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The Story of Baldwin


Long Island has been forming for millions of years, and the hamlet now called Baldwin was nothing more than a small area of rocks, sand, water, and minerals for many ages before life as we know it existed. A glacier came from the north polar region and moved south over the New England area. It covered the area which is now Long Island, carrying earth as it moved. As Earth became warmer, the glacier slowly melted and retreated north again. Gradually, Long Island was formed.

The south shore was a washed out area, mainly sandy and flat. It was blessed with streams, rivers, and lakes that were fed by underground springs. As the temperatures got milder, living things began to grow including beautiful forests and the grasses of the Hempstead Plains. Our island became green with plant life and was a fine home for its first inhabitants.

Native Wildlife
At one time, the gray wolf, bobcat, black bear, white tailed deer, beaver, and rattlesnake traveled the land. Off Baldwin's shore were whales, seals, and otters. Many kinds of shore birds, as well as quail and turkey were neighbors to rabbits, opossum, and raccoons. In later years, the wolf, an enemy to the settlers' sheep, had a bounty placed on its head. Whales were hunted off the south shore beaches until there were very few left.

People may have walked this land over 12,000 years ago. The first known inhabitants of the area now called Baldwin were a part of the Algonquin nation.

Early Indians of this area hunted, fished, and farmed, growing crops, including corn, squash, and beans. These people lived in domed lodges made of young trees, tree bark, thatched grass, and mud. They dressed in animal skins and decorated themselves with feathers and shell jewelry. They did not live in tepees nor wear large feathered headdresses like the Sioux and other western Indian tribes. They were a peaceful group.

The Indians that occupied the Baldwin area were called the Merrick. Some of the Merrick Indians lived along Milburn Creek south of Merrick Road to the harbor.

To join the Baldwin Historical Society, please call (516) 223-6900.

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Baldwin, circa 1900



Grand Ave & Foxhurst Rd
Wortman's General Store Fourth of July 1880, located at the point where Grand Avenue and Foxhurst Road separate. Outside are Mr. Wortman, Mrs Wortman and clerk, Miss Madeline Herbert (later Mrs. Gay). Baldwin's first telephone was located in this store



Milburn Ave & Merrick Rd.
The Milburn Hotel, northeast corner of Merrick Road and Milburn Avenue, circa 1885. It was built in the early 1800's and was used as a court room, jail (in the basement), and bar. This building was moved back and now is used as a gas station.



Looking west down Brooklyn Avenue from the depot in 1896.