White, 41.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 10.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 10.4% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.8% of the population.

2000 census[edit]

Residential area in December.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 32,657 people, 12,902 households and 10,842 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 9,589.9 per square mile (3,697.6/km2). There were 10,151 housing units at an average density of 2,980.9/sq mi (1,149.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 45.6% White, 34.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 9.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.69% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.3% of the population.

There were 10,902 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.4% 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 3.29 and the average family size was 3.68.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

According to the 2009–2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, the median income for a household in the CDP is $85,564, and the median income for a family is $94,432. The per capita income for the CDP was $22,111. About 5.4% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over. According to the survey, 28.4% of families make $100,000 to $149,000 and 11% make $200,000 or more which shows the hamlet has some affluence in certain sections.

Houses of worship[edit]

  • St. Boniface (Roman Catholic)
  • St. Vincent De Paul (Roman Catholic)
  • Elmont Jewish Center (Orthodox)
  • Muhammadi Masjid (Muslim)
  • Temple B'nai Israel of Elmont (Reform)
  • Shiva Vishnu Vedic Temple (Hindu)
  • Dharma Green Island Buddhist Monastery (Buddhist)
  • ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple (Hindu)
  • St. Paul's German Presbyterian Church and Cemetery

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

History of Belmont Park 1905 - 1968

Early Long Island: a colonial study by Martha Bockée Flint

Native American Indian Archaeology of Long Island

Long Island Indians and The Early Settlers

United States Jewish History

The Thirteen Colonies Jewish History

External links[edit]