This Week in North Fork History: A tornado, tourism and teacher pay

Marcia Brown beside an oak that fell atop her volvo on Nassau Point. (Judy Ahrens photo, file)
Marcia Brown beside an oak that fell atop her volvo on Nassau Point. (Credit: Judy Ahrens, file)

The following stories were published in issues of The Suffolk Times printed between 15 and 105 years ago this week: 

Fifteen years ago this week

• Twister hammers Mattituck, New Suffolk and Nassau Point

When an “isolated-cell” thunderstorm was upgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning the North Fork knew it was in for a rocky morning on Aug. 8, 1999. What happened next was something nobody could have been prepared for.

At about 8:30 a.m., as the storm cell crossed Deep Hole Creek in Mattituck, it became a tornado.

“It looked like a funnel coming down the creek,” witness Kathleen Bitgood told The Suffolk Times for that week’s paper. Within moments it ripped the roof off a nearby house, smashed through the windows of another and made its way toward Kimogenor Point in New Suffolk. Residents of that community likened the sound of the twister to that of a whistling train.

“The whole house started moving up and down,” said Jennie Watson of Kimogener Point.

Two people suffered minor injuries in the storm. (See more photos of the aftermath)

• Slow skating on Splish Splash rink

The Riverhead Town Board granted Splish Splash a one-year extension to receive approvals to construct a hockey rink and theme restaurant on the grounds of the amusement park.

The theme park president said he was committed to the project, but couldn’t say for sure when it would be built. It wasn’t.

20 years ago this week

• Microbrewery proposed for Cutchogue

A Cutchogue Farmer submitted a proposal for a microbrewery across from King Kullen in Cutchogue, according to an article about an application for a zone change filed for the 3 1/2 acre property 20 years ago this week.

“The company will be called Island Ale, Inc.,” said property owner Frank Cichanowicz.

While that project never did get off the ground, the North Fork is now home to four brewing companies — the first being Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., which opened in 2009.

55 years ago this week

• How to promote tourism on the East End

A pair of New York State Department of Commerce officials met with the Greenport-Southold Chamber of Commerce the week of Aug. 4, 1959 to discuss how to promote tourism on the East End.

The Chamber felt our neck of the woods should get the same sort of attention as the Finger Lakes and Lake George do.

The state officials said they received $25,000 inquiries about the East End after the area was promoted in a tourism guide the year before.

105 years ago this week

• Southold High School District sets teachers’ wages

Teacher salaries were among the financial items decided on at the Aug. 3, 1909 Southold High School District Board of Education meeting.

Teachers were paid $5,275 that year. A janitor made $420. The district also approved a measure to purchase $350 worth of fuel and $100 for painting.