Stony Brook is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. Begun in the colonial era as an agricultural enclave, the hamlet experienced growth first as a resort town and then to its current state as one of Long Island's major tourist towns and centers of education. Despite being referred to as a village by residents and tourists alike, Stony Brook has never been legally incorporated by the state. The population was 13,740 at the 2010 census.
The CDP is adjacent to the main campus of Stony Brook University, a major research center within the State University of New York, and also The Stony Brook School, a private college preparatory school. It is also home to the Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages and the Stony Brook Village Center, a privately maintained commercial center planned in the style of a traditional New England village.
Stony Brook was first settled in the late 17th century. It was originally known by the native name Wopowog and then as Stoney Brook, with both names likely referring to the interconnected bodies of water at the hamlet's western edge. It began as a satellite community of adjacent Setauket, New York, the Town of Brookhaven's first settlement, and its land was included in the initial 1655 purchase from the native Setalcott tribe.
A grist mill was built in 1699 on the water body now known as the Mill Pond. The current structure, which replaced the original in 1751, ground grain into the 1940s and has since been repurposed for public tours.