Chronology of Greenport

This is a mobile friendly version of the chronology found in the Village of Greenport BID's PDF walking tour.

• Early names for the Greenport area were Winter Harbor, Stirling and Green Hill.
• It has always been in the Town of Southold.

Chronology of Greenport
1636-38Earliest known resident of Greenport area was Capt. Matthew Sunderland. Records show that James Farrett, agent for the Earl of Stirling (a Scot) collected rent from Capt. Matthew Sunderland for a house on Hashamamock Pond, near the west border of Greenport.
1640Settlers led by Rev. John Youngs arrived from New Haven, CT and established a church whose bounds extended from Plum Gut to Wading River.
1642Greenport area was officially part of the Connecticut Colony.
1664Area became part of New York.
Late 1600sKing's Highway (Route 25) was established, opening a lane from the highway to a wharf on Stirling Creek.
Early industries involved harvesting turpentine, making wood casks and raising cattle.
1673The Dutch took New York and Southold gave allegiance to Connecticut. When the English retook New York in 1674, the colony reluctantly became New Yorkers again.
1687John Youngs sold 200 acres on Stirling Creek to William Booth. Then known as Winter Harbor, the area now includes a large portion of Greenport.
1755Benjamin Franklin visited Greenport when he traveled overland from Philadelphia to take a boat to New London en route to Boston to visit his mother.
1755William Booth Inn (also known as the Constant Booth Inn) was built at Winter Harbor. In 1757, General Washington (then Colonel) waited at the Inn for a boat to transport him to New London while traveling to Boston.
1776Col. William Floyd, a Long Islander, became a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1776After the Continental Army lost the Battle of Long Island in August, area residents who had refused to take an oath of allegiance to George III, left from the Stirling Harbor wharf with livestock and family possessions to travel to Connecticut. They did not return until the war ended.
1795The Minerva, with Captain Fowler at the helm, was the first whaling ship to homeport in Greenport.
Cod fishing and related boat building and chandlery became a growing business for the Peconic Bay ports.
1820After his death, the south part of Capt. David Webb's farm was divided into lots and auctioned for about $2,300. Greenport thus extended its south boundary from Webb Street to the bay.
1827Main Street was laid out with a new wharf at the foot.
Whaling was a major industry for Greenport and over the period 25 vessels used it as homeport
... Shipbuilding and the movement of goods–produce from farms, cotton goods from cities and slaves from Africa and St. Thomas–created a busy port.
1831Clark House opened on the present site of Ireland House. Over 97 years numerous visitors were welcomed including such notables as John Quincy Adams, Admiral Dewey and General Winfred Scott.
1831Village's name changed to Greenport. Village included 15 homes with others in progress, 5 stores, a warehouse, numerous mechanic shops, wharf and 2 ways, 2 whaling ships and smaller fishing vessels and packets.
1834The first vessel built in Greenport was the sloop Van Buren, built by Caleb Horton. The first ship was the Jane Bishop, named after the daughter of the builder, Hiram Bishop.
Village of Greenport was incorporated.
1844The Long Island Railroad Company, founded in 1834, completed its main line to Greenport providing a fast (11-hour) NY-to-Boston route. Prior to the railroad, it was a 3-day trip between NY and Greenport plus a LI Sound crossing and train or road trip from Connecticut to Massachusetts.
1844The Damper Engine Company was Greenport's first organized volunteer fire fighting outfit.
1848The California Gold Rush caused many whaling ships to be converted to passenger transports for would-be prospectors.
1856-57Between December and February, cold and snow blizzards isolated the village. Peconic Bay was frozen all winter.
1857The Suffolk Weekly Times published its first issue. The founder and editor was 27-year-old, John J. Riddell. An annual subscription was $1.50.
1859Capt. Jonathan Preston received a state charter to ferry between Greenport and Shelter Island.
Commercial scalloping began.
Menhaden was a well-established industry
... with a large fleet of boats and factories for the extraction of fish oil.
1861Suffolk County's first telegraph line was opened with wires between Greenport and East Hampton by way of Sag Harbor, with underground cables to Shelter Island.
1861Civil War. The area was strongly pro-Union and adopted resolutions favoring a constitutional amendment to end slavery in the country forever.
1864Greenport received the First National Bank charter on Long Island.
1867Greenport was becoming a modern village – population exceeded 2,000 and there were stores, several saloons, tradesmen shops, fine hotels and a bank.
1870Manuel Claudio opened a saloon near the Main Street Wharf and later moved to the present location and added the restaurant and a hotel.
1878Stirling Hall opened and was a venue for Greenport's entertainment until destroyed by fire in 1899.
1879Greenport grammar school was erected.
1880Greenport's population was 2,370.
1881A total of 5,350 ships were logged into Greenport harbor. The area had 97 fish factories employing 2,805, 286 sailing vessels and 73 fishing boats.
1883A new county called Nassau was to be formed by taking towns from Queens and Suffolk.
1883A special LIRR train took 500 people to the "grandest event of the 19th century," the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The area's oyster industry began
... when NY State deeded the grounds beneath Peconic Bay to the Suffolk County Oyster Commission. By 1908, thirty companies were operating. The local industry peaked in the 1930s and continued into the 1960s.
1884Ohio, a major war ship built in 1820, was brought to Greenport by Capt. Preston for its scrap iron and copper. The empty hull was blown up and sunk off Conklin's Point.
1887Greenport Light and Power Company was incorporated. The Village continues to provide these utilities to its residents.
1888Village included 300 homes, 20 stores, 7 churches, 6 hotels or inns, 3 shipyards, 4 wharves, 1 school, 2 banks, 2 newspapers, 3 fire companies, several fish factories, light and power company, water company, police and post office.
1888A blizzard with rain, hail, snow and fierce winds caused heavy tree damage and hard frozen snow drifts 10 to 25 feet deep that closed the railroad for four days after the storm.
1891Greenport breakwater was built to protect the deepwater harbor of Stirling Basin.
1894Greenport Auditorium began its 44-year history as the Village's center of cultural entertainment.
1899 The elegant Greenport Opera House replaced Stirling Hall at the corner of Bay and Main Streets. It survived until 1956 when only the first story was saved from demolition and used for the post office and a lawyer's office.
1900Greenport's population was 2,674; Southold Town was 8,989.
1904Greenport High School was built.
1905Eastern Long Island Hospital opened and was the only hospital east of Mineola.
1910Greenport's population reached 3,098.
1912Eight-year old Marshall Drew of Greenport survived the sinking of the Titanic. His father, James, was lost at sea.
1913Parcel Post began operations at Greenport Post Office and free mail delivery was inaugurated.
1914Crushed stone replaced the dirt roads of Front and Main Streets.
1915A new moving picture theater opened on Front Street with seating for 800.
1917Floyd Memorial Library located at the corner of First and North Streets was dedicated. It took 13 months to build and cost $30,000.
1917Military conscription began and many Greenporters served in the war overseas.
1918Greenport voted in favor of giving women the right to vote.
1922A North Fork chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was organized and meetings were held in a house on First Street.
Greenport became a major center for bootlegging liquor during Prohibition.
Unemployment dropped to near zero.
1926The Shelter Island Express train from New York to Greenport derailed in Manorville and crashed into Golden's Pickle Factory killing 6 people including the train's engineer and fireman, both Greenport residents.
1928The Arcade store opened on Front Street.
1930The entire crew of the victorious Enterprise, Vanderbilt's entry into the America's Cup, was mustered in Greenport.
1933Mitchell's Restaurant opened on the waterfront.
1938A Category 3 hurricane hit Greenport. Its path caused major damage and 600 deaths (none in Greenport) on Long Island and in New England. Hurricanes were not named until World War II.
1941-45Minesweepers were built and launched from Greenport Basin and Construction Co.
1942-43The Pickett Patrol was headquartered in Greenport. With donated wooden sailboats, the U.S. Navy patrolled the coast for German submarines.
1949Cornerstone laid for Greenport's new modern Eastern Long Island Hospital.
1950Skyway Drive-in theater opened in Greenport.
1956First bank drive-up in Suffolk County installed by Bank of New York.
1958Main Street ferry landing abandoned when new ferry slips were completed at the foot of Third Street.
Tourism grew rapidly summer visitors crowded Greenport's streets and shops and its marinas filled with pleasure boats.
1961Island's End Golf Course opened to the public on the former Prince family farm. The pro shop is in the old barn.
1963Long Beach Lighthouse (Bug Light), built in 1870 and discontinued in 1948, was destroyed by arsonists.
1967The first (and still only) traffic light in the community was installed at the intersection of Front and Third Streets.
1978Mitchell's Restaurant Bar and Grill, a Greenport waterfront landmark, burned to the ground.
1979Stirling Historical Society of Greenport opened its museum, Ireland House. (This is the starting location for the walking tour.)
1990Bug Light was reconstructed and relighted.
1998An addition to the Floyd Memorial Library was completed doubling the building size.
2000Greenport's population was 2,050 and the Town of Southold was 20,600.
2002Mitchell Park, the site of the former restaurant, opened and quickly became the favored location for community events.
. . . and many more years to come.