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Freeport is a village in the Town of Hempstead, in Nassau County, on the South Shore of Long Island, in New York, United States. The population was 43,713 at the 2010 census, making it the second largest village in New York by population.
Before people of European ancestry came to the area, the land was part of the territory of the Meroke Indians. Written records of the community go back to the 1640s. The village now known as Freeport was part of an area called “the Great South Woods” during colonial times. In the mid-17th century, 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.
In 1853, residents voted to rename the village Freeport, adopting a variant of a nickname used by ship captains during colonial times because they were not charged customs duties to land their cargo.
After the Civil War, Freeport became a center for commercial oystering. This trade began to decline as early as the beginning of the 20th century because of changing salinity and increased pollution in Great South Bay. Nonetheless, even as of the early 21st century Freeport and nearby Point Lookout have the largest concentration of commercial fishing activity anywhere near New York City.Learn more about Freeport.