Gordon Heights, New York
Gordon Heights, New York
U.S. Census map
|• Total||1.72 sq mi (4.45 km2)|
|• Land||1.71 sq mi (4.42 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||154 ft (47 m)|
|• Density||2,400/sq mi (910/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||631, 934|
|GNIS feature ID||0970171|
Gordon Heights is located at (40.857498, -72.966437).
Undeveloped areas surrounding Spring Lake were later developed into a golf course (Spring Lake Golf Club) and a gated housing development (Strathmore on the Green), both with entry only from West Bartlett Road in Middle Island, more than two miles away. While portions of these facilities are within the census tract and/or the fire department boundaries, neither is part of the Gordon Heights community, and the correct geography for Gordon Heights is an L-shaped outline (as shown in Google Maps and other sources).
Gordon Heights had its beginnings in the early 1920s, when developer Louis Fife went to Black neighborhoods in New York City (Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx) with the offer of land and a better life on Long Island. Land was offered as low as $10 down and $10 monthly or $10 weekly.
Promoted as a place that would be a solid, close-knit community of small farms, the pilgrimage to Long Island began in 1927. Gordon Heights was named after "Pop" Gordon, a man who had previously owned most of the land that became part of the new community.
A civic association was formed to address the need of area residents. It would later become known as the Gordon Heights Progressive Association, which was founded in 1945. This group was the parent body of the Gordon Heights Fire Department.
Prior to the creation of the Gordon Heights Fire Department (GHFD) in 1947, there had been no fire services in the community, dating back to its founding in 1927. Neighboring departments had no obligation to protect Gordon Heights. Following a fire that destroyed a local church, the Civic Association worked toward forming a community fire department, which was incorporated soon after.
When the fire house became too small, the residents moved toward the creation of a fire district, whereby taxes would be levied and financial assistance would be given for the expansion of the department. Petitions were signed by residents and taken to the Town Board. The first commissioners were appointed in 1952-53, and an election was held one year later.
The Gordon Heights Fire District has been at the center of contention in recent years, with some residents complaining that the district has the highest tax rates on Long Island. The high residential tax burden is due in part to Gordon Heights lacking a commercial tax base. Opponents also note its small size, serving approximately 900 homes in relation to the surrounding districts that serve between 4,400 and 8,700 households and have a lesser tax burden.
Supporters of the 60-member district note its history as the first black fire department in New York State and its ability to provide services that larger and busier departments can't, such as helping elderly residents plow snow during the winter months.
An attempt to dissolve the fire district in 2006 was rejected by the Town of Brookhaven on the grounds that the petition format was incorrect. A second petition to dissolve the Gordon Heights Fire District was filed on December 31, 2008.
Demographics of the CDP
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,094 people, 856 households, and 678 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,827.0 per square mile (706.9/km2). There were 945 housing units at an average density of 558.0/sq mi (215.9/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 62.12% African American, 24.27% White, 1.36% Native American, 1.91% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.14% from other races, and 5.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.51% of the population.
There were 856 households, out of which 45.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 24.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 14.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.53 and the average family size was 3.83.
In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 35.2% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $56,250, and the median income for a family was $54,450. Males had a median income of $39,120 versus $31,797 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,516. About 8.9% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.
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- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
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- "History of Gordon Heights". Long Island Community Histories. Long Island Genealogy. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Early Organizations and Sites". The History of Gordon Heights. GordonHeightsFuture.org. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Fire District Has Defenders and Detractors". Julia C. Mead, New York Times. 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Gordon Heights Fire Department". Longwood's Journey. Longwood Central School District. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Citing Taxes, Some Seek Fire District's Demise". Linda Saslow, New York Times. 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "S60" (PDF). sct-bus.org. Retrieved June 23, 2021.