Stony Brook is a hamlet 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. Tourist attractions include the Stony Brook Grist Mill and the Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, a large complex of buildings originally known as the Stony Brook Carriage House and Suffolk Museum. Other Stony Brook attractions are the 19th-century William Sidney Mount House, the St. James Episcopal Chapel, and the West Meadow Beach Historic District. Stony Brook is located on the North Shore of Long Island. The historic core of Stony Brook was developed from the 17th century onward at the mouth of Stony Brook Harbor, a narrow inlet of the Long Island Sound. A peninsula in this vicinity known as the West Meadow includes a beach and wetlands reserve.