Jamesport, New York

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Jamesport is a census-designated place (CDP) that roughly corresponds to the hamlet (unincorporated community) by the same name in the town of Riverhead in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The CDP's population was 1,526 at the 2000 census.[1] Jamesport is known for its quaint downtown area including antique shops and handful of fine restaurants. The population of the hamlet grows considerably during the summer months due to the influx of day-tourists and vacationers taking advantage of the Great Peconic Bay beaches located on the south side of the hamlet. During the late summer/fall months, the hamlet is busy once again, due to "pumpkin pickers" and "wine tasters", and other tourists taking in the beautiful fall scenery Jamesport has to offer. Jamesport is home to many farms including sod, pumpkin, flower, potato and wineries. Also Jamesport is home to the newest New York State park, Jamesport State Park. The park is not actually in Jamesport but in the adjacent hamlet of Northville.The park will be named "The Hallock State Park Preserve".

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 7.7 square miles (20.0 km²), of which, 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²) of it (42.82%) is water.

History

The hamlet now called Jamesport was first settled in the 1690s and originally was called Aquebogue and later Lower Aquebogue when another hamlet was established to the west called Upper Aquebogue. The Jamesport Meeting House built in 1731 is the oldest operating church building in Suffolk County Long Island.[2]

The name Jamesport refers to James Tuthill who settled the area south of Lower Aquebogue on the Peconic Bay with his family in 1833.[3] Over time Lower Aquebogue came to be called Jamesport, Jamesport came to be called South Jamesport and Upper Aquebogue became just Aquebogue.

James Tuthill's attempt to establish a commercial whaling and shipping wharf on the Peconic Bay in what is now South Jamesport was a failure. The depth of water at low tide was too shallow to accommodate ships. However, soon after this the Long Island Rail Road established service to Jamesport from New York City and Jamesport became a popular resort and fishing community with several large bay front hotels including the Miamogue Hotel and the Great Peconic Bay House which operated until 1952. Jamesport was a center for the scallop and bunker (menhaden) fisheries. From the 1830s to about 1950 Jamesport was the site of a Camp Meeting Grove operated by the Methodist Episcopal Church and, after 1904, an Epworth League Fresh Air Camp.

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