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Freeport (V)

Freeport is a village in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, USA, on the South Shore of Long Island. The population of the village was 43,783 at the 2000 census. The Incorporated Village of Freeport is in the southwestern part of Nassau County, lying within the town of Hempstead. Freeport has its own municipal electric utility and police department.
The village now known as Freeport was part of an area called the Great South Woods during colonial times. In the mid-1600s, the area was renamed Raynor South, and ultimately Raynortown, after a herdsman named Edward Raynor, who had moved to the area from Hempstead in 1659, cleared land and built a cabin.
The village was incorporated in 1892. Oystering became a thriving industry after the civil war, although it declined at the beginning of the 20th Century because of changing salinity in the bay and because of pollution. The south part of the village is penetrated by several canals that allow access to the Atlantic Ocean by means of passage through salt marshes, the oldest of these canals is the late 19th century Woodcleft Canal.  Freeport has extensive small boat facilities and a resident fishing fleet, as well as charter and open fishing boats.
Freeport is a Long Island hot spot during the summer season in New York. A popular festival occurs on Freeport's Nautical Mile each June, which attracts many people from across Long Island, and New York City. Freeport has a sizable African-American population, particularly in the northern section of the village.
Freeport was also one of the few Long Island towns to hold a sizeable open air market area, known as the Freeport Mall. The children of Freeport, in grades 1-4, attend magnet elementary schools, which aid to integrate the village's youngsters. Freeport is still home to a large ice skating rink at the Freeport Recreation Center.
In the village the population was spread out with 26.4 percent under the age of 18, 9.1 percent from 18 to 24, 32.1 percent from 25 to 44, 22.0 percent from 45 to 64, and 10.5 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. It is a town known for its historic myths and traditions, scenic beauty and cooperative people.

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