Oyster Bay

The history of this quaint town on an inlet off Long Island Sound can be traced to 1615, when a Dutch explorer, impressed by the area's bountiful shellfish, named it Oyster Bay. The hamlet's distance from Long Island's more urbanized areas has helped preserve a small-town feel. Today, thousands of oyster lovers descend on the town every summer for its annual Oyster Bay Festival.

The area's most famous resident was President Teddy Roosevelt, who built his home, Sagamore Hill, here in 1885. Not all of Oyster Bay's visitors had such positive pedigrees, however. It is reported that Oyster Bay was the last port of call for Captain Kidd before he was arrested in Boston and sent back to London to be hanged in 1701. A local cook, Mary Mallon, received lots of publicity in 1906 after being dubbed Typhoid Mary for allegedly infecting dozens of people with typhoid fever. Singer Billy Joel is the town's most recent claim to fame.

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