Communities


Charitable Organizations on the North Fork

CAST:  Community Action Southold Town 
This not-for-profit organization is focused on helping low-income residents meet their basic needs. CAST helps families from Laurel to Orient Point. Go to castsoutholdtown.org to learn more about this organization & what items can be donated.

Maureen's Haven Homeless Outreach
This organization provides food, shelter, & medical attention to the needy on the East End. Donations of clothes, canned goods & non-perishable goods are being collected at the Peconic Community Council's headquarters located @ 554 East Main St., Riverhead. Visit www.maureenshaven.org or call (631)727-6831 for more details on donations & volunteering.

Senior Citizens Services
Individuals can volunteer to check in on seniors who live alone & may be isolated & in need. For more information on how you can help senior citizens in our community please call (631) 288-0754 and (631) 298-4460.

The North Fork





The North Fork offers beautiful views of the Long Island Sound and Peconic/Gardiners Bay. Wineries, raspberry patches, potato farms and sod farms are what characterize the North Fork. The North Fork also offers fishing, crabbing, and clamming on the bay, sound and adjacent creeks and beaches. Local seafood is often sold and served. Like the South Fork which is home to the famed Hamptons region, the North Fork is also a region popular with second home owners, and summer vacationers, but it has a much more rural feel and character than The Hamptons.

From East to West...

Orient

Orient is the eastern-most hamlet in the town of Southold on Long Island's picturesque North Fork. It was originally named Poquatuck, after the name of the local native American tribe that resided along the inland waterways, then Oyster Ponds. Legend has it that when Oyster Bay, Long Island, became famous during the presidency of Teddy Roosevelt, the name was changed to Orient to match the name of its most prominent land feature, Orient Point.

Orient and East Marion were originally called Oysterponds because of the abundance of shellfish in the area. What is now Orient was known as Lower Neck, while East Marion was called Upper Neck. The communities separated in 1836 and the name Orient was chosen to reflect that area's easternmost position on the North Fork.

The hamlet was originally settled by five families given a land grant by the King of England in the 1600s, and their names King, Terry, Latham, Tuthill and Vail still exist in local families. Later, Orient was used as a base of operations by British commanders such as Benedict Arnold and local Tories during the American Revolution to conduct raids on Yankee-held Connecticut.  Among Benedict Arnold's headquarters was a local tavern owned and operated by the Vail family on what is now known as "Village Lane". Many of the hamlet's older structures are included in the Orient Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The Cross Sound Ferry currently operates a vehicle/passenger ferry service between Orient Point and New London, Connecticut.  This service has expanded in recent years with Sea Jet service being provided to the Foxwoods Casino. This has resulted in some tensions with locals over congestion on the local roads.


East Marion

Beginnings: The first inhabitants were the Orient Focus People, Indians who lived about 1000 BC. They vanished long before the arrival in about 900 AD of the Corchaugs, who called the area Poquatuc. The Corchaugs were still present when six English families settled in 1661. The new residents called the area Oysterponds because of the abundant shellfish that they began to gather and sell to nearby communities. While farming remained the principle occupation, trading vessels began operating out of the sheltered harbor during the colonial period.

The Revolution: British troops landed in 1776. Many families fled to Connecticut, and the Redcoats periodically plundered the farms they left behind. After Benedict Arnold switched sides, he organized raids on Connecticut from Oysterponds. The British returned during the War of 1812, setting up what turned out to be a porous blockade against American ships sailing to New York City. In 1814 Commodore Stephen Decatur anchored his American squadron off Trumans Beach but never engaged the British. After the war, renewed farming and fishing brought prosperity to Oysterponds. By 1840 more than 30 schooners were operating out of the harbor, carrying fish and produce.

Turning Point: Orient and East Marion originally were called Oysterponds Lower Neck and Oysterponds Upper Neck, respectively. In 1836,  East Marion was renamed for Gen. Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox of the Revolutionary War. "East" was tacked on because of an existing Marion upstate.

Brushes With Fame: By 1870 the tip of the North Fork had become a resort. And the Orient Point Inn, which opened in 1796, played host to President Grover Cleveland, Walt Whitman, orator Daniel Webster, actress Sarah Bernhardt and James Fenimore Cooper, who wrote "Sea Lions," set in Orient. (The inn closed in the 1960s and was demolished.) Meanwhile, members of one prominent Orient family did what they could to stave off public attention. They were the Tuthills, generally referred to in those less-sensitive days as the 'Tuthill Dwarfs' or 'Tiny Tuthills'. Three Tuthill sisters, Cynthia, Lucretia and Asenath, were midgets and accomplished seamstresses. In the mid-1800s, their brother Rufus built them a house with reduced dimensions; it still stands on Village Lane. Their diminutive and shy nephew, Addison, declined P.T. Barnum's invitation to join his circus.

 East Marion is the sleepy country hamlet with myriad bays and inlets, wildlife preserves and miles of rolling farmlands.

 


Greenport

The village of Greenport is located in the town of Southold and is the only incorporated community in the town.

Greenport is a major port for its area, having developed strong fishing and whaling industry. More recently the tourism industry has grown substantially too, especially in the warm summer months. This is due in part to Greenport being a three way link for travelers taking the Long Island Expressway from New York City, crossing Shelter Island  to Sag Harbor, or riding Cross Sound Ferry to Connecticut.

Greenport was first settled in 1682.  The village was previously called Winter Harbor, Stirling, and Green Hilland was incorporated in 1838. Greenport was once a whaling and ship building village, it now flourishes with restaurants, art galleries, and specialty shops.  Since 1844, Greenport has been the Eastern terminal station on the North Fork for the Long sland Rail Raod.  Many of the village's older structures are included in the Greenport Village Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

 


Southold

Southold was settled in 1640 and in most histories is reported as the first English settlement on  Long Island. .

English Puritans from Colony of New Haven in Connecticut settled in Southold on October 21, 1640. Under the leadership of the Reverend John Youngs, with Peter Hallock, the settlement consisted of the families of Barnabas Horton, John Budd, John Conklin, William Wells, John Tuthill, Thomas Mapes, Richard Terry, Matthias Corwin, Robert Akerly, Zachariah Corey and Isaac Arnold. They had purchased the land in the summer of 1640 from the group of Lenape who lived in the territory they called Corchaug. Settlers spelled the Indian name of what became Southold as Yennicott.

New Haven supervised Southold until 1662, and it was under the Connecticut Colony until 1674.  When the Dutch took control of the colony of New York in 1673, the eastern towns, including Southold, East Hampton and Southampton, refused to submit; the Dutch attempted to force the matter by arms, and the colonists of the towns repelled them, with assistance from Connecticut. When New York became English again in 1674, these eastern towns preferred to stay part of Connecticut. Although Connecticut agreed, the government of  New York forced the matter by 1676. 

The name Southold is believed by some to be a misspelling of Southwold, which is a coastal town in the corresponding English county of Suffolk.  John Youngs was born and brought up in Southwold, Suffolk, England.  Within the New York town's limits is an area known as Reydon Shores, perhaps a reference to Reydon, England, which is the adjoining village to Southwold in Suffolk , England. It was the home of John Youngs' wife. An alternative explanation is that the town's name refers to a "holding" to the south [of New Haven]), from whence the original settlers hailed.

In 1650, the population of Southold was about 180, growing to 880 by 1698. The harbor at Greenport was important in trade, fishing, and whaling because it rarely froze over. In the 19th century the Long Island Railroad extended its line on the North Shore to Greenport, and summer vacationers would arrive in town by train.


Peconic

The community derives its name from Peconic Bay which in turn derives its name from a Native American word meaning "nut trees". The area was called "Hermitage," and the name "Peconic" was adopted later. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was home to the Peconic School, an artist colony initially led by painters Benjamin Rutherfurd Fitz and Edward August Bell.  The building that formerly housed the school is now the Recreation building for the Town of Southold.


Cutchogue/Nassau Point

Cutchogue is the sunniest point in all of New York state!

The name Cutchogue is derived from an Algonquin word meaning "principal place." Many of the local Native Americans lived at Fort Corchaug before English-American settlers began arriving in 1640. The Old House, built in 1649, is the oldest English-style house in the village. In fact, it is one of the best surviving examples of English domestic architecture in the United States, and it was named a National Historic Landmark. Famous early residents include political figure Parker Wickham and his nephew John Wickham Cutchogue is also the birthplace of composer Douglas Moore. Hargrave Vineyard, the first winery on Long Island, was established in Cutchogue in 1973. The Long Island Merlot Alliance which promotes wine making using the merlot grape, the principal Long Island grape, is based in Cutchogue.

An avid sailor, Albert Einstein, once called Little Peconic Bay in Cutchogue "the most beautiful sailing ground I ever experienced."In the summers of 1938 and 1939 he rented a cottage on Old Cove Road, now called West Cove Road, on Nassau Point, and spent many hours alone in a little sailboat he called Tineff (Yiddish for "worthless").


New Suffolk

The submarine USS Holland the first commissioned submarine in the U.S. Navy, along with six other Holland Torpedo Boat Company submarines were based in New Suffolk between 1899 and 1905 prompting the hamlet to claim to be the "First Submarine Base" in the United States. The name of Mr. Holland's company was changed to Electric Boat during this time.

This year, New Suffolk's two-room school house has 21 students in Grades pre-K through 6, (a record enrollment!) making it one of the smallest school districts in the state of New York.

There is no home mail delivery in the hamlet of New Suffolk, so all residents must maintain a post office box at the little post office on First Street.

Hands down, New Suffolk is the BEST Hamlet on the Fork.  But, shhhh, don't tell anyone...


Mattituck

It is believed to have derived its name for the Native American name for the "Great Creek."The Mattituck Creek has been dredged and is used extensively by pleasure craft on Long Island Sound (the Mattituck Inlet is the entrance into Mattituck Creek and the whole waterway is now popularly referred to as Mattituck Inlet).

It is only one of two harbors (other being Mt. Sinai harbor) on the north side of Long Island on the Sound east of Port Jefferson, New York.

The Mattituck Inlet and James Creek (which has also been dredged for boats) on the Peconic Bay come within 500 yards of each other and would provide a shortcut between the Peconic and Sound through the North Fork if connected via a canal. However authorities have resisted the connection fearing an ecological disaster. Still the inlet is blamed for coastal erosion because it interrupts the long shore drift on the sound.

The area was originally settled by English colonists. Corchaug Indians, who were the first residents of the area, sold land to Theophilus Eaton, governor of New Haven, CT. The meadowlands were held in common by the residents of Southold from its founding in 1640. The Township of Southold was established by Charter to the New Haven Colony of Connecticut in 1658. The woodlands were also held in common until 1661 when that land was divided among individual proprietors.

Legend has it that English sea captain/pirate Captain Kidd visited the area and buried treasure somewhere near Long Island Sound. Although no evidence of this has ever been found, the legend persists in local place names, such as Captain Kidd Estates, a housing development.

The area became a significant farming area, contributing fresh corn, potatoes, cabbage and other such crops to the markets of New York City. The last of many potato farmers were born in the 1920s and stopped farming in the 1990s. However, the town remains home to a number of farms for grapes, horses, mixed produce, and nursery botanicals in addition to potatoes.

Mattituck hosts an annual Strawberry Festival and is located in the heart of over 30 vineyards in the Long Island Wine Region.

 


Laurel

In an early 20th century survey of Long Island communities, the hamlet of Laurel was described as "a pretty village at peace with all the world." The community, nestled on the North Fork between Jamesport and Mattituck, still earns kudos today.

The hamlet shares Mattituck's fire department and the Mattituck-Laurel Library. Its small downtown district on Franklinville Road (Old Main Road), a loop off Route 25, includes a restaurant, veterinary office, dog groomer, furniture shop and upholsterer.

Cranberry Hill Bed & Breakfast on Brushes Creek is the only B&B in Laurel. The renovated 1920s farmhouse sits on 18 acres. Laurel Lake Vineyards hosts an annual Harvest Fest in the fall. Laurel, which stretches from Long Island Sound to Great Peconic Bay, is primarily developed on the bay side.  Houses, many crowding the waterfront, vary in size and style. Buyers in search of conformity can find it at the fairly new Laurel Links Estates, where postmodern homes sit on approximately 3/4-acre lots on the golf course.

Laurel's population generally falls into three categories: year-round residents, but mostly second-home owners and snowbirds.

Laurel, though small offers a private golf course and a couple of parks, including Laurel Lake Park, which offers baseball fields and a playground.

 


Jamesport/South Jamesport

Jamesport is within the Town of Riverhead.  
In 1630s, the community was taken its name after James Tuthill who settled the area along with his family. Fish oil was the area early industry. During the 1960s, the Long Island Lighting Company selected land on the north shore for use as a possible second nuclear power station, in addition to its Shoreham plant, already under construction. However, when LILCO ran into opposition to Shoreham in the 1970s and 1980s, the Jamesport plan was altercated.   Jamesport is served by Riverhead Central School District which has a total of eight schools. The district helps their students to develop their unique gifts and potential; providing an environment that nurtures integrity, creativity, and respect; and, ensuring them to become successful, contributing citizens in a global community. Jamesport is known for their best wines. All vineyards wines are produced using only highest quality fruit grown on the estate with majority of plantings that include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. In fact, Jamesport Vineyards fruit quality has been revered as being some best in New York State. 


Aquebogue

Aquebogue is in Suffolk County, in the New York metro area.
The community name derives from Algonquian, meaning 'headwater'. Aquebogue, in fact is an Indian word which means 'head of the bay' or 'cove place.' When settlers first bought the land now encompassing most of the Town of Riverhead in the late 1600's, they referred to the entire region as Aqeubogue. The hamlet known today as Aquebogue, was settled in 1958.


Riverhead

The town of Riverhead is in Suffolk County, on the north shore of Long Island.
The name signifies that the mouth of the Peconic River is in this town. Riverhead is also
known as the county seat of Suffolk County.

The town was created in 1792 when the New York State Legislature divided it from the extant Southold. The Southold land mostly had been "purchased" from the local Native Americans in 1649, with an additional portion purchased from Colonel William Smith and divided among settlers in 1742. On March 13, 1792, the Legislature passed a bill splittling off part of the land, and renaming it River Head. The new enclave's first town meeting was scheduled to be held April 3, 1792. River Head was named the county seat, and its name was later combined as Riverhead. By 1902, its approximate population was 2,500.

Please Use The Links Below For Further Information On The North Fork & The Community

North Fork Promotion Council
website

Mattituck Chamber of Commerce
website


Go North Fork Long Island Wine Country Info on People, News & Events

Related Content

 Daniel Gale North Fork Video






























Google Map

Our Location

10095 Main Road
Mattituck Plaza
Mattituck, NY 11952
Office: 631.298.0300

View Map