Old Time Patchogue Described

Footnotes to Long Island History

Old-Time Patchogue Described


Thomas R. Bayles


            The following description of Patchogue is taken from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for June 15, 1907:

            “Lace curtains, lumber, summer boarders, oysters, a remarkable combination, these, but they unite in making Patchogue on of the largest and most citified villages on Long Island.  Located on the picturesque south shore of Suffolk County, where oysters and summer boarders grow fat together, Patchogue boasts of a population of over 8,000 in the summer season, and 6,000 year round.  There are about 2,000 city folks who go to Patchogue ‘in the good old summer time,’ and each season they are becoming more numerous.

            “The Great South Bay rolls up at the feet of Patchogue, and the slapping of the waves as they beat in from the broad expanse of blue is music to the ears of the city folks.

            “There are seven hotels in or near the bay side; the Cliffton, Smithport, Roe’s Hotel, Annex, Winona, Bay Avenue, Roe’s Hotel and the Central Hotel.

            Many of the Patchogue summer residents own their yachts and motor boats, and a splendid fleet is controlled by the South Bay Yacht Club, which has a $10,000 clubhouse in which some gay events occur each season.

            “Across the bay on the ocean front the resorts of Cherry Grove, Water Island and Point of Woods are reached by ferry.  On the ocean side are the life saving stations of Blue Point, Lone Hill and Bellport, which are always attractive for the sightseeing excursionists.

            “Within a mile of the village are five pretty lakes.  West Lake is owned by Mrs. Ruth N. Smith.  Patchogue Lake is owned jointly by the Great South Bay Water Co., and the Patchogue Manufacturing Co., which uses part of the lake’s flow for bleaching purposes.  East Lake is a pretty sheet of water to the east of the village, and on the west shore is the $30,000 home of Rear Admiral George W. Sumner, U.S.N. retired.

            “A little to the east of this is East Patchogue Lake, on one shore of which is the ruins of an old grist mill, one of the oldest on the Island.

            “Canaan Lake is north of the village, and just now an old paper mill is being demolished on its banks.  The Forest Lakes Realty company has taken over a large amount of property that had been in the Havens and Roe estates, and is laying out boulevards and selling hundreds of lots.

            “Patchogue is not dependent on the summer visitors alone, and the oyster business is an important one, for in the bay is the home of the famous Blue Point oysters, known all over the world.  The Nassau Oyster company, George Conklin and Odell & Rublin are big shippers of Blue Points from Patchogue to far distant points.

            “The Patchogue Manufacturing Company has one of the largest mills on the Island turning out some excellent products of lace curtains, handkerchiefs.  They employ about 700 people, more than half girls.

            “E. Bailey & Sons lumber mill employ about 250 men.  This concern has branch yards in Islip and Sayville.

            “Justus Roe & Sons make steel tapes which are shipped all over the country, and used for surveying purposes.

            “Main Street and Ocean Avenue, coming together in the village center, are lined with prosperous and up to date stores.  There is no need for Patchogue folks going to New York to shop.

            “Patchogue village has just voted to enter into a 20-year agreement with the Great South Bay Water Co. to supply the village with water.

            “Patchogue is very proud of its fire department, and spent $13,000 a few years ago for a new engine house, and $6,000 for equipment.  A volunteer department of 200 members turns out when the big bell over the engine house sounds an alarm of fire.  The village has a telegraphic alarm.

            “The village was bonded for $16,000 to curb and shell Ocean Avenue all the way to the bay.”

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