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New $3,000,000 Longwood High School Far Cry From 1 - Room School

Footnotes to Long Island History

New $3,000,000 Longwood H.S.

Far Cry From 1-Room School

by

Thomas R. Bayles


 

            The first public concert given by the School Band and Junior and Senior chorus of the new Longwood High School in Middle Island Central District 12 was held in the school auditorium recently before a large and enthusiastic audience of parents and friends, who nearly filled the large theatre.

            The band program was rendered in a professional manner by the children in their snappy new uniforms, under director Robert J. Quinn and assistant director William L. Jones.

            The Junior Chorus presented a fine program under the direction of Larry Summa.

            Each number of the entire program received tremendous applause from the appreciative audience and much credit is due the school principal, Dr. Foster Hoff, and the Band and Chorus directors Mr. Quinn, Mr. Jones and Mr. Summa for assembling such fine program, as the high school has only been in operation since September.

            In comparison with the old one-room schoolhouse in East Middle Island, built in 1835 which the writer attended over 50 years ago, the new high school, complete and modern in every way is a far cry from the little school of those by-gone years, when one teacher taught the whole eight grades.  Surely the children of today enjoy great advantages in acquiring their education.  Time and progress march on.

            The new $3,000,000 high school is located on Longwood Road, which runs from Middle Island-Yaphank Road to the main entrance of the Brookhaven National Laboratory.  The land on which it stands has a long and colorful history. 

            It is a part of the enormous tract of several thousand acres, purchased from the Indians by Col. William smith in 1691 which extended from Middle Country Road in Middle Island south to the ocean.  He received a patent for this in 1693 from King William and Queen Mary of England through Governor Fletcher of New York.  It was known as the “Manor of St. George.”

            This gave Col. Smith the old feudal right of control over his property so that he made and executed his own laws and was not governed by the laws of Brookhaven Town.  This large tract of land was not taken into Brookhaven Town until after the Revolution by an act of the Colonial Legislature.

            The first “Manor House” was built near the bay at Mastic about 1700 by the family of Col Smith, and in 1790 by the homestead at Longwood (across the road from the high school) was built and has been occupied by several generations of the Smith family, who have occupied important positions in the life of Brookhaven Town.

            Elbert C. Smith of California inherited the property a few years ago and with Mrs. Smith and in the old homestead.  The 50-acre tract of land on which the high school stands was given to the district by Mr. Smith.

            The Middle Island Central School District comprises the former six districts of East and West Middle Island, Coram, Ridge, Yaphank and West Yaphank, and besides the high school is composed of the four recently built schools of Ridge Yaphank, West Middle Island and Coram.  East Middle Island School serves as the administrative offices for the district with Dr. Louis V. Nannini as supervising principal.

            As the history of Longwood high school commences, the school colors of green and white will become increasingly important and familiar in the mid-Island villages of the Central School District.

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