The Story of Baldwin
THE BIRTH 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.
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.
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
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.
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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