What attracts migrants and tourists to Nassau County? Undoubtedly, it’s the area’s revered beauty, which includes white sand beaches, dense forests, and rolling hills. Also, Nassau’s northwest corner has become known as the Gold Coast, for its impressive expanse of mansions. Former American President Theodore Roosevelt, who owned a house on Sagamore Hill at Oyster Bay, said of Nassau County, “There could be no healthier place to bring children up.” he wrote. This truth is affirmed even today by the 1.3 million people who have made Nassau County their home. Based on the 2000 Census, the county ranks as the second richest county per capita in New York State, and the sixth richest in the entire United States! The Long Island Railroad brings people from Nassau County to New York City (Manhattan). Due to the success of the railroad, the population in Nassau has escalated. The South Railroad track benefited the most, and resulted in the sprouting of a growth center.
Originally, Long Island only consisted of three counties: Kings, Queens, and Suffolk. These communities, which were mostly agricultural, experienced changes after being colonized. In 1898, when Queens County was included in greater New York, the eastern townspeople from Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay proposed to form their own county: Nassau. The name reflects the county’s Dutch and English colonial past. Nassau officially became Long Island’s new county in January 1899.
World War II ignited a rich aviation industry in Long Island, and particularly in Nassau, where America’s most famous warplanes were manufactured. Nassau was the home of the Roosevelt Airfield, which was located in Garden City. What makes it significant? The Roosevelt Airfield was where the historic 1927 nonstop flight of Charles Lindbergh took off, going to Paris, France. However, the Roosevelt Airfield closed in 1951, resulting in commercial development, which included a shopping mall.
For decades, Long Island has also been home to leading scientific researches and engineering. Sperry Gyroscope and other companies were concentrated mostly in Nassau County, in the Bethpage area. The company’s high technology devices such as gyrocompasses--analog computer-controlled bombsights, became in huge demand during WW-II. Later, in the 1950‘s during the Cold War, parts of Sperry Gyroscope were moved to Phoenix, Arizona. However, Nassau’s Sperry Gyroscope branch continues to excel in aviation electronics. That’s been due to the company’s research and development on avionics systems for NASA.
Such industries created a strong economic base in the county. During the post-war era, houses in Levittown and nearby areas transformed from farming communities, to the nation’s largest suburb! From the 1980s to the 1990s, Nassau County surged on, with various business and recreational infrastructures. A strong educational system backed these locations. Additionally, retail and service employment made Nassau an economically busy county. Offices opened at lighting-speeds, and Nassau provided an attractive home for white-collar jobs. Presently, Nassau County’s total income ranks in the top ten percent of the entire United States!
Nassau County Government US Census Narrative Profile Exploring Nassau County Discover Nassau County Hospitals