History of Riverhead

Riverhead has been the Suffolk County seat since 1727; however, it did not become a township for another 65 years.

On March 13, 1792, Riverhead Town was divided from the West End of Southold Town becoming the ninth of ten Suffolk towns. The people who resided in western part of Southold, which included settlements such as Wading River and Old Aquebogue (now Jamesport) were tired of having to travel up to 25 miles on dirt roads to attend the annual town meetings held in the far part of Southold Town.

Riverhead's roots can be traced back to 1659 where Joseph Horton and John Tucker (both from Southold who are considered the first white settlers) erected a saw mill in the town and in 1690, grist and fulling (cloth finishing) mills were set up to take advantage of the water power along the Peconic River. Other industries arose including cordwood, textiles, ship building, with button, chocolate and cigar factories. Potatoes were a major crop in the 1880s.

Today, Riverhead has more than half of all Long Island's existing farms.

 
     
 
 
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