Beginnings: Woodbury was part of the large land purchase that Welsh settler Robert Williams made in 1648 from the Matinecock Indians. By the mid-1700s a small number of farmers began to cultivate land in the area. The center of the community was a tiny schoolhouse, notable mainly because poet Walt Whitman taught there for the 1837-38 school year. The tiny community remained isolated, connected only by old Indian paths to Cold Spring Harbor and Jericho, until the railroad arrived in nearby Syosset in 1854. In time, that attracted more farmers to the area, who saw that the Syosset train station opened up the large markets of western Queens, Brooklyn and New York.
Photo: Jericho Turnpike at Woodbury from "Long Island To-day" by Frederick Ruther, 1909