Photo of the Week

——— March 29, 2024 ———


Perkins Mill Site / Riverhead’s Electric Plant, Upper Mills, Riverhead, 1935. (Image from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library & Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) 

The building that housed Riverhead’s early electric plant still stands on the site of the old Perkins Mill in an area that’s known as Upper Mills. The brick structure was home to one of the earliest electric companies on Long Island, generating power first for the Riverhead Electric Company and, beginning in 1922, for the Long Island Lighting Company. Efforts are currently under way to preserve the historically significant site on West Main Street.

In the 1790s Richard Albertson operated a mill at the Upper Mills site. Later, in about 1828, it was purchased by John Perkins, who operated a clothing mill there. Using wool from local farmers, the main products from the Perkins Mill were stocking yarn, flannel, and cassimere. Red flannel was used for men’s drawers and undershirts and women’s petticoats. The Long Island Railroad bought many yards of material from the Perkins Mill to make uniforms for its personnel. The mill was carried on by Mr. Perkins until his death in 1866, His sons J.R. Perkins and J.H. Perkins continued the business for several decades. 

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian




Copyright © 2024 Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.  

Suffolk County Historical Society
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Riverhead, NY 11901


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