The Village of Bayville – One of a Kind
There is a certain presence about the Village of Bayville, a sense of place and timelessness, a feeling of freedom, independence and self-reliance that makes it a haven for residents and visitors alike. Perhaps it originates with the spirit of the Baymen…past and present.
This sense of presence has long permeated the area. The irresistible combination of beautiful, white sand beaches along the Long Island Sound, both public and private, and stunning, picture postcard sunsets make the Village of Bayville one of a kind.
Connected to the world at large and yet tucked away just enough to be secluded, Bayville is a community where privacy is both prized and practiced. It is often called a “community of lifers” because once people have spent time here, it seems they never want to leave, or if they do, some part of the Bayville experience stays with them forever.
The area that was to become the Village of Bayville was purchased from the Matinecock Indian tribe long before the American Revolution with permission from the British Crown. Its strategic location and protective coastline made it ideal for shellfish harvesting, sand and gravel mining, as well as for grazing animals and farming, in particular, asparagus. Eventually, by the time of the Gilded Age, most of these pursuits were superseded due to the area’s unique attributes of sand and surf, which made Bayville a leading summer destination.
Ferry services soon connected the hamlet to New York City, and across the Long Island Sound to Rye, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. The Village of Bayville was officially incorporated in 1919. By then Bayville had become a playground for residents of the tri-state area and beyond as well as for leading figures in high society whose Gold Coast mansions bespoke their wealth and influence. The Harrison Williams estate at Oak Point, for example, dominated the shoreline and played host to royalty and some of the wealthiest, most famous personalities in the world. In 1954, Mona Williams gifted some 27 acres of land to Bayville in her late husband’s name with the stipulation that the land remain undeveloped and natural. The Village has maintained and preserved the Harrison Williams Woods ever since.
A Tale of Two Bridges?
In many ways, Bayville is a tale of two bridges: The celebrated drawbridge that connects Bayville to Mill Neck and Oyster Bay, and the Long Island Sound bridge that a certain master builder desired, but was never able to build. While the former structure exemplifies the community’s small-town charm to this day, the latter surely would have adversely affected the North Shore’s most precious gem had Robert Moses gotten his way.
In Bayville, A Community Where You Can Find It All.
If you are looking for recreational activities, few small villages offer as many as Bayville. Boating season (April 15 – November 15) sees a rise in activities. Sailing the Sound and beyond, or across to Connecticut, fishing, swimming, and sunning are all wonderful summer pursuits.
Seaside restaurants abound. In fact, the Village of Bayville is home to a wealth of restaurants to suit any taste and pocketbook. From grand cuisine to casual dining…from a third generation, family-owned pizzeria whose devotees insist make the best pizza west of Italy…to bistros with fresh seafood, there is a place for everyone. And Bayville has been a wedding location for decades with several famed seaside catering facilities known far and wide.
Things are happening in Bayville all year long…from ice skating in the Village rink to one of the biggest events, the Bayville Winter Festival which is sponsored by the Bayville Chamber of Commerce. With a tree lighting, live music and carolers, carriage rides, a spectacular holiday animated light show…and appearances by Santa, it’s a shouldn’t-be-missed event perfect for the whole family!
To Learn More About Bayville, Visit Us at Village Hall
*An excellent source of the history of Bayville is “Images of America: The Incorporated Village of Bayville.” It has over 125 pages of images, historic maps and definitive text for those seeking to know more about the community and its people.