Beginnings: The grassy Hempstead Plains that covered much of modern-day central Nassau include what is now Stewart Manor. After Europeans settled Hempstead in the 1640s, they used the plains to graze cattle. During the Revolution, British troops confiscated the cattle and used the plains to raise horses and drill troops. By the mid-1800s, the town-owned plains were seen as useless and were sold to wealthy New York merchant Alexander T. Stewart. He developed Garden City on the plains and sold off most of the rest of the land. As late as the 1920s, long after Garden City had become established, its neighbor to the west was still treeless, barren and largely unoccupied.
Photo: Stewart Manor Country Club (Newsday / Daniel Goodrich)