Photo of the Week


“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck



by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian


Port Jefferson Boat Storehouse and Horse Winch, 1897.  (Image from the Harry T. Tuthill Fullerton Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) [To View Fullerton Photo, please visit]

The village of Port Jefferson, originally called Drowned Meadow because the tidal area was “drowned” by the tide twice daily, was among the largest shipbuilding centers in Suffolk County in the nineteenth century. With the natural superiority of its protected harbor, the village also engaged in some of the earliest shipbuilding in the entire country.

By 1840, shipyards and marine railways were to be found in almost every village located along the shores of Long Island. By 1855, some twenty-five shipyards were in operation in the county. Men of all ages toiled in seafaring professions–nearly a third of the male population in Suffolk County was so engaged by 1885. More than 800 boats had been built in Suffolk County by that time, and 327 of those vessels were constructed in Port Jefferson.

To learn more about the photographer Hal B. Fullerton and the SCHS collection of Fullerton’s photographs, click on the New York Times article title cited below.

INFO. SOURCE: Gordon Welles and William Proios, Port Jefferson: Story of a Village (Port Jefferson, NY: Port Jefferson Historical Society, 1977).


Hal B. Fullerton: Crisp Images from a Faded Long Island Past”
The New York Times | May 3, 2013

“Mr. Fullerton was a great documenter of Long Island, but he was also a great photographer.”  —Neil Scholl, Professor Emeritus, New York Institute of Technology

“Anyone interested in exploring the visual landscape of Long Island’s past will find the photographs of Hal B. Fullerton…immensely valuable. Fullerton’s work was so extensive, inclusive, and pervasive that it is difficult to imagine the Island’s appearance at the turn of the twentieth century without conjuring up his pictures.”
        —Charles L. Sachs, The Blessed Isle

Be a Witness to History! The Suffolk County Historical Society invites you to be a witness to our living history. Please consider sharing your COVID-19 experiences for our historic archives.

Email your stories to: Be sure to put “COVID-19” in your subject line and to include your location and contact information.


*UPDATED* CLOSURE NOTICE: The Suffolk County Historical Society Museum will remain closed based on the closure order issued by NYS Governor Cuomo in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We are also suspending all upcoming events at this time, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

The health and safety of our visitors, members, and staff remain the Suffolk County Historical Society’s priority. Every day brings new developments related to the virus, and we understand that uncertainty can be unsettling. Our thoughts are with the entire Suffolk County and Long Island communities and with all who have been impacted by COVID-19.

During our closure, we invite the Long Island community to visit our website for updates and special offerings, including a free subscription to our historic Photo of the Week series and our Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube content:

From all of us at the Suffolk County Historical Society, thank you for your continued support through these uncertain times. Stay tuned, and stay safe! 


To View 2014 Photo of the Week pages click here.

To View 2015 Photo of the Week pages click here.

To View 2016 Photo of the Week pages click here. 

To View 2017 Photo of the Week pages click here.

To View 2018 Photo of the Week pages click here.

To View 2019 Photo of the Week pages click here. 

To View 2020 Photo of the Week pages click here.





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