This week in North Fork history: Police legend found dead

SUFFOLK TIMES PHOTO | A dredge boat near Port of Egypt marina, close to the spot where former police officer James Kelly was found dead in 1993.

20 years ago

A police legend is found dead

An all-out manhunt launched by Southold Town Police on for one of their own ended tragically when the body of a 90-year-old retired police officer was found in the water near Port of Egypt marina, reporter Ruth Jernick wrote in the Feb. 4, 1993 issue of The Suffolk Times.

James Patrick “Pat” Kelly, who wore Badge No. 1 when he served on the town force from 1928 to 1964 , was reported missing by a home health aide at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 2. His body was found a day later and foul play was not suspected, we wrote.

A police officer for 40 years, he is credited with being the first uniformed patrolman in Southold Town history.

New council targets Suffolk Theater renovation

The East End Arts Council’s Business Council decided at its inaugural meeting Jan. 20, 1993 that it would explore the possibility of restoring the Suffolk Theater on Main Street in Riverhead, reporter Bob Liepa wrote in the Feb. 4, 1993 issue of The Suffolk Times.

“I think the Suffolk Theater could be a tremendous magnet for downtown Riverhead,” said then-East End Arts Council president Troy Gustavson, who was also The Suffolk Times publisher at the time.

Mr. Gustavson said the cost to renovate the theater, which was put up for sale in 1987, might be too much and the council had only begun to explore avenues of funding.

Postscript: Many dollars and years later, the Suffolk Theater will finally reopen next month.

45 years ago

Two-million dollar river span is planned

A second highway bridge has been tentatively planned to span the Peconic River just east of Riverhead, we reported in the Feb. 8, 1968 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The new bridge, which would cost an estimated $2 million, will be part of a 6 1/2 mile roadway cutting south from Hubbard Road in Aquebogue to the Riverhead-Quogue Road south of Ludlam Avenue in Southampton, we wrote.

Postscript: That stretch of highway is now County Road 105.

 70 years ago

Storms cripple Greenport

A heavy snowfall on Jan. 28, 1943 caused motorists to be stranded along the commercial district in Greenport, making the roads impossible to pass, we wrote in the following week’s issue of The Suffolk Times. The cars were unable to be removed due to wartime conditions that left the Municipal Road Department understaffed, we reported.

99 years ago

The dangers of dancing

The following is an unedited excerpt from the Jan. 31, 1914 issue of The Suffolk Times: “Beware of the turkey trot knee. A well-known physician says there are no less than 100 distinct moves in the turkey trot and 50 in the tango, and he is now treating a number of men and women for swollen knees due to this violent exercise.”

Suffolk has 3,297 cars

At the end of 1913, there were 3,297 licensed “pleasure vehicles” in Suffolk County and 191 commercial vehicles, according to the Jan. 31, 1914 issue of The Suffolk Times.

102 years ago

Griffing visits Washington, D.C.

Capt. Willard Griffing of the Shelter Island-Greenport Ferry Co. had a brief conversation with President William Howard Taft on a trip to Washington, D.C., we wrote in the Feb. 4, 1911 issue of The Suffolk Times. He was in the nation’s capitol as a delegate to the “annual convention of Masters, Mates and Pilots,” we wrote.

[email protected]