A tale of two villages: county Legislature resides in Garden City, not Mineola

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The Nassau County Executive and Legislative Building as seen in Garden City. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

So where is the Nassau County Legislature? 

A Google search of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building identifies its address as 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola, a village in the Town of North Hempstead that is known to be the county seat. 

But Nassau County tax maps and official maps from both the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead locate the county offices within the Village of Garden City in the Town of Hempstead. 

The Nassau County Board of Elections at 240 Old Country Road is in a similar situation,  with a listed address in Mineola but a physical location in Garden City, according to multiple resources. 

The county’s land record viewer, a website that provides public access to the tax records of all properties within Nassau County, identifies the location of both the county Legislature and the county Board of Elections office as the Village of Garden City in the Town of Hempstead, instead of the Village of Mineola in the Town of North Hempstead. 

Century-old reporting from The New York Times explains why that is. 

Nassau County voters selected Mineola as the county seat on Nov. 9, 1898, according to a  story the next day in The Times. Mineola, then unincorporated, won with a majority of several hundred votes over the Village of Hempstead. 

The land on which the Legislature and Board of Elections offices sit was previously owned by Alexander Turney Stewart, the founder of the Garden City Company, one of Long Island’s oldest real estate companies that according to the Times owned 13 offices along Garden City’s Franklin Avenue and Seventh Street when it was sold in 2002. 

The company agreed to give four acres of land in present-day Garden City to be used as the county seat if Mineola were selected, according to a Sept. 29, 1898, New York Times article.

“The site is within three minutes’ walk of the railroad station, on the Old Country Road,” the Times article said. 

A 1998 article by The Times said Stewart acquired 1,500 acres from local farmers that were encompassed by “Old Country Road on the north and Hempstead Village to the south,” borders that coincide with the north and southern borders of the present-day Village of Garden City. 

Mineola was selected as the county seat before the village incorporated in 1906 and defined its southern borders as Old Country Road. The Village of Garden City where the county offices reside was incorporated in 1919.

The  county offices continue to be serviced by the Mineola post office, despite Garden City having a post office within its boundaries. 

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