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The local history of Locust Valley


Oyster Bay Town's hamlet of Locust Valley was originally part of a larger region called Matinecock, settled in 1667, that covered what is now northern Nassau County. The English Farmers in 1730 changed the local name to Buckram, probably after Buckenham, a town in Norfolk County, England, from which some of the pioneers had come. At a public meeting in 1856, the name became Locust Valley because of the many locust trees in the area.

Turning Point

Rail service reached Locust Valley by 1870, and by the start of the century the community and its environs were attracting rich people who built lavish woodland estates.

The horse farms, polo fields and private clubs soon followed.

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Pride of the Valley

The area is steeped in Quaker tradition. The Matinecock Friends meeting House at Piping Rock and Duck Pond Roads, now in Glen Cove but historically part of Locust Valley, was built in 1725. It was destroyed by fire in 1985 and rebuilt the next year. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Two privately owned dwellings built around 1698 are now official town landmarks: the Joseph Weeks Jr. and William Hawxhurst houses on Oyster Bay Road. Two private schools in Locust Valley, Friends Academy and the Portledge School, each on more than 60 acres, have national reputations.

Today's one-square-mile, unincorporated hamlet of about 2,000 people is off the beaten path for most Long Islanders. Locust Valley has always had a wide identity; it is generally agreed that the surrounding incorporated villages of Lattingtown, Matinecock and Mill Neck, at least, are also a part of what is called Locust Valley. Several communities are under the postal and school umbrella of Locust Valley. Many neighborhoods, such as Brookville, Old Brookville and Upper Brookville, consider the Locust Valley town and shops as part of their own.
The article on this page was taken from NEWSDAY Long Island Our Story Sunday, Feb.22,1998 Our Towns

Where to Find More

Please visit the local history collection at the Locust Valley Public Library.

Some of our neighboring towns are: Bayville, Centre Island, Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove, Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and Glen Head.



From the West:
LIE 495 East to Exit 39N
Right on Rte 25A
Left on Wolver Hollow Rd
Left on Piping Rock Rd
Follow sign to Birch Hill Rd

From the East:
LIE 495 West to Exit 41N
Left to Route 107N
Right on Wheatley Rd
Left on Brookville Rd
Cross Northern Blvd (Rte 25A) to Wolver Hollow Rd
Left on Piping Rock Rd
Follow Sign to Birch Hill Rd
Come to Locust Valley to share in our rich history!
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