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Images of Oyster Bay Available August 31

OB Town Historian Documents Past of Oyster Bay Through Photographs

John Hammond, Oyster Bay town historian, has written another book featuring Oyster Bay. This one, Images of Oyster Bay, is a photographic history of the village and is a must for local residents. The book will surely be a regular source of information and pleasure as you read it, and learn about the history of this lovely area.

The book is filled with rich captions that are the core of the book. They tell the story of the past and have hints as to the present through their informative short stories. For instance: “Job Wright was a builder and built many of the early houses in Oyster Bay. He built the original part of his house on Lexington Avenue in 1686. The house was added to several times by successive owners. This photograph was taken in 1918. The building survived well into the 20th century, only to be torn down to make way for a housing project.” The photo is from his collection.

One small item that is missing is the address of the houses pictured. At times, they look familiar and it would be satisfying to tie in the past with the present in the area. The lack is understandable, as sometimes current owners prefer anonymity.

In the column How’s the Water?, Friends of the Bay Acting Director Patricia Aitken mentions the book, and says, “It is full of images of bygone Oyster Bay, with chapters on Village Life, Theodore Roosevelt, Schools and Churches, and the Gold Coast. Of course, Around the Bay is one of my favorites, with wonderful pictures of White’s Creek, the waterfront and the harbor. There are many images of homes and landmarks which are still easily identifiable.”

The story of the hamlet of Oyster Bay is that many of the lovely homes were razed. That is one of the reasons for the current focus on saving what still exists in the area.

The book starts documenting what could be the first industry of the area, operating a mill, an important element in a farming community in an area with many streams providing the water to power them.

Images of Oyster Bay will become a source book for future research done on this unique area. You are going to want your own copy – it will keep you interested and informed for hours!

Settled in the mid-17th century by the Dutch and English, Oyster Bay has a rich history that still retains much of its charm and character today. Not only was Oyster Bay Theodore Roosevelt’s hometown, but he brought the executive branch of the government to his home from 1902 to 1908.

In this new book by Arcadia Publishing, town historian John E. Hammond uses over 200 vintage photographs to take readers on a nostalgic journey down memory lane.

Come see the home of “Typhoid Mary,” the Gold Coast setting of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and more.

Highlights of Images of Oyster Bay:

• Features images from private collections, including the author’s collection, many of which have never been published

• Chronicles the history of the hamlet in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

• Contains several period photographs of the volunteer fire companies which were organized in 1888 and 1890

• Shows the people and places that made Oyster Bay what it is today

A portion of the sales of the book will go to the Oyster Bay Historical Society Angela Koenig Research and Collections Center Building Fund.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or

About the Author

John E. Hammond is a native of Oyster Bay. His ancestors came to Oyster Bay in April of 1653. His keen interest in the history of Oyster Bay developed early and has sustained through decades of research. In 2004, he was appointed the official historian for the Town of Oyster Bay.

Mr. Hammond maintains an extensive collection of photographic images of Oyster Bay which has been supplemented with images from the archives of the Oyster Bay Historical Society and other sources for this book.

He is a graduate of the University of the State of New York and the Institute of Far Eastern Languages at Yale University. Hammond is currently a trustee of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, a member of the Friends of Sagamore Hill, and the archivist/historian of the Matinecock Masonic Historical Society. He is a past chairman of the board of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library, as well as a past trustee of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

Mr. Hammond is the author of four other books on local history plus several genealogical publications, including numerous articles for historical journals. For many years, Hammond wrote the Village Views local history column for the Oyster Bay Guardian newspaper. When not researching and writing on local history, he keeps busy with genealogy and golf.

Book Signings Around Town

John E. Hammond will be signing copies of the new Oyster Bay book. The first takes place on Saturday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. at the Matinecock Masonic Historical Society at 14 West Main Street, Oyster Bay. The event will be hosted by the Oyster Bay Historical Society.

A second book signing will take place on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. at Borders at 425 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset.

The book is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit