Post Office


Photo from Queensborough Public Library

2nd Postmaster- Family In Old Stamping Ground
New York Daily News
April 30, 1961

The Middle Island Post Office, which in 1901 set a record because the Hutchinson family had operated it for 90 years, is on its way towards another such mark. Except for 27 months in the 1940s, the post office is currently observing its 60th anniversary in the Pfeiffer family.

The present postmaster is Mrs. Grace Pfeiffer widow of Everett H. Pfeiffer, who succeeded his later father, Edward, on the latter's retirement in 1940.

A veteran of nearly 20 years' experience in postal routine, Mrs. Pfeiffer unofficially assisted her husband for several years before she became the office's first clerk in 1948. She handled the entire work during the two years her husband spent in World War 2 overseas service.

Established in 1796
The post office, one of Suffolk's oldest, was established in 1796. In its 165 years, it has had as many names as it has had postmaster-families.

Originally, with Appolus Wetmore as postmaster, it was known as Middletown. Shortly after 1800, it became Brookhaven, and in 1820, it was renamed Middle Island.

Besides its family background, the office has other historical significance. For nearly all of the past six decades, it has been situated in a building which, up to 1957, served as a crossroads general store for 150 years. The original portion of the structure, on Route 25 at Middle Island Rocky Point Road, is 225 years old.

Mentioned in 1744
In its earlier years, the building, then owned by the Brewster family, also housed a tavern that was stagecoach stop, which is mentioned in Alexander Hamilton's memoirs of his Long Island trip.

Mrs. Pfeiffer has carefully preserved many historical papers relating to the structure and the post office. One, a faded record of its postal activities for the final quarter of 1807, shows that five pieces of outgoing mail were handled in October 12 in November and seven in December.

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