Northport, New York

Northport, New York

Main Street in Northport just east of Woodbine and Bayview Avenues
Northport, New York
Coordinates: 40°54′10″N 73°20′39″W / 40.90278°N 73.34417°W / 40.90278; -73.34417Coordinates: 40°54′10″N 73°20′39″W / 40.90278°N 73.34417°W / 40.90278; -73.34417
Country  United States
State  New York
County Suffolk
Township Huntington
Settled 1656
Incorporated 1894
  Type Incorporated Village
  Elected Officials Mayor: George Doll;
Deputy Mayor: Henry Tobin;
Trustees: Jerry Maline, Damon McMullen, Ian Milligan;
Justice: Paul Senzer
  Total 2.5 sq mi (6.6 km2)
  Land 2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2)
  Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 0-59 ft (0-18 m)
Population (2010)
  Total 7,401
  Density 3,000/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 11768
Area code(s) 631
FIPS code 36-53396
GNIS feature ID 0958968

Northport is a historic maritime village located within the Town of Huntington on Long Island, New York. Initially designated as Great Cow Harbour by 17th-century English colonists and officially renamed Northport in 1837. In 1898 Northport incorporated itself as a village for the purpose of localizing governance.

Northport is known for its Victorian era village center, still bearing trolley rails from a long since discontinued streetcar which would transport village residents to the Long Island Rail Road station in East Northport. The village Main Street runs from the Village Green along the harbor-front to the former hamlet of Vernon Valley, which has since been subsumed by the neighboring community of East Northport. As of 2010, the village has a population of around 7,401[1] and is served by the Northport-East Northport School District.


European settlement

The original inhabitants of the area now known as Northport were the Matinecocks, one of 13 Native American tribes of Long Island. The Matinecocks called this land Opcathontyche, which meant "wading place creek".[2] After Dutch interest a few years earlier, the land was sold by Chief Asharoken, head of the Matinecocks, to three Englishmen in 1656.[3]

With land that was well suited for farming, the early settlers grazed cattle on pastures around the harbor. The area soon became known as Great Cow Harbour.[4] (The nearby hamlet of Centerport was known as Little Cow Harbour.) The oldest house still standing in Northport, the Skidmore House on Main Street, was built in 1761. In 2009 the house was put up for sale, sparking the village to pass a historical preservation law.[5]

Growth, change, and shipbuilding

Woodbine Avenue and Northport Harbor, circa 1900

In the early 19th century Great Cow Harbor was still a rural farming community. By the 1830s the village contained only eight dwellings.[6] But a new industry of shipbuilding brought rapid change and growth. The village shifted away from its farming roots as shipbuilding became the community's primary industry. By 1837 the village was being referred to as Northport.[2]

The 1860 census listed Northport's population at 1,016. By 1874 it had become the most flourishing village on Suffolk County's north shore, with three ship yards, five sets of marine railways, two hotels, and at least six general stores.[6]

Northport's shipbuilding boom lasted fifty years but waned at the end of the century as steel-hulled ships began replacing the wooden vessels produced in the village.[2]

Railroads and trolleys

Main Street, sometime between 1902 and 1909

On April 25, 1868, the Long Island Rail Road opened a station within the village of Northport.[7] This was an essential transportation link for the village, especially for the growing commuter population. However, just a few years later the LIRR decided to move the Northport station to a new location in Larkfield to facilitate further railway extension to Port Jefferson. The new railway station located on Larkfield Road was opened on January 13, 1873,[8] and retained the station name of Northport.

To avoid confusion with the former station located in the village of Northport, train conductors would refer to the station in Larkfield as "East of Northport" because the station was located east of the Northport railway junction which directed trains north to the station located in the village. Despite the fact that Larkfield was primarily south of Northport, the area became known thereafter as East Northport.[9] The original rail spur to Northport would then be known as the Northport Branch. After the old bypassed village station closed in 1899, Northport decided to build a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) trolley line to take commuters between Main Street and the new Northport station located in Larkfield. The new commuter trolley opened in mid-April 1902. The trolley would eventually become obsolete with the increasing popularity of the automobile, and the trolley made its last scheduled commuter run on August 19, 1924.[10]

Incorporation and annexation

Although it was known by the name of Northport since at least 1837, the village of Northport was not formally incorporated until 1894,[4] becoming the first village in the Town of Huntington to do so.[2] Over the years Northport has expanded from its original borders, annexing other established communities.

Around the Revolutionary War, a concentration of 31 families began settling 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Northport, around where Main Street and Route 25A now intersect 40°53′58″N 73°19′47″W / 40.8995°N 73.3296°W / 40.8995; -73.3296. This settlement was originally known as Red Hook[2] and changed names to Vernon Valley in 1820.[4] By 1874 Vernon Valley had a population of around 150 inhabitants.[6] Vernon Valley became part of Northport in the mid-20th century.[6][11]

Northport also annexed the formerly independent settlement of Crab Meadow 40°55′15″N 73°19′13″W / 40.9207°N 73.3202°W / 40.9207; -73.3202[12] (also known as Great Neck[13]), as well as western parts of the Freshpond community 40°55′21″N 73°17′47″W / 40.9224°N 73.2965°W / 40.9224; -73.2965.

Modern Northport

Northport Memorial Park at the edge of Northport Harbor

By the 1920s, after nearly a century of heavy commercial use, the waterfront which had supported the community for generations had fallen into decay. The village decided to purchase the land along the harbor and created Northport Memorial Park in 1932, which is a defining feature of Northport today.[2]

In 1967, the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) opened the Northport Power Station, currently the largest oil-fired electric generating station on the East Coast.[14] The four enormous stacks are a well-known landmark that can be seen from as far away as Connecticut across Long Island Sound. Each stack is 600 feet (180 m) tall.[15]

The Northport Trolley which had ceased operations in 1924 enjoyed a popular revival in the 1970s and 1980s, transporting weekend tourists along Main Street. Unlike the original electric trolleys, this nostalgic replica was horse driven. It also ran on rubber automobile tires rather than utilizing the original rails which still remain a visible element of Main Street to this day.

In July 1984, Northport garnered nationwide media attention for being the site of the gruesome murder of 17-year-old Gary Lauwers by his friend, high school dropout and alleged devil-worshiper Ricky Kasso. The events made national headlines and have since been recounted in books[16] and movies,[17] which caused the village to suffer a negative reputation for reputed satanism.[17]

Every September the village of Northport commemorates its rich history with the celebration of Cow Harbor Day, which follows the annual Great Cow Harbor 10K race.


Northport Village Dock in Northport Harbor

Northport is located at 40°54′10″N 73°20′39″W / 40.90278°N 73.34417°W / 40.90278; -73.34417 (40.902803, -73.344069).[18] According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 9.02%, is water.

Most of the village is made up of the low, steep hills of Long Island's northern terminal moraine. To the west is the highly sheltered Northport Harbor, to the north is Long Island Sound, and to the east are woods and marshland.

A prominent feature of Northport is Steer's Pit (known simply as "The Pit" to locals[2]), a large land depression carved into the cliffs adjacent to Northport Harbor and just south of the enormous LIPA smokestacks. This unusual geographic feature is the result of sand mining operations by the Steers and Steers Company. Mining began in 1923 and ceased in the 1950s.[19] The mined sand was shipped by barge to New York City where, mixed with Portland cement and rock aggregate, it became the sidewalks of New York. The area has since been utilized for home and condo use, and a portion of the Pit is a park used by local youth soccer and baseball leagues. The Northport Fire Department maintains a training facility in the Pit that is the site of the annual firemen fair in the summer.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20157,390[20]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]

As of the census[22] of 2010, there were 7,753 people, 2,955 households, and 2,074 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,290.0 people per square mile (1,276.3/km²). There were 3,052 housing units at an average density of 1,320.0 per square mile (510.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 92.04% White, 2.59% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.09% of the population.

There were 2,955 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the village the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $90,250, and the median income for a family was $104,488. Males had a median income of $78,715 versus $50,119 for females. The per capita income for the village was $43,694. About 1.6% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


Performing arts





See also


  1. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Northport village, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bleyer, Bill. "Northport: A Harbor of Transformations". Long Island, Our History. Newsday. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  3. "About Northport". Northport Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  4. 1 2 3 Little, Bob. "The Many Names of Northport". Northport History. Northport Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  5. Fischler, Marchelle (10 March 2010). "On Long Island, Protecting These Old Houses". New York Times. New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Bayles, Richard Mather (1874). Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County and Its Towns, Villages, Hamlets, Scenery, Institutions, and Important Enterprises: With a Historical Outline of Long Island, from Its First Settlement by Europeans. The Author. pp. 162–164.
  7. "PRR Chronology, 1868" (PDF). The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. June 2004. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  8. "PRR Chronology, 1873" (PDF). The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society. February 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  9. "East Northport: East Was Added When The Trains Came". Long Island, Our History. Newsday. Retrieved 2007-02-12.
  10. "East Northport Town History". East Northport Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  11. Legislature, New York (State) (1928). New York Legislative Document. J.B. Lyon Co. p. 179.
  12. French, John Homer; Frank Place (1860). Gazetteer of the State of New York. R.P. Smith. ISBN 0-8063-1456-7.
  13. Town of Huntington Suffolk County, N.Y. Street and Highway Map (Map). Town of Huntington. 1946.
  14. "Schumer Calls For Modernization Of Northport, Port Jefferson Power Plants; Long Island Among Worst In Nation For Smog And Ozone Levels" (Press release). United States Congress (via Charles E. Schumer). 2005-08-09. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  15. "Gas- and Oil-Fired Plants in New York". Power Plants Around The World. May 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  16. St. Clair, David (October 1, 1987). Say You Love Satan. Dell. ISBN 0-440-17574-7.
  17. 1 2 "Satan in the Suburbs". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  18. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  19. Bennington, J Bret (2002-11-03). "Glacial Features of the Huntington and Northport Area, Long Island". Department of Geology. Hofstra University. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  20. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  21. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  22. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  23. "Peter Calandra / Composer". Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  24. "Peter Calandra". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  25. "Alison Fanelli". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  26. "Elizabeth Hendrickson". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  27. "Patti Lupone". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  28. "Rozie Bacchi Publicity Stills & Production Photos". Rozie Bacchi. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  29. "Biography for Joe Roseto". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  30. "Chris Messina". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  31. "Dan Milano". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  32. "Open Seas 1990 (Northport High School Yearbook)". 11. Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth Publishing Company. 1990: 169.
  33. "John Scurti". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  34. "Craig Ricci Shaynak". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  35. DeWan, George (April 24, 2000). "LONG ISLAND OUR PAST / LI to NY: Hey, You Owe Us". Newsday. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  36. Asher, Levi (September 19, 2001). "Jack Kerouac". Literary Kicks. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  37. Diamos, Jason (1996-11-18). "Islanders Trade Kasparaitis for Smolinski". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
  38. "LEISUREAMA HOMES". History Detectives. Season 3. Episode 10. 2005.
  39. "Episode 10, 2005: Leisurama (transcript)" (PDF). History Detectives. PBS. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  40. Gorst, Jake. "Andrew M Geller Biography". Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  41. "MORRISON, Bruce Andrew, (1944 - )". Biography Directory of the U.S. Congress. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  42. "Guinness names Northport teen world's youngest professor". Newsday. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
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