Photo of the Week
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
HUNTINGTON, FOUNDED 1653
Huntington Harbor, East Shore, Sailboats at Anchor, 1900, by Hal B. Fullerton. (Image from the Harry T. Tuthill Fullerton Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Image Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) — ED: to view Fullerton photo, visit SCHS website.
Huntington was founded in 1653 by three men from Oyster Bay who secured a deed for a parcel of land from the Matinecock tribe. This parcel included land bordered by Cold Spring Harbor on the west, Northport Harbor on the east, what is now known as Old Country Road to the south, and Long Island Sound to the north. The men immediately turned the land over to the European settlers who had already been living there. From this initial settlement, Huntington grew over subsequent years to include all of the land presently comprising the modern Towns of Huntington and Babylon. It wasn’t until 1872 that the southern part of the town was formally separated to create Babylon Town.
When President George Washington visited Huntington in 1790, the town had 2,000 residents. Most lived in Huntington hamlet, with farmhouses scattered in the rest of the town. By the early 1800s, the town’s population had grown to over 4,000. The arrival of the Long Island Railroad in 1867 transformed the economy of Huntington from primarily agriculture and shipping (based on its well-protected harbor) to tourism and commuting. The end of World War II brought about an explosive growth of population in Huntington, where farms and resorts gave way to residential homes and businesses.