09/02/14 2:10pm
09/02/2014 2:10 PM

The first “Wine Country” signs were installed 25 years ago. (Credit: Suffolk Times archive)

25 years ago this week

First ‘Wine Country’ signs erected

It was 25 years ago this week that the North Fork was officially dubbed Long Island Wine country in signs welcoming visitors to the region.

The original Wine Country signs, donated by the Long Island Wine Council, were placed on Main Road in Aquebogue, Southold and Orient and along Sound Avenue in Riverhead, we reported in the Aug. 31 issue of The Suffolk Times.

40 years ago this week

Cafeteria prices on the rise

Mattituck school officials announced that the price of school lunch was being raised 10 percent to 55 cents to cover an increase in food production costs, we reported in the Aug. 29, 1974 issue of The Suffolk Times. A half-pint of Milk was increasing to seven cents, we reported.

The district said it was doing everything it could to keep lunch costs affordable.

60 years ago this week

Eastern Long Island again struck by hurricane

Hurricane Carol struck the North Fork on Aug. 31, 1954, causing more than $10,000 in damages to Greenport’s electrical system. Fifty trees were uprooted in the storm, we reported in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

“Probably the most severe monetary loss was suffered by farmers whose crops took a tremendous beating,” we wrote.

Work begins on East Marion Fire House

Construction began 60 years ago this week on the East Marion firehouse.

“The colonial type building will house up to five pieces of apparatus with an auditorium and kitchen,” we wrote.

75 years ago this week

Greenporter’s model sub at World’s Fair

A model of the original Holland submarine that was designed by then-Southold Town Assessor Kenneth Monsell was receiving “great attention” at the Long Island Exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair, according to an article in the Aug. 31, 1939 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The 53-foot submarine was the first under-sea boat to run submerged for any considerable distance by self-contained power.

Preliminary trials and the official final tests for the boat had been conducted in New Suffolk before its launch in 1898. It remained in the hamlet through a long period of neglect before it rusted “beyond redemption,” we reported.

‘The Wizard’ comes to Greenport

“The Wizard of Oz” opened at the Greenport theater on Aug. 31, 1939, running for three days. Of the film, The Suffolk Times wrote: “The film has kept the delightful flavor and exact story of the book, and added magnificence, beauty, life, humor and some of the year’s best music.”

90 years ago this week

Local woman wins $5

Miss Ruby Goldin won a $5 prize in a costume contest at Arcade Hall in Southampton this week, we reported in the Aug. 29, 1924 issue of The Suffolk Times. She wore a Wrigley chewing gum dress she designed herself.

08/18/14 4:00pm
08/18/2014 4:00 PM
The former Shamrock property was purchased by Love Lane Acquisitions in August 1994. (Credit: judy Ahrens, file)

The former Shamrock property was purchased by Love Lane Acquisitions in August 1994. (Credit: Judy Ahrens, file)

20 years ago this week

‘Downtown’ New Suffolk purchased

A company headed by former Southold Town Planning Board chairman Henry Raynor of Mattituck purchased the three acres in the heart of the New Suffolk waterfront for $800,000 at a foreclosure auction Aug. 15, 1994, according to that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times. The property included The Galley Ho restaurant (or the Ho as it was referred to in the article), the former North Fork Shipyard, the former New Suffolk Post Office/general store and an old oyster factory, we reported in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.  (more…)

07/28/14 4:00pm
07/28/2014 4:00 PM
A loggerhead turtle was rescued after it was slashed by a boat propeller in the Long Island Sound 25 years ago this week. (Source: The Suffolk Times, Aug. 3, 1989, photo by Judy Ahrens)

A loggerhead turtle was rescued after it was slashed by a boat propeller in the Long Island Sound 25 years ago this week. (Source: The Suffolk Times, Aug. 3, 1989, photo by Judy Ahrens)

The following stories were published in issues of The Suffolk Times printed between 20 and 135 years ago this week:

25 years ago this week

• Rare turtle cheats death in the Sound

A rare 100 pound loggerhead turtle was saved after it was slashed by a boat propeller in the Long Island Sound and turned over to a marine biologist in Mattituck on Aug. 1, 1989.


03/31/13 5:00pm
03/31/2013 5:00 PM

JUDY AHRENS FILE PHOTO | Toni Zanieski of Cutchogue was on the front page of the March 31, 1983 Easter-themed cover of The Suffolk Times.

30 years ago

School district aid restored

It’s a similar story every year: The governor proposes massive cuts in state aid to schools in January before the state Legislature restores funding in late March.

In the March 31, 1983 issue of The Suffolk Times we published an info box showing how much aid to each district would be increasing or decreasing in the 1983-84 school year.

So how much has state aid gone up in the past 30 years? Take a look:


1983-84 — $704,586

2013-14 — $1,303,828


1983-84 — $952,577

2013-14 — $2,667,380


1983-84 — $129,566

2013-14 — $344,362


1983-84 — $667,790

2013-14 — $1,689,213

50 years ago

Local boys walk to Riverhead

Several weeks after a story was published in The Suffolk Times detailing several youths who walked from Riverhead to Orient and back, a group of Southold Town residents set out on a similar journey, we reported on March 22, 1963.

Four young men — Antonio Jimenez, Eric Soqust, Mike Tuthill and Bill Reiter — set out from Greenport at 3 a.m., making it to Riverhead by 10:15 a.m. They began their return trip at 11;45 a.m., but fatigue soon set in, we wrote. Mike and Bill only made it as far as Mattituck and Antonio and Eric called things off after reaching Cutchogue.

“The four weary hikers reached home via the comfort of an automobile,” we wrote. Needless to say, they all slept soundly that night.”

75 years ago

Supervisors continue fight for bridges

The County Board of Supervisors showed its support of a plan to explore the feasibility of building loop bridges at Smith Point and Shelter Island in March 1938, according to a Suffolk Times story.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Dennis Homan had proposed a bill to rescind a $60,000 appropriation to create a “fact-finding committee” on the bridge issue, but eight of the board’s 10 members voted against his bill.

80 years ago

County cuts $50,000 in expenses

County workers making more than $1,000 a year agreed in March 1933 to a 15 percent reduction in salary. The agreement, along with several other expense adjustments, was expected to save Suffolk County $50,000 annually, according to an article in the March 31, 1933 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Among the other cuts: Heads of departments agreed to receive just 50 cents a day in food allowances, down from $1 the year before.

[email protected]

03/17/13 12:00pm
03/17/2013 12:00 PM

JUDY AHRENS FILE PHOTO | East Marion resident Sharon Rogers and her children, Brian and Rachel, fill up their trunk with bottled water in the March 17, 1988 Suffolk Times cover photo.

25 years ago

Families were forced to change the way they use the water supply in their homes after a “mysterious influx of a deadly and cancer-producing chemical” was discovered in a well on the west side of Old Orchard Lane in East Marion, reporter Jack Williams wrote in the March 17, 1988 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The Suffolk County Health Department had detected a mix of the chemical “1, 1, 1 trichloroethane” that was seven times more than the acceptable drinking water limit in a well on Old Orchard.

“No one knows where it comes from,” we wrote.

The story focused on the adjustments being made by full time residents of the block. Sharon Rogers said she was buying 40 gallons of bottled water per week. “It’s an expense we never bargained for,” she said.

Some families said they weren’t just avoiding drinking the water, but refraining from bathing in it, too.

One resident of the block said she bought her house after the testing was done and didn’t know about the water issues when she first moved in.

“I love this house,” said Karen McLaughlin. “I wouldn’t ever want to move again. But we all drank the water right out of the tap for about two weeks after we moved in, before we found out about the tests. Now we wonder about what the kids drank during those two weeks.”

Postscript: The Suffolk County Water Authority later brought public water to the area, enabling residents of Old Orchard Lane to hook up to the county system. Others opted to install private filtration systems.

A nuclear bomb in Mattituck?

Long Island’s first and only nuclear bomb has come to rest at the American Armoured Foundation Inc. Tank and Ordinance War Museum on Love Lane, read the lead of a story published in the March 17, 1988 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The inert bomb was on display at the museum, which was open every Sunday in Mattituck.

“We believe this bomb is the only item of this type on display in New York,” the museum said in a statement that week. “The nuke is three feet in diameter and approximately nine feet tall.”

Postscript: The museum left Mattituck in 1999, moving to Danville Virginia, where it remains open today.

75 years ago

Bandits loot bank in daylight

In one of the most daring and spectacular robberies in the history of the North Fork, four armed bandits looted the Mattituck Bank and Trust Company of about $6,000 on Friday of last week, we wrote in the March 17, 1938 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The gunmen and two others escaped in a stolen car which was later found abandoned.

A week after the arrest, three of the men associated with the robbery were in custody, we reported. The first was arrested within hours of the incident.

North Fork residents Doris Reeve, Jennie Sawinski,  Jack Rose and Henry L. Fleet were among those working in the bank at the time of the robbery. Mr. Fleet and bank patron Mary Fleming were locked in the vault by the robbers.

[email protected]

02/24/13 2:18pm
02/24/2013 2:18 PM

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.

[email protected]

02/06/13 8:00am
02/06/2013 8:00 AM

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]