Villages in 1875 Described (Part 1)

Footnotes to Long Island History

Villages in 1875 Described

January 13, 1954


Thomas R. Bayles


          A booklet entitled “Handbook of Long Island” which was published by Richard M. Bayles in 1875 gives an interesting installments, the first of which follows.  These glimpses of life in the area will be presented in two insight into villages and localities of the day in Brookhaven town.

          Artist Lake; A hamlet on the shore of a lake in the eastern part of Middle Island.

          Bartlett; A hamlet of five or six houses on the railroad, formerly known as Bellport Station, but has been abandoned as a  stopping place for trains.  Named in honor of William O. Bartlett, whose estate lies four miles north of here.

          Bellport; A village of 297 inhabitants.  The homes are neat, and several elegant and costly residences are maintained by city men of wealth.  There are several large boarding houses in the village, three churches, a wharf, and a steam planing mill.

          Brookhaven; A village of 182 inhabitants.  The people are engaged in farming and bay fisheries.  Two churches—Methodist and Episcopal, and a chapel used by the Presbyterians.  Large tracts of salt meadows skirt the bay at this point.

          Center Moriches; This village had a population of 369 persons, two churches, Presbyterian and Methodist, several stores, large village hall, and a number of large boarding houses for the summer visitors who come here in large numbers.  The bay is frequented by a large number of sail boats to ferry visitors across to the beach on the ocean 3 miles distant.

          Coram; An ancient settlement in the central part of the town, and was for many years the place for holding public meetings of the town.  It has a Methodist church and a population of 158.  Farming and the raising of small fruits and melons occupy the attention of the people.

          Cumsewogue; A locality on the high ground one mile south of the village of Port Jefferson.  It is a strong farming vicinity with about 20 houses.

          Dyer’s Neck; a point of land lying between Setauket and Port Jefferson harbors.  It was called by the Indians Poquott.

          East Moriches; Population 388, a pleasant, compact village on the bay.  Several stores and two churches.  The farms in this neighborhood are level and rich.  Stages connect the village with railroad at Moriches, 2 miles west.

          East Patchogue; A neighborhood of farmers on the South Country Road, two miles east of Patchogue.  The country is open and level, and farming occupies the people.

          Eastport; A village of 359 people in the southeast corner of the town, and  partly in the town of Southampton.  It contains one church, hotel, stores, gristmill and saw mill.  The branch railroad from Manor makes a junction here.  The bay and sea furnish occupation for most of the people.

          East Setauket; A village of 684 inhabitants in the northwest  part of the town.  Shipbuilding formerly was carried on extensively here.  Farming and the sea furnish occupation for most of the people now.

          Farmingville; A settlement of farmers scattered along the road east and west a distance of three miles, lying in the central part of the town a mile and half north of Holtsville.  “Bald Hills” are in this neighborhood.

          Forge; A railroad station on the west side of Forge river between the settlements of Mastic and Moriches.

          Holtsville; A village of 138 people, on the wooded plain, in the western part of the town.  The railroad station at this place is called Waverly.  The village has a Baptist church.

          Lake Grove; This village has a population of 398, mostly farmers.  It has three churches, Protestant Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist and lies two miles north of Ronkonkoma.

          Manorville; A scattered village of 318 population at the junction of the Sag Harbor branch and the main line of the Long Island Rail Road.  There are four school districts and two churches, and two stores.  Peconic river has its source near here and is fed by numerous ponds and marshes.  The culture of cranberries is carried on extensively and other products are cordwood, potatoes, cauliflower and strawberries.

          Mastic; A peninsula covering over 5,000 acres extending into the bay, and contains some excellent farm land.  It was once a part of the Manor of St. George, and has been the residence of several prominent men.  Among these may be named Col. William Smith, the patentee who was chief justice, and for a time acting governor of the Colony; General William Floyd, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  General Nathaniel Woodhull, president of the Provincial Congress, whose untimely fate at the beginning of the Revolution deprived the American cause of an advocate who promised to rank with Washington, and General John Smith, United States senator from 1804 to 1813.  The Indian settlement of Poosepatuck lies on the east side, and near this is the rail road station Forge.

                                      (To be continued)

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