Town of Brookhaven is a town located
in central Suffolk County, New
York, USA, and
stretches from the North
Shore to the South
Shore of Long
Island. Brookhaven is part of the New York
The population of the town
448,248 at the 2000 census. It is largest town (by area, if including
water area) in the state of New York, and the second most populous,
exceeded only by the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of
531.5 square miles
), of which
259.3 square miles (671.6 km²) is land and
272.2 square miles (705.1 km² or 51.22%) is water. It is
the largest town in New York in terms of total area. Excluding water,
however, there are four towns in the state with more land area:
Webb in Herkimer
County, Long Lake in Hamilton County, Arietta in Hamilton County, and Ohio in Herkimer
coastline on both the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. Riverhead and Southampton lie to the east, and Smithtown and Islip lie to the west.
part of Fire
Island and the Great South Bay are in the town.
It has a
large hill, known as "Bald Hill", in the hamlet of Farmingville, which marks where
the glacier which formed Long Island stopped.
At the top of
Bald Hill is a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
National Laboratory is located within the town.
known inhabitants were Algonquian-speaking Native Americans, of
the Setauket and Unkechaug
The first English settlers arrived in 1655 and
purchased land from the inhabitants. Early English settlers farmed,
fished, and hunted whales.
English settlement was named Setauket after the native American tribe.
Governor Richard Nicolls
Patent for the town which confirmed title to the lands purchased,
and permitted additional purchases. Governor Thomas Dongan
issued a Patent in 1686 which
granted powers to the town and established a representative form of
The letter "D" on the official seal, associated with the original
Dongan patent officially establishing Brookhaven, is a cattle
branding letter assigned to Brookhaven in the mid-1600s, along with
The Great South Bay at sunset
As of the census
of 2000, there were 448,248
people, 146,828 households, and 112,910 families residing in the
town. The population density
1,728.8 people per square mile (667.5/km²). There were 155,406
housing units at an average density of 599.4/sq mi
(231.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.43% White
, 4.33% Black
or African American
, 0.23% Native American
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 2.21% from
, and 1.87%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 8.04% of the
There were 146,828 households out of which 38.9% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples
living together, 10.6% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 23.1% were non-families.
17.9% 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 2.97 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age
of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to
64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.
According to a 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in
the town was $73,566, and the median income for a family was
Males had a median income of $48,601
versus $32,157 for females. The per
for the town was $24,191. About 3.9% of families
and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 6.5% of those under age
18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
(see also sidebox for U.S. census data)
Government and Politics
Brookhaven government is led by a town Supervisor and a six-member
Town Council, which are all two-year term elected positions.
Council members are elected by district.
Prior to 2002, the Brookhaven Town Republican Party controlled the
majority of the town board for several decades, except for a two
year period in the mid-1970s when Democrats held a majority under
Supervisor John Randolph. This one-party domination, and a series
of scandals, led to a tarnished reputation of local politics
accorded the nickname "Crookhaven".
In 2002, a voter proposition was passed to create council
districts, replacing the prior system of electing the six town
council members at-large. Steve Fiore-Rosenfield became the first
Democrat to be elected since the 1970s in 2003. In 2005, Brian X. Foley
a Democratic county legislator won the Town Supervisor race against
Republican Councilman Edward Hennessy. In addition to Brian Foley,
Constance Kepert and Carol Bissonette were also elected to the town
board. As a result, the Democrats gained control of the Brookhaven
Following the election of 2007, the Republican Party regained a
majority on the Brookhaven Town Board, and elected Councilman Tim
Mazzei as majority leader.
In 2008, Brian Foley was elected to the State Senate; he was
replaced as Supervisor by Mark Lesko
Democrat, in a special election in early 2009. However, the
Republicans retained their majority on the Town Council.
Communities and locations
Brookhaven has eight villages
- Belle Terre
- Lake Grove
- Old Field
- Port Jefferson
Brookhaven includes all or part of 52 hamlets
of those hamlets is also named Brookhaven.
Rock Point Landing
- Bayberry Dunes
- Bellview Beach
- Coram Hill
- Crystal Brook
- East Yaphank
- Hallock Landing
- Old Mastic
- Poospatuck Reservation
- Rocky Point Landing
- Patchogue Highlands
- Sigfield Park
- South Manor
- South Medford
- South Setauket
- South Yaphank
- Squassux Landing
- Smith Point
- Wading River Landing
- West Yaphank
- Woodhull Landing
- Brookhaven Town History, Town of Brookhaven,
accessed 5 June 2009
- Brookhaven Elected Officials, Town of
Brookhaven, accessed 5 June 2009