Authored by Colleen Hutchens
The village of Patchogue is located on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. The town got its original name from a Native American tribe in the area, Pochaug. With Long Island surrounded by water, Patchogue has direct access to the Great South Bay, which has contributed to the growth and expansion within the town. In 1750, three families moved and settled Patchogue as the first people to live in the area. Since then the town has grown into a popular area for many to live and work.
Brief Patchogue History
The village of Patchogue began in 1750, but didn’t become a major town until one of the original landowners sold 36 land plots in a lottery to make extra money. After the lottery, winners of the land began settling down in the town and built up the area. Residents of Patchogue made an abundant living off of the development of the oyster, fishing, cotton mill, and shipping industries. Trade and business was conducted mainly in New York City markets, which were done by boat using the Patchogue River as transportation. Then in 1869, trade, commerce, and a development of tourism changed Patchogue drastically when the construction of the South Side Railroad completed their construction and made Patchogue the terminus of the railroad line until 1881. Patchogue thrived off of this expansion, leading the town to build hotels, boat docks, and other popular spots that turned Patchogue into a well-known vacationing spot. Because of the thriving business, Patchogue quickly gained the nicknames “Milltown” and “Queen Village of Suffolk” due to their reputation as an economic and vacation hotspot. Although there are no longer hotels in the area today, the population of Patchogue Village is still bustling with the town.
South Side Railroad
The South Side Railroad, known today as the Long Island Railroad, began in NYC and slowly expanded eastward through the south shore of Long Island. In early 1868, expansion of the South Shore Railroad began construction and laying tracks to link Babylon to Patchogue. By April 1869, the railroad tracks had reached Patchogue and began transportation of people and goods. The railroad quickly served as a new industry to Patchogue, by bringing New Yorkers out east in the summertime to enjoy the quite breezy beaches, and to get away from the loud bustling city life.
For my AS-L project, my information object is a hand drawn map of Patchogue which shows the intent of building the railroad to continue through Patchogue, thus expanding travel east bound on Long Island. This map is currently being held in the PML local history room and can be view by patrons who visit the library. But by digitizing PML’s archives, this information will be easily accessible to the public for local history research. This hand drawn map of Patchogue has no known author to this date. Its estimated to have been drawn by a Railroad worker between the years of 1869, the year the railroad construction started, until 1881 when the railroad construction was completed. The map shows the villages’ three creeks, lakes, the Great South Bay, existent and proposed roads, the South Side Rail Road line and its proposed continuation, local buildings, private houses (many named), religious institutions, cemeteries, hotels, mills, and shops. The map has been scanned and is currently being used on Patchogue-Medford’s digital database. Unfortunately whoever owned the map prior to PML laminated the paper, which can be known to cause damage to archival material, so the library is keeping the map in a safe area so that it won’t develop mold of any other harmful bacteria that can decay the map.
By researching Patchogue’s rich history, I am learning more information that could help narrow down the possibilities of who could have possibly drawn the map and in what year the map was created. I am also transcribing the map so that local residents can trace their family history and see where their family ancestors originally lived.
Allen, David Yehling. Long Island Maps and Their Makers. Mattituck, NY: Amereon House, 1997.
Bayles, Richard M. Brookhaven: Villages of 1874. Brookhaven Town, NY: Richard M. Bayles, 1980.
Gordon, H. Wellington, and Mark Trans. Rothenberg. History of Patchogue. Patchogue, NY: H. Wellington Gordon, 1991.
Henke, Hans. Patchogue. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 1997.
—. Patchogue: The Early Years. Blue Point, NY: AGC Printing and Design Inc. , 2003.
Mooney, Frank J. The Patchogue Story. Patchogue, NY: Frank J. Mooney, 1987.
Morrison, David D., and Valerie Pakaluk. Long Island Rail Road Stations. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.
Seyfried, Vincent F. The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History. Part One. Garden City, NY: Vincent F. Seyfried, 1961.