May 18 2014

Book “North Hempstead” Reviewed on

D. Lees has reviewed the Arcadia book North Hempstead on


Howard Kroplick

This review is from: North Hempstead (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)) (Paperback)
By. D. Lees

I have to admit, I was lounging poolside when I read this book -- far, far away from New York's snowy winter. But I started flipping through the pictures and quickly became engrossed.

The book begins with an excellent 3 page introduction that provides both overview and context for the the visual history that follows. I never knew, for example, that archeologists believe the first explorers came to Long Island (from Asia) more than 8,000 years ago or that permanent villages were in place early as 3,000 years ago. Europeans discovered Long Island four hundred years ago, but it wasn't until right after the Revolutionary War that North Hempstead officially became a town (separate from Hempstead).

By 1900, the town's population was 12,048 and I was fascinated to learn that many of the residents worked as sandpit miners to supply the concrete needed for the skyscrapers, subway tunnels, and sidewalks of Manhattan. It seems almost ironic: The sandpits of North Hempstead provided the raw materials that essentially built the city... yet many city dwellers chose to build their homes in North Hempstead. First the industrialists; the mansion-builders. Then the commuters; the dream-house builders. And today? North Hempstead is ranked among the best places to live in America.

Through wonderful archival photos, illuminating captions, and thoughtful organization, this book tells the town's history from a variety of interesting perspectives. Most strikingly, it chronicles the explosive impact of modern transportation on North Hempstead: In the 8,000 years since man first set foot on Long Island, North Hempstead's population has grown to more than 226,000. But a majority of that growth occurred within one remarkable 50 year period, doubtless driven, in no small measure, by the first-ever road built specifically for automobiles.

I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.


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