Cold Spring Harbor is a charming, historic seaside town dating back to the 1600's, which later supported the whaling industry and was known as "Clamtown." The town's unique history and culture are highlighted in year-round events, drawing visitors to discover the best of the old and the new.
Cold Spring Harbor was originally named Cold Spring because of the naturally cold freshwater springs that flowed (and still flow) in the area. Its economy mainly tied to milling and port activities, it rose in prominence as a whaling village in the mid-nineteenth century. After the decline of whaling in the 1860s, it became a resort town with several hotels. In the 20th century it became known as the site of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, although the laboratory itself is located in the adjacent hamlet of Laurel Hollow in Nassau County. Today it is a community with a small central business area running along Route 25A, and is home to many educational and cultural organizations: The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, Dolan DNA Learning Center, the Uplands Farm Sanctuary (home of the Nature Conservancy's Long Island chapter), and The Fire House Museum. Its local school district is among the best in the country ranked at 71st as of 2008.