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Smithtown, New York
Town of Smithtown
Town Hall
Town Hall
Flag of Smithtown, New York
Smithtown, NY Town Seal
Location in Suffolk County
Location in Suffolk County
Map
Map
Map
Coordinates: 40°51′46″N 73°12′55″W / 40.86278°N 73.21528°W / 40.86278; -73.21528
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CountySuffolk
First settled1665; 359 years ago (1665)
Incorporated as a townMarch 7, 1788; 235 years ago (1788-03-07)
Government
 • Town SupervisorEdward Wehrheim (R)
 • Town CouncilThomas McCarthy (R)
Lynne Nowick (R)
Lisa Inzerillo (R)
Thomas Lohmann (R)
Area
 • Total111.45 sq mi (288.64 km2)
 • Land53.71 sq mi (139.10 km2)
 • Water57.74 sq mi (149.55 km2)
Elevation
105 ft (32 m)
Population
 • Total116,296
 • Density1,000/sq mi (400/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
11725, 11745, 11754, 11755 (part), 11768 (part), 11779 (part), 11780, 11787, 11788
Area code(s)631, 934
FIPS code36-68000
Cook PVIR+24
Websitewww.smithtownny.gov

Smithtown is a town in Suffolk County, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. It is part of the New York metropolitan area. The population was 116,296 at the 2020 Census.

The census-designated place (CDP) of Smithtown lies within the town's borders.

History

Statue of the Smithtown Bull that Richard Smith was said to have ridden in order to claim the land that became the Town of Smithtown

The land that would become the town was originally owned by the Nissequogue Native Americans.[3]

Local legend

An oft-repeated but apocryphal story has it that, after rescuing a Native American chief's abducted daughter, Richard Smith was told that the chief would grant title to all of the land Smith could encircle in one day while riding a bull. Smith chose to ride the bull on the longest day of the year (summer solstice) 1665, to enable him to ride longer "in one day." The land he acquired in this way is said to approximate the current town's borders.[3] A large statue of Smith's bull, known as Whisper, pays homage to the legend at the fork of Jericho Turnpike (New York State Route 25) and St. Johnland Road (New York State Route 25A).[4][5]

Actual founding

According to local historians, the bull story is a myth.[3][5] It was actually English settler Lion Gardiner who had helped rescue the daughter of Nissequogue Grand Sachem Wyandanch, after she was kidnapped by rival Narragansetts.[3] Smith, who lived in nearby Setauket, was a friend of Gardiner; it was at Smith's house where the Nissequogue princess was returned to Wyandanch.[3] The Grand Sachem awarded a large tract of land to Gardiner as a gesture of gratitude.[3] In 1663 Gardiner sold the Nissequogue lands to Smith.[3] Two years later, colonial Governor Richard Nicolls recognized the sale by awarding Smith “The Nicolls Patent of 1665,” which formally ratified Smith's claim to the land.[3] Thus, 1665 is considered the founding date of the town.

Smithtown was originally known as "Smithfield".[6]

The border between Smithtown and the town of Huntington is partially defined by Bread and Cheese Hollow Road (Suffolk County Road 4), so named after Bread and Cheese hollow, which according to legend is where Smith stopped on his ride to have a lunch of bread and cheese. The road is reputed to follow part of his original ride. The border between Smithtown and Huntington was also the site of Fort Salonga, a British fort that was the site of a battle of the American Revolution during 1781.[7][8] The Smithtown hamlet of Nesconset was the home of Spaceplex, an indoor amusement park and arcade that was falsely accused of being the abduction site in the Katie Beers kidnapping case in 1992.[9][10]

350th anniversary

The town celebrated its 350th anniversary with the unveiling of a new statue of founder Richard Smith, in front of an office building at the intersection of Main Street and Route 111.[3]

Geography

Smithtown is bounded by Long Island Sound to the north, Islip to the south, Brookhaven to the east, and Huntington to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 111.5 square miles (289 km2), of which 53.8 square miles (139 km2) is land and 57.7 square miles (149 km2) (51.75%) is water.[11]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
17901,022
18001,41338.3%
18101,59212.7%
18201,87417.7%
18301,686−10.0%
18401,93214.6%
18501,9722.1%
18602,1308.0%
18702,1360.3%
18802,2495.3%
18903,35749.3%
19005,86374.6%
19107,07320.6%
19209,11428.9%
193011,85530.1%
194013,97017.8%
195020,99350.3%
196050,347139.8%
1970114,657127.7%
1980116,6631.7%
1990113,406−2.8%
2000115,7152.0%
2010117,8011.8%
2020116,296−1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 115,715 people, 38,487 households, and 31,482 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,159.9 inhabitants per square mile (833.9/km2). There were 39,357 housing units at an average density of 734.6 per square mile (283.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was:

There were 38,487 households, out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.6% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.2% were non-families. 15.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.28.[citation needed]

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 1000 females age 18 and over, there were 911.2 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $100,165, and the median income for a family was $110,776.[14]

Males had a median income of $61,348 versus $38,208 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,401. About 2.1% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.[citation needed]

Ancestries: Italian (35.3%), Irish (26.0%), German (18.7%), Polish (6.9%), English (5.0%), Russian (4.1%).[15]

Government and politics

Current Town Board as of January 10, 2018
Town Clerk / Registrar Councilwoman Councilman Supervisor Councilwoman Councilman Receiver of Taxes
Vincent Puleo (R)

since January 1, 2006

Lynne Nowick (R)

since January 1, 2014

Thomas J. McCarthy (R)

since January 1, 1998

Edward Wehrheim (R)

since January 1, 2018

Lisa Inzerillo (R)

since January 1, 2015

Thomas W. Lohmann (R)

since January 10, 2018

Deanna Varricchio (R)

since January 1, 2002

The present town hall and seat of the town was built in 1912 on Main Street in Smithtown.

In 2015 the town hall was dedicated and renamed after former Supervisor Patrick R. Vecchio.[16]

Smithtown is led by a Town Supervisor and a four-member Town Council, elected town-wide with each serving four year terms. Elections are held in odd-numbered years, with two of the councilmembers being up for re-election each year.[citation needed]

The current Supervisor is Edward Wehrheim who has been Town Supervisor since 2018. His predecessor, Patrick Vecchio was in office for forty years, the longest elected town supervisor in the history of the United States. Elected as a Democrat during a special election, Vecchio switched parties in 1993 in an attempt to run for County Executive. Although defeated in the primary by Robert Gaffney, Vecchio remained a Republican until his death in 2019. He is the longest serving town supervisor in all of New York State. Vecchio ran in 2013 against former Councilman Robert Creighton, of the Conservative Party. Supervisor Vecchio won the Republican Primary against Councilman Creighton and then later defeated the Councilman in the General Election 45-30%. The Democratic candidate, Steven Snair received 25% of the vote. Councilman Creighton was later ousted in 2015 by Lisa Inzerillo. In the 2017 Republican primary, then-Councilman Ed Wehrheim received about forty votes more than Vecchio. The race was too close to call and a recount was demanded by Vecchio. Following the recount a week later, Wehrheim was declared the winner, nearly doubling his lead. Vecchio conceded the race the same day saying "“All good things come to an end."[17] On November 7, 2017, Ed Wehrheim defeated William Holst in the election for the town's next supervisor. Wehrheim succeeded Vecchio on January 1, 2018. On January 10, 2018, Thomas Lohmann was appointed to the seat vacated by Wehrheim's election.

The Town of Smithtown has always been dominated by Republicans at all levels of government. This one-party domination has often led to infighting between factions of the Republican Party in Smithtown with the most recent between Supervisor Vecchio and Smithtown Republican Party Chairman William Ellis. In recent times the Republican party has dominated the Town Board; the last Democratic Town Supervisor being Mr. Vecchio. The most Republican areas for Smithtown are its three incorporated villages, Nissequogue, Head of the Harbor, and the Branch, along with the hamlets of Smithtown and Kings Park. The weakest areas for the Republican party in Smithtown is the edges of the Town in the hamlets of Commack and Hauppauge. In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a margin of 25 percent. Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone has won the town, in two of his three runs for that office.

In addition to presidential politics, the Town of Smithtown is also the power bases of many State and County elected officials. The former New York State Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan had the bulk of his district located in Smithtown. Current Republican Comptroller John M. Kennedy, Jr., along with his wife, Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy both reside in Nesconset.[18]

Former Supervisor Vecchio died on April 6, 2019, at the age of 88.[19]

Town of Smithtown, New York vote
by party in presidential elections
[20]
Year Republican Democratic
2020 58% 42,051 40% 28,946
2016 61% 35,931 36% 20,552
2012 60.17% 32,549 39.83% 21,544
2008 56.85% 34,409 43.15% 26,114
2004 56.41% 33,686 43.59% 26,034
Town of Smithtown, Supervisor election results
Year Candidate Vote %
2021 (R) Edward Wehrheim Green tickY 21,095 73.9
(D) Maria Scheuring 7,453 26.1
2017 (R) Edward Wehrheim Green tickY 16,268 56.8
(D) William Holst 10,047 35.0
(I) Kristen Slevin 2,250 8.2
2013 (R) Patrick Vecchio Green tickY 9,507 45.08
(C) Robert Creighton 6,366 30.18
(D) Steve Snair 5,218 24.74
2009 (R) Patrick Vecchio Green tickY 11,049 60.35
(D) Patricia Biancaniello 7,051 38.51
(WF) Deanna DeLieto 208 1.14
2005 (R) Patrick Vecchio Green tickY 12,370 55.52
(D) William Holst 5,981 26.84
(I) Jane Conway 3,929 17.63

Communities and locations

Villages (incorporated)

Hamlets (unincorporated)

Other communities

State parks

Media and culture

Smithtown Performing Arts Center

Smithtown broadcasts its board meetings on SGTV, the Town of Smithtown's public service television station; Optimum channel 18 or Verizon Fios channel 27. The Times of Smithtown newspaper carries community-based articles.

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center is a theater at 2 East Main Street.[22] The historic building has not been significantly altered since it was built in 1933.[22] It operated as a movie theater from 1933 to November 2001, and was renovated and restored to accommodate live performances in 2002.[22] In 2022 the building was purchased by the nonprofit Smithtown Performing Arts Council, which programs a variety of live entertainment and community events including musicals, plays, music, comedy, educational classes and summer camps.[23]

Emergency services

Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services are provided by the seven Volunteer Fire Departments, and two Volunteer Ambulance Corps that cover parts of the Township. The Smithtown, Kings Park, Saint James, Nesconset, and Nissequogue Fire Departments provide both Fire Protection, as well as Emergency Medical Services to their districts. The Commack Fire Department and Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps provide coverage for the Commack hamlet, which is divided between the Town of Smithtown, and the Town of Huntington. The Hauppauge Volunteer Fire Department and Central Islip-Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance Corps provide coverage to the Hauppauge hamlet, which is divided between the Town of Smithtown, and the Town of Islip.[citation needed]

Smithtown is policed by the 4th Precinct of the Suffolk County Police Department. The Suffolk County Police are the primary law enforcement agency in Smithtown. They are responsible for responding to all 911 emergency calls. The Smithtown Department of Public Safety is an agency with limited powers. The Park Ranger Division is made up peace officers as defined in the Criminal Procedural Law of the state of New York.[24] Their enforcement powers are limited to Smithtown town property. The Department of Public Safety also has a Harbor Master division and Fire Marshall division.

Emergency medical care can be found at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, located in Smithtown, as well as the nearby Stony Brook University Hospital, located in Stony Brook, in the neighboring Town of Brookhaven.[citation needed]

Transportation

Railroad lines

The Town of Smithtown is also home to the Kings Park, Smithtown, and Saint James stations of the Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Branch.[25]

Bus service

The Town of Smithtown is served entirely by Suffolk County Transit bus routes.[25]

Major roads

Main Street, Smithtown

See also: List of county routes in Suffolk County, New York

Education

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Main article: Smithtown Central School District

Smithtown Central School District is home of seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools.[citation needed]

The Town of Smithtown is also home to the Kings Park Central School District, a portion of the Commack Union-Free School District (shared with the Town of Huntington), a portion of the Hauppauge School District (shared with the Town of Islip) and a portion of the Sachem Central School District (shared with the Town of Brookhaven).[citation needed]

Elementary schools

Middle schools

Smithtown High School

Smithtown High School West

Private schools

Former schools (No longer used as K-12 Facilities)

Notable people

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See also

References

  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  2. ^ Metropolitan & Central City Population: 2000-2005. Demographia.com, accessed September 3, 2006.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Santiago, Eric (September 21, 2015). "Smithtown unveils historic statue". TBR News Media. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  4. ^ Rediscovering Smithtown’s Golden Age of Progressive Architecture; 1911–1948 (Preservation Long Island)
  5. ^ a b "The Bull, Smithtown Long, Island". Maggie Land Blanck.
  6. ^ Town), Smithtown (N Y. (1898). Records of the Town of Smithtown, Long Island, N.Y.: With Other Ancient Documents of Historic Value. Long-Islander Print.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 27, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "History of the purple heart recipients". Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Ketcham, Diane (January 17, 1993). "About Long Island; A Rare Oasis of Enjoyment Suffers a Moment of Doubt". The New York Times. p. LI-13. Retrieved October 25, 2020. ...the Space Plex [sic] Amusement Park in Nesconset. ... Since it opened two years ago...
  10. ^ "FRS Facility Detail Report: Spaceplex". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Bureau, US Census. "Gazetteer Files". Census.gov. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ " Income in the Past 12 Months (In 2007 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars): 2007 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates" Archived 2020-02-12 at archive.today American Fact Finger. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000. Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) - Sample Data". United States Census Bureau. U. S. Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Hampton, Deon J. (November 1, 2015). "Smithtown Town Hall renamed to honor supervisor Patrick Vecchio". Newsday.
  17. ^ Walsh, Sara-Megan (September 28, 2017). "Ed Wehrheim dethrones Pat Vecchio, wins Smithtown Supervisor primary - TBR News Media". TBR News Media. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "John M. Kennedy, Jr., MBA, JD". NACo. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  19. ^ "Hundreds attend services for Patrick Vecchio".
  20. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  21. ^ "LACK OF INTEREST FATAL TO VILLAGE; The Landing, L.I., Goes Out of Existence by Mandate of 17 of Its 38 Voters (Published 1939)". The New York Times. November 23, 1939. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  22. ^ a b c Egan, Rita J. (August 25, 2021). "Owner set to sell Smithtown theater, GoFundMe organized to save building". TBR Newsmedia. Archived from the original on June 15, 2023. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  23. ^ "Our History". Smithtown Performing Arts Center. Smithtown, NY. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  24. ^ NYS CPL Article 2 Section 2.10(9)
  25. ^ a b c d e "Long Island Index: Interactive Map". www.longislandindexmaps.org. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  26. ^ Kramer, Farrell (December 6, 2021). "New NYSE President Lynn Martin Brings Tech Background to the Big Board". New York Stock Exchange. Retrieved June 9, 2022.