The Matinecock Indians, who were the original inhabitants of Port Washington, sold the settlers an area named the Cow
Neck Peninsula, then called “Sint Sink” (at the small stone). The area consisted of lush, green meadows with ample supplies of fresh water. The peninsula was fenced and used for the grazing of large herds of cattle.
18 families from Stamford bought what is now the western half of Nassau County. The property which was part of the New Netherlands became known as Hempstead Town.
Richard Cornwall became Cow Neck's first resident when he built his home on 1500 acres granted to him.
The peninsula to the north was set aside exclusively for grazing land, and called Cow Neck
The Sands family of Block Island bought 500 acres of land from Mr. Cornwall and relocated to the area, which would become Sands Point.
The Sands family were among the original settlers of nearby Sands Point. Seven members of this family served in the American Revolution. The property was purchased by Edmund Willets, a prominent Quaker and abolitionist, in 1845. He added the Greek-revival style addition to the house. The Cow Neck Historic Society bought the Sands-Willets House from Miss Eliza Willets in 1967 and has since restored and renovated it.
This land attracted enough settlers that the first school on the peninsula was built. This school was used by the Hessian Army during the Revolutionary War.
During the revolution, a split separated Hempstead, the loyalist landowners to the south and the revolutionary farmers to the north.
In 1790, George Washington stopped in Roslyn on his way to New York. The people of Cow Neck decided to honor the American President by renaming their town, Port Washington.
The North Hempstead Turnpike, now known as Northern Blvd., opened in 1801 and travelers paid two cents for stage coach to bring them from Roslyn to Spinney Hill in Manhasset. The Northern Blvd is still an important route today connecting the peninsula to the rest of Long Island.
In 1832, oyster fishing was introduced and fishing and farming remained important to the local economy
The Little Red School was on the corner of Pleasant Avenue and Mill Pond Road. Still a primitive facility - with a bucket and dipper for thirsty students and one set of readers to be shared by all - the school was moved across the street to make way for Port's first church and continued to be in use until it was destroyed by fire in 1926.
In 1865 the mining of sand and gravel made entire hills vanish. The sand and gravel producers found a ready market for their
products in New York City and the industry thrived. Workmen from Nova Scotia and Europe were brought in to mine the sand and gravel that helped New York City build everything from sidewalks to skyscrapers. Many workers stayed and made Port Washington their permanent home.
The second Sands Point School was built in 1870 at a cost of $6,000. For sixty years, this school served generations of Port students.
The Port Washington Public Library was founded as a cooperative book club in 1892 by the Port Washington Woman’s Club.
The Commuter Age began - population increased significantly from 8,134 in 1890 to 83,385 in 1940.
Restaurants, resort hotels and "Gold Coast" mansions made the area an ideal vacation spot for the high society of New York City. Increasingly more waterfront was earmarked for recreational use, and tourism began to play a large role in the area’s economy.
The parish was established in 1901 and the church dedicated in 1903.
The extravagant Hempstead House, built originally by Howard Gould, became the home of Daniel and Florence Guggenheim in 1917. From 1946-1967, it was used as a Navy Training Devices Center. Today, the 216-acre preserve is a passive-use outdoor recreation area, and highlights the indigenous natural environment of the North Shore with 6 nature trails.
The three original fire companies in Port Washington - Atlantic Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 (1886), Protection Engine Company No. 1 (1892), and Flower Hill Hose Company No. 1 (1905) - were all organized years before the Port Washington Fire Department was formed. 3 members from each company formed the "Committee of 9" and in 1907, formed the new PWFD
Main Street School's cornerstone was laid on September 21, 1908.
This school represented a giant step for education in Port Washington - it was the first high school and offered elevated standard in education not only for graduation from high school but also preparation for advanced study. The community's celebration included a parade with the 600 school children, many local organizations, the Board of Education and three marching bands. The newspaper editor called it, "the greatest event in the history of the community."
When a separate high school was built in 1929, Main Street School became an elementary school. It was closed in 1985 and converted into a community center and senior citizen housing.
Sinclair Lewis was a resident of Port Washington, which was the main setting of his book "The Great Gatsby."
Founded in 1922 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, St. Francis Hospital is New York State’s only specialty designated cardiac center and offers one of the leading cardiac care programs in the nation. It also provides care programs in vascular, prostate, ear-nose-throat (ENT), orthopedic and general surgery.
The Port Washington High School, today known as Weber Middle School, took in the tenth through twelfth grade students from Main Street School. The building was approved by Port residents in 1927.
In 1929, the third and final Sands Point School was built. It is still in use today as John Daly Elementary School.
The Port Washington Police District was confirmed as a separate unit on May 28, 1934, when the late Governor Herbert Lehman signed a bill authorizing the town board to appoint three commissioners to conduct the District’s affairs
In 1937, Pan American flying boats left from Manhasset Bay at Port Washington, the first transatlantic flights ever.
The postwar years saw great population increases in Port Washington. The "baby boom" meant that there were many children in town. The Long Island Rail Road appealed to many families who appreciated the easy commute to jobs in Manhattan. Descendants of many original families remained in the community. During this time, there was a tremendous increase in residential, commercial and school building.
To serve the new families moving in during the Postwar period, Salem school opened in 1951, Manorhaven School opened in 1954, and Guggenheim School was established in 1962.
Dell Transportation has been serving Long Island with bus services since 1952. The corporation repairs, services, rents and provides drivers for group transportation. Dell offers standard 70 passenger school buses as well as 18 passenger mini buses.
Named after local bandleader John Philip Sousa, in 1955.
First section of Soundview Village approved; construction begins.
Authorized by an Act of Congress in 1967, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is a national rehabilitation program serving youth and adults who are deaf-blind. Its mission is to enable each person who is deaf-blind to live and work in his or her community of choice.
To help protect the environment, enhance quality of life and increase environmental awareness on the entire Port Washington/Manhasset/Roslyn Peninsula.
42 properties within the area were declared as part of the historic district. Met by opposition from many homeowners in the area.
Town announces that 167-acre Planned Industrial Park (PIP) will be erected on Port Washington Sand Pits site.
Residents recommends that 1000 acres known as Port Washington Sand Pits and adjoining 500 acres be used as wild life preserve and open-space recreation areas
The SPCHR provides excellent long and short term care as well as special care for Alzheimer's and Dementia patients
The Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation (LIAF) is a non-profit, Port Washington-based organization offering a variety of programs and services for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive and memory disorders. The organization is dedicated to providing stimulating programming for the diagnosed individual, as well as respite and support for family caregivers.
In cooperation with RMBPW, the town completes first stage of Town Dock renovations, including new benches and plantings. Landscaped walkway on Town dock dedicated to memory of Executive Vice President Bob Zimmerman.
Baxter Pond preserve, landscaped by RMBPW, is renamed in honor of Legislator Barbara Johnson.
First audible traffic signals in Port Washington installed along Shore Road
Residents and Town receive $925,000 from LIPA for alternative
energy display center in Sunset Park and for other improvements to that area, including a skateboard park.
With Mill Pond’s improvement underway, Residents uses dedicated funds from Ed and Dot Slade to construct a waterfront garden.
Village was awarded a grant of $165,000 for this project, which encompasses just over one-quarter of a mile. Bay Walk Park Project consists of 1.7 acres of waterfront property. Used as an active waterfront park, encouraging walking, jogging, bicycling, rollerblading, nature observation and education, fishing, boating, kayaking.
Second stage of Sand Pits site development begins with much of land preserved as open space and remaining portions dedicated to satisfy community’s great need for recreational space and facilities, including indoor pool, equestrian center, waterfront hiking trails, ball fields and boating areas.
Shoreline-to-Shoreline trail along Port’s waterfront is expanded so walkers and cyclists can enjoy breathtaking views along Manhasset Bay
Proposal to build a 55+ senior moderate income housing development on the 1.5 acre site adjacent to Harbor Homes.
The Isaac H. Tuttle Center is a New York State licensed health care service. A part of the Amsterdam at Harborside, a Nassau County life care community, The Tuttle Center opened to the public in January 2011 and offers a wide variety of services, including enriched housing, memory support, rehabilitation services and nursing care to patients recovering from surgery, beginning rehabilitation or those in need of medication management. Services are provided in either private apartments or comfortable private rooms.
The $840,000 renovation of Stannard’s Brook Park is finally finished. After years of disregard and neglect the park fell into a feral state. With numerous grants and gracious donations, the Port Washington Parks Conservancy (PWPC) has transformed the park.