Huntington is the only township in the United States to ban self-service gas stations at the town level. Along with New Jersey and Oregon, they are the only three places in the country where full-service gas stations are compulsory.
In 1653, three men from Oyster Bay, Richard Holbrook, Robert Williams and Daniel Whitehead, purchased a parcel of land from the Matinecock tribe. This parcel has since come to be known as the "First Purchase" and included land bordered by Cold Spring Harbor on the west, Northport Harbor on the east, what is now known as Old Country Road to the south and Long Island Sound to the north. The three men immediately turned the land over to the settlers who had already been living there.
From that initial settlement, Huntington grew over subsequent years to include all of the land presently comprising the modern Towns of Huntington and Babylon. The southern part of the town was formally separated to create Babylon in 1872.
Because Huntington was populated largely by English settlers, unlike the rest of the New Amsterdam colony, the town voted in 1660 to become part of the Connecticut colony rather than remain under the authority of New Amsterdam. It was not until the British gained control of New Amsterdam in 1664 (renaming it New York) that Huntington was formally restored to the jurisdiction of New York.
The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road in 1867 transformed the economy of Huntington from primarily agriculture and shipping (based on its well protected harbor) to tourism and commuting. Cold Spring Harbor became a popular summer resort.
The end of World War II brought about an explosive growth of population in Huntington, as in the rest of the region. Farms and resorts gave way to homes, and Huntington has transformed into a major bedroom community for nearby New York City.
There were 65,917 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the town, the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.4 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $102,865, and the median income for a family was $113,119. Males had a median income of $61,748 versus $40,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,390. About 2.9% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
The town government consists of a town council with four members, all of whom are elected at large. The town supervisor is elected by the entire town. Other elected positions are the Town Clerk, Highway Superintendent, and Receiver of Taxes. A referendum to move to a ward district system on December 22, 2009 failed 81% to 18%.
Sbarro's headquarters were located in Melville in the Town of Huntington until 2015.
In 1997, Aer Lingus announced that it was moving its North American headquarters from Manhattan to Melville; James Lyndon, a spokesperson for the airline, said that the company moved to Long Island in an effort to reduce costs, as leasing costs are lower in Long Island than in Manhattan. The move would transfer 75 employees, including administrative personnel, marketing personnel, sales personnel, and telephone reservation agents. The airline planned to move on June 15, 1997. The airline had also considered sites in Boston and in Westchester, New York.
According to Huntington's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the town are:
Several weekly newspapers cover local news exclusively, including The Long-Islander, since 1838 as well as The Times of Huntington by TBR News Media. The Village Connection Magazine, published by Jim Savalli, is a lifestyle and entertainment magazine dedicated to the town of Huntington. Additionally, Patch, an online-only news website owned by AOL, and the Huntington Buzz, an online-only news website that is independently owned, covers hyper-local news on issues, people and events in Huntington.
In popular culture
Huntington is the setting of the long-running comic strip The Lockhorns.
Huntington is the town in which the American sitcom Growing Pains supposedly takes place. However, Robin Hood Lane, the street address of the Seaver family's home, is fictional. The show's creator, Neal Marlens, grew up in Huntington.
The Village of Northport was mentioned in episode 6 of the 2012 NBC drama series Smash.
The Jon Megaris hair salon in Huntington was used as a filming location for the 2015 film Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Several episodes of the USA television series Royal Pains were filmed at West Neck Beach in Huntington.
Northern State Parkway was the sole limited-access highway in the Town of Huntington until the construction of the Long Island Expressway. It has interchanges from Exit 39 in West Hills east of the Nassau-Suffolk County Line to Exit 43 in Commack on the Huntington-Smithtown Town Line.
New York State Route 25A, the northernmost west-east state highway on Long Island including the Town of Huntington. It enters the town from Laurel Hollow in Nassau County, running through historic Cold Spring Harbor, then downtown Huntington, later Centerport, Northport, and Fort Salonga where it crosses the Huntington-Smithtown Town Line.
New York State Route 25, the parent route of NY 25A, which also runs west to east along Jericho Turnpike. It enters the town at West Hills from Woodbury, passes through South Huntington, Elwood, and Commack, where it crosses the Huntington-Smithtown Town Line.
Old Country Road, an extension of a principal west-east thoroughfare in Central Nassau County. It enters Suffolk County in a hidden overlap with Round Swamp Road at Exit 48 on I-495, then branches off to the northeast as it passes through West Hills, Melville, Dix Hills and South Huntington. Unlike in Nassau County, the road has no designation.
New York State Route 108, is the westernmost south-north state route in Suffolk County. It runs from Suffolk CR 11 at Cold Spring Harbor's LIRR station to NY 25A running along the edge of the Nassau County Line.
New York State Route 110, is a major south-north highway in Suffolk County. It enters the town from East Farmingdale near the State University of New York at Farmingdale, and runs through Melville, then South Huntington, Huntington Station, Downtown Huntington, and serves as the main road in Halesite, before finally terminating at Youngs Hill Road, where it becomes the undesignated East Shore Road.
New York State Route 231, has been entirely a four-lane divided highway throughout its existence. It enters the from Deer Park in the Town of Babylon between Rutland and Kenmore Streets and runs through Dix Hills, where it has interchanges with I-495 and the Northern State Parkway. Immediately after the parkway, the route terminates at a fork in the road for Suffolk CRs 35 to the northwest and 66 to the northeast.
County Route 3 (Suffolk County, New York) is a south to north county route known as Wellwood Avenue from north of East Farmingdale at the Babylon Town Line to Ruland Road (CR 5) where it becomes Pinelawn Road until it reaches NY 110 in Melville.