The History of the Town of Riverhead and Its Railroad Stations

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead 6-16_3
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

 

Present-day town of Riverhead in Suffolk County extends east and west about fifteen miles, with an average width of about five miles. Long Island Sound borders the northern shore, Southold town on the east, Peconic River and Bay separates Riverhead town from Brookhaven and Southampton on the south, and Brookhaven bounds it on the west. While the sound shore forms a line of high bluffs and rugged hills, the center of the town features highly cultivated and productive farms communities, nurseries, and vineyards.[1] Settlements began in the mid-seventeenth century when the area was part of the town of the Southold. Following separation, further development was spurred with the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). With both freight and passenger service, the railroad prompted the development of more farm communities as goods could be shipped westerly to New York. At one time, Riverhead town featured six LIRR stations. Presently, only one remains, the result of the automobile and the demise of railroad freight service. The following is a history of Riverhead town and the rise and decline of both passenger and freight rail service.

Great Peconic Bay, South Jameport (October 12, 2014)
Great Peconic Bay, South Jamesport (October 12, 2014)

Beginnings

Riverhead town includes a hamlet of the same name. The first Europeans arrived there in 1659 when John Tucker and Joseph Horton, both from Southold, won the right to set up a saw mill. The first settlement was established in 1690 by John Griffing and other inhabitants. Later in the decade, grist and fulling mills were set up to take advantage of water power along the Peconic River. The first grist-mill was built in 1695.[2]

Peconic River, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Peconic River, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

When settlers first purchased the land that would form most of Riverhead town, they referred to the entire region as Aquebogue, an Indian word meaning “head of the bay” or “cove place.” By the eighteenth century, the town spawned several industries, including cordwood, textiles, shipbuilding, and Navy ship anchor production. Following the construction of a court and jail in 1727, present-day Riverhead hamlet was designated as the county seat and called Suffolk County Court House. Both Southampton and Southold fought over the court’s location. Ultimately, Riverhead was decided upon because it was equidistant.[3]

Riverhead Farm, Osborn Avenue (July 27, 2014)
Riverhead Farm, Osborn Avenue (July 27, 2014)

To the north of today’s Riverhead hamlet is Baiting Hollow and Northville. Although it was acquired as part of the Aquebogue purchase and divvied up into sixty lots as early as 1660, there was not much activity in Baiting Hollow until the late eighteenth century. A cart path was built in 1702 to ease travel from Southold to Brookhaven, the route of which mirrors modern-day Sound Avenue. Early travelers inspired the name Baiting Hollow, which referred to a pond where passers “baited” or watered their horses. By 1825, the population was 261. Northville, formerly known as both Sound Avenue and Success Post Office, was a productive farm community. The first European landowner was William Wells of Southold who purchased land from the Indians in the late 1600s. One of the prominent farm families were the Hallocks, who settled along what became the town line between Riverhead and Southold in the 1680s. At least fifteen homes and outbuildings are preserved along Sound Avenue as part of the Hallockville Museum Farm.[4] It was created to preserve and interpret the history of farming on the North Fork of Long Island.   The original portion of the homestead was built in 1765 by Ruben Brown but Ezra Hallock bought the farm and lived in the house sometime after the Revolution. It was sold to his brother Captain Zachariah Hallock in 1801. The last descendent to live in the homestead was Ella Hallock in 1979.[5]

Baiting Hollow Beach (July 27, 2014)
Baiting Hollow Beach (July 27, 2014)

The only military battles to take place on the North Fork of Long Island were towards the end of the War of 1812 along the sound in present-day Northville. The greatest of these transpired between October 11 and 13 in 1814 as local militia, volunteers from New Haven and crew members defended the U.S. Revenue Cutter Eagle from the combined firepower of three British warships. Since this cutter was the predecessor and namesake of the Coast Guard Bark Eagle, the three-day long battle is a notable episode in American history.[6] In June of the same year, two lesser-known minor skirmishes were also along the sound waterfront at Penny’s Landing and Luce’s Landing. In both cases, local farmers battled against British warships. In 1926, the Yennicott Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution erected a plaque, embedded in a large stone at the intersection of Church Lane and Sound Avenue to commemorate both battles.[7]

Northville Beach and Long Island Sound, Northville (November 23, 2012)
Northville Beach and Long Island Sound, Northville (November 23, 2012)

East of Riverhead is modern-day Jamesport, first settled as Lower Aquebogue about 1690 by a family named Holyoke (Halliock or Hallock). The first settlers built homesteads and attracted tradesmen. Consequently, a commercial outpost was established in the mid-eighteenth century. In the warmer months, Bunker fish oil was a dominant product. The oil was used as fertilizer, in lamps, and for paint. As a trade center, Lower Aquebogue, more than any other area, brought about Riverhead’s independence.[8]

Modern-day Aquebogue was first settled in 1758. It was called Upper Aquebogue to distinguish it from Lower Aquebogue.[9]

The Separation Act and the Coming of the Railroad

The town of Riverhead was created out of the west end of Southold town on March 13, 1792, becoming the ninth of Suffolk’s ten towns. It was the result of community development and resident weariness of traveling up to twenty-five miles to attend the annual Southold town meetings. From the earliest settlements, the entire vicinity was referred to as the “Head of the River,” or the “River’s Head.” In fact, when the courthouse was built, the location was designated as River’s Head. Upon granting separation, the State Assembly called it River-Head, or River Head, which evolved into Riverhead. The town of Riverhead as constituted by the separation act, included that part of Southold “bounded on the east by the east line of the Albertson farm,” in the locale that was to become the hamlet of Laurel and on the west by Brookhaven town at Wading River.[10] However, the name of the Post Office would not change until mid-nineteenth century. Originally called Suffolk County Court House, the name was shortened to Suffolk when an office was established on June 14, 1798. It later became River Head on November 6, 1855, and finally, Riverhead.[11]

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

The two largest communities in the area at the time of separation were Wading River, and Lower, or Old Aquebogue. The arrival of railroad service inspired the growth of neighboring communities as well as Riverhead hamlet. Incorporated on April 24, 1834, the LIRR operated from South Ferry in Brooklyn to Jamaica. However, owners and local officials envisioned this segment as the first step towards a “through line” from Brooklyn to Boston. To avoid the hills and rivers of New England, a route through Long Island was chosen where a ferry would carry passengers from Greenport to a Boston-bound railroad in Rhode Island. After years of construction and several economic setbacks, the LIRR Main Line right-of-way to Greenport was opened on July 29, 1844.[12]

Calverton Corn Fields, Edwards Avenue (July 27, 2014)
Calverton Corn Fields, Edwards Avenue (July 27, 2014)

A way station for both passenger and freight service was set up at Riverhead hamlet in the vicinity of present-day Railroad Avenue. Initial service in the fall of 1844 indicated it as a transfer location to reach Quogue and the south side of the island by stagecoach. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays there was a morning train to Greenport which stopped at Riverhead Station and a similar westbound train to Brooklyn on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. All other service to Greenport bypassed the new station stop at Riverhead.[13] A depot building was constructed and regular service first appeared on railroad timetables effective July 29, 1844.[14]

Riverhead Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station and depot building opened July 29, 1844 (timetable)
Depot building replaced September 1869 – March 1870
Depot building replaced October 1909 – 1910
Depot building opened June 2, 1910
Agency closed November 13, 1972
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 – Fall 1997 (author’s analysis)

The LIRR also designated another way station and a depot building was erected to the east of Riverhead at what was then called James’ Port near the intersection of today’s South Railroad Avenue and South Jamesport Avenue. The community was inspired by James Tuthill in 1825 as a seaport. At the time, the only way to reach the Peconic Bay from Lower Aquebogue was by means of a one-track sand road through a swamp area called Miamogue. Tuthill envisioned Miamogue as a whaling ship port that could rival Long Island maritime endeavors. He purchased the land from the Indians, built a better road, laid out streets, erected some houses and a dock, in 1833. However, the bay water proved too shallow for his dreams and a grander port was built at Greenport. Nevertheless, the locale continued and in six years there were forty dwellings and by 1843 two or three whale ships operated on the bay.[15] The station bared the name Jamesport from this community which was a mile south of the railroad.[16] Regular station service appeared on railroad timetables effective April 24, 1845.[17]

Jamesport Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station and depot building opened April 24, 1845 (timetable)
Station relocated and depot building reconstructed August and September 1869
Depot building destroyed by fire October 17, 1877
Station relocated and depot building replaced (saloon remodeled) 1877
Depot building remodeled 1944
Station agency closed January 1959
Station agent reassigned February 11, 1959 (author’s analysis)
Depot building razed July 18, 1963
Three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter erected July 1963
Station relocated and metal passenger shelter opened July 18, 1963
Last passenger service March 17, 1985 (author’s analysis)
Station closed March 18, 1985 (author’s analysis)
Metal passenger shelter razed Late 1980s
Great Peconic Bay, Miamogue Point, South Jamesport (November 23, 2012)
Great Peconic Bay, Miamogue Point, South Jamesport (November 23, 2012)

To the north on the main road, Lower Aquebogue had about forty houses, a church, a school, a few mechanic shops, and an ancient burial ground. Tuthill carried the mail himself in a horse and wagon from the station in Lower Aquebogue to the main road a half-mile north. Shortly after the arrival of the iron horse, and by Post Office legislation, the name Jamesport was applied to Old or Lower Aquebogue and James’ Port became South Jamesport.[18]

Main Road, Jamesport (June 16, 2013)
Main Road, Jamesport (June 16, 2013)

Community Growth after the Railroad

The LIRR spurred the growth of Riverhead town, particularly the farm economy. New communities were established and older ones continued to prosper. In Riverhead hamlet, the first county clerk’s office was built in 1846 and the old courthouse was replaced in 1856. Additionally, the Riverhead Savings Bank opened May 31, 1872.[19] By 1875, while the principal part or downtown area of the village was south of the railroad right-of-way, the area to the north also began to grow. In all, there were six churches, two grist-mills, three hotels, twenty stores, a cigar factory, and a considerable number of shops and offices, with a population of about 1,600. The local hotels were the Griffing House, Long Island House, and Suffolk Hotel.   An estimated capital of a half-million dollars was employed in Riverhead’s mercantile and manufacturing enterprises.[20] One of largest enterprises was the moulding and planing mill of Charles Hallett, built in 1857.[21]

In light of progress, the two railroad depots in the town were replaced. The original Riverhead depot was removed from its site in March of 1870 and converted to a home for railroad workmen. Just west of Griffing Avenue, construction of a new wooden-frame building began in September of 1869 by Charles Hallett and was completed by March the following year. Its scalloped trim with elaborate finials was identical to the Manor Station depot. A new freight house was finished on December 13, 1869 and rebuilt again in September of 1870, complete with an engine house and turntable.[22]

LIRR Riverhead Station, second depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
LIRR Riverhead Station, second depot building, view east (Unknown: Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)

Over at Jamesport, the depot was reconstructed on a site farther to the west near present Washington Avenue in August and September 1869. A platform extending in either direction was added. Sadly, the building was set on fire by an arsonist and completely destroyed on October 17, 1877 shortly after agent George F. Wells started a coal yard at the station. It was replaced when the LIRR purchased the saloon building of Charles H. Payne for $200 and converted it to a railroad depot, moving the station now slightly east. The following year, overhangs were added and a standard platform built. A bay window would be installed in the succeeding years.  A freight house was also set up at Jamesport on the north side of the tracks, complete with a high-level service platform.  It was later torn down in 1941.[23]

LIRR Jamesport Station, view east (Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Book 16 (photo 19), Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries)
LIRR Jamesport Station, platform and second depot building, view east (Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Book 16 (photo 19), Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries)

In addition to passenger and freight, mail service was also carried to Riverhead town depots by the LIRR. Typically, trains stopped at every station for mail as parcels were sorted on board, placed in special sacks for each depot and dropped off. A special mail carrier employed by the Post Office met the train and placed all mail sacks and packages into a wagon, which was delivered to the local Post Office. The carrier also had a bag for outgoing mail and gave it to the mailman on the train. The action usually took place twice a day, once in the late morning on the train from Long Island City and once on the mid-afternoon train traveling to Long Island City, since by the 1860s the LIRR abandoned its waterfront terminus in Brooklyn.[24]

The summer timetable of 1876 had two trains stop at Riverhead town stations both ways. There was a morning and afternoon westbound from Greenport to Long Island City and both a morning and an evening eastbound train to Greenport. Additionally, there was an early Monday morning train to Long Island City and a Saturday afternoon eastbound train to Greenport that stopped at Riverhead Station.[25] The following summer there was a morning train that ran from Greenport to Manor and then returned to Greenport, with stops both ways at Riverhead and Jamesport.[26]

Railroad stations were also set up at the burgeoning communities of Baiting Hollow Station, Upper Aquebogue, and Franklinville, which are currently referred to as Calverton, Aquebogue, and Laurel, respectively. Beginning with the westernmost community, modern-day Calverton was initially a farming community carved out of marshland. It was referred to as Hulse’s Turnout, indicating the point travelers turned north to Hulse’s place in Wading River. The Indians called it Conungum, or Kanungum, translated as a “fixed line” or “boundary.” Following the coming of the railroad through the region, it was called Baiting Hollow Station in light of its proximity to the community located to the northeast. In 1868, it was named in honor of Bernard J. Calvert, the hamlet’s first postmaster. Calverton was smaller than Baiting Hollow, the later had sixty dwellings and two churches by 1875. However, Calverton had a railroad station and a considerable amount of cordwood was shipped via freight.[27] The station opened in 1852 as Hulse’s Turnout but then disappeared from timetables by 1858. In September of 1875, it reappeared as Baiting Hollow. Initially, the LIRR probably used the Post Office and store on the west side of Edward Avenue as a depot. The fall 1879 schedule featured westbound rail service at 8:03 a.m. and 3:33 p.m., and eastbound at 11:10 a.m. and 6:05 p.m. A depot building was constructed in 1880, similar in length to many other board and batten structures but much narrower.[28]

Calverton Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station opened as Hulse’s Turnout 1852 (timetable — disappears by 1858)
Station and depot building reappeared as Baiting Hollow Station September 1875 (timetable)
Depot building replaced 1880
Renamed Calverton Station June 1897
Depot sold and relocated Late 1922
Station relocated and depot building erected Late 1922
Station agency closed January 1959
Station agent reassigned February 11, 1959 (author’s analysis)
Depot sold and relocated 1959 – 1962
Three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter erected 1959 – 1962
Last passenger service June 30, 1981 (author’s analysis)
Station closed October 16, 1982 (author’s analysis)

Another community to receive a railroad station was Upper Aquebogue. Known locally simply as Aquebogue following the arrival of the railroad, it became official in 1886 when James M. Magee was appointed Postmaster of Aquebogue. By 1875, it had a population of 350. Sometime after the railroad right-of-way traversed the community a passenger depot building was set up north of the tracks and west of Peconic Bay Boulevard.  A freight area was also set up, complete with a high-level service platform on the south side of the tracks.  In fact in the year 1887, it was reported that a total number of 1,025 barrels of cauliflower was shipped from Aquebogue Station. Passenger service first appears in June 1892 timetables.[29]

Aquebogue Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station opened as a freight house Some time after completion of Greenport service
Regular passenger service began June 1892 (timetable)
Station relocated and depot building erected November 1910
Station agency closed 1936
Depot building remodeled (interior removed; four walls and roof only) 1948
Depot building remodeled (band shell as a shelter shed) 1956
Last passenger service May 12, 1963 (author’s analysis)
Station closed May 22, 1967 (author’s analysis)
Shelter shed razed July 1967
Main Road, Aquebogue (June 16, 2013)
Main Road, Aquebogue (June 16, 2013)

The remaining railroad station in the town was at Franklinville. Situated east of Jamesport, Franklinville was initially known as Middle District. When Riverhead town was established the border ran through this small farm community. In the early nineteenth century it became Franklinville and by 1875 there were about forty houses. In light of the farming, gardening, small fruit raising, and cultivation of root crops, a freight depot was established following the arrival of the railroad right-of-way, complete with a high-level service platform which was later removed in 1939.  It was reported in 1887 that the total number of barrels of cauliflower carted from the depot was 3,762. The building was renovated in the summer of 1879 to afford better accommodations for passenger service. In the fall of 1895, new interior floors and new roof shingles were installed as well as new platform planks. Regular passenger service appeared on timetables in April of 1891.[30]

Laurel Station
Historical Fact
Date
Station opened as a freight house named Franklinville Some time after completion of Greenport service
Regular passenger service began April 1891 (timetable)
Renamed Laurel Station By summer 1898
Depot building replaced by a shack 1901
Shack remodeled 1910
Station agency closed May 1938
Shack remodeled as a passenger shelter May 1938
Last passenger service May 12, 1963 (author’s analysis)
Station closed May 22, 1967 (author’s analysis)
Passenger shelter razed 1967

None of the other developing farm communities possessed rail stations but rather relied on existing depots for shipping needs. Potatoes became the major crop throughout the township in the 1880s. By 1875, Roanoke, lying between Baiting Hollow and Northville (Sound Avenue), had a school district and farming vicinage of about thirty-five houses. To the east at Northville there were two school districts with 400 inhabitants. Northville was also the headquarters of the Riverhead Town Agricultural Society.[31]

The Advent of the Twentieth Century

The turn of the twentieth century signaled further commercial and community progress in the town of Riverhead. The county courthouse was again rebuilt in 1929 to the current structure. Along the bay, duck farms became a profitable industry. On the western edge of the town, Calverton’s wetlands created an ideal location for cranberry bogs. To the east, Baiting Hollow developed a reputation for experimental farming as New York State bought the old Homan farm on Sound Avenue in 1925 and established a research farm. In Sound Avenue, an iron shipping pier was constructed in 1900 but succumbed to ice floes in the winter of 1904. In fact, the locale was incorporated in the 1920s and the first election was held on December 3, 1921. However, the incorporation was dissolved in 1930. Residents did however vote to change the community name to Northville in 1927. Farming continued to be a considerable endeavor as large numbers of immigrants from Poland and other Eastern European countries arrived on the North Fork. Polish families with the names of Trubisz, Cichanowicz, Naugles, and Sydlowski acquired over seventy percent of the farms in the area of Northville. Jamesport’s population by the late nineteenth century was 800 and Franklinville was about 200. Locally, its name was changed to Laurel beginning in 1890, referring to the area’s thriving laurel trees and bushes. The opening of the Post Office at Laurel in the old Franklinville Academy building on Monday, March 7, 1898 made the name change official.[32]

Train service by the turn of the century was at a premium. In 1895, the summer timetable featured four daily eastbound trains that made station stops at Baiting Hollow, Riverhead, and Jamesport, Monday through Saturday, with an extra train that ran solely on Saturdays. Additionally, there was express train number 109 which made Riverhead at 4:54 p.m., and number 25, making Riverhead at 6:00 p.m. and Jamesport at 6:07 p.m. Eastbound service to Aquebogue and Franklinville was limited to eastbound flag stops on train number 143, no doubt with a mail car, at 11:38 a.m. and 11:46 a.m., respectively. Sunday eastbound service was limited to the late morning number 211, making only Baiting Hollow, Riverhead, and Jamesport. On the westbound daily schedule there were also four trains that made station stops at Jamesport, Riverhead, and Baiting Hollow, with train number 146 stopping in Franklinville at 2:36 p.m. and Aquebogue at 2:44 p.m. Additionally, evening train number 110 stopped at Jamesport at 8:21 p.m. and Riverhead at 8:30 p.m. Sundays were restricted to the evening train number 264, with station stops in Jamesport at 8:01 p.m. and Riverhead at 8:10 p.m., and a flag stop at Baiting Hollow Station at 8:18 p.m.[33]

Station name changes were to take effect before the twentieth century. In June of 1897, the superintendent of the LIRR ordered that names be the same as the postal jurisdiction. Therefore, Baiting Hollow Station emerged as Calverton Station. With the opening of the Laurel Post Office, Franklinville was revised as well. By the summer of 1898, timetables reflected the modifications, with Franklinville remaining in parentheses. Thereafter it was simply Laurel.[34]

Depot buildings were also updated. At Calverton, the 1880 structure was relocated and became a private house. It was replaced in late 1922 with a standard square structure east of Edwards Avenue.[35] Excavation work for a new depot at Riverhead began at the end of October in 1909. Design plans called for a large twenty-two-by-sixty-nine foot building with a large projecting shed roof on either side. In the end, a two-story brick building was constructed. The smallest of the gambrel genre, its upstairs was an unfinished attic later used to store signal equipment. It opened on June 2, 1910.[36] At the end of November of 1910, plans were underway for the erection of a new railroad depot in Aquebogue on the east side of People Bay Boulevard, south of the tracks.  A quaint hip-roofed structure was set up.  The former depot became the freight house.  It was later torn down in 1933.[37] At Laurel, a small, gable-roofed shack replaced the former structure in 1901. Nine years later the building was the setting for a controversy between the LIRR and the Post Office as to who should haul the mail from the station because of the location of the depot’s entry. Tape measures revealed it was the railroad’s responsibility. However, soon after a second door was cut into the depot making it the Post Office’s obligation.[38]

LIRR Calverton Station depot, view south (September 20, 1958: Solomon Photo, Dave Keller Archive)
LIRR Calverton Station, platform and depot building, view south (September 20, 1958: Solomon Photo, Dave Keller Archive)
LIRR Riverhead Station depot, view west (December 31, 2014)
LIRR Riverhead Station, former low-level platform and depot building, view west (December 31, 2014)

Town of Riverhead Rail Stations in the Postwar Era

The LIRR envisioned big improvements following World War II. In 1942, J.G. White Engineering Corporation conducted a year-long study and recommended post-war upgrades. In addition to new rail cars, electrification was proposed on several routes system-wide To serve Riverhead stations, diesel multiple-unit cars was to replace steam. The completion of the entire program was expected to increase property values as residential development of the entire island depended upon first-class rail transportation.[39]

Following the war, rail service in the town of Riverhead was at a peak level in which it was never to return. Westbound commuter service Monday through Saturday was provided by train number 263 from Greenport (Jamesport at 5:06 a.m., Riverhead at 5:19 a.m., and Calverton at 5:26 a.m.) to Long Island City and train number 281 from Greenport (Jamesport at 7:06 a.m., Riverhead 7:16 a.m., and Calverton at 7:24 a.m.) to New York. The mid-morning train number 205 stopped at all five stations (Laurel at 8:27 a.m., Jamesport at 8:31 a.m., Aquebogue at 8:35 a.m., Riverhead at 8:41 a.m., and Calverton at 8:47 a.m.) as well as the afternoon westbound train to New York known as the Peconic Bay Express (Laurel at 3:49 p.m., Jamesport at 3:54 p.m., Aquebogue at 3:59 p.m., Riverhead at 4:14 p.m., and Calverton at 4:21 p.m.). The morning eastbound train number 204 from New York to Greenport made station stops at Calverton (11:18 a.m.), Riverhead (11:50 a.m.), and Jamesport (12:03 p.m.), as well as flag stops at Aquebogue (11:55 a.m.) and Laurel (12:07 p.m.). Two evening commuter trains from New York, train numbers 214 (Calverton at 7:13 p.m., Riverhead at 7:22 p.m., and Jamesport at 7:33 p.m.) and 266 (Calverton at 8:24 p.m., Riverhead at 8:32 p.m., Jamesport at 8:42 p.m., and Laurel flag at 8:46 p.m.), were also provided. The Monday through Friday Peconic Bay Express number 212 from New York ran non-stop from Jamaica to Yaphank, and Manorville, followed by Calverton at 5:36 p.m., Riverhead at 5:44 p.m., Aquebogue at 5:50 p.m., Jamesport at 5:55 p.m., and Laurel at 5:59 p.m. Sunday service included two trains both ways at each station, with select flag stops at Aquebogue and Laurel. A few select summer weekend trains were implemented as well.[40]

Indeed, postwar Long Island witnessed phenomenal growth. Home building in both Nassau and Suffolk escalated and the population skyrocketed. For example, in the twenty-nine year period from 1930 to 1959 Suffolk’s population quadrupled from 161,055 to 586,651.[41] While the major growth was in the western half of the county, Riverhead as the legislative seat received a new county center in 1958 as well as a new county jail in 1967. However, many county offices were moved to Hauppauge in the 1960s.[42]

Industry also arrived in Suffolk as the Navy acquired 4,000 acres in Calverton and leased it to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company in 1953. During the Cold War, jet planes were assembled and tested at the plant. A railroad spur was constructed from the Main Line west of Calverton Station to serve freight needs at the Calverton plant. At one time Grumman had approximately 3,000 employees and the development was estimated at $22,000,000.[43]

Calverton Executive Airpark, former Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company (July 27, 2014)
Calverton Executive Airpark, former Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company (July 27, 2014)
Runway, former Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company (July 27, 2014)
Runway, former Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company (July 27, 2014)

As the county expanded, infrastructure improvements however favored the automobile as many new roads were built, such as the extension of Sunrise Highway and the Long Island Expressway. In the two decades after the war years, the LIRR experienced a decline in ridership, service, and safety, steering it into bankruptcy. The downward trend in riders system-wide started prior to the war years. In fact, considering the distance to New York City and that there was no high-speed electric service, commuter ridership at Riverhead stations was minimal. Statistics from the winter of 1930 reveal that there were only nine daily commuters from Riverhead Station to western LIRR terminals and none from other stations in the town. The following summer statistics showed little if no change at all: Calverton (one), Riverhead (eleven), Aquebogue (two), Jamesport (thirteen), and Laurel (none). The dismal numbers, particularly at Laurel, forced the railroad to take action.[44] As early as 1925, the LIRR petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to allow for the discontinuation of its Laurel station agent. The PSC denied the request on July 14, 1925.[45] Nevertheless, the LIRR won a second request in May of 1938 and was allowed to close the Laurel agency. The stipulation was that the company maintain suitable facilities for the receipt of carload and less-than-carload shipments of freight. Since it was a non-agency station, it was placed under control of nearby Mattituck.[46] In the succeeding months, the Laurel shack was made into a three-sided shelter by boarding up the windows and removing the track-side wall.[47]

LIRR Laurel Station shelter, view east (Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Book 16 (photo 27), Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries)
LIRR Laurel Station, platform and shelter, view east (Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Book 16 (photo 27), Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries)

Convenient rail transportation offered after the war was only maintained for a short time. A national coal shortage forced the LIRR to cancel trains in late 1946, including fourteen on the Main Line.[48] Over a year later, the Office of Defense Transportation ordered all railroads to reduce steam passenger mileage twenty-five percent, resulting in further cancellations.[49] While most of these trains went back into service, another round of cuts was ordered in January of 1950 by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to reduce steam operation fifty percent. The nationwide directive forced LIRR schedule revisions. To attain this, the railroad substituted diesel locomotives for short trips. Regardless, two Main Line trains serving stations between Ronkonkoma and Greenport were withdrawn.[50]

Meanwhile, financial woes drove the LIRR into bankruptcy as passenger and freight revenue fell short of operating costs. The chain of events commenced when its parent company, the Pennsylvania Railroad, stopped paying the Long Island’s bills as of February 1949. The Pennsylvania cited that the LIRR only paid a dividend seven times since 1901, the last time being 1933. Subsequently, the LIRR was able to obtain $3,280,000 in aid from the PSC. However, soon after it filed a petition for reorganization on March 2, 1949 in Brooklyn Federal Court under the Federal Bankruptcy Act. A federal judge appointed trustees who took over the railroad on March 11. The wholly-owned subsidiary then focused to pay back some of the $55,000,000 it owed the Pennsylvania Railroad.[51]

Following the end of the coal shortage, the LIRR reinstated its Riverhead schedule, with some minor changes. On the fall 1951 schedule, the early morning westbound train was renumbered 201. The other westbound commuter train took the former mid-morning number 205 as the latter was discontinued, making station stops at all Riverhead stations (Laurel at 6:52 a.m., Jamesport at 6:57 a.m., Aquebogue at 7:01 a.m., Riverhead at 7:07 a.m., and Calverton at 7:15 a.m.). The remaining westbound passenger train was the afternoon train number 211. Eastbound weekday service included the late morning train number 204, making both station and flag stops. Evening commuters utilized train numbers 214 and 216, the latter was formerly 266. The early weekday eastbound getaway train was only provided in the summer months. Weekend service marked a noticeable improvement, no doubt the result of the increase in summer residencies and East End business. On both Saturdays and Sundays, there were as many as three trains both ways with service to both Aquebogue and Laurel.[52]

While service was respectable in light of bankruptcy, the railroad thereafter sought ways to cut operating expenses. First, through service to New York was discontinued from non-electrified territory. Formerly, diesel or steam gave way to electric locomotives for direct access to Pennsylvania Station. However, beginning in 1951, passengers were now required to change trains at Jamaica. Main Line trains from Riverhead town stations no longer had a one seat ride to the city as commuters switched to a multi-unit electric train.[53]

Secondly, trustee William Wyer proposed the abandonment of three branches in eastern Suffolk in May of 1952, one being the Main Line east of Riverhead. Wyer stated that if branches did not pay for themselves they needed to be eliminated. While a comprehensive survey was planned, the action never came to fruition.[54]

Lastly, the railroad wanted to drop bulk mail service. Not only was it predicted to save the railroad money, it would be economical for the Post Office. While ninety-six percent of the LIRR’s territory would still receive the same service, trucks would substitute for sizeable deliveries. In the end the plan materialized as a Woodside trucking company was awarded a contract to haul Long Island’s bulk mail of mostly parcel post deliveries. On April 1, 1952, a fleet of sixty-nine trucks was introduced for this purpose. The delivery of first class mail, newspapers, special delivery items, and other preferred mail was still a railroad endeavor.[55]

The Twelve-Year Revitalization Program and the East Ender

After five-and-a-half years of receivership, the LIRR embarked on a twelve-year $60,000,000 improvement program. It was in business for the first time on August 13, 1954 as bankruptcy ended the previous day at 5:30 p.m. At this time the Long Island Transit Authority, the state agency which developed the rehabilitation plan, filed a certificate of approval with the secretary of state in Albany detailing the new program.   First, the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the railroad to issue bonds and other securities. Next, the Pennsylvania Railroad agreed to lend $5,500,000 for a new car program. The Pennsylvania also agreed that earnings over the twelve-year period were to be spent on additions and improvements. Lastly, the Long Island Transit Authority, created by the 1951 State Legislature to assist in a reorganization of the railroad, was terminated since bankruptcy ended. For the 350,000 daily riders the plan meant the purchase of 184 new passenger cars and the modernization of 696 existing ones. Additionally, a twenty percent fare hike was instituted.[56]

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

The elected ten-member board of directors of the new, solvent railroad held its first meeting on August 18, 1954. One item that was discussed was the purchase of experimental cars for use on less-traveled portions of diesel territory, specifically the eastern sixty-two miles of the Montauk Branch.[57] Following approval and acquisition, the LIRR unveiled one of the stainless steel, air-conditioned cars on November 19 in a media-attended public display. At $180,000 each, the cars were manufactured by the Budd Company and powered by two modified diesel engines used in U.S. Army tanks. As an alternative to electrification, a fleet of twelve was envisioned to cut at least four minutes of travel time.[58] Dubbed the East Ender, the first car debuted for service on the Montauk Branch to Southampton and beyond on March 29, 1955.[59]

The second Budd car was tested on the Main Line. By this time, weekday service to Riverhead town stations was reduced to one commuter train each way, the evening eastbound number 214 and the morning westbound number 205, making either a station or flag stop at all Riverhead town stations. Also, the morning eastbound train number 204 and the afternoon westbound 211 made station or flag stops.[60] In an effort to attract more midday riders, the railroad planned to expand service to and from Riverhead, more than doubling the schedule. The East Ender was to make five round trips daily to and from Riverhead and Ronkonkoma, Hicksville, or Mineola, as an experiment to increase the dismal ridership, LIRR Vice President Thomas M. Goodfellow stated that some residents felt that if eastern Suffolk had better service there would be enough patronage to justify it.[61]

The five roundtrips to and from Riverhead were as follows, with all trains making a station stop at Calverton. The first began as number 284, which departed Ronkonkoma at 8:13 a.m. and arrived in Riverhead at 8:47 a.m., and then was number 285 to Mineola. The second, number 286, left Mineola at 11:30 a.m. and arrived in Riverhead at 12:48 p.m., and then became number 287 to Hicksville. The third, number 288, left Hicksville at 2:20 p.m., arrived in Riverhead at 3:31 p.m., and then became number 289 to Ronkonkoma. Number 290 left Ronkonkoma at 7:00 p.m. and arrived in Riverhead at 7:36 p.m., and then returned to Ronkonkoma as number 291. Lastly, number 292 departed Ronkonkoma at 8:58 p.m., arrived in Riverhead at 9:32 p.m., and then returned to Ronkonkoma as number 293. On Saturdays, the East Ender made four roundtrips, beginning with number 4284 and ending as number 4297. Sundays matched this schedule but included one extra westbound train from Riverhead to Ronkonkoma.[62]

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

The much-ballyhooed service to Riverhead ended in failure and was dropped from timetables as of May 17, 1956. The railroad cited too few passengers and an operational loss at an estimated $10,000-a-month. LIRR’s Thomas M. Goodfellow, now president, stated that it cost the railroad more than $100,000 in direct charges in addition to the initial $355,680 car investment. Ultimately, the cars overhauled, coupled together and used on various lines.[63]

Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

Schedule Changes and Agency Closings

While the twelve-year plan was in progress, the LIRR still carried out cost-cutting measures to centralize operations in order to provide adequate service. Beginning December 17, 1956, the LIRR called for drastic cuts in the running times of trains to and from Greenport. By shifting express freight shipments formerly handled on four daytime trains to the late-night and early-morning, the LIRR scheduled later departure times from eastern points and earlier arrivals at East End communities from as much as twenty-three to forty-three minutes. Thus, the eastbound morning train number 204 would arrive in Greenport at 11:33 a.m. instead of 12:09 p.m. and the westbound afternoon train number 211 would depart Greenport at 3:25 p.m. rather than 3:00 p.m.[64] Finalization of the schedule revision took over a year. System-wide it shed forty-eight hours of running time from weekly schedules when it trimmed Jamaica connection times on more than 200 non-commuter trains starting September 2, 1958. The action hoisted the railroad into its position as the nation’s fastest means of commuter travel.[65]

The schedule revision was as follows. Of the two weekday eastbound trains, number 204 from Jamaica formerly stopped in Calverton at 11:11 a.m., Riverhead at 11:29 a.m. and Jamesport at 11:38 a.m., with flag stops in Aquebogue at 11:34 a.m. and Laurel at 11:41 a.m. With the flag stops discontinued, it now made Calverton at 10:48 a.m., Riverhead at 10:58 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:08 a.m. Number 214 previously stopped in Calverton at 6:45 p.m., Riverhead at 6:53 p.m., Aquebogue at 6:58 p.m., Jamesport at 7:03 p.m., and Laurel at 7:07 p.m. Now, it made flag rather than station stops in Aquebogue at 6:57 p.m., Jamesport at 7:01 p.m., and Laurel at 7:04 p.m. The remaining station stops were Calverton at 6:45 p.m. and Riverhead at 6:53 p.m. On the westbound schedule, number 205 formerly made station stops in Jamesport at 6:26 a.m., Riverhead at 6:36 a.m., and Calverton at 6:43 a.m., with flag stops in Laurel at 6:22 a.m. and Aquebogue at 6:30 a.m. Now it made flags stops in Laurel at 6:27 a.m., Jamesport at 6:30 a.m., and Aquebogue at 6:34 a.m., and station stops in Riverhead at 6:40 a.m. and Calverton at 6:46 a.m. The afternoon number 211 previously made station stops in Laurel at 3:27 p.m., Jamesport at 3:32 p.m., Aquebogue at 3:36 p.m., Riverhead at 3:48 p.m., and Calverton at 3:55 p.m. With Laurel and Aquebogue removed, it now made Jamesport at 3:44 p.m., Riverhead at 3:56 p.m., and Calverton at 4:02 p.m.[66]

In addition to the reduction in running times, weekday passenger service to both Aquebogue and Laurel was reduced to commuter, rush-hour service. The cutback was also obvious on weekends. The Saturday morning eastbound number 4204 and the Sunday morning eastbound number 4206 which formerly had flag stops at Aquebogue and Laurel no longer did on the new timetable. Weekend eastbound service was now restricted to flag stops on the evening train numbers 4218 and 4214. The same was true for westbound service. The Saturday afternoon number 4211 no longer stopped at both stations. Service was restricted to the late Sunday afternoon 4213 which made flag stops rather than station stops.[67]

LIRR Laurel Station, track view west (May 3, 1964)
LIRR Laurel Station, platform and shelter, track view west (May 3, 1964)

The curtailment of East End service was to continue. However, it would not be train service but rather station service. On August 11, 1958, a streamlined revision of century-old practices in eastern Long Island was announced by President Goodfellow. To provide closer supervision and coordination of all phases of operation in Suffolk County, the railroad stated that it planned to establish a district headquarters in Riverhead manned by a full-time manager who worked with LIRR staff offices in Jamaica to give the area the best possible freight and passenger service. As a consequence, agents would be eliminated at fifteen Suffolk stations. Goodfellow was quoted: “stations on our two lines into eastern Suffolk [were] built in the days when the only local transportation was by horse and buggy or by foot…today the automobile has changed all that…freight is the principle source of revenue in the area…it’s quite a waste of manpower to have full-time clerk or agent to do ten to thirty minutes of work a day.”[68] According to the plan, the agencies scheduled for closure in Riverhead town were Calverton and Jamesport. The Aquebogue agency closed in 1936 and the depot interior was gutted in 1948.  More remodeling in 1956 left nothing more than a glorified band shell as a shelter shed.[69] The LIRR cited that Calverton and Jamesport depots had little or no commutation traffic. In fact, Jamesport sold no tickets during the year 1957. Since the principal duty of agents was the supervision of freight handling and billing, Goodfellow claimed that these jobs could be centralized. The railroad planned to leave agents at points spaced from to ten to fifteen miles apart. Each agent’s jurisdiction extended to roughly a five to seven-mile radius. With Riverhead to remain open, A.J. Tomlinson was to be the new district manager.[70]

LIRR Aquebogue Station, view east (July 2, 1967)
LIRR Aquebogue Station, platform and shelter, view east (July 2, 1967)

Since the railroad needed approval from the PSC, a hearing was held on October 3, 1958 in New York City.[71] A few months later on December 11 the PSC authorized the LIRR to discontinue agents at Jamesport and Calverton, among other depots, and the agencies were closed in January 1959.[72] As of February 11, 1959 the agents were reassigned and the district manager delegated.[73] The Calverton building depot was relocated to the East Quogue backyard of a LIRR signal maintainer and a three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter erected in its place on a concrete foundation .[74]  The Jamesport depot, which was extensively remodeled in 1944, lay abandoned until it was razed on July 18, 1963. A three-sided, shed-roofed metal passenger shelter was also constructed on a concrete foundation in its place and was in service on the same day, just west of the depot location near the Washington Avenue grade crossing.[75]

Former LIRR Calverton Station shelter (October 25, 2008)
Former LIRR Calverton Station (second location) platform shelter (October 25, 2008)
LIRR Jamesport Station, with passenger shelter, track view west (September 13, 1964)
LIRR Jamesport Station, platform and shelter, track view west (September 13, 1964)

East End Bus Service and Diminished Rail Service

Following schedule enhancements and agency closures, the LIRR reported some progress. For the year 1958, passenger revenue increased $2,174,117. However, freight business dropped $1,364,288. While there was a gradual increase in other-than-commutation traffic, the total number of passengers carried fell to 73,608,620. Nevertheless, to mark its 125th anniversary the railroad introduced a light-hearted cartoon form, “Route of the Dashing Commuter,” which became a trademark logo on timetables, rail cars, etc.[76]

Dashing Dan (Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)
Dashing Dan (Railroad Museum of Long Island exhibit)

A major change to East End rail service was the introduction of buses. Authorized by the PSC on January 17, 1962, the LIRR set up a bus route between Greenport and Huntington Station as a combination rail and bus service. As an affordable means to better serve Suffolk County, the program was to triple service to mid-island and North Fork points. Scheduled to begin on February 19, the sixty-nine mile Road ‘n’ Rail route provided six daily roundtrips between Huntington and Riverhead, with three of these continuing onto Greenport along New York State Route 25 (NY-25). Connections were available at Huntington for electric train service to New York. In addition to providing more Riverhead service, it established a fast, convenient means to serve the communities developing along NY-25 in mid-Suffolk. Typically, locales were three to five miles from Main Line stations. By bringing the railroad to passengers instead of having them come to the railroad, traffic experts speculated they had an economic transportation answer. Expansion of train service was thought impractical to the sparsely populated areas such as Calverton and Manorville especially since the aforementioned Budd cars turned into a failure.[77]

Advertised as a revolution in Suffolk travel, the LIRR introduced its new fleet of buses on Wednesday, February 22.  To ride the new buses passengers paid a reduced fair.   For example, the train fare from Riverhead to the city was $3.71 compared to $3.07 on the combo route.  Riders could also become members of the Legion of Influential Rail Riders according to the Suffolk County News.[78]

Riverhead town stations included Jamesport (at Main Street) and Riverhead (at the railroad station). Calverton, Aquebogue, and Laurel were not given bus stops.  However, buses did make flag stops at both Calverton and Aquebogue for a brief period in the early 1970s.  In timetables effective June 26, 1972 the Calverton stop was at Calverton Diner and the Aquebogue stop at Edgar Avenue and NY-25.  On May 21, 1973 the flag stops were eliminated.[79]

The introduction of the route signaled the beginning of the end of train service to Aquebogue and Laurel. In addition to the establishment of buses, the PSC also authorized the railroad to discontinue two daily trains. One was the westbound morning train number 205 out of Greenport at 5:58 a.m., with stops in Laurel at 6:23 a.m., Jamesport at 6:27 a.m., Aquebogue at 6:31 a.m., Riverhead at 6:39 a.m., and Calverton at 6:45 a.m. The other was eastbound number 214, with stops in Calverton at 6:48 p.m., Riverhead at 6:55 p.m., Aquebogue at 7:00 p.m., Jamesport at 7:04 p.m., and Laurel at 7:07 p.m. Both commuter rush-hour trains saw their last day of service on March 2. They did however continue their runs west of Ronkonkoma. The morning train from Greenport to the city was replaced by a 6:15 a.m. bus and the 4:41 p.m. train from the city by a 5:07 p.m. bus. The weekend trains discontinued were number 4205 out of Greenport at 6:15 a.m. (Jamesport at 6:41 a.m., Riverhead at 6:51 a.m., and Calverton at 6:57 a.m.), and the Saturday number 4218 to Greenport, arriving at 7:52 p.m. (Calverton at 7:06 p.m., Riverhead at 7:13 p.m., Aquebogue at 7:18 p.m., Jamesport at 7:22 p.m., and Laurel at 7:25 p.m.). Also, the Sunday eastbound train number 4214 was discontinued (Calverton at 6:35 p.m., Riverhead at 6:42 p.m., Aquebogue at 6:47 p.m., Jamesport at 6:51 p.m., and Laurel at 6:54 p.m.). The last trains ran on Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4. Curtailed runs would be restored as needed in the summer, particularly on weekends, when Riverhead to Greenport business increased.[80]

LIRR Main Line Timetable February 19, 1962: New westbound timetable to mark LIRR Road 'n Rail and discontinuation of select rail service
LIRR Main Line Timetable February 19, 1962: New westbound timetable to mark LIRR Road ‘n Rail and discontinuation of select rail service
LIRR Main Line Timetable February 19, 1962: New eastbound timetable to mark LIRR Road 'n Rail and discontinuation of select rail service
LIRR Main Line Timetable February 19, 1962: New eastbound timetable to mark LIRR Road ‘n Rail and discontinuation of select rail service

 

Remaining passenger service to Riverhead town stations was as follows. The first was weekday train number 211 out of Greenport at 3:10 p.m., stopping in Jamesport at 3:41 p.m., Riverhead at 3:55 p.m., and Calverton at 4:02 p.m. The second was weekday train number 204 to Greenport, with stops in Calverton at 10:48 a.m., at Riverhead 11:03 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:13 a.m. Saturdays included westbound number 4211, with stops in Jamesport at 3:41 p.m., Riverhead at 3:53 p.m., and Calverton at 3:59 p.m., and eastbound number 4204, stopping in Calverton at 10:48 a.m., Riverhead at 10:58 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:08 a.m. On Sundays, eastbound number 4206 made Calverton at 10:28 a.m., Riverhead at 10:36 a.m., and Jamesport at 10:44 a.m. Lastly, the sole passenger train for Aquebogue and Laurel was the Sunday westbound train number 4213 out of Greenport at 5:08 p.m., with stops in Laurel at 5:37 p.m., Jamesport at 5:42 p.m., Aquebogue at 5:47 p.m., Riverhead at 5:55 p.m., and Calverton at 6:01 p.m. However, the last timetable to feature service was in the fall of 1962, with a flag stop in Laurel at 6:35 p.m. and Aquebogue at 6:45 p.m.[81] The following spring the train was renumbered 4215 but the stops discontinued.[82]

Location of the former LIRR Laurel Station, view west (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Laurel Station platform and shelter, view west (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Aquebogue Station, view west (June 16, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Aquebogue Station (second location) platform and shelter, view west (June 16, 2013)

The MTA Takeover of the LIRR

After two years of discussion, New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller appointed a committee on September 28, 1964 to study the LIRR and suggest recommendations for its future. The five-member panel was headed by Dr. William J. Ronan, the governor’s secretary and chief advisor on transportation matters.[83] The committee recommended the purchase of the LIRR since the state-imposed redevelopment corporation was set to expire in August of 1966. It also recommended the creation of a New York State Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority to assume responsibility for operation. It was later shortened to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The new authority planned to initiate and supervise a $200 million program to modernize and rehabilitate the LIRR.[84] The final step in the creation of the MTA was when Rockefeller signed a bill in mid-July of 1965 that exempted from taxation any property owned or leased by the authority for transportation purposes.[85] In January of 1966, New York became the first state in the Union to run a railroad when it purchased the LIRR for $65 million from the Pennsylvania Railroad and turned it over to the MTA.[86]

Prior to the MTA takeover, the railroad ended mail transportation services on June 18, 1965.[87] Newspapers however were still carried on the railroad. In fact, delivery was still provided weekdays to Aquebogue and Laurel on the following trains in the fall of 1965: number 204 eastbound in Aquebogue at 11:11 a.m. and Laurel at 11:20 a.m., and number 211 westbound in Laurel at 3:27 p.m. and Aquebogue at 3:36 p.m. Service was provided on Saturdays on the eastbound morning train number 4206 and the afternoon westbound number 4211. It would be the last service of any kind to the communities.[88] The following spring, the newspaper stops were removed from the daily schedule.  Both stations remained listed on employee timetables through May of 1966.  On timetables dated May 22, 1967 they were dropped.[89]  The Aquebogue shelter was razed in July of 1967.[90]  The Laurel shelter was also demolished sometime in 1967.[91]

Location of the former LIRR Aquebogue Station (second location), Meeting House Creek Road crossing, Crescent Duck Farm in background, view northeast (June 16, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Aquebogue Station, Meeting House Creek Road crossing, Crescent Duck Farm in background, view northeast (June 16, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Laurel Station, Laurel Lane crossing, view east (July 7, 2013)
Location of the former LIRR Laurel Station, Laurel Lane crossing, view east (July 7, 2013)

Streamlined Commuter Service in the 1970s and Demise of Calverton

The MTA era brought about a much-needed modernization of the LIRR. Rolling stock, rail equipment, and electrification of diesel territory were some of the enhancements. Another modification was the creation of commuter zones. In 1970, LIRR officials decided to divide up Long Island into zones of commuter stops, each with its own special tariff for a trip to New York. On January 7, 1972, it was proposed that the plan was to take effect following approval of a twenty percent fare hike. In the new structure, commuters paid the same fare regardless of where they boarded the train within a zone. While the stations in zone were close together, they had to be as far as possible from stations in adjoining zones to justify the difference. Running north to south, the scheme would serve an additional purpose as some trains would make all stops in a zone and then run express to New York. For Riverhead town, Calverton was in zone 12, and Riverhead and Jamesport were in zone 13.[92] New streamlined service improved operation but it would eventually lead to the end of service on little-used East End stations such as Calverton and Jamesport.

By 1969, train service to Riverhead town consisted of the weekday eastbound number 204 (Calverton at 10:58 a.m., Riverhead at 11:08 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:17 a.m.), and weekday westbound number 211 (Jamesport at 3:34 p.m., Riverhead at 3:43 p.m., and Calverton at 3:51 p.m.). On summer Fridays, eastbound train number 212 (the Shelter Island Express to Greenport) made Riverhead at 6:30 p.m. and Jamesport at 6:39 p.m. For the weekends, eastbound number 4204 stopped in Calverton at 10:44 a.m., Riverhead at 10:53 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:02 a.m. Westbound, there was number 4211 on Saturdays in the mid-afternoon and 4213 on Sundays in the early evening. On summer Sundays, eastbound train number 4210 stopped in Calverton at 12:50 p.m., Riverhead at 12:59 p.m., and Jamesport at 1:08 p.m., and westbound train number 4217 stopped in Calverton at 9:18 p.m., Riverhead at 9:10 p.m., and Jamesport at 9:02 p.m.[93]

The following spring, there was no longer weekend service at Calverton Station as trains to and from Greenport bypassed it. Service was limited to the eastbound number 204 and the westbound number 211. Summer Mondays now featured a parlor car (the railroad’s premier service) as westbound number 205 from Greenport stopped in Riverhead at 7:37 a.m. on its way to Jamaica and Hunterspoint Avenue. The Shelter Island Express, as well as the weekend morning eastbound train number 4204 and the Sunday evening westbound number 4210, also featured parlor car service.[94]

The revamped train schedule was to persist throughout the 1970s with minor adjustments. Additionally, the Riverhead Station agency was shut down on November 13, 1972 and the building was closed.[95] By the fall of 1974, the weekday morning eastbound train was renumbered 202 with a slight change in times (Calverton at 10:55 a.m., Riverhead at 11:04 a.m., and Jamesport at 11:12 a.m.). Weekend service was reduced to one train in each direction, both in the fall and summer. The eastbound train was renumbered 4200 and now operated in the early afternoon. Westbound weekend service was reduced to an early evening train (number 4211). For the summer months, both the Shelter Island Express and the early Monday morning westbound train operated, which was renumbered 201. By the summer of 1977, the Shelter Island Express was renumbered 206 as was the daily afternoon westbound train, from 211 to 203, with stops in Jamesport at 3:23 p.m., Riverhead at 3:32 p.m., and Calverton at 3:41 p.m.[96] While rail service to Riverhead town was minimal, bus service blossomed in the early to mid-1970s. By 1974, there were seven buses in both directions providing service to both Riverhead and Jamesport.[97] The number increased to a dozen by the fall of 1976.[98]

By the 1980s, Riverhead town was known for its farm stands of fresh produce and waterfront parklands. Aquebogue featured McKay’s Farm Stand and Skelly’s, while Riverhead had Anderson Farm Stand and Briermere Farms. Jamesport included Chick’s (Cichanowicz) Farm Stand and Laurel had the Cider Mill.[99] But, another industry also grew about this time that would transform the area: vineyards. By 1985, among the farm stands on the North Fork such Peconic’s Pindor and Cutchogue’s Hargraves, Jamesport featured North Fork Winery.[100] Another Riverhead town grape grower, Robert Palmer, owner of Palmer Vineyards, started utilizing the advertising resources of his own R.J. Palmer Inc. Media Buying Services to promote the wine nationwide. He bought sixty-one acres off Sound Avenue in late 1982 and applied to the Riverhead Zoning Board to create a testing room with a state-of-the-art interior.[101]

One of Riverhead’s grandest parks is Suffolk County’s Indian Island. Development of the waterfront area began in 1966 when Suffolk County unveiled a plan for a new park commission and set aside money to pay for work at the Riverhead site.[102] The park was property of the Hollis V. Warner duck farm, at one time the largest in the world. Following the farm’s closure, it was the site of a migrant worker colony. By 1964, the county had title to the land and the colony was relocated. At the time, the only access to the park was via Hubbard Avenue. The cross-river road, today’s Suffolk County 105, was not constructed until the 1970s. Indian Island County Park encompassed two tracts of land. The first was a 287-acre parcel known as Indian Island, bounded by the Peconic River and Sawmill Creek. The other was a 157-acre track at the end of Riverside Drive in Riverhead.[103]

Jason's Vineyard, Jamesport (June 25, 2012)
Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport (June 25, 2012)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

As the North Fork continued to prosper, the automobile remained the primary means of travel and there were no immediate plans to significantly improve rail service. With no weekend rail service or bus service through the community, Calverton was a lesser station to the LIRR. Timetables effective May 18, 1981 indicated Calverton station stops on eastbound number 202 at 10:58 a.m. and westbound 203 at 3:41 p.m.[104]

No doubt lack of ridership and a change in daily East End operation led to Calverton Station’s demise.  A LIRR study of North Fork passenger travel in early 1981 showed that rush-hour rail service to and from western terminals was warranted. The lightly patronized LIRR bus service was considered insufficient for passengers, considering it equated to more travel time. Beginning July 1, 1981, trains were added to the existing timetable. For the morning rush, there was now a 5:54 a.m. out of Riverhead (train number 213) and a 6:01 a.m. (train number 201) from Greenport. In the evenings, a train departed Riverhead at 8:15 p.m. (number 223) and a former employee-only train was converted to a passenger train leaving Greenport at 9:23 p.m. (number 203). For the eastbound rush-hour, train number 204 to Greenport left Hunterspoint Avenue at 5:51 p.m., stopping in Riverhead at 8:08 p.m. and Jamesport at 8:18 p.m. Also on the eastbound schedule was the early morning train number 200 to Greenport.  Previously an employee-only train, it now stopped in Riverhead at 3:52 a.m. It was later renumbered 210.  Both midday train numbers 202 and 203 were discontinued and likewise station stops were no longer provided at Calverton even though it was still listed as a station on timetables. In place of the two midday trains, LIRR buses served midday/non-rush-hour passengers to and from train service at Babylon.  However, no station stops were made in Calverton. No doubt giving the LIRR some intra-island travel competition, the Suffolk County S92 bus route along the North Fork began service in June of 1980.[105]

Consequently, Suffolk County grew dissatisfied over LIRR station operation countywide. It joined four upstate counties in filing a lawsuit to stop the MTA from increasing LIRR station-maintenance charges. The lawsuit challenged a proposed bill that increased station operating costs from $2.7 million to $5.7 million. Suffolk County Executive Peter Cohalan argued that five of the stations did not have scheduled stops, including Calverton. In the end, a State Supreme Court judge rejected the lawsuit.[106]

In the meantime, Calverton became the home of a 1,052-acre national cemetery in 1978.[107] Rather than resurrect the old station bus service was provided from Yaphank Station as the LIRR offered a special cemetery package fare in the mid-1980s on holidays such as Veteran’s Day.[108]

LIRR Main Line Timetable Effective May 12, 1980: One of the last timetables to mark westbound service from Calverton Station
LIRR Main Line Timetable Effective May 12, 1980: One of the last timetables to mark westbound service from Calverton Station
LIRR Main Line Timetable Effective May 12, 1980: One of the last timetables to mark eastbound service to Calverton Station
LIRR Main Line Timetable Effective May 12, 1980: One of the last timetables to mark eastbound service to Calverton Station
Location of the former LIRR Calverton Station, view west (July 27, 2014)
Former LIRR Calverton Station (second location) platform, view west (July 27, 2014)
Location of the former LIRR Calverton Station, view east (July 27, 2014)
Former LIRR Calverton Station (second location) platform, view east (July 27, 2014)

The new North Fork travel schedule was slightly revised in the fall of 1981. Train number 201 left six minutes earlier, stopping in Jamesport at 6:29 a.m. and Riverhead at 6:39 a.m. on its way to Hunterspoint Avenue. In the evenings, train number 203 left Greenport at 9:37 p.m. making a Riverhead stop at 10:22 p.m. On the weekday rush-hour schedule, train number 220 to Riverhead left Hunterspoint Avenue at 4:08 p.m., arriving at 6:30 p.m. The rest of the schedule remained unchanged with a few minor exceptions. Seasonal train number 206 (the former Shelter Island Express) was renumbered 220.  In the off-season, it ran as far as Riverhead.  A new number 206 now ran on Friday summer evenings, stopping in Riverhead at 10:22 p.m. and Jamesport at 10:33 p.m.  However, it disappeared from timetables by January of 1984.  Renumbered in the spring of 1977, the two North Fork weekend roundtrips to and from Jamaica were numbers 4200, 4202, 4203, and 4205.[109]

LIRR Eastern Long Island Timetable Effective November 14, 1981: Timetable indicates Calverton Station as a stop
LIRR Eastern Long Island Timetable Effective November 14, 1981: Timetable indicates Calverton Station as a stop
LIRR Eastern Long Island Timetable Effective November 14, 1981: No arrival or departure times marked for Calverton Station
LIRR Eastern Long Island Timetable Effective November 14, 1981: No arrival or departure times marked for Calverton Station

Over the next few years, the North Fork train schedule would continually be overhauled. Besides some minor time adjustments, the major impact to Riverhead town service was the elimination of the Calverton stop and the discontinuation of the Road ‘n’ Rail route.  On timetables effective October 16, 1982 Calverton was longer listed as a station stop.  Also, midday bus service between Greenport and Babylon was reduced to two weekday roundtrips.  Shortly thereafter, Road ‘n’ Rail was eliminated.  In its place was a roundtrip train from Ronkonkoma to Riverhead (number 214) arriving in Riverhead at 11:55 a.m. and departing at 12:10 p.m.(number 215). Another change was the discontinuation of the westbound rush-hour train that departed Riverhead at 5:55 a.m. In its place beginning on October 18, 1982, the Greenport train now left earlier at 5:15 a.m. (train number 209, later renumbered 213), stopping at both Jamesport and Riverhead. However, the Jamesport stop was removed by January of 1984. Also by 1984, number weekday rush-hour train number 204 was renumbered 220 and the former 220 became 216 and extended to Greenport. The new train number 220 stopped in both Riverhead at 8:13 p.m. and Jamesport at 8:23 p.m. However, the Jamesport station stop was removed as of April 30, 1984 because of limited patronage.[110]

LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark service to Jamesport Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark service to Jamesport Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: The last timetable to mark weekday service to Jamesport Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: The last timetable to mark weekday service to Jamesport Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark weekend service to Jamesport Station
LIRR Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable Effective January 23, 1984: One of the last timetables to mark weekend service to Jamesport Station

Hence, remaining service to Jamesport was restricted to the weekends. On timetables effective January 23, 1984, eastbound train numbers 4200 and 4202 stopped in Jamesport at 11:36 a.m. 5:02 p.m., respectively.  Westbound service was at 1:56 p.m. (train number 4201) and 6:41 p.m. (train number 4201).  Weekend service remained until 1985.  On timetables effective March 18, 1985, the Jamesport Station was eliminated and the shelter removed.[111]

An additional factor that contributed to its demise was the electrification of the Main Line from Hicksville to Ronkonkoma. Periodic midday service suspension on the Main Line east of Hicksville to accommodate work on electrification brought few trains to the East End.[112] Secondly, the railroad began closing stations such as Elmhurst at the end of 1984 because it was one of the least-used and in need of repair due to deterioration,[113] and Grumman at the end of 1985 in order to consolidate the stations between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma. Grumman Station at the time boasted only three trains daily.[114] Service restricted to weekends at the little-used Jamesport could not be justified especially if elimination could bolster LIRR on-time performance.

Location of the former LIRR Jamesport Station (third location) shelter, view west (November 23, 2012)
Location of the former LIRR Jamesport Station (fourth location) platform shelter, view west (November 23, 2012)
Former LIRR Jamesport Station (fourth location) platform, view east (November 23, 2012)

 

The Town of Riverhead at the End of the Twentieth Century and Beyond

In 1998, the town of Riverhead had an estimated population of 24,500 and more than half of Long Island’s remaining farms. Agricultural acreage consisted of about 11,000 of Suffolk’s 32,000 total. Riverhead hamlet had a population of about 8,730 in 1998. Within the town, the smaller hamlets also boasted expanded population and commercial growth.   Aquebogue had about 2,200 in 1998 and was renowned for its wineries and farm stands. It also has the last remaining duck farm on Long Island. While there were as many as a hundred in the 1950s and 1960s, the Corwin family-owned Crescent Duck Farm is the last.[115] Baiting Hollow’s populace was 1,200 while Laurel was only 690. Calverton had one of the largest at 5,200. The Grumman plant closed down in 1995 and the Navy returned the facility to the town of Riverhead and donated two planes.[116] In October of 1999, the Riverhead town board voted to give a private group permission to establish a Grumman memorial park on Route 25 to honor the Long Islanders who worked at the former government building. Today, the park features the F-14 fighter planes, gardens, benches, and a brick wall of honor. As planned by the East End aircraft group, the planes are the main fixture, set up on pedestals in the year 2000. One was the 331st of 700 to roll out of the Calverton factory between 1971 and 1992. It first flew on July 6, 1979 and saw its last flight to Westhampton Beach in January of 1998. It was towed to a Calverton hanger in October of 1998.[117] Preservation efforts at the aforementioned Hallockville Farm Museum in Northville began in 1975 and continued into the new millennium. Along with the farm buildings located on the property, Hallockville State Park Preserve was established along Long Island Sound in 2005.[118]

Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)
Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)
Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)
Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)
Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (October 10, 2014)
Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (October 10, 2014)
Hudson-Sydlowski House, Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)
Hudson-Sydlowski House, Hallockville Museum Farm, Northville (May 24, 2014)

While Riverhead remained the county seat, most offices moved to Hauppauge. Tourism was on the town’s wish list in the 1990s as an aquarium, Tanger Outlet Center, and Splish Splash water park were constructed or on the drawing board.[119] Following the inauguration of electric service on the Main Line to Ronkonkoma on January 18, 1988, the LIRR altered service east of Ronkonkoma and added seven new diesel trains between Ronkonkoma and the North Fork throughout the day. Direct train service to or from Jamaica and Riverhead town was no longer provided. For rush-hour eastbound service, the 5:41 p.m. train from New York operated nonstop to Hicksville and then express to Ronkonkoma, arriving at 6:46 p.m., with connecting diesel service for Riverhead.[120]

Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton (July 27, 2014)
Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton (July 27, 2014)
Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton (July 27, 2014)
Grumman Memorial Park, Calverton (July 27, 2014)

Discussion of reopening the Riverhead depot building began in 1980 and still persists today. In early September of 1980, MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch rejected the town of Riverhead’s bid to lease the building. The proposal was part of a $360,000 project to centralize public transportation in Riverhead and revitalize the downtown area. Even though the county still paid $5,000 for its upkeep, Ravitch said the depot was needed to both store grade crossing elimination equipment and serve as a base of operations for train crews.[121]

LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view south, Manorville (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view south, Manorville (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view west, Calverton Executive Airpark (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view west, Calverton Executive Airpark (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view east, Calverton Executive Airpark (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, view east, Calverton Executive Airpark (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, River Road crossing, view south, Calverton (July 27, 2014)
LIRR Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company spur, River Road crossing, view south, Calverton (July 27, 2014)

In the late 1980s, Riverhead officials revisited the concept. After a study the town concluded that the Riverhead railroad station offered a “unique opportunity” to establish a railroad and bus transportation hub in downtown Riverhead. As a result, a $75,000 federal grant was used to landscape and upgrade the area. Since the county’s court complex was nearby, town officials hoped that the station would bring in crowds of lawyers to use the courts and trains full of customers for local businesses. However, one major problem was the limited schedule for attorneys who needed to be in court by 9 a.m. The first train from the west didn’t arrive until 9:46 a.m. Additionally, westbound trains left Riverhead at 6:07 a.m., 12:16 p.m., 3:16 p.m., and 10:16 p.m. LIRR officials ruled against extended service claiming that additional trains to Riverhead were not needed. In 1992, statistics revealed that the most crowded train on the North Fork normally carried only forty people.[122]

LIRR Riverhead Station depot (December 31, 2014)
LIRR Riverhead Station depot, view northwest (December 31, 2014)

By 1990, downtown Riverhead was a place where almost half the stores were closed and the unemployed loitered. The concept of downtown Riverhead as a transit hub resurfaced once again in the mid-1990s. It was aided by the state Urban Renewal (UR) law, which gave municipalities the ability to remove blighted areas or slums if it was in the “public interest” to do so. The law helped secure grants and furnished greater power to authorize condemnations. Indeed, there were numerous run-down or vacant structures within downtown Riverhead. A proposed UR plan was developed by the town’s Community Development department and supported by the Business Improvement District (BID) at a public hearing in March of 1997. The contemplated area bordered Roanoke Avenue on the east, Main Street to the south, Railroad Avenue to the north, and Swezey Avenue to the west.[123]

The proposal was further boosted by two secondary factors. First, Suffolk County relocated Riverhead’s primary bus stop from Main Street to Railroad Avenue. Second, the LIRR revamped the station in 1997.[124] As a new fleet of diesel coaches was to replace cars functioning since the Eisenhower era, a new four-foot-high platform was needed to replace the low-level platform in order to both accommodate the new coaches and the physically challenged. The total cost for system-wide station renovation was estimated at $41 million. By this time, Riverhead Station’s concrete low-level platform at grade extended west from the depot to Osborn Avenue, with three station signs.  In the summer of 1997, construction of the new, one-car length platform was underway at Riverhead, east of the old low-level platform. It included a shelter, a ramp designed to help the handicapped access the train easier, and bike racks for those who rode to the station.[125] Following completion of the new platform, the MTA awarded $1 million from capital improvement funds towards renovation of the depot and the surrounding area owned by the railroad. The December 1997 announcement further justified that Railroad Avenue was to be a transportation hub.[126] Additionally, a new parking lot was added to the station in 1999.[127] While full station renovation was completed in early 2003, discussion of the old Riverhead depot resurfaced in 2012. The MTA disclosed that it now wanted to lease the old building. One prospective tenant was Bryan DaParma, owner of Hometown Taxi in Southampton.[128]

LIRR Riverhead Station, passenger shelter, view east (December 31, 2014)`
LIRR Riverhead Station, high-level platform passenger shelter, view east (December 31, 2014)

Rebirth of Downtown Riverhead

The rebirth of downtown Riverhead progressed slowly in the new millennium. By 2003, there was a new bank, a restored music hall, and a growing arts district as well as the Atlantis Marine World and hotel to the east. The courthouse also received a new addition and a 1,200-foot boardwalk was completed along Peconic Avenue with the help of a $200,000 state grant from the state. The opening of the Tanger Factory Outlet Center in the early 1990s, the sixty-two store Tanger II in mid-1997, and the Riverhead Centre in the 2000s stymied business in the central area of downtown. However, a zoning amendment favorable to retail tenants attempted to help smaller shops. Facilitating this was BID and Manhattan architect Gary Jacquemin who was commissioned to help create a plan for bringing retail tenants.[129]

Another fixture in Riverhead is the Railroad Museum of Long Island. While it was created in 1990, its history dates to April 20, 1980 when former LIRR steam engine number 39 was moved from the Museums at Stony Brook, where it was on display since 1956, to Riverhead where it is now being restored to working condition. The engine was built in Altoona, Pennsylvania and was one of a fleet of thirty-one G5-class locomotives constructed for commuter and medium freight service.[130] In addition to the steam engine, the museum includes a former sixteen-inch quarter-scale toy train ride featured at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. The LIRR sold it after the fair and it was used in a Grumman employee park in Calverton. It now entertains both children and adults at the Riverhead museum.[131]

LIRR EMD DE30AC number 402, Railroad Museum of Long Island coach exhibit in background, Riverhead Station (May 26, 2012)
LIRR Riverhead Station and EMD DE30AC number 402 (Railroad Museum of Long Island coach exhibit in background), view east (May 26, 2012)

Along with retail shops and museums, Riverhead pays tribute to its Native American past. At Indian Island County Park, there is a large totem pole. Historically, Indian chiefs erected them in front of a wigwam where he would have figures carved to represent important events called a totem. The park’s totem tells the story of the United States. The eagle is the national bird, the rattlesnake represents enemies who cannot be trusted as its eyes focus on the eagle looking for a chance to strike, the owl is a symbol of wisdom, and the dove with the olive branch is a symbol of peace. Lastly, the waters around Long Island are symbolized with an abundance of fish.[132]

Totem Pole, Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)
Totem Pole, Indian Island County Park, Riverhead (June 16, 2013)

While town officials were pleased with progress, they weren’t happy with LIRR service. They joined other East End elected officials and sought to pursue an East End transportation authority that would buy or lease the LIRR tracks, transforming them into arteries of a new light rail and shuttle bus transit system. An advocacy group called Five Town Rural Transit Committee was formed in late 2004 and put forth that the railroad considered the East End insignificant.  It felt local operation could run it better. In Albany, legislation was soon initiated to facilitate a state-created authority to finance transit operations and buy MTA assets. After a $1 million federally-financed study, the Five Town Rural Transit Committee laid a plan at a December 12 Riverhead town hall meeting. Similar in concept to the 1955 Budd car program, twenty-one diesel-powered cars would be acquired, each able to seat 100 passengers, to shuttle east to west in one- to four-car consists as often as every thirty minutes to meet buses at select stations. Taking the place of LIRR service, the new idea would serve fifteen stations currently in use, one new station and five former stations. However, the authority was never established.[133]

World Trade Center Memorial, Calverton (July 27, 2014)
World Trade Center Memorial, Calverton (July 27, 2014)

East End service remained status quo until 2010 when LIRR President Helena Williams announced that the railroad wanted to accommodate prospective jurors traveling to and from Riverhead’s various court buildings. Beginning September 13, an eastbound morning train would arrive in Riverhead at 8:55 a.m. so that passengers could make a 9:00 a.m. court appointment. The railroad also planned to adjust the time of westbound afternoon service out of Riverhead to be more “juror-friendly.” Trains would now leave at 1:21 p.m. and 3:58 p.m. so that people dismissed from service had time to catch a train.[134]

Sadly, in a cost-cutting measure weekend service to Greenport was eliminated starting in the fall of 2010 except for the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, customer reaction changed changed this to end Columbus Day weekend rather than Labor Day in 2012. Ongoing criticism forced trains to run through Thanksgiving weekend in 2013. Additionally, in the spring of 2014 weekend service resumed three weeks early on May 3. However, on July 25, 2016, LIRR President Patrick A. Nowakowski announced that the railroad would provide weekend service to Greenport on a year-round basis. As the Long Island economy showed shown continued improvement, the LIRR has experienced a resurgence in ridership, reaching 87.6 million in 2015, a modern record. He also noted that ridership in June 2016 was up for the seventeenth consecutive month, fueled in part by the growth of travel to the East End.[135]

Modern Jamesport and South Jamesport

While no longer a railroad stop, Jamesport with a 1998 population of 1,756 has remained a quaint East End community, never surrendering its rural quality.[136] In fact, Jamesport was identified as a possible location for industry in 1985 when a state agency declared that property owned by the Long Island Lighting Company was to be used as an ash landfill. Ash from garbage-burning plants could be put on LIRR cars and shipped east to Jamesport and then trucked to the site overlooking Long Island Sound. However, the 570-acre site was eventually rejected by the Environmental Facilities Corp. because it was within an environmentally sensitive “coastal-zone management area.“[137]

Jamesport Farm (June 25, 2012)
Jamesport Farm (June 25, 2012)

The picturesque character of Jamesport is apparent in its buildings and along its waterfront. The Jerediah Hawkins Inn is a Civil War-era “Italian-style”mansion built by the sea captain Jerediah Hawkins in 1863 featuring privet hedges and gingerbread trim. After Hawkins, resident Smith Pearsall kept 5,000 chickens in the nearby barn. In the 1980s, the building was boarded up but watched over by owners Stephen and Helen Sikorski who bought it in the mid-1950s with hopes of restoring it. Just days before its scheduled demolition, it was acquired and transformed into the Jedediah Hawkins Inn and opened for business in September of 2005.[138] Another ancient structure is the Jamesport Meeting House. Built in 1731, it is the oldest church on the East End of Long Island. In the spring of 2005, the North Fork Unitarian Universalist Fellowship moved in and began holding services in the sanctuary every Sunday.[139]

Clovis Point Vineyard, Jamesport (June 25, 2012)
Clovis Point Vineyard, Jamesport (June 25, 2012)

On the bay, South Jamesport also maintains a pleasing atmosphere after some challenges at the end of the twentieth century. Motel on the Bay residents who were were mostly veterans and Social Services clients were evicted in November of 1998 after the building was cited as not structurally sound. Following repair, owner Bob Patchell contemplated building single-family homes and condos on the property and at the former Port Tavern along the bay on Front Street. However, residents opposed the suggestion that the south end of South Jamesport Avenue be shut down for the development.[140] Locals suggested the town buy the property along the bay and preserve it as open space. An 810-signature petition in May of 1999 preserved the Miamogue Point property. It is currently a town park and playground as it was on the list of properties for acquisition on the Community Preservation Fund. The former Motel on the Bay on the east side of South Jamesport Avenue and Front Street is presently a restaurant.[141]

Miamogue Point, South Jamesport (November 23, 2012)
Miamogue Point, South Jamesport (November 23, 2012)

 

Next page: The Town of Islip and the Great South Bay

 
___________________________________________________________________

[1] 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), 282-284.

[2] 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) 125; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 288.

[3] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “Our Story,” Hallockville Museum Farm, accessed February 21, 2015, http://www.hallockville.com/our-story.

[6] Richard Wines, Gabrielle Colen, and Mary Anne Huntington, Defense of the Eagle: 200th Anniversary Exhibition 1814 2014, 2014, Hallockville Museum Farm, Riverhead, NY.

[7] Samuel Terry Hudson, An Account of the Battles at Penny’s Landing and Luce’s Landing, June 1814, Edited with Introduction by Courtney T. Burns (Riverhead, NY: Hallockville Museum Farm, 1990), i-ii.

[8] Ibid.; Evelyn Rowley Meier, The Riverhead Story, 1792-1967 (Huntington, NY: The Long-Islander, 1967), 10.

[9] Ibid., 11.

[10] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125; Meier, The Riverhead Story, 8-9.

[11] Ibid., 30.

[12] Ibid., 32.

[13] “Long-Island Railroad Company, Winter Arrangement,” Long Islander (Huntington), March 7, 1845, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[14] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History,” Trains are Fun, accessed July 16, 2013, http://www.trainsarefun.com/lirrphotos/LIRR%20Station%20History.htm; “Long Island Railroad Co.,” Brooklyn Eagle, July 26, 1844, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50251044/?terms=brooklyn%2Bgreenport.

[15] Meier, The Riverhead Story, 10-11; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 301.

[16] Ibid., 30.

[17] “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History”; “Long Island Railroad Company,” Brooklyn Eagle, April 28, 1844, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/50306459/?terms=brooklyn%2Blong%2Bisland%2Brailroad.

[18] Meier, The Riverhead Story, 30; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 301.

[19] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 126; Hazelton, The Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, 730-731.

[20] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 288.

[21] Ibid., 297.

[22] Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, Age of Expansion (Garden City, NY: Seyfried, 1984), 192-193; Ron Ziel and Richard Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island (Bridgehampton, NY: Sunrise Special Ltd., 1988), 31.

[23] Seyfried, The 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; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 9; “Jamesport,” South Side Signal (Babylon), August 18, 1877, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries.

[24] Dorothy K. Magnani, History of Manorville (Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing Co., 2007), 105.

[25] “L.I. City, June 16, 1876,” Long Island Traveler (Southold), September 12, 1876, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[26] “L.I.R.R. Time Table, L.I. City, Aug. 13th, 1877,” Long Island Traveler (Southold), September 12, 1876, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[27] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 284-287.

[28] Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, 192; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 35; “L.I.R.R. Time Table Feb. 11, 1877,” Long Island Traveler (Southold), April 4, 1878, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Long Island Railroads – Depots,” South Side Signal (Babylon), September 27, 1879, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[29] Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 300; Meier, The Riverhead Story, 1792-1967, 11; “Deferred Local Items,” South Side Signal (Babylon), February 25, 1888, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 263; Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection.

[30] Ibid.; Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 148; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 367; “Franklinville,” South Side Signal (Babylon), August 09, 1879, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Franklinville Correspondence,” Sag Harbor Express, December 19, 1895, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; “Deferred Local Items.“; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 264.

[31] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125; Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County, 285-286.

[32] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126; Ibid., 148; “Laurel Correspondence,” Sag Harbor Express, March 10, 1898, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Hazelton, The Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, 729; Hallockville Museum Farm, Community Transformed, Hallockville Museum Farm, Riverhead, NY.

[33] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 13, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Effective June 27, 1895, Main Line Timetable, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1895).

[34] Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 263; Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 13, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Effective June 23, 1898, Main Line Timetable, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1898).

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

[36] “Island News Notes,” Suffolk County News (Sayville), November 5, 1909, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 263; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 159.

[37] “Riverhead’s Wild Man Captured,” South Side Signal (Babylon), November 25, 1910, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 98.

[38] Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 6, 264; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 16; Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection.

[39] “L.I.R.R. Envisions Big Improvements following the War,” New York Times (1923-Current file), May 6, 1943, http://www.proquest.com.

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

[41] John Pascal, “Homes Grow Faster than Trees,” Long Island: America’s Most Complete Community 1, no. 1 (January 1960): 51.

[42] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126.

[43] Pat Powers, “Long Island’s Aviation Becomes the Aerospace Industry,” Long Island: America’s Most Complete Community 1, no. 1 (January 1960): 81.

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

[45] “Flowerfield Loses Its Station Agent,” Port Jefferson Echo, July 16, 1925, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[46] “Set Rail Station Changes,” Suffolk County News (Sayville), May 20, 1938, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[47] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 16.

[48] “Trains in Area Cancelled to Save Fuel,” New York Times (1923-Current file), November 23, 1946, http://www.proquest.com.

[49] “Rail Service Cut to Conserve Coal,” New York Times (1923-Current file), March 20, 1948, http://www.proquest.com.

[50] “LIRR Trims Steam Service to Save Coal,” Newsday (1940-1985), February 10, 1950, http://www.proquest.com.

[51] Helen Dudar, “LIRR Bankrupt, Asks New Setup,“ Newsday (1940-1985), March 3, 1949, http://www.proquest.com.

[52] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 9, 1951, Long Island Rail Road, William H. Draper, Jr., Trustee, Time Tables (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1951), Main Line.

[53] “L.I.R.R. Faces Study on through Trains,” New York Times (1923-Current file), July 14, 1951, http://www.proquest.com.

[54] “Long Island Rail Road May Seek to End Service on Three Branches,” New York Times (1923-Current file), May 23, 1952, http://www.proquest.com.

[55] “LIRR, Postal Officials Seek Plan to Drop Rail Bulk Mail Service,” Newsday (1940-1986), July 21, 1951, http://www.proquest.com; “LIRR Loses Mail, Gains $300,000,”Newsday (1940-1985), February 5, 1952, http://www.proquest.com; “Mail Switches from Rail to Road,” Newsday (1940-1986), April 2, 1952, http://www.proquest.com.

[56] “LIRR Plan in Effect, Fares up 20%,” Newsday (1940-1986), August 13, 1954, http://www.proquest.com.

[57] “‘New’ LIRR Directors Take Train to First Black-Ink Meeting,” Newsday (1940-1986), August 17, 1954, http://www.proquest.com.

[58] “LIRR’s New Self-Propelled Car Unveiled: ‘It May Be the Answer,” Newsday (1940-1986), November 20, 1954, http://www.proquest.com.

[59] “Joe: It Seems They Got This Trolley…,” Newsday (1940-1986), March 30, 1955, http://www.proquest.com.

[60] 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.

[61] “LIRR Plans One-Two Punch to Lure More Riders,” Newsday (1940-1986), September 7, 1955, http://www.proquest.com.

[62] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect October 3, 1955, Main Line.

[63] “No Riders so RR Will Drop ‘Test’ Diesels,” Newsday (1940-1986), April 17, 1956, http://www.proquest.com.

[64] “L.I. Rail Road to Speed Runs to Eastern Suffolk,” The Watchman (Mattituck), December 13, 1956, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[65] Dave Kahn, “LIRR Cuts Times, Rushes Non-Rush Trains,” Newsday (1940-1986), August 28, 1958, http://www.proquest.com.

[66] 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; 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.

[67] Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 10, 1956, Main Line; Long Island Rail Road, Schedule in Effect September 2, 1958, Main Line.

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

[69] Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries; Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 98; “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[70] “L.I.R.R. to Eliminate Agents on North Fork.”

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

[72] “LIRR to Discontinue 15 Station Agents,” The Watchman (Mattituck), December 11, 1958, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[73] “LIRR Plans Campaign to Get Freight on Rails,” Patchogue Advance, February 5, 1959, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[74] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 98; “Long Island Rail Road: Alphabetical Station Listing and History.”

[75] Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection; Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, vol. 3, 193; Box 5, Book 16, Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection.

[76] “LIRR Reports Busy Year in ‘58,”Suffolk County News (Sayville), April 30, 1959, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[77] “LIRR Buses Get OK; Runs Begin Feb. 19,” Newsday (1940-1986), January 18, 1962, http://www.proquest.com; “LI Road ‘n’ Rail to Begin Next Monday,” The News Review (Riverhead), February 16, 1962.

[78] Ibid; “Here’s Great News for Southold,” Suffolk County News (Sayville), February 22, 1962, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[79] “LIRR Buses Get OK; Runs Begin Feb. 19”; Long Island Rail Road, Yaphank, Centereach, Ridge, Riverhead, Greenport, Effective June 26, 1972 (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1972); The Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 20, 1974, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1974); “LIRR Announces Revision in Schedule,” Long Island Traveler-Mattituck Watchman (Southold), May 17, 1973, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[80] “LI Road ‘n’ Rail to Begin Next Monday; 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).

[81] Ibid.; 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.

[82] 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).

[83] William Spiegler, “Gov Picks LIRR Panel–Finally,”Newsday (1940-1986), September 28, 1964, http://www.proquest.com.

[84] “Rocky asks State to Buy Long Island Rail Road,” Patchogue Advance, March 4, 1965, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[85] “Way now Cleared for R.R. Owned by State,” Islip Bulletin, July 15, 1965, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[86] “The Sounding Board,” Islip Bulletin, February 10, 1966, http://apa3.olivesoftware.com.

[87] “Post Office Takes a Truck, Leaves the LIRR to Commuters,” Newsday (1940-1986), June 18, 1965, http://www.proquest.com.

[88] 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.

[89] 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; 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.

[90] Ziel and Wettereau, Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island, 98.

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

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

[93] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 18, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Employee Timetables, Effective May 26, 1969, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1969), Main Line.

[94] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Timetables Effective May 25, 1970, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1970), Main Line.

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

[96] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Box 14, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries, Long Island Rail Road Timetables Effective October 7, 1974, by Long Island Rail Road (New York: Long Island Rail Road, 1974), Main Line; The Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 19, 1975, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1975); The Long Island Rail Road, Effective September 20, 1976, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1976); The Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 23, 1977, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1977).

[97] Robert M. Emery Long Island Rail Road Collection, Long Island Rail Road Timetables Effective October 7, 1974, Main Line.

[98] Long Island Rail Road, Effective September 20, 1976, Eastern Long Island.

[99] “Riverhead Farm Stand Directory,” The News Revue (Riverhead), July 24, 1986.

[100] “Long Island Vineyard Tour,“ Port Jefferson Record, June 27, 1985.

[101] Jeff Miller, “Palmer Vineyards Eyes Napa Challenge,“ The News Revue (Riverhead), November 7, 1985.

[102] Keith Engh, “Suffolk Board Unveils $1.5 Million Park Plan,” Newsday (1940-1986), March 31, 1966, http://www.proquest.com.

[103] Don Smith, “Nature (With a Hand from Suffolk) Stages a Comeback,” Newsday (1940-1986), March 30, 1970, http://www.proquest.com.

[104] Long Island Rail Road, Effective December 20, 1980, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1980); Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 18, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981).

[105] “LIRR Rush-Hour Service to Return to North Fork,” Newsday, June 23, 1981; Rick Brand, “Train Joining the Forks is now a Missing Link,” Newsday (1940-1986), May 21, 1980, http://www.proquest.com; The Long Island Rail Road, Effective November 14, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981); Long Island Rail Road, Effective July 1, 1981, Eastern Long Island, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1981).

[106] “Suit on LIRR Station Fees,” Newsday (1940-1985), September 1, 1981, http://www.proquest.com.; “Counties’ Suit on Rail Station Fees Rejected,” Newsday (1040-1986), October 2, 1981, http://www.proquest.com.

[107] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125.

[108] “LIRR Offers Special Cemetery Service,” Newsday (Nassau and Suffolk Edition), November 8, 1986, http://www.proquest.com.

[109] Long Island Rail Road, Effective November 14, 1981, Eastern Long Island; The Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 17, 1982, Ronkonkoma Branch, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1982); The Long Island Rail Road, Effective January 23, 1984, Ronkonkoma Branch, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1984).

[110] “LIRR Announces Schedule Changes,” Newsday (1940-1985), October 10, 1982, http://www.proquest.com; “Schedules Altered for Some Trains,” Newsday (1940-1985), April 29, 1984, http://www.proquest.com; Long Island Rail Road, Effective May 17, 1982, Ronkonkoma Branch; Long Island Rail Road, Effective January 23, 1984, Ronkonkoma Branch; Long Island Rail Road, Effective October 16, 1982, Eastern Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1982).

[111] Ibid; Long Island Rail Road, Effective March 18, 1985, Ronkonkoma Branch, The Long Island Rail Road (New York: The Long Island Rail Road, 1985).

[112] “Work to Disrupt LIRR,” Newsday (1940-1986), June 11, 1985, http://www.proquest.com; “LIRR Suspends Some Rail Lines,” Newsday (Nassau and Suffolk Edition), March 15, 1986, http://www.proquest.com.

[113] “Elmhurst Station Closing Expected,” Newsday (1940-1986), December 14, 1984, http://www.proquest.com.

[114] Edna Negron, “LIRR to Resume Regular Service,” Newsday (Nassau and Suffolk Edition), November 30, 1985, http://www.proquest.com.

[115] Jim Merritt, “Just Ducky,” Newsday (Combined Editions), October 22, 2014, http://www.proquest.com; Katie Thomas, “Just Ducky,” Newsday (Nassau and Suffolk Edition), March 21, 2004, http://www.proquest.com.

[116] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126.

[117] “Grumman Park Cleared for Takeoff,” The News Revue (Riverhead), October 28, 1999.

[118] Hallockville Museum Farm, The Preservation Story, Hallockville Museum Farm, Riverhead, NY.

[119] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126.

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

[121] Eric Burger, “MTA Chairman Rejects Station Lease for Town,” The News Review (Riverhead), September 11, 1980.

[122] Mitchell Freedman, “Unrealized Dreams in Riverhead: Train Depot Sits Empty, near Busy Court,” Newsday (East End Edition), February 26, 1992, http://www.proquest.com.

[123] Ibid.; Tim Gannon, “Railroad Avenue: The New Gateway?,” The News Review (Riverhead), March 20, 1997.

[124] “Bus Stop Moving to Railroad Avenue,” The News Review (Riverhead), January 2, 1997.

[125] Railroad Video Productions, Long Island Rail Road: Greenport to Jamaica Part One (Leola, PA: Railroad Video Productions, 1994); “New Fleet Due in April 1998,” The News Review (Riverhead), August 28, 1997; MTA Long Island Rail Road, Timetable No.1, effective: 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 18, 2001 for the Government of Employees Only (MTA Long Island Rail Road: New York, 2001).

[126] Tim Gannon, “All Aboard for Riverhead,” The News Review (Riverhead), December 25, 1997.

[127] Stewart Ain, “When Too Many People Park and Ride,” New York Times (1923-Current file), April 11, 1999, http://www.proquest.com.

[128] Mitchell Freedman, “Town Wants to Lease out Old LIRR Station,” Newsday, September 4, 2012; Carol Paquette “Riverhead’s Downtown Rebirth Proceeds slowly,” New York Times (1923-Current file), February 9, 2003, http://www.proquest.com.

[129] Ibid; “Tanger II to Open Memorial Day,” The News Review (Riverhead), January 16, 1997.

[130] Jane Snider, “Engine No. 39 Travels the Road to Restoration,” Newsday (1040-1986), April 21, 1980, http://www.proquest.com; “Riverhead Site,” Railroad Museum of Long Island, accessed February 19, 2015, http://www.rmli.org/RMLI/Riverhead_Site.html.

[131] Al Cohn, “Whatever Happened to the World’s Fair,” Newsday (1940-1985), June 24, 1967, http://www.proquest.com.

[132] County of Suffolk, Indian Island County Park: The Totem Pole, photocopied handout available at Indian Island County Park (Riverhead, NY: 2013).

[133] John Rather, “Two Tracks Converge: M.T.A. Budget Gap and Hamptons Traffic James Create an Opening for an east End Transit System,” New York Times (1923-Current file), January 9, 2005, http://www.proquest.com; John Rather, “East End Transit Paths are on Two Paths,” New York Times (1923-Current file), December 25, 2005, http://www.proquest.com.

[134] Alfonso A. Castillo, “LIRR Will Get Jurors to Court on Time,” Newsday (Combined Editions), July 27, 2010, http://www.proquest.com.

[135] Alfonso A. Castillo, “LIRR Will Extend Runs East,” Newsday, October 22, 2013; “MTA Long Island Rail Road Resuming Year-Round Weekend Service to Greenport and the North Fork,” MTA.info, accessed on August 16, 2016, http://www.mta.info/news-lirr-long-island-rail-road-greenport-north-fork-east-end/2016/07/25/mta-long-island-rail-road.

[136] Staff of Long Island, Our Story, Home Town Long Island, 125-126.

[137] Mark McIntyre, “6 Sites Considered for LI Ash Dump,“ Newsday (1940-1985), February 27, 1985, http://www.proquest.com; Sandra Peddie and Mitchell Freedman, “States Name 3 likely Ash Sites,“ Newsday (1940-1985), November 7, 1985, http://www.proquest.com.

[138] Sue Anne Piliero, “An Ornate Window to the Past,” The News Revue (Riverhead), May 22, 1986; “History,” Jerediah Hawkins Inn, accessed on February 19, 2015, http://www.jedediahhawkinsinn.com/history.

[139] Richard Wines and Jane Roberts, “Our History,” Jamesport Meeting House built 1731, accessed on February 19, 2015, http://jamesportmeetinghouse.org/site/our-history.

[140] “South Jamesport: Condos or Houses?,” The News Revue (Riverhead), January 21, 1999.

[141] Tim Gannon, “Petition Push to Save Bay Beach,” The News Revue (Riverhead), May 27, 1999.

 

Next page: The Town of Islip and the Great South Bay

2 thoughts on “The History of the Town of Riverhead and Its Railroad Stations

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