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Great Neck Railroad Station c. 1907
GREAT NECK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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Welcome to the Great Neck Historical Society - your source for information, photos, events, and all things related to the fabled history of this Gold Coast area. Since its founding, Great Neck has gone through an evolution that transformed it from a rural farming and fishing area to a summer artist colony, and a suburban retreat to a thriving, sophisticated metropolis of commerce, culture, and education. Home to captains of industry and Broadway actors, Great Neck has always been renowned for its excellent schools, community-minded citizens, diverse population, parks, cultural activities, and all the things that enrich life.
Great Neck has one of America's most fascinating histories, beginning with its early days as a forested area inhabited by the Matinecock Indians and developing into today's thriving community. In the mid-1600s, Great Neck - or Mad Nan's Neck, as it was originally called, was a small, primarily Dutch and English settlement. Today, its residents can trace their roots back to a multitude of countries. Hundreds of celebrated men and women have called Great Neck their home, including stage and film stars Paul Newman, Alan King, Sid Caesar, and Francis Ford Coppola; writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ring Lardner, and Eugene O'Neill; musicians George M. Cohan, Richard Tucker, and Morton Gould; artists Louise Nevelson, Larry Rivers and Fairfield Porter; business leaders Walter Chrysler, William K. Vanderbilt Jr, and Harry F. Sinclair; and athletes Whitey Ford, Floyd Patterson and the Hughes sisters, Sarah and Emily. It has a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a church with glorious Tiffany stained glass windows, and schools that have been recognized as among the very top in the nation.
Saving the Past for the Future
The Great Neck Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting the history and heritage of the Great Neck peninsula. We share information through our programs, printed materials, and other media, as well as this website. We also support leadership efforts from all the villages in our community that share the goals of safeguarding the history of Great Neck. Please explore our website and discover the intriguing details of our vibrant history, past and present.