11/02/14 12:00pm
11/02/2014 12:00 PM


Long Island is known for, among other things, beautiful beaches, the site of the first “mass-produced” suburb in the U.S, the resort areas of the East End, notably the Hamptons and peaceful Shelter Island, and for farmland that allows Suffolk County to remain the top farming county in New York State in yearly produce. But Long Island isn’t sufficiently recognized for its major role in the American Revolution. (more…)

10/22/14 8:11pm
10/22/2014 8:11 PM
A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

A six-mile stretch of Main Road could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corridor includes Aquebogue’s Old Steeple Church, built in 1862 and designed by a farmer with no architectural experience, as well as Aquebogue Cemetery, which dates back to 1755 and contains the graves of numerous Revolutionary War soldiers. (Credit: Andrew Lepre)

Four of the five Riverhead Town Board members have signed a letter asking the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the state Office of Parks and Recreation to withdraw the town’s application for a proposed National Register Historic District along Main Road in Aquebogue, Jamesport and Laurel, according to Councilman George Gabrielsen.  (more…)

06/19/14 9:02am
06/19/2014 9:02 AM
The Tercentenary parade winds its way through a packed downtown Southold in 1940.  At center is the feather-covered float of the 'Old Crows.' (Credit: Southold Historical Society Courtesy Photo)

The Tercentenary parade winds its way through a packed downtown Southold in 1940. At center is the feather-covered float of the ‘Old Crows.’ (Credit: Southold Historical Society Courtesy Photo)

Southold Town Historic Preservation Commission chairman Jim Grathwohl called the historians of Southampton Town “colleagues and competitors” during a Southold Town Board work session Tuesday.

When he learned of the comment a few hours later, Southampton Town historian Zach Studenroth laughed, calling the remark “accurate.”

“We have a friendly rivalry,” he said.

Historians from the two towns even tease each other about which was founded first.

But when it comes to planning next year’s celebrations for the 375th anniversaries of Long Island’s two oldest towns, Southold historians freely admit that, this time around, Southampton is way ahead of them.  (more…)

04/19/14 8:00am
04/19/2014 8:00 AM
An Italianate style home on Bay Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

An Italianate style home on Bay Avenue. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Greenport’s historic architecture is a modern-day link to the village’s storied past. The buildings illustrate its progression from pre-Revolutionary roots through its commercial peak as a whaling hub into a modern-day working waterfront with a thriving tourism industry. 

Read more about Greenport’s historic architecture at northforker.com.

02/17/14 9:55am
02/17/2014 9:55 AM
The Suffolk County Historical Society. (File photo by News-Review)

The Suffolk County Historical Society. (File photo by News-Review)

“History Alive” grants of up to $500 to help underwrite the cost of new exhibitions, publications and special projects are now available to local nonprofit history organizations through the Suffolk County Historical Society.


11/22/13 5:01am
11/22/2013 5:01 AM
The front page of the Nov.r 29, 1963 edition of The Suffolk Times.

The front page of the Nov.r 29, 1963 edition of The Suffolk Times.

The following resolution was approved at the Nov. 26, 1963 Southold Town Board meeting. It was published on the cover of that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times:



WHEREAS, the United States of America and the world at large has suffered a tragic loss with the death of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America, who was struck down by an assassin’s bullet on November 22, 1963, and

WHEREAS, the burden of great sorrow falls with particular weight upon his wife, his children and his family; and

WHEREAS, the members of the Town Board of the Town of Southold wish to record their conviction that a free society is worth whatever peril it may bring and their determination to use this freedom for the greatest good that God shall enable the to do; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that this Board of the Town of Southold join in paying tribute to the memory of the late President, John F. Kennedy; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the members of the Town Board ask God’s continued blessings and guidance upon the government of this land and upon President Lyndon Johnson; and be it further

RESOLVED, that when the meeting of the Town Board stands adjourned, it be in respectful memory of the late John F. Kennedy, President of the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED,t hat this resolution be spread upon the minutes of this Town Board.


11/22/13 5:00am

John F Kennedy Abraham Lincoln

The following editorial was first published in the April 30, 1865 issue of The Suffolk Times following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It was republished following the death of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago today. “Today we are repeating the editorial in keeping with the cowardly assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” we wrote:


Abraham Lincoln is dead! The fatal bullet of a fiendish assassin has done its dreadful work, and millions of sorrowed hearts are bowed down in the deepest agony. The nation whose hopes were bright and jubilant over the recent glorious victories, which were the acknowledged harbingers of a speedy Peace, in one brief moment, is plunged into the most heartfelt gloom and sadness. The time of universal rejoicing brings with it the Hour of intense agony.

Abraham Lincoln, the father of our country, the Nation’s Deliverer, is no more.

But yesterday he was the chief magistrate of the Republic, and the people delighted to know him. He was hopeful and patient in the hour of peril, and the people trusted him.  He was firm in his convictions that our country would outride the fearful tempest of treason, and the people gave implicit faith to all his utterances. He was kind and tender hearted and the people loved him. He had no enemies but the foes to our country and they murdered him. He was ambitious only to restore the country to peace and unity and his ambition and labor were crowned with complete success.

Mr. Lincoln was a patriot of the noblest type. Every official act was performed in obedience to the dictates of that pure devotion to country which discards all selfish interests and looks only to the welfare of humanity. He knew that he had a responsible work to do and, forgetting personal ambition and the peculiar tenets of his own political party, he applied himself honestly and faithfully to the great purpose in view.

President Lincoln was a pure patriot, a sagacious statesman, a devoted servant of the people, a logical debater, a Christian gentleman, and an Honest man.

How the people loved him can only be foreshadowed in the countless manifestations of affection that show themselves at every loyal fireside in the land! there are sad homes all over the land, weeping for some dear one who has fallen in this country’s defense; but today the great heart of the people is shedding sad tears over the grave of Father Abraham. Like affectionate children they weep bitter tears of bereavement.

But the work he had to do is done — and well done. The rebellion is crushed and slavery no longer exists. The nation is not only saved, but purified as by fire. In the hands of Providence, President Lincoln was the agent to accomplish these two results, the grandest the world ever saw.

In sorrow and faith do we say: in God is our trust. We must bow submissively to the decrees of our Heavenly Father. His hand has thus far guided us — and will He forsake us? Not if we prove ourselves worthy of the great trust committed to our charge — the maintenance of true Republican Institutions.

Let us all work faithfully, each in his own right sphere and all will be well. Let us emulate the acts of the spirit of him who has so suddenly fallen. Let us heed the immortal words, to which he gave utterance in his last inaugural address, “with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds. To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do all that may achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

09/05/12 1:00pm
09/05/2012 1:00 PM
Downtown, National Register, Historic District

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Arlene Dorozka’s home and rose garden on East Main Street, next to the 1833-built Riverhead United Methodist Church. There are 46 buildings in the historic district that now qualify for rehabilitation tax credits, meaning they’re 50 years old or older.

Back in March, a section of downtown Riverhead was approved for New York State’s Register of Historic Places.

Now, that same area has been approved for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, opening the door for huge tax benefits for those looking to renovate and improve old buildings.

The inclusion actually became official, quietly, on Aug. 14, according to Edson Beall, a historian with the National Parks Service, which administers the National Register.

The boundaries of the district run along Main Street, from Griffing Avenue in the west to Maple Avenue in the east, and include parts of Peconic, Roanoke, East and Maple avenues in between.

“We’re very pleased,” said Richard Wines, chairman of the town’s Historic Landmarks Commission. “We’ve been working on this for close to three years.”

Commission members plan to post signs soon alerting people of the designation, Mr. Wines said. The first one will probably be placed in front of the Methodist Church, which dates back to 1860.

Town officials also plan a press conference to announce the designation, officials said.

The oldest buildings downtown are on the grounds of East End Arts and date back to 1840, Mr. Wines said.

“It’s a pretty big district,” Mr. Beall said. “There are 46 contributing buildings that have integrity from the historic period” — meaning they’re 50 years old or older.

Mr. Beall said the area is considered significant for its commerce and architecture.

“It’s a concentration of buildings that represent Riverhead’s importance as a center of business, culture, entertainment and government on the East End of Long Island,” he said. “There’s also a large spectrum of designs, as far as architecture goes.”

The area also includes Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, which is already on the national register.

All properties considered for inclusion on the national register must first be nominated by their state, which in downtown Riverhead’s case, happened earlier this year.

In addition to the honor of the designation itself, income-producing properties on the national register also qualify for federal tax credits for rehabilitation work that meets the certifications of the register, Mr. Beall said.

The designation also offers protection from federally funded projects, he said.

“For instance, if a highway were to come through, they’d have to take the designation into account,” Mr. Beall said.

On the flip side, owners of buildings in the national register “are free to do as they please,” Mr. Beall said. “That includes tearing down the building, so long as it’s not receiving federal funding.”

The tax credits include both state and federal tax credits and can amount to up to 40 percent of the value of exterior improvements, Mr. Wines said.

“We’ve been pushing this because we think it fits right in with the Town Board’s efforts to revitalize downtown, and we think it will be nothing but a benefit,” Mr. Wines said.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is also working on a plan to get properties along Second Street — which runs parallel to Main Street — and its intersecting streets on the National Register as well, Mr. Wines said.

That area is mostly residential but includes law offices and non-residential buildings such as the former Second Street firehouse and post office, which is already on the national register individually, Mr. Wines said.

There are six individual buildings in Riverhead Town on the register. This section of downtown is Riverhead’s first national historic district, he said.


02/26/12 12:00pm
02/26/2012 12:00 PM

SUFFOLK TIMES PHOTO | The historic Beckwith-Hartranft-Gillispie building on Route 25 in the center of Southold

The Southold Historical Society recently purchased the historic Beckwith-Hartranft-Gillispie building on Route 25 in the center of Southold, and is now raising funds to restore the space and use it to exhibit historical society’s acquisitions.

The building, which most recently served as a real estate office, dates back to the mid-1800s, al though the exact construction date is not known, according to the historical society. There is also a large 19th century barn at the rear of the property.

Captain Sherburne A. Beckwith operated his ship supply business out of the building during the American Civil War and built his home next door.

In the early 20th century, the building was Frank T. Wells’ general store and later painter Joseph Beckwith Hartranft’s studio and store. For the last 20 years, it served as the headquarters of Robert Gillispie III’s North Fork Agency.

For more information, go to www.southoldhistoricalsociety.org or call 765-5500.