Patchogue Life in ‘98 (Part 1)

Footnotes to Long Island History

Patchogue Life in '98
April 9, 1953


Thomas R. Bayles

        In a special edition of the Patchogue Argus published in 1898 are some interesting descriptions of Patchogue in that day.

                Patchogue is a pleasantly laid out with good wide and shady streets, and ocean avenue has been recently paved with vitrified brick and is a subject of a favorable comment. The streets are lighted with electricity and an efficient police and fire department is maintained. Patchogue has been termed a "City of Homes" and rents are fair and real estate cheap. Admirable railroad facilities connect it with the city, surroundings are delightful and climate cannot be excelled. The tone of the society is healthy and the moral of the community will compare favorably with other communities.

         The original site of Patchogue proper, between Patchogue river on the west and Swan river on the east, containing about 300 acres was lot no. 3 in a lottery sale made by Humphrey Avery in 1758 and purchased  by Leoford Leoffords for a nominal sum. The name Patchogue is supposed to be an Indian origin meaning "patches of water," which the many lakes surrounding the village would indicate.

                "Across the Great South bay nestle among the beach hills on the ocean, little resorts where a feast for a king, a paddle in still waters or a combat with foaming breakers may be indulged in. Packet yachts make the trip to the ocean twice daily and charge only 25 cents a round trip.

             "The south side of Long Island and Patchogue in particular is the wheelman's paradise. All of our streets are in excellent condition and paths lead in all directions. Last year a across-island cycle was completed. Long Island's fine roads leading from Brooklyn to Patchogue make it Mecca for century runs.

            "The Clinton House is a summer hotel unsurpassed on Long Island and it has recently been enlarged to accommodate 300 guests. The piazzas are broad and offer a grand promenade; the grounds are laid out for lawn tennis, croquet, archery, and other outdoor amusements. The cuisine is under the supervision of an experienced chef and the table is furnished with the best eggs, butter, milk, cream and vegetables. Fish and clams direct from the salt water. Good service by tidy waitresses. An elegant large and cool dining room overlooks the water. In connection with the hotel are bathing houses and row boats also yachts commanded by experienced captains ready to take parties out sailing. A livery and boarding stable is connected with the house. Terms are $2.50 to $4 per day.

          "The popular Ocean avenue Pharmacist is Eugene P. Smith who is thoroughly educated in his business for such an important position as dispenser of drugs and medicines cannot know too much about them, therefore the popularity of Smith's pharmacy cannot be wondered at. The compounding of physicians prescriptions is given the most prompt attention and only the purest of drugs are used. A full line of toilet articles, cigars, and druggist's sundries is also carried.

           "Howard S. Conklin, Patchogue's leading stationer is located on Ocean avenue and is the headquarters for all the leading periodicals of the day with a complete line of books, stationary, picture frames etc. Mr. Conklin was born at East Patchogue an comes from one of the oldest families of the town. He has during his business career in Patchogue become very popular and is highly regarded for his energy and integrity.

            "George H. Furman one of the leading young lawyers of Patchogue was born in Brooklyn May 26, 1868. While very young his parents moved to Blue Point, where he passed his early boyhood, receiving his education in the Blue Point and Patchogue schools. At the age of 18 he was principal of the Brookhaven school and at 20 was principal of the Blue Point school. He entered Columbia college in 1890, graduating in 1869 the fourth in a class of 375 and receiving the degree of bachelor of laws. He opened his office in this village in that year and is known throughout Suffolk as an able lawyer.

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