SUFFOLK COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

If you’ve been enjoying our Photo of the Week, please consider becoming a member of SCHS. The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history.

Click here to learn about Member Benefits!

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From the Civil War to civil rights, revolutions to restorations, spies to Suffragettes, boatbuilders to bootleggers, and whalers to wineries, Long Island’s history comes alive at the Suffolk County Historical Society! 

Interested in seeing more historical photos from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Library perusing our extensive archival photography collectionsWe’re open Weds. – Sat., 12:30 – 4:30 PM. 

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Photo of the Week / January 18, 2020

FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES

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

POSTMARKS, SUFFOLK COUNTY, 1910 – 1913

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian 

Westhampton, Eastport, Good Ground, Huntington, Cutchogue, Riverhead, Sayville, Laurel, Islip, and Calverton are among the postmarks, or postal cancellations, in this image from our Postal Service Collection. Some other interesting items within this historic collection include inventories from the 1800s of the postmasters of Riverhead (1887-1892), a list of money orders issued by the Flanders Post Office (1908-1928), and published lists of post offices in operation in the mid-1800s and the names of their postmasters.

The collection also includes documents related to an old post office known as “Success.” It existed in the Northville section of Riverhead town from 1838 to 1880. When the residents of Northville sought a post office in 1838, they were informed that a Northville post office already existed in upstate New York, so they chose the name Success instead. Postmasters at the time were presidential political appointees and usually changed along with the administration in Washington, DC. The postmasters of the Success Post Office included a woman (Melinda Corwin) and a civil war veteran (Elisha Wells):

1838 – Benjamin E. Warner
1840 – John Luce
1854 – Jabez Corwin
1861 – Melinda Corwin
1870 – James H. Corwin
1870 – Elisha Wells
1871 – James H. Wells

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Visit: www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org

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. 

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Photo of the Week / January 11, 2020

FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES

 

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

 

THIRD HOUSE, MONTAUK

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian 

 

Third House, Montauk, 1897. (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 photograph, please visit www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org]

Located near Montauk Point and the Montauk Lighthouse, the original Third House was built in 1797 in Montauk, and then was rebuilt in circa 1806. It was one of three early houses in Montauk that were occupied by town-appointed overseers of livestock herds on Indian Field. The keepers of the herds were appointed annually by East Hampton Town trustees, and the arduous service was considered an honor. In the early 1800s, about six thousand sheep and cattle were grazing on Montauk pastures each summer.

By the summer of 1898, however, the land at Indian Field was dotted not with cattle but with the white tents of the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War. Third House became the headquarters for Col. Theodore Roosevelt, and nearly 30,000 soldiers were quarantined in camps sited on the hills and plains of Montauk to recuperate from wounds and disease. It was on the porch of Third House that Roosevelt learned of his nomination for the governorship of New York.

Third House still stands today and is currently the site of a nature center located at 1929 Montauk Highway, within the Theodore Roosevelt County Park.

Suggested Reading: East Hampton: A History and Guide, by Jason Epstein and Elizabeth Barlow (Wainscott, NY: Medway Press, 1975).

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Visit: www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org

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. 

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Photo of the Week / January 3, 2020

FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES

 

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

 

The Famous Long Island Potato

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian

The Famous Long Island Potato (on a Long Island Railroad Train).  (From the Riverhead Pictorial Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

 

Long Island–site of the nation’s oldest potato-growing industry–has a history with potatoes dating back to at least the 1800s. According to Suffolk County historian Morton Pennypacker, however, the cultivation of the potato may date back to 1637, when Lion Gardiner reportedly planted the first white potatoes on Gardiner’s Island.

Potato production on Long Island peaked in the late 1940s with over 70,000 acres grown by many hundreds of Long Island potato farmers. By the 1950s, Suffolk County ranked third among counties nationwide in potato production, and by 1963, the Potato Association of America was holding its 50th Anniversary celebration at Riverhead’s Perkins Hotel. 

Long Island horticulturalist Edith Loring Fullerton explained in How to Make a Vegetable Garden (Doubleday, 1905) that the best potato crop is obtained by planting sections of the potato that have three eyes. Favorite potato varieties on Long Island at the turn of the twentieth century were Green Mountain, Rural New Yorker, Early Rose, and Gold Coin.

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Visit: www.suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org

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. 

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AAQ Resource: Riverhead Bay Motors

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