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Northport Village - Early 1900s

northport village, main street

Early 1900s: Northport Village
Northport , NY

  • Photo taken looking from Northport Harbor up Main Street. Here showing the Trolly cars that used to run up and down the street. In earlier times and before the Trolly and streets, it was said that the Indians used the same thoroughfare as there means to Northport Harbor for fishing.
The first inhabitants of Northport were peaceful Indians known as the Matinecocks, whose camp perched on a lakeshore site now occupied by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The first white men known to have seen Northport were Dutch sailors exploring the Long Island coast in 1650. The harbor has continued to play a pivotal role in local history ever since. Migration came to the territory from New Amsterdam and reported their discovery to the Dutch government at The Hague. The report described "good fishing, fine meadowlands and mostly level ground suitable for farms and cattle". Six years later, this area, which would be called Great Cow Harbor, was purchased from Chief Asharoken by three Englishmen for seven quarts of liquor, two coats, four shirts and eleven ounces of powder. Relations between the settlers and the Indians were friendly, and the small colony flourished with farming and shell-fishing. Matinecocks who camped along streams and called the area Opcathontyche, meaning Wading Place Creek. In 1656, Asharoken, head of the Matinecocks, sold land in the area to settlers from Huntington who cleared it for farms. The area at that point was called Great Cow Harbor, presumably because of the unusual proximity of cattle pastures to the harbor mouth.

view of asharoken beach, northport ny

Asharoken Beach: Northport NY
View of Asharoken Beach, Northport NY

    view of road to asharoken beach, northport ny

    Waterside Road to Asharoken Beach: Northport NY
    Early 1900s - View of Waterside Road, Northport NY

      The first white settlers came in 1650 from New Amsterdam. They report back to the Dutch that the area was good with level ground suitable for farming, good fishing and other praises. Six years later, three Englishmen purchased the land from Chief Asharoken. The area soon was known as Great Cow Harbor and prospered with farming and shell-fishing. By the 1770ís, the main settlement was known as Red Hook. It was a small settlement with just a few farmhouses and an inn. After the Battle of Long Island during the Revolutionary War, the Island was under British control for eight years. After the war, re-building took place and the area was replenished. In 1798, the second lighthouse built in the United States was raised at Eatonís Neck. In 1802, the local residents petitioned the Town of Huntington for a dock at Bryantís Landing which is now the Northport Village Dock. By the early 1800ís, the name of Cow Harbor was generally replaced by Northport. The incorporation date of Northport: 1894
      CLICK HERE - To Continue Historic Tour of Northport NY

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