This week in North Fork History: Eleven saved from shipwreck off Orient Point

99 years ago

Eleven saved from shipwreck off Orient Point

Five men, four women and two children were saved after they hung on to a wrecked barge off Orient Point, we wrote in the Feb. 21, 1914 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The tug Pinny Fiske left New Haven, Conn. with six barges of coal in tow, we reported. While off Bartlett’s Reef, four of the barges went adrift. Capt. Gilligan (I swear his name was actually Gilligan) did not know he had lost the barges until within two miles of New London, we wrote.

“It was blowing a gale and the seas were a mountain high,” the story read. “He could not turn back.”

The abandoned passengers were spotted by onlookers watching from Brown’s Hill in Orient Village, we wrote. Two sons of Benjamin Latham, who owned the last house on the point, “went to the rescue and brought them back safely to shore,” we reported.

80 years ago

Greenport boy is star of college basketball team

Reggie Hudson of Greenport was one of three University of Virginia seniors to lead the team to the Souther Conference Tournament in 1933, according to the Feb. 24 issue of The Suffolk Times that year.

Mr. Hudson, a center, led the team with 151 points that season, we wrote.

50 years ago

LIRR employee is Greenport’s only ‘polar bear’

Bobby Cahoon, who works as baggage manager at Greenport’s Long Island Rail Road station, has a unique hobby: He likes to go swimming in winter.

That was the lede of an article in the Feb. 22, 1963 issue of The Suffolk Times, detailing Mr. Cahoon’s routine of taking swimming breaks in Greenport Harbor.

On the day the paper photographed him, Mr. Cahoon was swimming in 28-degree water. The temperature outside was 26 degrees that day, we wrote.

30 years ago

Mistrial coming in Greenport murder case?

After a defense attorney in a 1983 murder trial was hospitalized due to nasal hemorrhaging, a court spokesperson said a mistrial could be declared, we reported in the February 24, 1983 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Natividad Santiago Ortiz, a 30-year-old migrant worker at Sepenoski’s Farm  in East Marion was on trial for killing 19-year-old Greenport resident Donna Lupton. Ms. Lupton died August 28 after suffering stab wounds to the face and neck outside Drosso’s Bar in Greenport.

Postscript: A mistrial was declared the following week, but later that year Mr. Ortiz was convicted of second degree murder. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He is eligible for parole in April, state prison records show.

25 years ago

Birthdays as scarce as Olympics

Reporter Karin Werner previewed the fourth birthday of Greenport twins Bob and Ev Corwin and the 18th birthday of Riverhead’s Stella Polecki in the Feb. 25, 1988 issue of the Suffolk Times.

But the Corwin twins were actually turning 16 that week and Ms. Polecki would be 72. The trio of local residents was born on “Leap Day,” Feb. 29.

They all said that in non-leap years they celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1.

“[But] every four years we go for it [on Feb. 29],” Ev Corwin said.

Postscript: Ms. Polecki, who Social Security records show died in June 1999, lived through two more leap birthdays. She was months away from another. The Corwins celebrated their 10th leap birthday last year while their many of their friends and former classmates turned 40.

15 years ago

Greek Orthodox parish excommunicated

When the Greek Orthodox congregation started holding Mass outside the Main Street church in Greenport, it was clear a struggle was brewing inside. Now the congregation has been excommunicated.

That was the lede of the Feb. 26, 1998 Suffolk Times cover story, detailing the struggles of St. Anargyri, a Greek Orthodox church in Greenport.

Essentially, the conflict was over a Centuries-old debate between two factions of the Greek Orthodox Church, reporter Tim Wacker wrote.

Local congregants of one faction were hosting Mass on the front lawn of the church, while busloads of out-of-towners from the other faction filled the church most Sundays after the lockout, he reported.

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