Early History of East Northport
Settlement of the area known today as East Northport can be traced back to the first groups of travelers arriving on Long Island from the New England area. After crossing the Sound, they established settlements on the eastern end of the Island and as far west as Hempstead. In 1653, a small group of these settlers left their settlement in Oyster Bay in search of more land. They saw what they wanted in the area we now call Huntington Township, which was occupied at that time by three tribes of Algonquin Indians.
A settlement was quickly established in the Huntington Village area, but three years later the residents began looking again to expand their territory. On July 30, 1656 a second purchase of land was made from Chief Asharoken. Part of this purchase consisted of the land that is East Northport today. As more settlers moved in, the area was referred to as the ‘clay pits.’ This identification was a reference to the red clay deposit in today’s Clay Pitts area east of Larkfield Road.
East Northport During the Revolution
By the 1770’s, the East Northport area had a fair share of working farms. In 1774, they drew up a Declaration of Rights criticizing England’s unfair taxation and pronounced themselves free men. In 1775, they raised two regiments of militia, but these were short lived because of the colonial defeat at the Battle of Long Island and the subsequent occupation of the Island by the British in 1776. The next few years proved difficult for all of the farmers on Long Island. On September 15, 1776, the occupying British forces seized all the cattle and sheep in Suffolk County that was not for personal use of each farm family.
After the war, farms had to be started from scratch. By the turn of the century, the town was back on its feet. There was an ever increasing market for farm produce in the New York City and Brooklyn areas, and East Northport became a thriving farming community by supplying that market.