The area was first settled by Europeans around 1643 and became part of the town of Hempstead. During the American Revolution the southern part of Hempstead was primarily Tory, while the northern part, having been settled by Yankees, supported the revolution. Following the war, the Town of North Hempstead was split off in 1784.
North Hempstead became more affluent with the opening of the Long Island Rail Road through to Great Neck, and the inauguration of steamboat service from Manhattan in 1836.
The town of North Hempstead is made up of 30 incorporated villages that had the right to set zoning restrictions to protect their rights and resources. No new villages have been created since 1936, when a revised county charter denied zoning power to future villages. There are also some unincorporated areas in the town of North Hempstead that are not part of villages.
North Hempstead is the only town on Long Island that does not have a corresponding hamlet or village in its borders with the same name; Hempstead and Oyster Bay in Nassau County and the towns of Huntington, Babylon, Islip, Smithtown, Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, Shelter Island and East Hampton in Suffolk County all have smaller subdivisions with the same name.
The west town line is the border of Queens County, New York, part of New York City. The north town line, delineated by Long Island Sound, is the border of Bronx County and Westchester County. The town of Oyster Bay is the eastern neighbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 69.1 square miles (179 km2), of which 53.6 square miles (139 km2) is land and 15.5 square miles (40 km2), or 22.47%, is water.
Between the 1990 census and the 2000 census, North Hempstead lost some population growth to Queens.
|Baxter Estates||North Hills|
|East Hills (part; with the Town of Oyster Bay)||Old Westbury (part; with Oyster Bay.)|
|Floral Park (part; with the Town of Hempstead)||Plandome Heights|
|Flower Hill||Plandome Manor|
|Garden City (part; with the Town of Hempstead)||Port Washington North|
|Great Neck Estates||Roslyn Estates|
|Great Neck Plaza||Roslyn Harbor (part; with Oyster Bay.)|
|Kings Point||Saddle Rock|
|Lake Success||Sands Point|
|Mineola (part; with Hempstead.)||Westbury|
|Munsey Park||Williston Park|
|New Hyde Park (part; with Hempstead.)|
|Carle Place||New Cassel|
|Garden City Park||New Hyde Park (unincorporated)|
|Glenwood Landing (part; with Oyster Bay.)||North New Hyde Park|
|Great Neck Gardens||Port Washington|
|Greenvale (part; with Oyster Bay.)||Roslyn Heights|
|Harbor Hills||Saddle Rock Estates|
The Town of North Hempstead is governed by a seven-member board composed of six council members and the Supervisor. Council members are each elected by and represent a single district within the Town. The Supervisor is elected by and represents the entire Town. In addition to Supervisor, there are two other Town-wide elected positions—Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes.
The Long Island Rail Road's Oyster Bay Branch serves the town's vicinity from Mineola to Greenvale. The Main Line runs through the southern parts of the town from with stations at Merillon Avenue in Garden City Park through Westbury. The Port Washington Branch runs along the northern part of the town and uses stations from Great Neck across the Manhasset Viaduct into Port Washington.
The Town of North Hempstead is served primarily by Nassau Inter-County Express bus routes, though at least two MTA Bus Routes enter Nassau County from Queens.
|Northern State Parkway|
|Meadowbrook State Parkway|
|Wantagh State Parkway|
|New York State Route 25A|
|New York State Route 25B|
|New York State Route 25|
|New York State Route 101|
|Glen Cove Road|
|Old Country Road (County Road 25 - Nassau County, New York)|