Port Jefferson, New York
|Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson|
Clockwise from top: a view of shops on Main Street, monument commemorating the village's maritime past, Port Jefferson Village Hall, A ferry passes a local power plant en route to Bridgeport, Connecticut, Port Jefferson Free Library
U.S. Census Map
|• Mayor||Margot Garant|
|• Total||3.09 sq mi (8.00 km2)|
|• Land||3.06 sq mi (7.93 km2)|
|• Water||0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)|
|Elevation||12 ft (4 m)|
|• Density||2,659.16/sq mi (1,026.61/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0960968|
Port Jefferson (informally known as Port Jeff) is an incorporated village in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. Officially known as the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson, the population was 7,750 as of the 2010 United States Census.
Port Jefferson was first settled in the 17th century and remained a rural community until its development as an active shipbuilding center in the mid-19th century. The village has since transitioned to a tourist-based economy. The port remains active as terminus of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry, one of two commercial ferry lines between Long Island and Connecticut, and is supplemented by the terminus of the Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Branch. It is also the center of the Greater Port Jefferson region of northwestern Brookhaven, serving as the cultural, commercial and transportation hub of the neighboring Port Jefferson Station, Belle Terre, Mount Sinai, Miller Place, Poquott, and the Setaukets.
The original settlers of the Town of Brookhaven, based in the neighboring hamlet of Setauket, bought a tract of land from the Setalcott Indians in 1655. The deed included the area of contemporary Port Jefferson along with all other lands along the North Shore from the Nissequogue River eastward to Mount Misery Point.
Port Jefferson's original name was Sowasset, a Native American term for either "place of small pines" or "where water opens.
The first known home within the present village boundaries was erected in the early 1660s by Captain John Scott, an important leader in Long Island's early history. This house, named Egerton, was a grand abode on the western end of Mount Sinai Harbor at Mount Misery Neck.The first settler in Port Jefferson's current downtown was an Irish Protestant shoemaker from Queens named John Roe, who built his still-standing home in 1682. It remained a small community of five homes through the 18th century, and was renamed to "Drowned Meadow" in 1682.
Local lore has it that the pirate Captain Kidd rendezvoused in the harbor on his way to bury treasure at Gardiner's Island.During the Revolutionary War, and that John Paul Jones had a ship fitted here. However, there is no factual support for these assertions, and the historical works quoted do not present them as definitive facts. John Paul Jones' career in particular is well documented, and there are no accounts of him actually visiting the village which was under British control during the entire time he served as a commanding officer.
In 1797, when the town had but five houses, its first shipyard was built. By 1825, several shipbuilding firms existed, bringing in new residents and commerce.
During the War of 1812, British interference on Long Island Sound upset local shipping routes. On one occasion, two British warships, the frigate H.M.S. Pomone and brig H.M.S. Despatch sent their boats into the harbor under cover of darkness and captured seven sloops.To protect local interests, a small fortress was set up on the west side of Port Jefferson Harbor.
It wasn't until 1836 that the local leadership truly initiated the community's transition from a swampish hamlet to a bustling port town. Twenty-two acres of the harborfront, which flooded with the tides, were brought to a stable elevation with the construction of a causeway. Concurrently, the village was rechristened from "Drowned Meadow" to "Port Jefferson" [ citation needed ]The name choice was in honor of Thomas Jefferson.
Numerous shipyards developed along Port Jefferson's harbor and the village's shipbuilding industry became the largest in Suffolk County. A common misconception is the belief that the village was as a major whaling port. This is not supported by Government documents used to compile the two definitive references on the American Whale fishery. These two works list every vessel and every voyage undertaken by American whaling vessels from colonial days until the 1920s, none of which began or ended at Port Jefferson. However two whaling vessels were built for New Bedford at Port Jefferson in 1877 (ship Horatio and bark Fleetwing), and a Port Jefferson built schooner (La Ninfa) was later converted into a whaling vessel at San Francisco.Port Jefferson's main role as a port in the 19th Century was to build and support vessels engaged in the coastal freighting trades. Many of Port Jefferson's remaining homes from this period were owned by shipbuilders and captains. This includes the Mather House Museum, a mid-19th century home once owned by the Mather shipbuilding family that now serves as the center of a museum complex and headquarters for The Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson.
P. T. Barnum, the famous circus owner, owned a tract of land which ran through the village. His intention was to make Port Jefferson the home base for his circus, founded in 1871. The residents put a stop to his plans, and he eventually sold his land. Barnum Avenue now runs through the area that was once his land. Barnum lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut and was one of the founders of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company in 1883.One of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry boats is named the P. T. Barnum. A house he had constructed also still exists but is privately owned.
During this period, lower Port Jefferson's main section of commerce was located on what is now East Main Street. Most of the current Main Street, located on what was initially a swamp, did not become as commercially viable until the 20th century. The section of town at the intersection of the two streets, then known as Hotel Square, became an active center of Port Jefferson's early tourism industry in the mid-19th century. Visitors in town for business, or traveling through by rail or ship, were able to select from a variety of lively hotels and restaurants. This included the John Roe house, which was repurposed and expanded into the Townsend House hotel. The village's first post office was added to this intersection in 1855.
With the 1923 sale of the Bayles Shipyard to the Standard Oil Company and demolition of all but two of its structures, Port Jefferson's shipbuilding industry came to a close. This resulted in an economic downturn and the closing of many of the grand hotels in Hotel Square as tourism declined along with the industry. Port Jefferson Harbor was repurposed for the oil transportation and gravel industries and, since the 1940s, as the site of a Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) coal-fired power plant. The harbor also had activity as a rum-running center during the Prohibition era. It would not be until well into the 20th century that Port Jefferson rehabilitated its economy with tourism as its primary focus.
The village of Port Jefferson was incorporated in 1963.The revitalization of Lower Port Jefferson soon followed as local tourism brought increased revenues and the village adjusted itself to its new economic role. One such transformation was the 1976 redevelopment of the defunct Mather & Jones Shipyard into a shop-lined promenade known as Chandler Square.
A result of the transition is new public access to much of the waterfront, as several industrial lots had previously stood in the way. Danfords Hotel and Marina was one major waterfront project, which integrated several new and historical structures into a luxury hotel. Danfords includes a commercial marina and walkable pier, marking an aspect of the harbor's transformation from industrial to recreational use.
Harborfront Park, a project completed in 2004, similarly transitioned the site of a shipyard turned Mobil Oil terminal into a public park with picnic grounds, a seasonal ice skating rink and a promenade.Concurrent to the park's construction was the rebuilding of a former shipyard warehouse into the Port Jefferson Village Center, a new public space for events and recreation.
A number of historic buildings were included in the Port Jefferson Village Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.Separately listed are the Bayles Shipyard and First National Bank of Port Jefferson building.
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The village of Port Jefferson is located on the North Shore of Long Island, 60 miles east of New York City.
The village's commerce is divided into two centers that lie one mile apart along Main Street and at differing elevations. These are known as Lower Port Jefferson and Upper Port Jefferson, respectively the waterfront and the railroad station sections of town. The first is currently the center of tourism, while the latter is undergoing plans for revitalization to the economic viability of its historic self. Further from Main Street, the remainder of Port Jefferson consists of several residential neighborhoods defined by the hills on which they sit. In the northeastern corner of the village is the neighborhood of Harbor Hills. This neighborhood occupies the western edge of Mount Sinai Harbor and contains the Port Jefferson Country Club at Harbor Hills. Brick Hill is the neighborhood directly west of the Lower Port Jefferson commercial center and was first developed by the noted circus owner P. T. Barnum. West of Upper Port Jefferson is Cedar Hill, which is topped by the c. 1859 Cedar Hill Cemetery where residents formerly would bask while enjoying views over the village from its highest point.
Within Port Jefferson is Port Jefferson Harbor, a natural deepwater harbor. Setauket Harbor branches off to the west from the harbor. One notable geographic feature is The Cove, a small cove dredged in the early 20th century by the Seaboard Dredging Company. The original name was Seaboard Hole, but it was changed for the sake of appealing to tourists, and several large sand dunes artificially created by the dredging can also be found here.
Port Jefferson features a major ferry route, a Long Island Rail Road terminus, multiple bus lines, and an extensive network of roads.
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry is one of two routes connecting Long Island to New England. The other route is the Cross Sound Ferry at Orient Point and no bridges or tunnels exist despite past proposals. Port Jefferson's ferry company was established in 1883 and was championed by influential circus owner P. T. Barnum. Barnum, who owned lands in both Port Jefferson and Bridgeport, Connecticut, became the new company's first president.
The village additionally serves as the eastern terminus for the Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson Branch. The branch consists of a diesel train that connects to the electrified Main Line at the village of Huntington. During the full run it continues toward the western termini of Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan or to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. The average commute from Port Jefferson to Manhattan via the Long Island Rail Road takes approximately 2 hours. Train service to New York City first reached Port Jefferson in 1873. The ferry terminal and train station are approximately one mile apart. In March 2014, mayor Margot Garant announced interest in establishing a future shuttle to link the two transportation networks as well as their respective sections of town, lower and upper Port Jefferson. [ better source needed ]
Port Jefferson's main street forms a section of New York State Route 25A, a scenic and historic route through Long Island's North Shore from the New York City borough of Queens eastward to Calverton. Just southeast of the village is the eastern terminus of New York State Route 347, a multilane divided highway that connects to the Northern State Parkway in Hauppauge. New York State Route 112, an important north–south route, begins just south of the village and runs to Patchogue, with a dedicated bicycle lane along much of the route.
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Port Jefferson has been home to the annual Port Jefferson Village Dickens Festival every year since 1996. The festival celebrates the works and times of English novelist Charles Dickens. It takes place during a weekend early in December and typically includes many events and occurrences, such as the regular sighting of people who dress in 19th century clothing, house tours, the reading of winter-related poetry, caroling, and booths set up by local businesses. Students from the Port Jefferson Middle School and High School submit poetry and art that are used in the festival. Free concerts of seasonal music by various ensembles are presented at the Methodist church. Many small festivals are held during the summer, showcasing music and crafts. Each Fourth of July sees a substantial parade on Main Street. The village also hosts an annual outdoor concert series and film screenings, both of which currently take place in Harborfront Park throughout July and August.
Port Jefferson is home to Theatre Three, a non-profit theatre company founded in 1969. Each year Theatre Three stages four musicals and two plays and additionally performs A Christmas Carol during the annual Dickens Festival. Theatre Three is held in Athena Hall, a performance space dating to 1874. The village was home to two notable landscape painters in the late 19th century, William Moore Davis and Leon Foster Jones. Both artists produced numerous depictions of Port Jefferson and its harbor. They were the subject of a 1993 art exhibition by the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.
In keeping with its seafaring heritage, Port Jefferson hosts its own annual boat race series known as the Village Cup Regatta, with proceeds benefiting cancer research. The village also boasts two recent America's Cup winners. Bowman Scott Vogel lost the 1983 race and won the 1987 race, and pitman Wally Henry won the race in 1992.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,750 people, 3,090 households, and 1,975 families residing in the village. The population density was approximately 2,500 people per square mile (980/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 88.5% White, 1.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.1% Asian, 2.2% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.5% of the population.
There were 3,090 households, out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male household with no wife present, and 36.1% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 9.0% consisted of people living alone who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the village, the population was spread out, with 20.7% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.
In the 2008–2012 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the village was $108,060 and the median income for a family was $138,984. The per capita income for the village was $51,937. 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line.
The Port Jefferson Union Free School District covers Belle Terre and most of Port Jefferson. In 2008, the district had 1375 students.
There are three schools:
The Port Jefferson "Royals" compete in Section XI athletics.[ citation needed ]
Port Jefferson union free school district (UFSD) is bordered on the west by Three Village Central School District, on the south by Comsewogue School District, and on the east by Mount Sinai School District.
Mount Sinai is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) located within the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 12,118 at the 2010 census. The hamlet is located on the North Shore of Long Island, and is served by the Mount Sinai School District and the Mount Sinai Fire Department, founded on October 25, 1930. The Mount Sinai Fire District covers approximately 5.5 square miles including the Mount Sinai Harbor and parts of the Long Island Sound. Mount Sinai's ZIP code is 11766.
Setauket is a census-designated place (CDP) in Suffolk County, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP population was 15,477. The CDP encompassed the hamlets of Setauket and East Setauket. It was founded in 1655, the first settlement in what would become the Town of Brookhaven. As of 2020, Setauket-East Setauket was split into two separate CDPs called Setauket and East Setauket.
St. James is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population of the CDP was 13,338 at the 2010 census. St. James is part of the Town of Smithtown and is located on the North Shore of Long Island. The ZIP code is 11780.
Stony Brook is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York, on the North Shore of Long Island. Begun in the colonial era as an agricultural enclave, the hamlet experienced growth first as a resort town and then to its current state as one of Long Island's major tourist towns and centers of education. Despite being referred to as a village by residents and tourists alike, Stony Brook has never been legally incorporated by the state. The population was 13,740 at the 2010 census.
The Town of Brookhaven is the most populous of the ten towns of Suffolk County, New York, United States. Part of the New York metropolitan area, it is located approximately 50 miles from Manhattan. It is the only town in the county that stretches from the North Shore to the South Shore of Long Island. It is the largest of New York State's 932 towns by area, and the second most populous after the Town of Hempstead.
The North Shore of Long Island is the area along the northern coast of New York's Long Island bordering Long Island Sound. Known for its extreme wealth and lavish estates, the North Shore exploded into affluence at the turn of the 20th century, earning it the nickname the Gold Coast. Historically, this term refers to the coastline communities in the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay in Nassau County and the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County, although the town of Smithtown east of here is also known for its affluence. The easternmost Gold Coast mansion is the Geissler Estate, located just west of Indian Hills Country Club in Fort Salonga, within the Town of Huntington.
New York State Route 25A (NY 25A) is a state highway on Long Island in New York, United States. It serves as the main east–west route for most of the North Shore of Long Island, running for 73 miles (117 km) from Interstate 495 (I-495) at the Queens–Midtown Tunnel in the New York City borough of Queens to NY 25 in Calverton, Suffolk County. The highway is a northern alternate route of NY 25, which follows a more inland routing along Jericho Turnpike.
The 1st congressional district of New York is a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in eastern Long Island. It includes most of Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island. The district encompasses extremely wealthy enclaves such as the Hamptons, middle class suburban towns such as Selden, Centereach and Lake Grove, working-class neighborhoods such as Mastic, Shirley, and Riverhead and rural farming communities such as Mattituck and Jamesport on the North Fork. The district currently is represented by Republican Lee Zeldin. In the 2014 election, Zeldin defeated Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop, who had represented the district since 2003. In recent years, the district had become more conservative, but returned to form in 2020. In the 2016 election, Zeldin defeated Democratic challenger Anna-Thone Holst by a margin of 15.6%, the largest margin of victory for a Republican since 1998. In 2018, Zeldin won re-election to a third term, narrowly defeating Democratic challenger Perry Gershon by 4.1%.
Port Jefferson is the terminus for the Port Jefferson Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The station is located on New York State Route 25A, on the north side of the tracks, but is also accessible from Oakland Avenue, as well as Railroad Avenue and Union Street on the south side of the tracks in Port Jefferson Station. All service is diesel-only, and most off-peak trains are shuttles requiring a transfer to an electric train at Huntington or Hicksville. This train station is located in the Brookhaven-Comsewogue Union Free School District.
Times Beacon Record Newspapers is a community newspaper publisher, located in Setauket, NY, consisting of seven different weekly newspapers serving Suffolk County localities on the North Shore of Long Island spanning from the town of Huntington into Wading River. The current publisher is Leah S. Dunaief.
Hampton Jitney is a family owned, premier commuter motorcoach company, based in Southampton, NY, operating three primary routes from the east end of Long Island to New York City. Hampton Jitney also operates charter and tour services, along with local transit bus service in eastern Suffolk County under contract with Twin Forks Transit which runs the routes under contract with Suffolk County Transit.
Nearly every major type of transportation serves Long Island, including three major airports, railroads and subways, and several major highways. The New York City Subway only serves the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. There are historic and modern bridges, recreational and commuter trails, and ferries, that connect the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn to Manhattan, the south shore with Fire Island and Long Island's north shore and east end with the state of Connecticut.
Bridgeport is a historic seaport city in the U.S. state of Connecticut, and its largest city. With a census-estimated population of 144,399 in 2019, it is also the fifth-most populous in New England. Located in Fairfield County at the mouth of the Pequonnock River on Long Island Sound, it is 60 miles (97 km) from Manhattan and 40 miles (64 km) from The Bronx. It is bordered by the towns of Trumbull to the north, Fairfield to the west, and Stratford to the east. Bridgeport and other settlements in Fairfield County make up the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury metropolitan statistical area, the second largest metropolitan area in Connecticut. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk-Danbury metropolis forms part of the New York megacity.
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, better known as the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry is a ferry company that operates ferry service across Long Island Sound, between the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Long Island village of Port Jefferson, New York. Founded in 1883, it is one of the oldest operating ferry companies in America.
Bridgeport Harbor is an inlet on the north side of Long Island Sound in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was carved by the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age approximately 13,000 years ago.
William Moore Davis was an American painter best known for his landscapes. A native of Long Island, he spent most of his life near Port Jefferson and has been praised as the greatest painter of that village. A contemporary of the Hudson River School, he was greatly influenced by fellow local painter William Sidney Mount.
Bridgeport, Connecticut is a major city of Connecticut located on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Pequonnock River.
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