Photo of the Week

—– September 5, 2022 —–


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



Group Portrait at the Greenport Presbyterian Church, c. 1890s. (From the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright (c) Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

This group photo from our Southold Pictorial Collection was captured over a century ago at the Presbyterian Church in Greenport. The image shows many residents holding American flags, possibly after having participated in a parade or other celebration. 

An 1842 description of Greenport describes it as the “largest village in Southold Town, situated at what is called Southold Harbor, a part of the Great Peconic Bay, 23 miles from the courthouse in Riverhead. It is laid out into streets and building lots, and contains about 100 dwellings, one Baptist, one Methodist, and one Presbyterian church, and wharves and railways for the accommodation of vessels.The water is of sufficient depth for large ships, and well sheltered from storms. The village was commenced by a few spirited individuals in 1827.”

The 31-member Presbyterian Church in Greenport was organized on February 7th, 1833, by Reverends Jonathan Huntting and William Fuller and Deacon Austin Haines. By 1887, when church membership had grown to over two hundred, two original members still survived: Jacob Youngs and Frances M. Moore Huntting. The church’s 1887 Memorial Appeal noted that “Greenport is rapidly rising into celebrity as a summer resort, so that the courteous hospitality of this Church is enjoyed by people from all parts of the country.”

The church edifice depicted here occupied a prominent location in the upper part of the village. It was built under the supervision of Orange H. Cleaves, Esq., and was completed on December 3, 1835. Reverend Ezra King of Middle Island preached the dedication sermon in connection with the installation of Rev. Daniel Beers on the same day. The first minister of the church, Rev. Alfred Ketcham, came from Moriches and spent two years (1833-35) at the Greenport church.


The Suffolk County Historical Society Staff and Board of Trustees would like to wish all of our readers, members, and supporters a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Holiday.




Suffolk County Historical Society
300 West Main St.
Riverhead, NY 11901



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