North Fork Rail Stations: A Brief History of Southold Town and its Railroad Way Stations

North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014
North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014)

Along with Southampton, the town of Southold holds title of the oldest English town in New York State.  Both were first settled in the year 1640 by Englishmen.  Southold is about twenty-two miles in length west to east.  The western half is about three miles in width while the remainder varies from a mere sand beach to less than two miles.  For the better half of four centuries the town has remained primarily agricultural.  It was the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to the North Fork in 1844 that spearheaded change, making the area a seasonal getaway, known for its quaint villages and historic past.  Passenger service increased property values and brought tourists to hotels and boarding houses.  It also allowed goods to be shipped by rail freight to New York and Brooklyn.  In the post-World War II years, the town began to attract buyers of second homes.  Today, both farms and vineyards dot the North Fork terrain.[1]  The following is both a history of Southold and a chronicle of rail service to the many hamlets of the township.

Southold: Early History

The earliest settlement in the town of Southold is where the current hamlet of Southold is today.  Prior to 1640, in the years 1636 and 1637, it is believed a group of Englishmen seeking turpentine occupied the lands of what was called Hashamomack Neck, present-day Arshamomague, which translates to “where springs flow.”  Their encampment was on the shores of Thomas Benedict’s or Tom’s Creek (Mill Creek or Arshamomague Pond) just west of Southold hamlet.  They later became some of the first home owners in the 1640 settlement.[2]

Southold town is the namesake of Southwold, a location in England’s Suffolk County overlooking the North Sea.  In 1460 the Church of St. Edmund was established in Southwold and Reverend Christopher Youngs was appointed curate of the St. Edmund chapel by the vicar of Reydon.  Long Island’s Southold was established by a descendant of Christopher, Reverend John Youngs, who was a native of Norfolkshire.  Reverend Youngs was a Puritan and like most ministers of the Church of England in the early seventeenth century became a “nonconformist.”   He didn’t conform to the arbitrary requirements of Archbishop Laud, who was backed by King Charles I.  So, Reverend Youngs fled to New England in search of civil and religious liberty, settling in New Haven.  In October of 1640, Youngs and his followers were bound for Long Island.[3]

North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014
North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014

The practice of New Haven authorities was to settle an area and, a year or so later, a church.  Southold land was purchased from local Indians who called it Yennicott, meaning “an extended stretch of land.”  Following settlement, Youngs organized the congregation at New Haven on October 21, 1640 and took it to Long Island.  He selected the highest ground for the church, where the founder’s monument stands today.  The structure also served as town hall, court house, and school house.  It was rebuilt in 1684, 1761, and 1803.[4]

Southold: Early Settlers

Several years after Southold was established the Connecticut governor and other magistrates purchased the land from New Haven.  However, residents found the acquisition unsatisfactory and in 1649 the Connecticut General Court consented to release it back.  New Haven authorities then purchased land which extended Southold’s jurisdiction past modern-day Cutchogue.  In 1659, the entire tract of land was repurchased by the town from New Haven.  The town later received a confirmation deed for the land on December 7, 1665.[5]

The fundamental principle of the founders was religious freedom. No regular code of law was established in the early years other than that of the church and its teachings.  Subject to the New Haven General Court, local civil government was in the town meeting.  However, in 1655 Governor Eaton framed a code of law with provisions for education, the church, and protection against enemies.[6]

The first settlement included John Youngs, Barnabas Horton, William Wells, Peter Hallock, John Tuthill, Richard Terry, Thomas Mapes, Mathias Corwin, Robert Akerly, Jacob Corey, John Conkline, Isaac Arnold, and John Budd.  Initially called Northfleet, it occupied the present center of the hamlet.  New Haven authorities later changed the name to South Hold in light of its Southwold roots.  The name may also have been suggested since the land was south of Connecticut.[7]

One of the most important early citizens was Captain Youngs, the original pastor’s namesake and eldest son.  He was responsible for uniting first and second generation Southolders.  A representative of Southold in both the General Court of New Haven Jurisdiction and in the State Legislature, Captain Youngs was sent to Connecticut in 1663 to ask for aid in the fight against the Dutch.  The following year he organized the Southold militia to assist in the capture of New Amsterdam.  In later years Captain Youngs became sheriff of the territory named Yorkshire, which included Long Island, Richmond and Westchester.  The captain was also responsible for obtaining a new deed from the Indians since previous grants made at different times didn’t identify all lands.  He died in 1698 at seventy-six.[8]

Other early settlers included lawyer William Wells, the wealthy Barnabas Horton, and ship and land owner Thomas Moore.  Moore was leading citizen for forty years and bought the house of Captain John Underhill, the soldier and skillful Indian fighter.  In 1683, Moore was a chief town officer and on the committee to choose a representative member for the Province of New York when Southold severed ties with New Haven.[9]

Following victory over the Dutch it became apparent that the Duke of York and New York Governor Sir Edmund Andros didn’t want Southold to retain its union with Connecticut.  However, Southold citizens and officials refused to apply for a land patent, wishing to remain with Connecticut.  With the threat of disenfranchisement if they persisted, a patent from the governor was eventually accepted on October 31, 1676 known as the Andros Patent of 1676.[10]  The patent defined the boundaries of the town and included present Riverhead town.  The previous confirmatory Indian deed in 1665, signed by Ambuscow, Hammatux, and forty-one other Indians, described similar boundaries.  As the land was gradually divided, communities developed at Corchaug (Cutchogue), Little Hogg Neck (Nassau Point), Robbins Island Neck (New Suffolk), Mattituck, Oyster Ponds Lower Neck (Orient), Upper Neck of Oyster Ponds (East Marion), Starlinge (Greenport), Franklinville (Laurel), and the West Southold Plantation (later Hermitage and Peconic).  Great Hogg Neck’s eastern part (Bay View) was divided in 1702, and South Arbour (Harbor) and Indian Neck in 1706 and 1719, respectively.[11]

On October 17, 1683, the New York State Assembly divided Long Island into three counties, naming the eastern half Suffolk after the native county of Captain Youngs.  The following year a prison and new meeting house were erected at Southold.  County Court of Sessions was held alternately at Southold and Southampton until the county seat was transferred to Riverhead in 1725.[12]

Southold in the Revolution

In 1685, the L’Hommedieu and Boisseau families arrived in Southold.  Ezra L’Hommedieu was the grandson of Benjamin L’Hommedieu, the first Huguenot settler in the colonies.  During the Revolutionary War, Southold generally sided with the Patriot cause.  Its chief citizen, Ezra L’Hommedieu, pledged support at the Provincial Congress where he served from 1775 to 1777.  He also represented the town in the State Assembly and the Continental Congress.  Other positions held were State Senator and Clerk of Suffolk County.[13]

The British occupied Southold during the Revolution, transferring the town seat to Mattituck.  Throughout the war, Southold was exposed to ravages by the English Army.  Some citizens remained loyal but about half the population fled to New England.  In 1777, Lt. Col. Jonathan Meigs led 170 Continental soldiers across Long Island Sound through Southold on a successful raid of the British garrison at Sag Harbor.  Despite victory at war’s end, the local economy lay in ruin for decades.[14]  Several years after the war, Southold was divided and the western half became the town of Riverhead in 1792.

Southold in the Nineteenth Century

Agriculture and fisheries were almost the exclusive local industries on the North Fork until the LIRR.  Passenger service brought tourists during the summer months.  Hotels and boarding houses were built in most communities along the right-of-way.  Also, rail freight allowed products to be shipped west to New York and Brooklyn, increasing farmer’s profits.[15]

As chartered by the New York State Legislature on April 24, 1834 the LIRR was to provide the shortest and fastest connection between Brooklyn and Boston.  The plan provided for the railroad to lease the Brooklyn & Jamaica Railroad, use its rails, and construct a rail link to Long Island’s eastern tip where a ferry would take passengers to a New England railroad bound for Boston.  No competition was anticipated because engineers considered it impossible to build a railroad along the Connecticut waterfront.[16]  On July 24, 1844 the inaugural trains ran from Brooklyn to Greenport, making the trip in three-and-a-half hours.  However, by 1844, engineers found ways to bridge the Connecticut shoreline and a new railroad route was completed in late 1849, forcing the Long Island to become a commuter railroad.  In response, the LIRR focused on intra-island travel.[17]

Southold first appeared as a way station on timetables dated July 29, 1844.  A depot building and wooden platform were constructed near current Youngs Avenue.  A new Victorian-style depot was erected between November of 1869 and January of 1870 on the west side of Youngs Avenue on the south side of the tracks.  Of a unique design, the building’s roof eaves featured reverse curve brackets.[18]

Southold Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station and depot building opened July 29, 1844 (timetable)
Depot building replaced November 1869 – January 1870
Station agency closed January 1959
Station agent reassigned February 11, 1959
Depot building razed June 1962
Three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter erected June 1962 (author’s analysis)
Metal passenger shelter razed Fall 1996 (author’s analysis)
High-level concrete platform and ramp constructed (with a large, saltbox-roofed passenger waiting area shelter and information center made of steel and enamel painted red-brick, mint, and light beige) Fall 1996 – Early 1998 (author’s analysis)
LIRR Southold Station, platform and second depot building, view west (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Southold Station, platform and second depot building, view west (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)

Southold hamlet benefited from the LIRR since it provided alternate means of transportation.  By 1875, Southold’s population was about 1,100.  There were four churches, an academy, a savings bank, a newspaper and printing office, a hotel, five stores, and several shops and offices.  By 1923, the village had a population of 2,000.[19]

LIRR Southold Station, platform and second depot building, view east (December 1954: Emery Photo, Dave Keller Archive)
LIRR Southold Station, platform and second depot building, view east (December 1954: Emery Photo, Dave Keller Archive)

Increased sea traffic from Greenport led to the construction of the Horton Point Lighthouse, one of seven existing lighthouses in Southold town.  Standing on the “Clift lot” of Barnabas Horton’s original 1640 land grant, the lighthouse is two miles north of the village on the sound shore.  Built in 1857, the tower is thirty-feet high, giving its light an elevation of 110 feet above sea level with a visibility of twenty miles.[20]

Horton Point Lighthouse, Southold (May 26, 2012)
Horton Point Lighthouse, Southold (May 26, 2012)

The town of Southold’s waterfront boundary became the subject of controversy at the turn of the twentieth century when Southampton town tried to wrest all rights to the Great Peconic Bay from Riverhead and Southold towns.  For years, Southampton laid claim to half of the bay but now wanted more.  Both Riverhead and Southold towns demanded free use of the bay and, at a 1901 Southold town meeting, asked for an appropriation to enable trustees to define the line and settle the controversy.  After close examination of the Andros Patent, which was at Brooklyn’s Long Island Historical Society, it was found that boundaries didn’t end at water’s edge and indeed Southold had rights to the bay.[21]

Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)
Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)

Located on the southern end of Southold hamlet, Great Hogg Neck also developed in the nineteenth century.  Projecting into the bay about two miles, the neck is one-and-a-half miles wide, forming an eastern cove called Southold Bay or Town Harbor.  Known for good farmland, by 1875, it had a school district and forty farm houses.[22]

Hortons Point, Southold (May 26, 2012)
Hortons Point, Southold (May 26, 2012)

Southold Today

In the twentieth century, Southold hamlet grew into a suburban community of both year-round and summer residents.  In 1998 the population was 5,380.  Some also chose the community as a retirement destination.  The trend began with the construction of Founders Village in the mid-1980s which sought to attract middle-aged and elderly homeowners, aged fifty-five and older, who wished to buy houses that offered security, recreational services, and reduced responsibilities.[23]

Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)
Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)

Southold offers both historical and sightseeing locations.  Although the Horton Point Lighthouse tower beacon was turned off in 1933 and an automated skeletal tower erected closer to the shore line, today the old tower has a working light giving a slow flashing green-tinged glow every ten seconds.  The long story of its resurgence begins in January 1934 when Southold Park District purchased the building and grounds from the United States Department of Commerce for one dollar.  After the sale, the last keeper stayed in residence until the Hurricane of 1938.  Although it was occupied by the Coast Guard during World War II, the area remained relatively dormant until 1990 when the tower was repaired and relit, and the skeletal tower removed.  Today, the eight-acre park is still owned and maintained by the Southold Park District.  The former keeper’s dwelling now houses a nautical museum and the entire building is listed on New York State Register of Historic Places.  The anchor outside the building was from the Commodore, shipwrecked on December 25-26, 1866.[24]

Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)
Founders Landing Park, Southold Park District (June 16, 2013)

Another Southold recreation area is Goldsmiths Inlet, a small county-owned park bordering Long Island Sound.  While only thirty-four acres it supports deer and Canada geese.  Another Suffolk County park is Cedar Beach on Great Hogg’s Neck, overlooking Shelter Island with sixty-eight acres and over 2,800 feet of shoreline.  Beaches operated by the town of Southold include Emerson Park at the end of South Harbor Road, with views of Peconic Bay, and Founders Park at the end of Hobart Road overlooking Southold Bay.  Smaller beach facilities are available at McCabe’s Beach and Kenny’s Beach on Horton Drive along the sound.[25]

Kenneys Beach, Southold (May 26, 2012)
Kenneys Beach, Southold (May 26, 2012)

In 2015 the town of Southold celebrated its three-hundred seventy-fifth anniversary with various events and parades.  The historic observance kicked off with Mile Marker Day on May 16.  Those in attendance participated in a scavenger hunt relating to the town’s mile markers located on Main Road.  At each marker location, participants searched for answers to questions listed on the day’s entry form.  In Orient, after successful completion of the hunt, they were greeted by Southold Town Councilman Bob Ghosio and Dan McCarthy of Southold, who was dressed as Benjamin Franklin.  For the lucky winners, McCarthy stamped the anniversary logo on a commemorative postcard.  While some of the markers are missing, many are easily visible along Main Road.  Originally, it was believed they were erected 260 earlier by Benjamin Franklin.  However, new research by local historian Amy Folk proves they were actually installed by the town as postal markers in 1829.[26]

North Fork Mile Marker 15, Peconic (May 16, 2015)
North Fork Mile Marker 15, Peconic (May 16, 2015)

Mattituck: Early History

Mattituck lies between Great Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound in western Southold town.  Within the hamlet, Mattituck Creek forms an estuary extending inland from the sound two miles south, with several arms going east and west.  It is one of the oldest “second generation” villages in Suffolk County since it was not settled by the first wave of Englishmen but rather shortly thereafter.[27]

North Fork Mile Marker 9, Mattituck (May 16, 2015)
North Fork Mile Marker 9, Mattituck (May 16, 2015)

The land was sold by Indians of the Mattituck tribe to Governor Eaton in 1648.  The original deed as preserved in Brookhaven Town records read as follows: “Uxsquepassem, otherwise called the paummis Sachem, together with his three brothers, viz: Weewacup, Nowconneey and Nessantquaggus, for and in consideration of two fathome of wampum, one iron pott, six coats, ten knives, fower hooks and forty needles payd into their hands at the ensealing hereof, have granted, bargained and sold unto Mr. Theophilus Eaton, Governor of the jurisdiction of Newhaven, and to Mr. Steven Goodyeare, Deputy Governor for and in behalfe of the jurisdiction all land lying between Corchake (Cutchogue) and Ucquebaak (Aquebogue) commonly called Mattatuck (Mattituck) . . . on the one and twenty of March, 1648.”[28]  The word Mattituck is believed to mean the “great creek.”  The territory included both meadowlands and woodlands held in common by Southold residents.  The meadowlands, part of the “Great Meadow” lying west of the present village of New Suffolk, were used to grow salt hay, also called creek thatch.  On May 26, 1658 the deputies of Southold town repurchased all lands from New Haven.  In 1661, both the woodlands and meadowlands were divided among individual proprietors and settlement began the following year.  In subsequent years, a village developed at the head of Mattituck Creek.[29]

NY-25 Main Road, Mattituck (June 16, 2013)
NY-25 Main Road, Mattituck (June 16, 2013)

Formerly Mattituck territory comprised two necks.  Pessapunkce Neck was allotted in the division of 1661 to John Booth.  Reeve’s Neck was chosen by William Purrier, who already held the meadow to the west.  Pessapunkce was the Indian name for “sweating place near the water” where it is believed they had a Turkish bath.  The land extended on the main road to Manor Hill where it adjoined the land of William Purrier at the east line of Phillip W. Tuthill’s property.  The name Manor Hill, called Booth’s Hill for the first hundred years or more, came into use after the purchase of the manor in approximately 1735.  Reeve’s Neck comprised over 400 acres extending on the main road from Booth’s place to Canoe Place.  Canoe Place was about quarter of a mile west of the present center of Mattituck village.  Purrier’s property included the sixty-acre Marrotooka Lake.  Its name was given by Charles W. Wickham who had his farm along the lake.[30]

Breakwater Beach, Mattituck (July 1, 2012)
Breakwater Beach, Mattituck (July 1, 2012)

Early Mattituck homes were hewn oak timbers covered with large oak shingles.  Foundations were built of large stone from Long Island Sound.  On June 15, 1715 residents petitioned for a meeting house.  Five months later on November 7, 1715 James Reeve conveyed two acres for a meeting house and burial place.  The land would later be the home of the Presbyterian Church.  It was rebuilt in 1830 and later sold to the Methodist denomination.  The current Presbyterian church was built in 1853.[31]

Long Creek, Mattituck (July 1, 2012)
Long Creek, Mattituck (July 1, 2012)

Mattituck: The American Revolution and the Nineteenth Century

During the Revolutionary War, British troops were encamped in Mattituck, forcing farmers to give up property and crops.  Many young residents joined the Patriot forces while their families fled to Connecticut for refuge.  Many later returned.  Today, local businesses and streets are named after both the original settlers and those who fought in the war.  Names include Reeves, Corwin, Hallock, Wickham, Gardiner, Fanning, Wells, Hubbard, Booth, Hudson, Goldsmith, Horton, Brown, Terry, and Tuthill.[32]

Mattituck Inlet (July 1, 2012)
Mattituck Inlet (July 1, 2012)

The arrival of the railroad shifted development toward the western part of Mattituck.  Farmers now grew more vegetables since goods could be shipped to New York and Brooklyn.  By 1875 the population was about 600.[33]

North Fork Mile Marker 9, Mattituck (May 16, 2015)
North Fork Mile Marker 9, Mattituck (May 16, 2015)

Mattituck Station first appeared on timetables dated July 29, 1844.  A platform and small depot building were constructed at present-day Love Lane.  In the summer of 1869, LIRR President Oliver Charlick wanted to purchase the land around Love Lane to build a new depot.  However, saloon owner M. Wells refused to sell, fearing a new waiting room would encroach on his business.  He thought people would choose the depot rather than spending money in his saloon.  In response, on September 13, 1869 Charlick ordered trains to no longer stop at the Love Lane location but rather at the Wickham Avenue crossing to the east.  Eventually land was secured west of Love Lane.  Between 1870 and 1878, Charles Robinson was contracted to build a depot and freight house on the south side of the tracks west of Love Lane.  Similar in design to board and batten depots like Southold, Mattituck had reverse curve brackets, also called heavy supports, under the roof eaves.[34]

Mattituck Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station and depot building opened July 29, 1844 (timetable)
Depot building replaced 1870 – 1878
Station agency closed January 1959
Station agent reassigned February 11, 1959 (author’s analysis)
Three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter erected June 1962 (author’s analysis)
Depot building razed July 1967
Metal passenger shelter razed Before Summer 1994
High-level concrete platform and ramp constructed (with a large, saltbox-roofed passenger waiting area shelter and information center made of steel and enamel painted red-brick, mint, and light beige) Fall 1996 – Early 1998 (author’s analysis)

Mattituck Today

By the 1980s Mattituck was described by Newsday as “New England in a New York State wrapper, rural America in a near-suburban setting.”[35]  Most of the year-round residents were farmers, shopkeepers, or handymen.  In summer, the population included many bankers from Wall Street.    Still, unlike some East End communities of the time period that “rolled up the streets after Columbus Day” and were deserted until St. Patrick’s Day, Mattituck was busy year-round.[36]

Like most of the North Fork, Mattituck of the 1990s tried to balance between its agrarian past and modernity.  Residents feared overdevelopment similar to fears at the time of the arrival of the LIRR.  One nineteenth century paper warned of “slaughtered cattle, burned forests and the end of the good old times.”  Luckily, Mattituck survived both periods.  To this end, Southold town zoning laws in the 1990s restricted commercial enterprise to maintain the rural atmosphere that drew tourists and aided the economy.[37]

Mattituck Presbyterian Church (June 21, 2015)
Mattituck Presbyterian Church (June 21, 2015)

Although the population increased from 1,200 in 1924 to 4,120 in 1998, the community maintained its small village quality.[38]  Love Lane is the established business district featuring a flower shop, a gift shop, a post office, a bank, and the Love Lane Cafe.  To its south, New York Route 25 (NY-25 Main Road) offers a shopping center built around a supermarket and multiplex cinema.  Main Road also has the Magic Fountain ice cream parlor and a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant.  At one time it also had a bowling alley, Mattituck Lanes.  Mattituck also boasts a busy, small aircraft airport.  It was developed in the 1940s by Parker Wickham, who turned a portion of his family farm into a landing strip.  The biggest event of the year in the village is the Strawberry Festival featuring carnival rides and attractions.[39]

Love Lane, Mattituck (June 21, 2015)
Love Lane, Mattituck (June 21, 2015)
Mattituck Strawberry Festiva (June 21, 2015)
Mattituck Strawberry Festiva (June 21, 2015)

During the 1980s the social place was the small, crowded bar near the railroad station called the Broken Down Valise, which is still currently in business.  A former hangout was the Anchor Inn along Mattituck Creek which unfortunately burned down.  Next door to the former inn, the Old Mill Inn operates today.  [40]

Broken Down Valise, Mattituck (June 21, 2015)
Broken Down Valise, Mattituck (June 21, 2015)

Cutchogue: Early History

East of Mattituck along Main Road is Cutchogue.  An agricultural center for centuries, it was also home to the North Fork’s first vineyard.  Like Mattituck, Cutchogue is located on the site of a former Indian village.  Prior to European settlement, Indians built a log fort in the 1630s   named Fort Corchaug, loosely translated as “the principal place.”  Its remains were found in a wooden plot alongside Downs Creek.  In 1997, the nonprofit Peconic Land Trust made a deal to preserve it.[41]

The Englishmen who founded Cutchogue about 1667 were second-generation immigrants.  Since it was outside the original settlement of Southold, Cutchogue land was tax-exempt for its first three years.  Among the village’s many historic locations is Benjamin Horton’s seventeenth century home known as the Old House.  Built in Southold in 1640, it was moved to Cutchogue and preserved on the village green.[42]  By the late nineteenth century, Cutchogue had three stores, two school districts, three churches, and a population of about 750.  The local Presbyterian church was erected in 1737 and rebuilt in 1838.[43]

Cutchogue Village Green (October 12, 2014)
Cutchogue Village Green (October 12, 2014)
Old School House, Cutchogue (October 12, 2014)
Old School House, Cutchogue (October 12, 2014)
Wickham Farmhouse, Cutchogue (October 12, 2014)
Wickham Farmhouse, Cutchogue (October 12, 2014)

Cutchogue Station first appeared on timetables dated April 24, 1845.  At first, it only featured a wooden low-level platform at grade.  However, a small depot building was later set up at Sill’s Turnout (Depot Road) and replaced in August of 1875.  The only LIRR depot perpendicular to the track, the new building was a small wooden structure designed for lightly-used stations.  Located on the west side of Depot Road, it featured an all-around overhanging roof and was described in Cutchogue’s Long Island Traveler as “large enough…neat and satisfactory.”[44]  A freight house was added as well.  However, both of these buildings were replaced in the summer of 1887, complete with a new longer platform, on the east side of Depot Road, south of the tracks.  The new passenger depot was a larger standard clapboard structure with canopies and wide carriage sheds on either side.[45]  While the passenger depot never had mounted finials on the roof ends, it had a unique garble carpentry.  It retained this appearance for less than twenty years as some of the elaborate architecture was removed.[46]

Cutchogue Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station opened April 24, 1845 (timetable)
Depot building opened After June 14, 1845
Depot building replaced August 1875
Station relocated and depot building erected Summer 1887
Depot building remodeled and canopies removed 1944
Station agency closed January 1959
Station agent reassigned February 11, 1959 (author’s analysis)
Depot building razed June 1962
Last passenger service March 17, 1985 (author’s analysis)
Station closed March 18, 1985 (author’s analysis)
LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and second depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and second depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and second depot building after 1944 remodeling, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and second depot building after 1944 remodeling, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)

Cutchogue Today

Cutchogue has maintained its serene, aesthetic charm.  Described in the 1980s as a “different sort of place, separate and distinct,” its two most exciting prospects at the time were vineyards and horse farms.  One Newsday author commented: “when you come [to Cutchogue], you leave Long Island behind.”[47]  By 1988 the population grew to 1,196[48] and in 1998 it was 2,780.[49]

There was a brief time in the 1970s and 1980s when several very hip publications claimed the Hamptons had outlived its heyday and the North Fork was the place to be.  However, the mass migration from one fork to another never happened.  Even the local disco in Cutchogue that hoped to attract the young went out of business.[50]  What has remained is Cutchogue’s rural quality.  One resident commented that “Cutchogue is to the North Fork what Water Mill is to the South Fork.”  However, there have been changes.  A few traffic lights have been added to Main Road and Sound Avenue.  Of more significance, vineyards replaced many of the potato farms.[51]

The first vineyard on the North Fork was planted in the beginning of May 1973 by Louisa Thomas Hargrave and her husband Alex.[52]  After spending a year-and-a-half exploring wine regions on the West Coast, the pioneer couple planted grapes on a Cutchogue potato farm hoping to later produce wine.  Locals insisted grapes would not grow on Long Island but the novice coupe forged on, learning all the basics from scratch, even stomping on grapes in a vat when the press broke down.[53]  A year after they planted their first grapes, on April 19, 1974 the LIRR delivered two freight carloads of pre-cut, pointed wooden poles to support grapes.  The local paper, The Watchman, proclaimed that it was possibly the start of a new era in Cutchogue.[54]

Indeed, grapes grew and the couple would go on to make wine, establishing a new industry on the East End.  More wineries followed. Joyce and Bob Pellegrini started a vineyard in 1982, first by renting land and then purchasing it in 1991.[55]  Long Island vineyards were threatened by Hurricane Gloria in 1985.  However, Alex Hargrave reported that while much rain had fallen the grapes were not damaged.[56]  By 1988, there were thirty vineyards on the North Fork, over 1,300 acres of vines for twelve wineries.[57]  The Hargraves got divorced and sold the vineyard, house, and wine on October 22, 1999 to the Borghese family, who opened the Castello di Borghese Vineyard.[58]

In addition to wineries, farm stands, shops, restaurants, steepled-churches, and bed and breakfast inns dot the Cutchogue landscape.  Historic structures can be found at the Village Green Historical Complex, including “The Old House” (built in 1649), the Old School House (built in 1840), and the William Wickham House (built in 1740).[59]

Founded in 1963, Sunrise Coach Lines operated bus service from Cutchogue to Manhattan.  In February 2006, Hampton Jitney acquired the business which allowed it to expand service on the North Fork, mirroring services provided on the South Fork.[60]

New Suffolk & Robins Island

On the shore of the Great Peconic Bay about one-and-a-half miles south of present Cutchogue hamlet is New Suffolk.  Its history begins in 1661 when Southold officials divided Cutchogue into lots.  The 180-acre Pessapunkce Neck later went by the name Booth’s Neck after its first owner John Booth.  It was changed to Robins Island Neck in the eighteenth century and later to New Suffolk.  The land was primarily used to raise livestock.  James Webb was the first settler to construct a home.[61]

North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014
North Race, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014

Current New Suffolk was established in the nineteenth century.  In 1836, the Reverend Ezra Young and brothers Abiel, Isaac, and Ira Tuthill bought eighty acres from Josiah Albertson for $8,000 and laid out a hamlet.  Ira Tuthill bought out his partners in 1838 and renamed the community after Suffolk County in England.  He later promoted it as a summer resort.[62]

New Suffolk also became a busy seaport and shipbuilding site in the nineteenth century.  Ferries sailed to New York regularly and crops such as potatoes were shipped to New England.  Other industries included oysters and scallops.  In 1875, New Suffolk had a school, a store, a hotel, and a population of about 200.  By 1998 the population was 360.  Of historic interest, the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company built the Holland in New Suffolk, the first submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The company later moved to Groton, Connecticut in 1905.[63]

Cutchogue Harbor, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014)
Cutchogue Harbor, New Suffolk (January 1, 2014)

The 400-acre Robins Island lies in the Peconic Bay, about a mile distant from New Suffolk.  Throughout its history, it has been privately-owned.  It was originally part of the 12,000 acres that James Farrett selected as his remuneration for acting as agent to Lord Stirling in the disposal of Long Island real estate.  Farrett later sold it to Steve Goodyear in 1641.  During the Revolution it was owned by Parker Wickham and confiscated by an act of legislation in 1779 as the property of a Tory.  Following the war it was owned by Francis Nicoll and Major Benjamin Tallmadge who sold it to Ezra L’Hommedieu.  At the end of the nineteenth century it was owned by Ira B. Tuthill.[64]

Little Peconic Bay and Robins Island, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)
Little Peconic Bay and Robins Island, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)

Nassau Point, Oregon & Peconic

Formerly called Little Hogg Neck, Nassau Point is a peninsula to the south of Cutchogue hamlet, projecting into the bay about two miles.  By the end of the nineteenth century it featured 500 acres of good soil and was principally owned by James Wilson.[65]  By the 1930s Nassau Point was mainly an area for summer renters.  One was Albert Einstein who rented a bungalow on Old Cove Road.  In that house in 1939, Einstein wrote his famous letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging for an atom-bomb research program which later became the Manhattan Project.  By the turn of the twentieth century, birds and boats dominated the landscape.  The entire area is a bird sanctuary, with hunting strictly prohibited.  With some of the most affluent year-round residents on the North Fork, houses bear names like “Summer Salts” and “Watersedge.”[66]

Little Peconic Bay, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)
Little Peconic Bay, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)

East of Mattituck and Cutchogue is Peconic.  However, a small area, now part of all three hamlets, is referred to as Oregon.  It is north of Oregon Road, about three miles in length.  Early in its history, it was primarily farmland.  By 1875 Oregon had forty houses and a school district.[67]

Little Peconic Bay, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)
Little Peconic Bay, Nassau Point (January 1, 2014)

Peconic was the area where Southold residents came when their village became too crowded.  Within the hamlet, Goldsmith’s Creek enters from the sound and Hutchinson’s Creek runs from a cove on the south side called South Harbor.  Originally, Peconic was called Hermitage for an elderly recluse who lived there in a shanty.  In the late-1860s it took on the Indian name Peconic (Pehaconnucke), either meaning “nut trees” or “a small plantation.”[68]  By 1875 Peconic had a post office, two stores, and one or two shops, with a population of about 300.[69]  In 1998 the number was 1,150.  Artists from the Arts Students League of New York arrived about 1900 to make impressionist paintings of the landscape.  One painter was Edward August Bell whose cottage, Bell’s Cottage, is now a private residence.[70]

Peconic’s fertile land led to Irish immigration in the 1850s and Polish immigration at the turn of the twentieth century.  Like other communities, the arrival of the LIRR provided an alternative to shipping goods by water.  Initially, Peconic was not given a station stop.  However, farmers who wanted to ship produce by rail took matters into their own hands.  For about a mile west of the village, they covered the rails with goose grease and skunk oil, making steam engines come to a slippery stop.  The scheme worked and by March of 1848, Hermitage Station served the community near Peconic Lane.[71]  The stop first appeared on railroad timetables beginning May 1, 1848.[72]  The name was changed to Peconic in June of 1876.  A depot building was constructed in August of that year, south of the tracks on the west side of Peconic Lane.[73]  It boasted no ornate decoration but featured shaded lettering, unusual for the time period since most station signs had a light background with dark lettering.[74]

Peconic Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station opened as Hermitage Station May 1, 1848 (timetable)
Renamed Peconic Station June 1876
Depot building opened August 1876
Agency closed 1935
Depot building razed April 1942
Three-sided, saltbox-roofed wooden passenger shelter erected April 1942
Last passenger service May 15, 1966 (author’s analysis)
Station closed May 22, 1967 (author’s analysis)
Wooden passenger shelter razed July 1967
LIRR Peconic Station, platform and depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Peconic Station, platform and depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)

Passenger Service

When its Main Line no longer served as the fastest route to Boston, the LIRR focused on intra-island travel.  Trains now provided service to and from the North Fork and Brooklyn or Jamaica, stopping at all way stations in Southold town.  Later in the nineteenth century, Long Island City became the railroad’s waterfront terminus.  Daily Monday through Saturday service by the 1870s included eastbound trains in the late morning and early evening.  Westbound service departed in the early morning and mid-afternoon.[75]  In the summer months, additional trains were added.  For example, in 1877 there was another daily early morning train to Brooklyn as well as a late evening from Long Island City.[76]  In the summer of 1878, an early Monday morning train to Long Island City was added, no doubt allowing tourists to spend extra weekend time on the East End.[77]

At the end of the nineteenth century the LIRR began providing service between the two forks via a right-of-way from Manorville to Eastport.  Known as the Cape Horn, daily eastbound service to Southold town from the South Fork in 1897 included one late morning train.  For westbound service from Southold, there was a morning and afternoon Cape Horn.  Typically, train connections to western terminals were available in Manorville or Eastport.  In addition to the Cape Horns, regular westbound service to Long Island City included three daily trains from Southold town and four eastbound, with an additional train originating in Manorville and another eastbound in summer.  On Sundays, there were two trains in each direction to and from Long Island City and a Cape Horn tandem serving the forks.[78]

Ample train service continued into the twentieth century.  In 1903, westbound morning service was provided by: train number 22 (stopping in Southold at 6:48 a.m., Peconic at 6:53 a.m., Cutchogue at 6:59 a.m., and Mattituck at 7:05 a.m.) and number 110 (Southold at 7:13 a.m., Peconic at 7:17 a.m., Cutchogue at 7:21 a.m., and Mattituck at 7:26 a.m.).  Mid-afternoon train number 10 to Long Island City stopped in Southold at 2:48 p.m., Peconic at 2:53 p.m., Cutchogue at 2:59 p.m., and Mattituck at 3:06 p.m.  Cape Horn westbound service to the South Fork was provided in the early afternoon by train number 894.  For the daily eastbound schedule, morning service from Long Island City was provided by train number 9 (Mattituck at 11:23 a.m., Cutchogue at 11:30 a.m., Peconic at 11:35 a.m., and Southold at 11:40 a.m.) and evening by number 23 (Mattituck at 7:23 p.m., Cutchogue at 7:29 p.m., Peconic at 7:34 p.m., and Southold at 7:38 p.m.).  Eastbound Cape Horn service from the South Fork was provided in the late morning (train number 893) and the early evening (number 811).  On Sundays, one eastbound train ran in the early afternoon (number 217) and one in the early evening (number 281).  Westbound service was provided in the morning (train number 280) and late afternoon (number 218).[79]

By 1928, Southold town’s daily railroad service was at a level it most likely will never reach again.  The Monday through Saturday 1928 timetable featured four eastbound trains: one late morning (number 280), two afternoon (number 204 and 282), and one evening (number 21). There was also an early evening eastbound train (number 286) which did not run Fridays.  Westbound service also included four trains: two morning (number 281 and 205) and two afternoon (number 283 and 21).[80]

No doubt the rise of automobile travel and the Stock Market Crash affected railroad service, negating the need for multiple trains per day.  Statistics of daily commuter usage to western terminals in August of 1930 showed that Mattituck had nine, Cutchogue had four, Peconic had two, and Southold had four.  In February of the same year there were none.[81]  By 1933, there were only two daily Monday through Saturday eastbound trains: a late morning (number 204, renumbered from 280) and an evening (number 214).  Number 286 continued to run but not on Fridays.  The westbound schedule had three trains: two morning (number 281 and 205) and one mid-afternoon (number 211).[82]  The schedule persisted in the war years with the same numbering scheme.[83]

North Fork Mile Marker 13, Cutchogue (May 16, 2015)
North Fork Mile Marker 13, Cutchogue (May 16, 2015)

Service in the Postwar Years after Bankruptcy

It can be argued that the automobile was the LIRR’s enemy in the early twentieth century as people preferred cars over the iron horse.  However, rail made a comeback during World War II when gasoline was rationed.[84]  Following allied victory, citizens returned to driving.  As a result, the LIRR entered bankruptcy in 1949.  Its corporate parent, the Pennsylvania Railroad, no longer wanted to cover debts.  Emerging from bankruptcy in August of 1954, the LIRR began a redevelopment program.  Authorized by New York State, it invested $60 million towards improvements over a twelve-year period.[85]

One improvement was reduction in travel time of trains to and from the North Fork.  It was accomplished by moving some midday freight trains to the overnight period.[86]  Of two impacted weekday trains, one was weekday eastbound number 204, which departed Jamaica at 9:08 a.m., and the other was westbound number 211, which arrived in Jamaica at 5:44 p.m.  Formerly, number 204 made station stops in Mattituck at 11:45 a.m., Cutchogue at 11:50 a.m., Peconic at 11:55 a.m., and Southold at 11:59 a.m.  As of December 17, 1956 the train now made station stops in Mattituck at 11:14 a.m., Cutchogue at 11:18 a.m., and Southold at 11:25 a.m.  The Peconic stop became a flag at 11:21 a.m.  Train number 211’s former schedule included station stops in Southold at 3:08 p.m., Peconic at 3:13 p.m., Cutchogue at 3:17 p.m., and Mattituck at 3:23 p.m.  Now it made Mattituck at 3:43 p.m., Cutchogue at 3:39 p.m., and Southold at 3:32 p.m.  The Peconic stop also became a flag at 3:35 p.m.[87]

Comprehensive timetable changes took almost two years to complete.  By the fall of 1957, all Peconic stops were flag.  The following year train numbers 204 and 211 no longer made a flag stop in Peconic.  This left evening train number 214 (flag stop at 7:16 p.m.) and the weekday morning train number 205 (flag stop at 6:15 a.m.) the only Peconic weekday service.  The exception was a summer-only eastbound train (number 218) which made a flag stop at 9:42 p.m.  The weekend schedule was as follows.  On Saturdays, the early evening eastbound train (number 4218) and the early morning westbound (number 4205) made flag stops at Peconic.  The late morning (number 4204) and the mid-afternoon trains (number 4211) did not.  On Sundays, all trains made flag stops at Peconic: the late morning eastbound train (number 4206), the early evening eastbound train (number 4214), the early morning westbound train (number 4205), and the late afternoon westbound train (number 4213).  The summer-only westbound train number 4217 also made an evening flag.[88]

Cutchogue (May 16, 2015)
North Fork Mile Marker 13, Cutchogue (May 16, 2015)

Station Agencies

As part of its redevelopment program, the LIRR streamlined century-old station practices on eastern Long Island in 1958.  The plan was to give the area the best possible freight and passenger service by eliminating agencies at fifteen stations and installing a full-time district manager in Riverhead.  With clerks reassigned to other duties, the railroad hoped to save between $50,000 and $75,000 annually.[89]

On August 11, 1958, LIRR President Goodfellow outlined the plan at a luncheon meeting at the Patio in Westhampton Beach.  He added: “today the automobile has changed [the need for station agents two miles apart]…we’re still providing station service designed for the horse and bugged riders…we’ve been duplicating effort a dozen times over in the handling of freight, which is the principal source of revenue in this area…it’s quite a waste of manpower to have a full-time clerk or agent to do from ten to thirty minutes of work a day in handling passenger tickets.”  On the North Fork, agency service would be reduced to Riverhead and Greenport.  Principal duty of agents would be the supervision of freight.  In light of the absence of clerks in Mattituck, Cutchogue, and Southold, passengers would be allowed to buy tickets aboard trains.[90]

At the luncheon, Southold Town Supervisor Norman Klipp voiced no objection to streamlined service.  However, he questioned the lack of agents at three of the four stations within Southold.  It left a twenty-two mile unattended stretch between Riverhead and Greenport.[91]  On Friday, October 3, 1958, the PSC held public hearings on the matter at its New York City office.[92]  In mid-December it authorized the closures.  According to PSC official Harold N. Weber, passenger traffic had almost completely disappeared on the North Fork with no hope for revival.  Carload freight however was considerable in eastern Suffolk and the railroad wanted to make a strenuous effort not only to increase inbound shipments but revive outbound.[93]  Agencies at Cutchogue, Mattituck, and Southold were closed in January of 1959 and as of February 11, 1959 the agents were reassigned and the district manager delegated.  Carload freight shipments on local team tracks continued but under jurisdiction of nearby agents: in the case of Cutchogue and Mattituck by Riverhead, and Southold by Greenport.  Depot buildings were to be retained “in good condition” pending PSC action on subsequent LIRR proposals as to their ultimate disposition.[94]

Shortly thereafter, an editorial in the local Mattituck newspaper, The Watchman, chimed in, calling the closures a step backward rather than progress.  Southold’s station master Harry Cusack and Cutchogue’s Jim Hand retired.  Both reportedly showed devotion to their duty and gave that “little extra” in the way of courtesy and service.[95]

Marlene Lane Beach, Mattituck (June 25, 2012)
Marlene Lane Beach, Mattituck (June 25, 2012)

Freight

In the early years of LIRR service, freight operation on the North Fork was a fairly successful endeavor.  In fact, for the growing season of 1887 there were 4,184 barrels of cauliflower carted from Mattituck alone.  The remainder of Southold town provided a total of 6,324.[96]  By 1903, railroad timetables scheduled an eastbound and westbound second class freight train between Jamaica and the North Fork.  Number 501 to Greenport made stops in Mattituck at 9:40 a.m., Cutchogue at 10:35 a.m., Peconic at 11:10 a.m, and Southold at 11:40 a.m.  Train number 502 to Jamaica stopped in Southold at 8:45 a.m., Peconic at 9:00 a.m., Cutchogue at 9:15 a.m., and Mattituck at 9:40 a.m.[97]  When the potato became the cash crop farmers also utilized freight service.  Of the 12,500 acres planted in the spring of 1910, Peconic shipped ninety-nine carloads of potatoes, with Southold and Cutchogue shipping sixty-one and fifteen, respectively.[98]

In addition to private sidings along the right-of-way, goods were delivered to freight houses at each station.  At Mattituck Station, the freight house, complete with a high-level wooden platform, was just west of the depot building on the south side of the tracks.  It was removed in 1961.  The station also had an express baggage house and high-level platform at the corner of Love Lane.  It was razed in 1934.  At Cutchogue, the freight house and high-level platform, east of the depot building on the south side of the tracks, was removed in 1936.  Peconic’s freight house was on the north side of the tracks just west of Peconic Lane.  It was razed in 1934.  At Southold, the freight house was east of the station on the other side of Youngs Avenue.  Additionally, the station had an express baggage house with a high-level platform at the corner of Youngs Avenue adjacent to the depot on the south side of the tracks.[99]

LIRR freight service spurred Long Island’s industrial growth.  Companies such as the Long Island Association, Long Island Lighting Company, the aircraft industry, and dozens of large and small manufacturing firms utilized the line.  However, historically freight made up only a small portion of overall revenue.  Through the mid-1950s, the LIRR was the only railroad in the United States which received less money from freight than passenger fares.  For example, in 1899 freight made up thirty-three percent of operations.  By 1954 the number was slightly below thirty percent, totaling $12,994,106.  The railroad’s freight business was aided by Nassau and Suffolk’s building boom in the 1950s which provided for twenty-five percent of overall tonnage.[100]

Why was freight never a successful endeavor?  One reason is that the island is primarily residential with a low industry ratio.  The other is the island’s geography.  Since it extends eastward into the Atlantic Ocean it is not a main artery in the northeast freight system, but rather an appendage, with no connections on the East End.  In summary, it only carries a payload in one direction, eastbound.  Typically, eighty percent of westbound cars were empty.[101]

To make freight a more profitable venture, LIRR President Thomas M. Goodfellow sought Congressional influence in 1956 to enable minimum and maximum freight rate system rather than a flat fee.  At the time, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) set specific rates for railroads but not railroad competitors.  The practice hurt the LIRR specifically because it couldn’t offer to haul freight back at a reduced price.[102]

Goodfellow planned to compete with other forms of transportation, mainly trucking.  New policy sought to make siding installation cheaper and relocate the railroad’s less-than-carload (LCL) forwarding station east of Long Island City.  The timing seemed appropriate since the type of industry moving onto Long Island favored trucking.  Also, the introduction of natural gas reduced coal shipments, at one time the railroad’s biggest freight.  In the 1920s, coal comprised fifty percent of business while in 1954 it made up only eighteen percent.[103]

The grandiose scheme never came to fruition.  Next, the railroad tried to take matters into its own hands.  It made two unsuccessful attempts to apply a $2 surcharge on LCL, where it was losing money.  The first attempt planned to levy the charge as of October 21, 1958.  However, prior to collection the ICC suspended the fee calling it “unjust and unreasonable.”[104]  The second attempt was made at a joint public hearing of the ICC and PSC (Public Service Commission) on December 10, 1958.  The railroad said a surcharge would increase revenue by more than $500,000 a year.  In all, the railroad said that 18,657 freight tons were handled from January through June of 1958 compared with 25,512 during the same period in 1957 corresponding to a decrease in revenue from $443,275 to $339,229.  The surcharge would offset ongoing losses. Richard H. Stokes, assistant general solicitor of the LIRR, added that LCL freight deficit led to increased passenger fares.[105]

New York & Atlantic Railway EMD GP38-2 numbers 268 & 261 (former LIRR locomotives), Riverhead Station siding, view northwest: Class E-20mc, built January-February 1976 (May 30, 2005)
New York & Atlantic Railway EMD GP38-2 numbers 268 & 261 (former LIRR locomotives), Riverhead Station siding, view northwest: Class E-20mc, built January-February 1976 (May 30, 2005)

Critics of the plan included the City of New York, Port of New York Authority, Shippers’ Conference of Greater New York, and the Commerce & Industry Association.  They argued that the $2 charge would split the New York Rate Group, a railroad consortium serving the metropolitan area with uniform rates established by the ICC.[106]  In the end, the PSC formally denied the surcharge.[107]

Rather than raise passenger rates to compensate LCL losses, on August 24, 1959 the railroad asked the PSC for authority to end LCL in all of Suffolk and replace it with trucking.  If granted, the railroad planned to have an LCL station in Long Island City with pick-up-and-delivery at forty stations in Queens, Brooklyn, and western Nassau.[108]  After a four-month battle an agreement was reached.  On January 28, 1960 the PSC authorized the suspension of LCL at seventy-four stations.  In what one railroad spokesman said was a “modern, efficient and flexible service,” LCL was centralized in Suffolk.  In all, the railroad saved $150,000 a year.  Customers in Mattituck, Cutchogue, Peconic, and Southold would no longer have rail LCL service but rather truck service directly to Long Island City for processing.[109]

By the mid-1960s, produce on the East End was now shipped primarily by services other than rail.  The largest crop, the potato, was heading west on giant trailer trucks rather than freight cars.[110]  Despite low traffic, freight continued to be a part of LIRR service.  In addition to the 230,000 commuters who rode the train daily in 1979, the LIRR handled about fifteen percent of incoming freight to Long Island, or 2,179,000 tons annually.  The remainder was handled by trucks.  Freight typically followed no schedule and gave way to regularly scheduled passenger trains in order to maintain on-time performance.  Daily weekday service was provided and designated as RF (road freight).  For example, an eastbound train was RF-60 while westbound it was RF-61.  Along the right-of-way there were 300 private sidings.  Animal and poultry feed, mattresses, appliances, paper products, auto parts, beer, potatoes, and fertilizer were transported.  However, traffic remained primarily a one-way street as ninety percent of outgoing cars were empty.  As was the case in the early twentieth century, the island did not have heavy manufacturing requiring outgoing shipments by rail.  While the railroad listed sixty-nine freight stations in 1977, the biggest at Long Island City and Farmingdale, Cutchogue had zero shipments.[111]

One unattractive aspect of LIRR freight was its roundabout operation.  At Fresh Pond interchange yard in Queens, cars were picked up by a Conrail engine and taken over the Hell Gate Bridge to Selkirk, New York where it was arranged according to destination.[112]  Today, the New York & Atlantic Railway operates LIRR freight.  Serving a diverse customer base, it took over operation in May 1997.  While there are currently no customers on the North Fork, New York & Atlantic’s 269 route miles extends to Southold.[113]

LIRR Mile-Post Number Ninety (90), Southold (February 4, 2006)
LIRR Mile-Post Number Ninety (90), Southold (February 4, 2006)

LIRR Buses and Reduction of Service to Peconic

On February 22, 1962, The Watchman proclaimed that the LIRR revolutionized travel in Suffolk County.[114]  Following an extensive study by LIRR traffic experts, the railroad devised a  more economical service for the East End.  Additional train service had failed in 1955 when a single-car prototype tested along the Main Line to Riverhead failed to attract customers.  The new plan replaced trains with bus service in the form of six daily roundtrips between Riverhead and Huntington, half of which went on to Greenport, and two roundtrips on the weekend between Greenport and Huntington.  Connections could be made at Huntington for train service to New York.[115]

Competition proved to be a contributing factor in the plan’s development.  At the end of 1960, Long Island Transit Systems, Inc. sought permission to operate express bus service via the Long Island Expressway and NY-25 between New York City and Riverhead, where it would continue easterly by arrangement with Sunrise Coach Lines, Inc. to Greenport.  It was about this time that the LIRR proposed its own bus plan.  In July of 1961, the PSC ruled that Long Island Transit’s petition was not in the public’s best interest.  However, it would grant the LIRR’s proposal if the railroad received consent from local governments along the route by January 18, 1962.  The day before the deadline the PSC authorized service as far as Southold.  Extension to Greenport was granted later.[116]

he new substitute bus-for-rail service was called the Road ‘n’ Rail Route.  In addition to the North Fork, buses served new communities along NY-25 in Central Suffolk which were three to five miles from Main Line stations.  Part of the concept brought the railroad to passengers rather than having them travel to the railroad.  Since communities were built along the principal east-west artery at the time, Huntington was chosen as a terminus since there was plenty of train service to and from the city.  To provide shorter run times, buses ran express along the Smithtown Bypass.  To protect existing bus lines from undue competition, the PSC established zones where LIRR buses could not pick up local passengers.  Zone one included the area between Huntington railroad station and the intersection of Depot Road and Jericho Turnpike.  Zone two comprised Jericho Turnpike between Larkfield Road and Veteran’s Memorial Highway.  Zone three was Middle Country Road between Stony Brook Road and Evergreen Avenue.  Zone four ran along Middle Country Road between Evergreen Drive and New York Route 112.  Lastly, zone five included the area from Riverhead Station to Greenport.[117]

Service began Monday, February 19, 1962 with the inclination to triple passenger service in Central Suffolk and the North Fork.  At 6:15 a.m., the first bus left its terminus in Greenport and headed west along NY-25.  Bus stops established in Southold town along Main Road were in Mattituck at Love Lane, Cutchogue at Depot Road, and Southold at Youngs Avenue.[118]

The Road ‘n’ Rail Route attracted ridership.  In fact, within two-and-a-half months another roundtrip was added between Riverhead and Greenport, making a total of four.[119]  Local sentiment was the catalyst for change.  At a Southold-Peconic Civic Association held the Friday before bus service began, LIRR District Manager Joseph J. Metzler listened to resident complaints.  It was suggested another bus stop location would better serve Southold, especially during summer months.[120]  Other complaints centered on overall LIRR service.  Senator Ford termed the railroad “humpty-dumpty” in an editorial of The Watchman.  He also added that Metzler was merely playing lead in a modern version of “Love’s Labor Lost,” wasting energy on a dying cause.[121]

Indeed, residential perseverance paid off.  The request to move the bus stop was answered.  It was relocated to Boisseau Avenue.  Another roundtrip was added east of Riverhead in June, making five in total.  Over the summer of 1962 there were two additional express trains to and from Greenport on Friday nights as well as a westbound express on Sunday nights.[122]  By the fall, there were six Road ‘n’ Rail roundtrips on weekdays and four on the weekend between Huntington and Greenport.[123]

In addition to granting bus service, the PCS authorized discontinuation of two of the four scheduled daily trains on the North Fork.  The exception was during summer when business increased and extra getaway trains were added.  On weekdays, the only rail service the LIRR continued between Ronkonkoma and Greenport was a daily train carrying mail and passengers in each direction, eastbound train number 204 and westbound number 211, which had their Peconic stops removed by 1958.  Both westbound train number 205 and eastbound number 214 were discontinued east of Ronkonkoma.[124]

The adjustments reduced regular service to Peconic Station to Sundays.  The last regular weekday trains to flag stop in Peconic were March 2, 1962: number 205 at 6:10 a.m. and number 214 at 7:21 p.m.  However, the summer Friday evening getaway number 212 continued to make a Peconic flag stop.  On weekend days, one train each way was also discontinued.  On Saturdays, it was the early morning westbound train (number 4205) and the early evening eastbound train (number 4218), both made their last Peconic flag stops on March 3.  On Sundays, it was the early morning westbound train (number 4205) and the early evening eastbound (number 4214), both made their last Peconic flag stops on March 4.  Remaining service on Saturdays did not stop in Peconic: the late morning eastbound train (number 4204) and the mid-afternoon westbound (number 4211).  However, service on Sundays did flag stop in Peconic: the late morning eastbound train (number 4206) at 11:00 a.m. and the late afternoon westbound (number 4213) at 5:22 p.m.[125]

By the spring of 1965, the Southold bus stop was moved back to Youngs Avenue.[126]  Peconic, which was not granted a bus stop at the onset of bus service, received a flag bus stop in the summer of 1972.[127]  It was short-lived, discontinued effective May 21, 1973 when buses were diverted to Babylon.  No longer were riders changing trains for buses and vice versa in Huntington as service was rerouted to Babylon Station.[128]

Road ‘n’ Rail reached a peak in the summer of 1976, with a total of eleven eastbound and twelve westbound buses serving Southold town.[129]  The number dropped to seven eastbound and nine westbound the following summer.[130]  By 1978 weekend service dropped from four to three roundtrips.[131]  In the summer of 1981, bus service was reduced to weekdays and the following year to midday hours only, reflecting the railroad’s attempt to speed rush-hour transportation with the return of trains.  Midday buses replaced the remaining midday rail service, formerly the mail and passenger train.[132]  No doubt, the population growth on the East End increased traffic making bus service unreliable and therefore undesirable.  Beginning October 18, 1982, North Fork LIRR bus service to Babylon was reduced to two roundtrips daily.  Shortly thereafter, it was eliminated.[133]

Station Depots

 In the 1960s the LIRR demolished many East End depot buildings.  Peconic’s agency closed in 1935, much earlier than its sister stations, and the depot was torn down in April of 1942.  A three-sided, saltbox-roofed wooden passenger shelter was erected in its place.[134]  This left the community with nothing more than a tiny shed and a wooden platform.[135]  Shelters were a no-frills answer to keep passengers relatively covered while saving money on station maintenance.  Shelters in the early twentieth century were typically built of wood, about eight-feet wide and ten-feet in length, enclosed on three sides.  With the open side facing north at Peconic Station, it was subject to weather.[136]

LIRR Peconic Station platform and passenger shelter shed, view east (July 2, 1967)
LIRR Peconic Station platform and passenger shelter shed, view east (July 2, 1967)

Since bus service altered Suffolk travel patterns, comfort service at stations with a single roundtrip train daily did not warrant the need for station buildings.  The Road ‘n’ Rail route was along Main Road, at some points almost half-mile from the LIRR’s right-of-way.  Many agencies were now closed and depot maintenance costs could be saved if there was a cheaper alternative to provide shelter.

The Southold Chamber of Commerce met in January of 1962 to discuss station conditions.  The organization wanted to promote better relations with tourists since remaining Southold town station buildings were dilapidated and deteriorating, the result of neglect.  One editorial in The Watchman called Southold and Cutchogue depots “bad and growing eyesores,” adding that the area around Southold Station was a jungle that needed cleaning.[137]  State Senator Ford, commenting on the LIRR’s claim that Southold Station was beautiful, compared it to an egg crate.  He went on to say that the station was what might be called “early Groucho Marx.”[138]  In response, the chamber wrote a letter to the LIRR requesting stations be cleaned up.[139]  Town Supervisor Lester Albertson also urged action, asking the railroad for a statement of intentions regarding station buildings.[140]

At a February 21 Southold town board meeting a letter from LIRR passenger agent Henry Weiss was read.[141]  The railroad planned to raze or remove station houses in Southold town and replace them with open metal shelters.  Platforms would also be removed and substituted with platforms of ties and cinder approximately the size of two rail cars.  The news came as a considerable joy and relief to some residents.  However, others said the action was hardly progress, but would improve the appearance around stations and cut the need for maintenance at the same time.  Suffolk was charged $300,000 annually to maintain its stations, with the fee for Southold Station at $16,000.[142]

LIRR Southold Station, platform and passenger shelter, view southeast (February 28, 1976: Madden Photo, Dave Keller Archive)
LIRR Southold Station, platform and passenger shelter, view southeast (February 28, 1976: Madden Photo, Dave Keller Archive)

Both Cutchogue and Southold Stations were razed in June of 1962.[143]  At the time of demolition, Southold was among the few depots to remain almost “as built,” ninety-two years after construction.[144]  Cutchogue’s clapboard building had maintained its original appearance until 1944 when the canopies were removed and it was “modernized,”[145] complete with a new gable placed over the agent’s bay window.[146]

LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and Depot Road crossing, track view west (July 2, 1967)
LIRR Cutchogue Station, platform and Depot Road crossing, track view west (July 2, 1967)

At Southold and Mattituck, the LIRR constructed three-sided, shed-roofed metal shelters on concrete foundations.  Cutchogue however never received a shelter.  Shelters were easy to maintain and fairly vandal-proof.  But, like Peconic’s wooden shed, the open side faced north making them vulnerable to winter weather.[147]  Ron Zeil termed the new shelters “an honest expression of the attitude of the railroad toward the people who had forsaken [rail travel] for highway transportation.”[148]  Even though its replacement shelter was already constructed, Mattituck’s depot lasted a few more years, demolished in July of 1967.  The building was rebuilt in 1944 by lopping off roof overhangs and canopies as part of a modernization program.  It never received a bay window however.[149]

LIRR Mattituck Station, depot and passenger shelter, view south (July 31, 1966)
LIRR Mattituck Station, depot building and passenger shelter, view south (July 31, 1966)

Parlor Car and Weekend Service

Throughout history of service to the North Fork, the LIRR has provided special summer-only trains to allow vacationers a chance to escape to the East End.  In the nineteenth and twentieth century, summer consists included parlor cars, the railroad’s premier service, where passengers were treated to comfort and other amenities.  During the heydays of the 1920s, summer-only trains serviced all four way stations within Southold town.  For example, the Friday Shelter Island Express (train number 210) provided late-afternoon service from Jamaica.  Early Friday evening, the daily Cannonball to Montauk (train number 286) split at Manorville and became the Greenport Express (number 212).  On Saturdays, the Peconic Bay Express (number 208) provided mid-afternoon eastbound service.  Additional weekend trains with parlor car service were on Sundays: an early afternoon eastbound train (number 4206) and two westbound (the afternoon 4211 and the evening 4215).  Lastly, on Monday mornings, the Cannonball (train number 281) provided westbound service complete with a parlor car.[150]

The war years and the railroad’s financial crises in the 1950s set back premier service.  However, following the acquisition of twenty-six new parlor cars in 1961, the road was anticipating its busiest summer.  Beginning June 23, the revamped service was now called the Weekend Chief, with named cars like Peconic, Cutchogue, and Mattituck.  For the first time, Montauk Branch service was directly from Hunterspoint Avenue, where subway connections were available to and from Manhattan.  Passengers could board at this Long Island City station rather than change at Jamaica if they boarded at Penn Station.  Service to and from Hunterspoint Avenue and Greenport was a few years away.[151]

On the North Fork, new parlor car service was available on the Friday early evening train from Jamaica as well as the westbound to Jamaica on Sunday nights and Monday mornings.  The following year, two more express trains on Friday nights to and from Greenport were added as well as an additional express back to the city on Sunday nights.[152]  The new Friday night express from Jamaica to Greenport made only stopped in Riverhead, Mattituck, and Southold.[153]

By 1963, summer service was as follows.  The Friday Shelter Island Express (train number 212), complete with a parlor car, stopped at Jamaica, Riverhead, and then made flag stops in Mattituck at 6:37 p.m. and Southold at 6:50 p.m.  A few hours later, eastbound train number 218 stopped in Mattituck at 9:30 p.m., Cutchogue at 9:35 p.m., and Southold at 9:43 p.m., with a flag stop in Peconic at 9:39 p.m.  Friday late evening westbound service included train numbers 217 and 219, which both stopped in Southold and Mattituck.  Summer service on Sundays consisted of an early afternoon eastbound train (number 4210), and two additional trains (early evening number 4215 and late evening number 4217).[154]

The summer schedule remained relatively unchanged through 1965 with only a few minor time adjustments.  However, for the summer of 1966, four trains were discontinued: the Friday evening eastbound train (number 218), the two Friday westbound trains (number 217 and 219) and the Sunday evening westbound train (number 4215).  The new changes marked the end of summer rail service to Peconic.  The final 1965 summer train service to Peconic was as follows: number 218 at 9:56 p.m. on Friday September 3, number 4210 at 1:28 p.m. on Monday September 6 (Labor Day), number 4215 at 6:14 p.m. on September 6, and number 4217 at 8:39 p.m. on September 6.  Train number 212 continued making flag stops at Mattituck and Southold but beginning in the summer of 1968, the train now made station stops in Mattituck, Cutchogue, and Southold.[155]

In the summer of 1970, the LIRR reinstated the Monday morning express train from the North Fork, discontinued thirty years earlier.  The announcement was made public on May 27 and the train began operating on June 1.  It carried passengers in an all-parlor consist from the North Fork express to Jamaica and Hunterspoint Avenue.  Regular features included continental breakfast and the morning paper, with first-day passengers receiving free amenities.  Also called the Shelter Island Express, train number 205 left Greenport at 7:00 a.m. and arrived at Hunterspoint Avenue Station at 9:30 a.m., with stops in Southold at 7:08 a.m., Cutchogue at 7:17 a.m., and Mattituck at 7:22 a.m.  It was re-numbered 201 by the fall of 1972.[156]

Based on passenger requests, another significant change occurred in 1975.  Both the Friday afternoon Shelter Island Express (train number 212) and the Monday morning (number 201) were extended to the fall and continued through May of 1976.[157]  However, it was short-lived.  In the fall of 1976, service was suspended until the spring.[158]  At this time, Shelter Island Express train number 212 was renumbered 206.[159]

Premium service reduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Summer service on weekends was cut by 1974.  Parlor car service to Greenport ended in 1986.  Following Main Line electrification to Ronkonkoma, extra service to the North Fork was reduced to a Friday early evening train (number 254) that currently runs local from Ronkonkoma to Greenport during summer months.[160]

Although not as luxurious as parlor car service, a new endeavor was added to the Friday getaway train in 2010 to promote local business.  Dubbed the “Wine Train,” train number 254 now served Long Island regional wines each Friday.  The program was developed by the LIRR, in cooperation with the Long Island Wine Council, to showcase a variety of North Fork and South Fork wines, including those from Laurel Lake, Peconic Bay, Macari, Pindar, Duck Walk, and Jason’s wineries.[161]

Service in the MTA Years and the Discontinuation of Peconic and Cutchogue Stations

With the program set to end in 1966, the LIRR was to lose its redevelopment status.  In lieu, New York State purchased the company for $65 million and embarked on a modernization program under the guidance of the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority.  Later, the authority evolved into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).[162]  Improvements by decade’s end included electrification to Huntington and Hicksville as well as the purchase of 770 new electric cars.[163]

In the MTA years, several lightly-used stations were closed.  One station was Peconic.  As discussed early, regular service was only available on Sundays after the inauguration of Road ‘n’ Rail.  On the fall timetable of 1965 the Sunday eastbound train (number 4204) featured a late morning passenger flag stop in Peconic at 11:14 a.m. and the early evening westbound (number 4213) at 6:10 p.m.  However, a newspaper station stop was available on the weekday roundtrip consist.  Eastbound train number 204 from Jamaica made newspaper stop in Peconic at 11:36 a.m. and westbound number 211 to Jamaica made a Peconic newspaper stop at 3:06 p.m.  Saturday also featured a newspaper stop in Peconic on eastbound train number 4206 and westbound number 4211.[164]

After state takeover, on timetables dated May 22, 1966, Peconic was listed as a stop but the Sunday flag stops were removed as well as the newspaper stops.  So, final flag stops may have been Sunday, May 15, 1966.[165]  The following year, on timetables dated May 22, 1967, the Peconic stop was no longer listed.  The wooden platform and shelter were razed in July of 1967.[166]

Location of the former Peconic Station, view west (February 4, 2006)
Location of the former Peconic Station, view west (February 4, 2006)
Location of the former Peconic Station freight house, view west (February 4, 2006)
Location of the former Peconic Station freight house, view west (February 4, 2006)

North Fork rail service remained relatively unchanged until the early 1970s.  By the fall of 1974, Saturday and Sunday roundtrip service was reconfigured.  Train number 4200 provided eastbound service, stopping in Mattituck at 1:39 p.m., Cutchogue at 1:45 p.m., and Southold at 1:54 p.m. while the westbound leg (number 4211) made Southold at 5:55 p.m., Cutchogue at 6:04 p.m., and Mattituck at 6:10 p.m.[167]  The new setup followed a new fare structure.  Announced in January of 1972, the plan was to divide the system into fourteen zones to make ticketing procedures easier.  It eliminated long-standing inequities with across-the-board fare increases.  In the plan, zones ran north to south, with Mattituck, Cutchogue, and Southold in zone thirteen.[168]

Over two years later, on May 20, 1974, revised schedules went into effect system-wide.   In addition to the new zone structure, Jamaica was eliminated as a stop on many trains allowing for the inauguration of express service which clipped five to twenty-five minutes off traveling time to the 245,000 daily commuters.  The new schedule was built on commuter zones.  During rush-hour most trains ran express, stopping only at stations in designated zones and bypassing stations in succeeding zones on the same branch.  Passengers at bypassed stations were served by other trains which then leapfrogged in similar patterns.  The structure was laid out at a press conference on April 11, 1974 by President Walter L. Schlager, Jr.  It was made possible by technological improvements in the railroad’s infrastructure such as newer and faster electric cars and extension of electrification to Huntington.[169]

While the new layout better served western Long Island, local officials were more concerned about East End service.[170]  Both county and state legislators pressured for better rail service.  State Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea, Jr. of Montauk insisted that the railroad needed to financially commit or he vowed to oppose state aid for the MTA.  The time period coincides with national energy crisis.  If the railroad wished to revive rail ridership, much depended on passengers.  Many people preferred the comfort of their own vehicles.[171]

In response, the railroad pledged to make North Fork improvements.  By this time, the weekday roundtrip train had only a single passenger car in light of low ridership and lack of regular commuters.  By June of 1972, the consist operated solely between Ronkonkoma and Greenport and the eastbound leg was renumbered 202.  According to the railroad, the roundtrip train carried on average twenty persons a day.  Still, there were no plans to drop it.  Typically, a three man crew operated it.[172]

The first sign of change was mid-decade.  First, beginning October 23, 1976, another roundtrip weekend train was added.  It shuttled to and from Ronkonkoma, leaving Greenport at 1:16 p.m. (number 4209) and Ronkonkoma at 4:06 p.m. (number 4202), allowing passengers to reach Nassau County stations not provided on the old timetable.[173]  The following summer, on timetables dated May 23, 1977, the two weekend roundtrips were renumbered: the first tandem was number 4200 and 4203 (which terminated at Hicksville rather than Jamaica) and the second was 4202 and 4205.  Also, the mid-afternoon weekday train number 211 was renumbered 203.[174]

Next, North Fork rush-hour train service was reinstated on July 1, 1981, the first time since 1962.  The action followed a study of passenger travel patterns indicating that rush-hour service was warranted.  The midday roundtrip (number 202 and 203) was discontinued.  Weekends were also supplemented with the reintroduction of another roundtrip, since one of the roundtrips was removed by the fall of 1979.[175]

LIRR Holtsville, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective December 15, 1979: One of the last timetables to feature Road ‘n’ Rail westbound rush-hour service prior to its 1981 elimination
LIRR Holtsville, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective December 15, 1979: One of the last timetables to feature Road ‘n’ Rail westbound rush-hour service prior to its 1981 elimination
LIRR Holtsville, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective December 15, 1979: One of the last timetables to feature Road ‘n’ Rail eastbound rush-hour service prior to its 1981 elimination
LIRR Holtsville, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective December 15, 1979: One of the last timetables to feature Road ‘n’ Rail eastbound rush-hour service prior to its 1981 elimination

The new rush-hour additions were as follows.  On weekday mornings, train number 201 (formerly the summer Monday morning Shelter Island Express) left Greenport at 6:01 a.m., making stops in Southold at 6:11 a.m., Cutchogue at 6:21 a.m., and Mattituck at 6:27 a.m.  For the eastbound rush, train number 204 to Greenport left Hunterspoint Avenue at 5:51 p.m., making Mattituck at 8:26 p.m., Cutchogue at 8:32 p.m., and Southold at 8:42 at p.m.  The westbound schedule also featured a non-rush-hour train from Greenport (the new number 203).  Formerly an afternoon train, it now ran in the evening with no Cutchogue stop.[176]

Rail service began to resemble pre-Road ‘n’ Rail days.  But, more changes were in store.  First, as of October 18, 1982 the westbound rush-hour train (number 201) now departed Greenport at at 5:15 a.m., with stops in Southold at 5:25 a.m., Cutchogue at 5:35 a.m., and Mattituck at 5:41 a.m.[177]  It was later renumbered 213, with Southold and Cutchogue stops discontinued.  Also, the evening westbound train (number 206) was renumbered 221 and now stopped in Southold at 9:47 p.m. and Mattituck at 10:02 p.m.  An earlier westbound train from Greenport (number 219) was added but only stopped in Mattituck at 7:48 p.m. on its way to Jamaica.  On the eastbound schedule, there were now two eastbound rush-hour trains to Greenport, both originated at Hunterspoint Avenue.  The first was number 216, which stopped in Mattituck at 6:43 p.m., and the other was number 220, which stopped in Mattituck at 8:31 p.m., Cutchogue at 8:37 p.m., and  Southold at 8:47 p.m.  Weekend service remained at two roundtrips stopping at all Southold town stops.[178]

While the new set up increased service to Mattituck, service to Cutchogue and Southold was reduced.  In fact, limited patronage at Cutchogue and Southold brought about even more changes.  Beginning April 30, 1984, the eastbound rush-hour train (number 220) no longer stopped at both Cutchogue and Southold.  The Southold stop was also removed from the evening westbound train (number 221).  This left service to Southold and Cutchogue solely on weekends.[179]

LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective October 22, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark service to Cutchogue Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective October 22, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark service to Cutchogue Station

During the 1985 Penn Station Improvement Program, Cutchogue Station was eliminated from timetables.  The north side of the tracks at Depot Lane at this time featured farm buildings of peeling paint, faded signs, and overgrown weeds.  On the south side was the Bluetop Inn, an authentic farmer’s bar.[180]  On timetables effective March 18, 1985, Cutchogue was removed.  The last day of service was most likely Sunday, March 17, 1985.  At the station was a weathered sign directing passengers to Mattituck or Southold Stations.[181]

Location of the former LIRR Cutchogue Station grade-level platform, view east (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Cutchogue Station (second location) low-level platform, view east (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Cutchogue Station, Depot Lane crossing, view southeast (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Cutchogue Station, Depot Lane crossing, view southeast (July 7, 2013)

Elimination of Cutchogue brought back weekday Southold service on all scheduled North Fork trains.  Later, electric service on the Main Line to Ronkonkoma in 1988 introduced the current train setup to the North Fork.  It includes seven diesel trains between Ronkonkoma and Riverhead or Greenport weekdays.  Service is no longer direct to Jamaica or Hunterspoint Avenue.  All trains operate to Ronkonkoma, where connections are made to electric.[182]  The new arrangement, still in operation today with only a slight change in time, is as follows.  Weekday morning rush-hour service is provided by train number 201, making stops in Southold at 5:39 a.m. and Mattituck at 5:51 a.m.  The eastbound rush-hour is serviced by train number 256, with stops in Mattituck at 7:54 p.m. and Southold at 8:08 p.m.  Non-rush-hour service includes a midday roundtrip to Greenport that since its inception currently operates over an hour later.  Train number 202 makes stops in Mattituck at 11:45 a.m. and Southold at 11:59 a.m. while the return train number 203 stops in Southold at 1:08 p.m. and Mattituck 1:21 p.m.  Evening service from Greenport is provided by train number 253, stopping in Southold at 9:47 p.m. and Mattituck 9:59 p.m.  Weekend service includes two roundtrips to and from Ronkonkoma and Greenport.  The first is train numbers 6200 (Mattituck at 11:32 a.m. and Southold at 11:45 a.m.) and 6201 (Southold at 12:50 p.m. and Mattituck at 1:02 p.m.).  The second is train numbers 6202 (Mattituck at 4:32 p.m. and Southold at 4:45 p.m.) and 6203 (Southold at 5:50 p.m. and Mattituck at 6:02 p.m.).[183]

LIRR Holtsville, Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective November 18, 1991: Eastbound North Fork rail service in the Post-Ronkonkoma Branch electrification era
LIRR Holtsville, Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective November 18, 1991: Eastbound North Fork rail service in the Post-Ronkonkoma Branch electrification era
LIRR Holtsville, Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective November 18, 1991: Westbound North Fork rail service in the Post-Ronkonkoma Branch electrification era
LIRR Holtsville, Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations Timetable Effective November 18, 1991: Westbound North Fork rail service in the Post-Ronkonkoma Branch electrification era

Late Twentieth Century Improvements

Besides schedule enhancements, improvements to rolling stock have been made since the days of steam engines.  In the early twentieth century, there was direct train service to Penn Station from the East End.  Since standard diesel engines and former steam locomotives were not allowed to run through East River tunnels in light of the exhaust fumes, the LIRR utilized electric locomotives to haul consists to New York after a locomotive switch at either Jamaica or the foot of the East River tunnels.  While time-consuming it did allow passengers a one-seat ride.  In 1947, two of the morning daily westbound trains (numbers 281 and 205) went directly to Penn Station following the locomotive switch, while a third terminated in Long Island City.  Eastbound daily service from Penn Station to the North Fork included an early afternoon train (number 201).  The Monday through Friday Peconic Bay Express (train number 212) and daily Monday through Saturday early evening (number 214) also ran from New York.  Additionally, Sunday service included a roundtrip to and from New York and the North Fork.  Although convenient, it did come at a price since early trains made many local stops on the Main Line.  The average running time from New York to the North Fork was three-and-a-half to four hours.[184]

By 1951 the railroad was bankrupt and sought every opportunity to economize.  Beginning in the summer of 1951, the remaining eleven trains operating into and out of Penn Station by way of electric locomotives were altered to originate and terminate their runs in Jamaica or Long Island City.  At Jamaica, electric trains shuttled passengers to and from New York.   Subway facilities in Long Island City connected to midtown Manhattan.  Railroad trustee William H. Draper, Jr. commented: “recent wage increases, the higher cost of materials and the additional men in the front and rear trains, as required by the PSC, have more than offset the additional revenue from increased fares…the financial condition of the railroad therefore is such that every possible means of saving money must be effected.”  Estimated savings to the railroad was between $250,000 and $300,000 annually.  North Fork passengers now changed at Jamaica or Ronkonkoma, leading to the moniker “change at Jamaica.”[185]

At the end of the twentieth century, the LIRR replaced its diesel fleet, purchased in the mid-1970s.  As a matter of fact, the MTA added twenty-two locomotives to the LIRR’s roster in the spring of 1976.  By October, thirty-seven new diesels were ordered at a cost of $16.1 million.  It was the first MTA project funded by the 1974 state rail preservation bond issue.  At this time the MTA also announced the installation of new safety gates at twenty-nine crossings, many in Southold town.[186]  In fact, Southold Town Supervisor Albert Martocchia and LIRR President Walter Schlager, Jr. announced in June of 1972 that eight of the most dangerous crossings in the town would be equipped with gates and flashing red lights.[187]  Improvements, albeit absolutely necessary, were a commitment from the railroad that service was to improve.

Half of the current diesel locomotives purchased in the late-1990s can utilize the third-rail for locomotion, allowing diesel consists into Penn Station.  Dual-mode engines give passengers the option of a one-seat ride from non-electrified territory to New York without changing trains.  When the LIRR announced a new fleet of locomotives and bi-level coaches would arrive by the end of the 1990s, remaining Southold town stations were nothing more than a slab of concrete with very little shelter.  Southold had a concrete platform the size of about two car lengths, complete with two station signs atop light posts.  The 1962 metal shelter was painted red by this time, most likely in the early 1970s.  Mattituck, on the other hand, was missing its shelter by the 1990s.  Its concrete platform, with two station signs atop lamp posts, extended from Westphalia Avenue to Love Lane.[188]

Location of the former LIRR Mattituck Station depot building and grade-level platform, view east (August 1, 2015)
Location of the former LIRR Mattituck Station depot building and low-level platform, view east (August 1, 2015)

To accommodate the new diesel fleet, new four-foot high platforms at Mattituck and Southold were needed since new coaches had no steps for passengers to disembark.  In theory, getting off at train level sped travel since less time was needed at each station.  Each platform would have a large passenger shelter equipped with a bench, information center, better lighting, and a ramp designed to help the physically challenged access trains.[189]  Southold town officials also worked out details for better sidewalks and improved landscaping.  For Southold hamlet, plans included installation of proper curbing to square off the corner of Youngs Avenue and Traveler Street as well as a sidewalk running along Youngs Avenue from Main Road to the station.  In Mattituck, since some property around the station was privately-owned, officials, members of the business community, and the LIRR, devised an acceptable layout for improvements.[190]

LIRR Mattituck Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (August 1, 2015)
LIRR Mattituck Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (August 1, 2015)
LIRR Mattituck Station, high-level platform passenger shelter, view west (June 16, 2013)
LIRR Mattituck Station, high-level platform passenger shelter, view west (June 16, 2013)

Work began in the fall of 1996 but progressed slowly.  In Southold, the site lay dormant for nearly a year with only a temporary wooden platform built.  By the summer and fall of 1997 work picked up and was completed in early 1998.[191]  At both Southold and Mattituck a new concrete one-and-a-half car length platform was built in the former area of the 1962 metal shelter on the south side of the tracks.

LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view east (February 5, 2006)
LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view east (February 5, 2006)
LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (February 5, 2006)
LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (February 5, 2006)
LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (February 5, 2006)
LIRR Southold Station, high-level platform and passenger shelter, view west (February 5, 2006)

It is a pity that dual-mode engines do not run to New York from the North Fork.  No doubt a one-seat ride is always preferred.  Additionally, lack of express service from the fork to Jamaica leads to more travel time.  While current train number 256 receives an express connection from New York at Ronkonkoma and arrives in Mattituck in a little over two hours, the former Shelter Island Express of the 1960s and 1970s ran from Jamaica to Cutchogue in under two hours.[192]

LIRR Cab Control Car 5012 of westbound train number 6201, Mattituck Station, view east (June 21, 2015)
LIRR Cab Control Car 5012 of westbound train number 6201, Mattituck Station, view east (June 21, 2015)

Specials for the East End

The LIRR has provided special train service to and from the East End and Manhattan throughout its history.  Currently, select discount packages with rail and admission fees to locations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Discovery Times Square, and the Circle Line Liberty Cruise are available.  For North Fork residents, the rate is $48 for adults and $37.50 for children.[193]

However, in the 1960s and 1970s, the railroad provided an extensive calendar of special train service to Manhattan that included onboard amenities.  Typically, service ran during non-summer months beginning in the fall.  One train was the Shopper’s Special featuring Santa Claus, walking up and down the aisles during the trip.  Typically, the train left Greenport, made a few select station stops east of Riverhead, and then ran express to Jamaica where it connected with service to Penn Station.  In the 1961-1962 season, the special ran on Saturday, December 9, leaving Greenport in the morning with stops in Southold, Peconic, Cutchogue, and Mattituck.  Snacks, pastries, and beverages were available for purchase.  After nine hours in the city, the return train left Penn Station in the early evening to connect with diesel service to Greenport at Jamaica.[194]  The 1963-1964 season began on November 16 with service no longer available from Peconic.[195]  In the 1966-1967 season, the Shopper’s Special included a guided bus tour covering lower Manhattan and Chinatown, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and shops along Fifth Avenue.[196]  The Santa train ran as recent as 1978.[197]  Another special train included a visit to the International Flower Show, typically held in March.[198] The Day in the City train, running in the January or February, focused on shopping locations around New York.[199]

During the New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadow Park, the LIRR ran special service from the North Fork to Jamaica where shuttles provided service for those who wanted to spend a day at the fair.  In fact, in September of 1964 the LIRR ran a pair of special trains to the World’s Fair from Greenport and Montauk indicating these would be the last for the year.  However, the trains drew 1,160 people and in response the trains ran again on October 17, 1964.[200]  In a similar manner the following year, there was an additional roundtrip added on October 16 at the close of the fair.[201]

In the summer of 2015, a North Fork Bike and Wine Getaway was added.  The one-day excursion on three different Saturdays in summer and fall included beverages, a tour guide, use of a hybrid bicycle, and rail fare to and from Southold Station where riders pedaled to Greenport.  The trip also stopped at two vineyards, Osprey’s Dominium and Old Field.[202]

Next page: Speonk and Remsenburg: A History of Rail Service

 
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[1] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island: the History of Every Community on Long Island in Stories and Photographs (Melville, NY: Newsday, 1999), 147; Richard M. Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County with a Historical Outline of Long Island (Port Washington, NY: Ira J. Friedman Inc., 1962), 360.

[2] Southold Historical Society, Guide to Historic Markers: First List of Historic Markers Placed in Southold, Peconic, and Arshamomague  (Southold, NY: Southold Historical Society), 3-4.

[3] Henry Isham Hazelton, The Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924 (New York: Lewis Historical, 1925), 693.)(Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[4] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 693-694; Southold Historical Society, Guide to Historic Markers, 3-4.

[5] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 360-361.

[6] Southold Historical Society, Guide to Historic Markers, 3-4; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 360-361.

[7] Ibid., 361-364.

[8] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 696-698.

[9] Ibid., 696-698.

[10] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 365; Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 696-698.

[11] Southold Historical Society, Guide to Historic Markers, 3-4.

[12] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 697.

[13] Ibid., 699.

[14] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[15] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 700; Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[16] Stan Fischler, Long Island Rail Road (Voyageur Press: New York, 2007), 13-14.

[17] Ibid., 17-19.

[18] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History,” Trains are Fun, accessed April 6, 2015, http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirrphotos/LIRR%20Station%20History.htm; Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, Age of Expansion (Garden City, NY: Seyfried, 1984), 193; Ron Ziel and Richard Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island (Bridgehampton, NY: Sunrise Special Ltd., 1988), 4; “Long Island Railroad Co.,” Brooklyn Eagle, July 26, 1844, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50251044/?terms=brooklyn%2Bgreenport.

[19] Ibid.; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 373; Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 702.

[20] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 377; Southold Historical Society, Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum, brochure available at Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum (Southold, NY: 2014).

[21] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 702.

[22] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 377.

[23] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150; Liisa M. May, “Living In: An Adult Community: Convenient and Quiet,” Newsday (1940-1986), June 1, 1985, http://www.proquest.com.

[24] Southold Historical Society, Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum.

[25] Laura Durkin, “Living In: A Guide to the East End, Home Base,” Newsday (1940-1986), May 24, 1984, http://www.proquest.com; Town of Southold, “Park District Beaches,” Town of Southold, accessed on June 15, 2015, http://www.southoldtownny.gov/index.aspx?NID=268; “Cedar Beach County Park, Southold, NY,” Long Island Divers Association, accessed on June 15, 2015, http://www.lidaonline.com/cedarbeachcp.php.

[26] Rachel Young, “A 23-mile Journey to Celebrate Southold Town’s Mile Markers,” Suffolk Times, accessed on August 31, 2015, http://suffolktimes.timesreview.com/2015/05/58570/a-23-mile-journey-to-celebrate-southold-towns-mile-markers/.

[27] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 708.

[28] Virginia C. Martinsen, “Living In: Mattituck a Rural Past Viewed from my Kitchen Window Series,” Newsday (Combined editions), May 23, 1987, http://www.proquest.com.

[29] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 708; Staff of Long Island, Our Story,Home Town Long Island, 150.

[30] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 708-710.

[31] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 712; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 368.

[32] Martinsen, “Living In: Mattituck”; Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 148.

[33] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 368.

[34] Seyfried, Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, 193; Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, The Golden Age 1881-1900 (Garden City, NY: Seyfried, 1984), 264; “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History”; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 4; “Long Island Railroad Co.”

[35] Paul Ballot, “Living In: Mattituck: Where Love Lane Leads Downtown,” Newsday (1940-1986), June 8, 1985, http://www.proquest.com.

[36] Martinsen, “Living In: Mattituck.”

[37] Ellen Mitchell, “Living In / Meandering through Mattituck,” Newsday(Combined editions), September 22, 1996, http://www.proquest.com.

[38] Hazelton, Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island, New York, 1609-1924, 708; Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[39] Martinsen, “Living In: Mattituck”; Ellen Mitchell, “Living In / Meandering through Mattituck.”

[40] Paul Ballot, “Living In: Mattituck.”

[41] Lisa Doll Bruno, “Living In Cutchogue, Where Glimpses of the Past Still Endure,” Newsday (Combined editions), September 24, 2004, http://www.proquest.com; Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island,147.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 369.

[44] “Cutchogue,” The Long Island Traveler (Cutchogue), September 30, 1875, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Long Island Railroad Co.,” Brooklyn Eagle, April 28, 1844, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50306459/?terms=brooklyn%2Blong%2Bisland%2Brailroad.

[45] “Cutchogue,” South Side Signal (Babylon), August 20, 1887, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, 193; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 264; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 26.

[46] Ibid., 52.

[47] Steve Wick, “Living In: Cutchogue: In Touch with Earth, Sea, and Sky,” Newsday (1940-1986), May 28, 1983, http://www.proquest.com.

[48] Dallas Gatewood, “Living In: Cutchogue out of Fashion, and Happy to be There Series,” Newsday (Combined editions), June 25, 1988, http://www.proquest.com.

[49] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 147.

[50] Gatewood, “Living In: Cutchogue out of Fashion, and Happy to be there Series.”

[51] Mitchell Freedman, “Living In: Cutchogue’s Small-Town Traditions,” Newsday (Combined editions), December 6, 1998, http://www.proquest.com.

[52] Louisa Thomas Hargrave, The Vineyard: A Memoir (Penguin Books, NY, 2003), 5.

[53] Ibid., 1-2.

[54] “Cutchogue,” The Watchman (Mattituck), April 25, 1974, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[55] Freedman, “Living In: Cutchogue’s Small-Town Traditions.”

[56] Richard C. Firstman, “Long Islanders Ride Out Gloria with Equanimity,” Newsday (1940-1986), September 28, 1985, http://www.proquest.com.

[57] Hargrave, The Vineyard: A Memoir, 108.

[58] Ibid., 247.

[59] Bruno, “Living In Cutchogue.”

[60] “Short History of the Jitney,” Hampton Jitney, accessed June 22, 2015,  http://reservations.hamptonjitney.com/viewer/history.asp.

[61] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 371.

[62] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[63] Ibid.; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 375.

[64] Ibid., 371-374.

[65] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 872.

[66] Bob Wacker, “Living In: Nassau Point a Sanctuary for Summertime Series,” Newsday (Combined editions), July 4, 1987, http://www.proquest.com.

[67] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 369.

[68] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 872; Southold Historical Society, Guide to Historic Markers, 3-4.

[69] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 872.

[70] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 150.

[71] Ibid.; “For Sale,” Corrector (Sag Harbor), March 4, 1848, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[72] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[73] Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, 193.

[74] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 35.

[75] “L.I.R.R. Timetable,” Long Island Traveler (Cutchogue), October 16, 1879, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[76] “Local Intelligence,” Long Island Traveler (Cutchogue), September 13, 1877, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[77] “L.I.R.R. Timetable,” Long Island Traveler (Cutchogue), September 12, 1878, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[78] “L.I.R.R. Time Table,” Long Island Traveler (Huntington), June 18, 1897, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[79] Long Island Railroad Company, Long Island Railroad Company Time Table No. 26, For the Government and Information of Employees Only, In Effect 12.01 A.M., Wednesday, May 27th, 1903 (New York: Long Island Railroad Company, 1903), Main Line.

[80] Long Island Railroad, Taking Effect May 23, 1928, Daylight Saving Time, Long Island Railroad Time Tables (New York: Long Island Railroad, 1928), Main Line.

[81] Long Island Railroad, “Long Island Commuters,” Long Island Railroad Information Bulletin 8, no.1 (January – February 1931): 8.

[82] Long Island Rail Road, Main Line: Central Park, Ronkonkoma, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations, Schedule in Effect December 3, 1933 (Long Island Rail Road: Jamaica, NY, 1933).

[83] Long Island Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, New York Zone, Long Island Railroad, Time Table No. 8, In Effect 2.00 a.m. Sunday, September 19, 1937, For the Government of Employes Only, Eastern Standard Time (New York: Long Island Railroad, 1937), Main Line.

[84] Fischler, Long Island Rail Road , 94-95.

[85] Ibid., 116.

[86] “L.I. Rail Road to Speed Runs to Eastern Suffolk,” The Watchman, December 13, 1956.

[87] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect October 3, 1955, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1955), Main Line; Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 10, 1956, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1956), Main Line;  “L.I. Rail Road to Speed Runs to Eastern Suffolk.”

[88] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 10, 1956, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables; “L.I. Rail Road to Speed Runs to Eastern Suffolk.”; Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 9, 1957, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1957), Main Line; Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 2, 1958, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1958), Main Line.

[89] “L.I.R.R. to Eliminate Agents on North Fork,” The Watchman (Mattituck), August 14, 1958, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Alex Dorozynski, “LIRR Plans Major Streamlining Program,” Patchogue Advance, August 14, 1958, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[92] “Hearings on LIRR Service Plans Set,” Patchogue Advance, September 25, 1958, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[93] “LIRR Gets OK to Cut Agents at 15 Stations.”

[94] Ibid.; “LIRR Plans Campaign to Get Freight on Rails,” Patchogue Advance, February 5, 1959, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[95] “To Two Old Time Railroad Men,” The Watchman (Mattituck), February 25, 1959, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[96] “Deferred Local Items,” South Side Signal (Babylon), February 25, 1888, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[97] Long Island Railroad Company, Long Island Railroad Company Time Table No. 26, For the Government and Information of Employees Only, In Effect 12.01 A.M., Wednesday, May 27th, 1903.

[98] “Old Newspaper Article Tells of LI Potato Growing in 1910,” Patchogue Advance, January 9, 1964, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[99] Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries.

[100] “One-Way Haul Cuts LIRR Freight Load,” Newsday (1940-1986), January 28, 1956, http://www.proquest.com.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Ibid.

[104] “ICC Suspends LIRR Fee on Below-Carload Freight,” Newsday (1940-1986), October 22, 1958, http://www.proquest.com.

[105] “LIRR Seeking Extra Fee on some Freight,” Newsday (1940-1986), December 11, 1958, http://www.proquest.com.

[106] “City Raps Bid by LIRR for Freight Fee,” Newsday (1940-1986), December 12, 1958, http://www.proquest.com.

[107] “State Bars LIRR for $2 Freight Surcharge,” Newsday (1940-1986), August 15, 1959, http://www.proquest.com.

[108] “LIRR asks PSC to Curtail Carload Freight,” Newsday (1940-1986), August 25, 1959, http://www.proquest.com.

[109] “LIRR Gets OK on Change in Freight Set-Up,” Newsday (1940-1986), January 28, 1960, http://www.proquest.com.

[110] “Old Newspaper Article Tells of LI Potato Growing in 1910.”

[111] Paul Ballott, “The ‘Other’ LIRR: Working on the ‘Other’ LIRR,” Newsday (1940-1986), February 11, 1979, http://www.proquest.com.

[112] Ibid.

[113] “NYA – New York & Atlantic Railway,” Anacostia, accessed on June 29, 2015, http://www.anacostia.com/railroads/nya.

[114] “Here’s Great News for Southold,” The Watchman (Mattituck), February 22, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[115] “Huntington-Southold Bus Service of LIRR Approved by P.S. Commission,” The Watchman, January 18, 1962; “Long Island Rail Road Inaugurates Bus Service from Greenport to Huntington next Monday,” The Watchman, February 15, 1962.

[116] “Huntington-Southold Bus Service of LIRR Approved by P.S. Commission”; “Long Island Rail Road Inaugurates Bus Service from Greenport to Huntington next Monday.”

[117] “Huntington-Southold Bus Service of LIRR Approved by P.S. Commission”; “Long Island Rail Road Inaugurates Bus Service from Greenport to Huntington next Monday.”

[118] “Huntington-Southold Bus Service of LIRR Approved by P.S. Commission”; “Long Island Rail Road Inaugurates Bus Service from Greenport to Huntington next Monday”; “Here’s Great News for Southold.”

[119] “LIRR Road ‘n’ Rail Route Service Increased,” The Watchman (Mattituck), May 3, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[120] “Southold-Peconic Civic Association Meets; Many Local Problems Discussed,” The Watchman (Mattituck), March 22, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[121] “Letter to the Editor,” The Watchman (Mattituck), March 22, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[122] “L.I.R.R Expands its Road ‘n’ Rail Route Service,” The Watchman (Mattituck), June 7, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Train-Bus Plan,” Patchogue Advance, August 23, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[123] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 17, 1962, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1962), Main Line.

[124] “Huntington-Southold Bus Service of LIRR Approved by P.S. Commission.”; “Long Island Rail Road Inaugurates Bus Service from Greenport to Huntington next Monday.”

[125] “Here’s Great News for Southold”; Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 11, 1961, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1961), Main Line; Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Effective February 19, 1962, Long Island Rail Road, Time Tables, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1962).

[126] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective May 16, 1965, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1965), Main Line.

[127] Long Island Rail Road, Yaphank, Centereach, Ridge, Riverhead, Greenport, effective June 26, 1972 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1972.

[128] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Timetables Effective October 30, 1972, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1972); “LIRR Announces Revision in Schedule,” Long Island Traveler-Mattituck Watchman (Southold), May 17, 1973, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[129] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 24, 1976, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1976).

[130] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 23, 1977, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1977).

[131] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Rail Road Timetable No. 5 Appendix A General Notices, effective May 22, 1978 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1978), Main Line.

[132] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective November 14, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981); MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective July 1, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981).

[133] “LIRR Announces Schedule Changes,” Newsday (1940-1986), October 10, 1982, http://www.proquest.com; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective October 16, 1982, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1982).

[134] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[135] Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 90.

[136] Ibid., 82.

[137] “About our Railroad Stations,” The Watchman (Mattituck), March 15, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[138] “Letter to the Editor.”

[139] “Chamber of Commerce,” The Watchman (Mattituck), January 25, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[140] “About our Railroad Stations.”

[141] “Town Board Resolution Makes Request for Airport under New County Authority,” The Watchman (Mattituck), February 22, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[142] “About our Railroad Stations.”

[143] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[144] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 21.

[145] Ibid., 44.

[146] Ibid., 52.

[147] “New Shelter Replaces Old Railway Station at Mattituck,” The Watchman (Mattituck), August 3, 1967, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[148] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 23.

[149] Ibid.

[150] Long Island Railroad, Taking Effect May 23, 1928, Main Line.

[151] “Speaking of Business,” Patchogue Advance, May 11, 1961, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[152] “L.I.R.R Expands its Road ‘n’ Rail Route Service.”

[153] “LIRR Goes Deluxe to Serve East-End Resort Areas,” Long Islander (Huntington), May 31, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[154] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Effective May 19, 1963, Main Line Road ‘n’ Rail Timetable, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1963).

[155] Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Rail Road Timetable, Schedule in Effect September 14, 1964, (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1964), Main Line; Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective May 16, 1965, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1965), Main Line; Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective September 13, 1965, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1965), Main Line; Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Rail Road Timetable No. 1, in effect 12:01 AM, Sunday, May 22, 1966 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1966), Main Line; MTA The Long Island Rail Road Company, Long Island Rail Road Timetable No. 4, effective 12:01 AM, Monday, November 25, 1968 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1968), Main Line.

[156] MTA The Long Island Rail Road Company, Long Island Rail Road Timetable, effective May 25, 1970 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1970), Main Line; “LIRR will again Operate Express Trains to North Fork,” The Watchman (Mattituck), May 28, 1970, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Timetables Effective October 30, 1972, Main Line.

[157] “LIRR Extends the Eastend Service,” The Watchman (Mattituck), October 25, 1975, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[158] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective September 20, 1976, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1976).

[159] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 23, 1977, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1977).

[160] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable effective May 20, 2013 – September 2, 2013 (New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2013); Mike Boland, “The Route of the Weekend Chief,” Keystone 28, no. 3 (Autumn 1995): 56; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective July 1, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective October 7, 1974, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1974).

[161] Stacey Altherr, “Don’t Wine about this Commute,” Newsday (Combined editions), July 12, 2011, http://www.proquest.com.

[162] Stan Fischler, Long Island Rail Road, 118-121.

[163] Ibid., 124.

[164] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective September 13, 1965, Main Line.

[165] Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Rail Road Timetable No. 1, in effect 12:01 AM, Sunday, May 22, 1966, Main Line.

[166] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective May 22, 1967, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1967), Main Line.

[167] Long Island Rail Road, Yaphank, Centereach, Ridge, Riverhead, Greenport, effective June 26, 1972; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective October 7, 1974, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road.

[168] Martin Flusser, Jr., “LIRR Tries to Divide and Conquer Inequities,” Newsday (1940-1986), January 7, 1972, http://www.proquest.com.

[169] Marc Schogol, “LIRR to Speed Up Rush Hour,” Newsday (1940-1986), April 12, 1974, http://www.proquest.com.

[170] Ibid.

[171] “Transport Worries,” The Watchman (Mattituck), February 7, 1974, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[172] Long Island Rail Road, Yaphank, Centereach, Ridge, Riverhead, Greenport, effective June 26, 1972.; Book 15, Book 5, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection; Sidney C. Schaer, “Long Island Railroad’s Shorty: the LIRR’s Shortest,” Newsday (1940-1986), November 8, 1973, http://www.proquest.com.

[173] “LIRR Adds More Service,” The Watchman (Mattituck), October 28, 1976, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective September 20, 1976, Revised March 28, 1977, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1977).

[174] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 23, 1977.

[175] “LIRR Rush-Hour Service to Return to North Fork,” Newsday, June 23, 1981; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Holtsville, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1979.

[176] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 17, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981.

[177] “LIRR Announces Schedule Changes.”

[178] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective January 23, 1984, Ronkonkoma Branch, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1984).

[179] “Schedules Altered for Some Trains,” Newsday (1940-1986), April 29, 1984, http://www.proquest.com.

[180] Wick, “Living In: Cutchogue: In Touch with Earth, Sea, and Sky.”

[181] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective March 18, 1985, Ronkonkoma Branch, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1985); Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 52.

[182] Bill Bleyer, “Shaving Minutes from Rush Hour: LIRR Expands Electric Service on Main Line,” Newsday (Combined editions), January 17, 1988, http://www.proquest.com.

[183] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective November 18, 1991, Holtsville, Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Greenport and Intermediate Stations (New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 1991); MTA Long Island Rail Road, Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable effective May 20, 2013 – September 2, 2013.

[184] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Time Table, Main Line, Effective January 27, 1947, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1947).

[185] “Walk a Little Bit, Sit Less: LIRR to Riders,” Newsday (1940-1986), June 12, 1951, http://www.proquest.com.

[186] Tom Morris, “Stop! Look! Listen! New LIRR Gates,” Newsday (1940-1986), October 16, 1976, http://www.proquest.com.

[187] “Long Island Railroad to Guard Eight Crossings on North Fork by Mid-Summer,” The Watchman (Mattituck), June 12, 1972, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[188] Railroad Video Productions, Long Island Rail Road: Greenport to Jamaica Part One (Leola, PA: Railroad Video Productions, 1994).

[189] “New Fleet Due in April 1998,” The News Review (Riverhead), August 28, 1997.

[190] Maureen Tuthill, “All Aboard for Station Make-Overs,” Traveler Watchman, October 23, 1997.

[191] Michael DeMaria, “Greenport Gets 60 Parking Spots from LIRR,” Traveler Watchman, November 13, 1997.

[192] MTA Long Island Rail Road, Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable effective May 20, 2013 – September 2, 2013; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 24, 1976, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road.

[193] MTA, “2015 LIRR New York City Getaway,” MTA.Info, accessed June 2, 2015, http://web.mta.info/lirr/getaways/newyorkcity/index.htm.

[194] “C’mon …Mom-Dad Let’s Take the Whole Family on the LIRR’s Santa Claus Special Train to Manhattan,” The Watchman (Mattituck), November 23, 1961, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[195] “LIRR again Planning Monthly Excursions,” The Watchman (Mattituck), October 31, 1963, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[196] “Long Island R.R. Pre-Holiday Special to run December 10,”The Watchman (Mattituck), December 1, 1966, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[197] “Holiday Specials Set to Roll on LIRR,” Newsday (1940-1986), December 7, 1978, http://www.proquest.com.

[198] “L.I.R.R. Announces March 17th Excursion,” The Watchman (Mattituck), March 8, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[199] “LIRR Plans Excursion for January 12th,”The Watchman (Mattituck), January 10, 1963, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[200] “LIRR Having Final Fair Train Saturday,” The Watchman (Mattituck), October 15, 1964, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[201] “LIRR Fair Special is really Last One,” The Watchman (Mattituck), October 7, 1965, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[202] MTA Long Island Rail Road, “LIRR Bike and Wine Getaway,” Train Talk: A Publication for MTA Long Island Rail Road Customers (July 2015).

 

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