Photo of the Week
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Jamesport, Originally Aquebogue, Settled in 1690s
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
An idyllic view of the home of Charles Sidney Tuthill in Jamesport, c. 1880s. The building on the right and the wagons were used by Charles and his brother George Henry Tuthill in their undertaking establishment at Jamesport. (From the Riverhead Pictorial Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Image copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
The hamlet now called Jamesport was first settled in the 1690s and originally was called Aquebogue. It became Lower Aquebogue when another hamlet was established to the west called Upper Aquebogue. The name “Jamesport” refers to James Tuthill, who settled the area south of Lower Aquebogue on the Peconic Bay with his family in 1833. Over time Lower Aquebogue came to be called Jamesport, while the community one mile to the south previously called Jamesport came to be called South Jamesport. Upper Aquebogue became just Aquebogue.
By 1875 there were between 30 and 40 houses in South Jamesport. Each place was completely enclosed by painted picket fences. According to Ralph Albertson’s account in The Romance of Jamesport (1944), residents planted fruit trees rather than ornamental or shade trees. Everyone kept chickens, nearly everyone kept at least one pig, and several families kept a cow tethered by the side of the roadway. Horses were essential and there was a stable behind nearly every house.