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Photo of the Week


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian

Main Street, Stony Brook, Postcard. (From the Postcard Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Image © copyright Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)

Historian Richard M. Bayles, writing in 1873, describes the Stony Brook of that time in his Historical Sketches:

"Stony Brook is a village of seven hundred inhabitants on the east side of Stony Brook Harbor, in the northwest part of [Brookhaven] town. The locality was called by the Indians Wopowog, and from the immense quantities of shells found in the neighborhood, is supposed to have been a favorite place of residence with the natives.... Ship building is engaged in to some extent, and a new set of marine railways has recently been laid down for the accommodation of repairs. Large quantities of cordwood have been shipped from this port during years past. An ancient mill site is situated on a small stream of water, which empties into the harbor at this point. The village lines a single street about a mile and a half in length and running an average direction of north and south....

"The village contains two flourishing district schools, two hotels..., five stores, and a number of workshops. The manufacture of pianos was carried on some years ago by C. S. Seabury. Two docks extend into the harbor from the lower part of the village, and a line of packets [operate to] New York.... A Methodist church was built in 1817, which was sold and coverted into a dwelling..., and a new one erected in 1860 in the northeast part of the village.... A weekly newspaper, the Independent Press, was started in the village by H. Markham in 1865. It was moved to Port Jefferson in 1868."

- Richard M. Bayles, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County.

Holiday Closure
We will be closed on Saturday, Sept. 2,
for the Labor Day holiday.


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by head research librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at librarian@schs-museum.org 

Interested in seeing more historical documents from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Research Library perusing our extensive collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.

To view our Photo of the Week archives, visit our website at www.SuffolkCountyHistoricalSociety.org.



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The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history. Click here to learn about Member Benefits!


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