Old Northville Academy Built in 1831

Footnotes to Long Island History


JAN 12 1950


Thomas R. Bayles

      The old Northville academy and Congregational Church building was originally built at Aquebogue in 1831, about a mile west of the Old Steeple Church. The reason for this was a division of opinion among the members of the Steeple Church, so there were two churches of the same name within a mile of each other. This was called the "First Strict Congregational Church of Upper Aquebogue."

       In 1834 the Riverhead people decided to build a church of their own and the Northville people moved the building to its present site on Sound Avenue. It was used continously as a church until 1859, when a new church was built across the way.

       Then the building was converted into an academy with Horace E wells as professor. School was taught there for about nine years, and the upper part has been used for a school more or less since that time. The lower part was used as a chapel for the church across the way for many years. In 1904 the upper part of the building was used as a club room by the Riverhead Town Agricultural Society.

       The second church was built across the way in 1859, which was destroyed by fire on May 14, 1877. A third church was built on the same site in 1880, and this was struck by lightning in the summer of of 1901 and completely destroyed. The present church was started in 1902 and dedicated in the summer of 1904. The first minister to serve the church after it moved to sound avenue was Rev. Jonathan Hunting.

       When the present church was built it had a membership of 190, with an average attendance of 200. The Sunday school had 180 members, and a Christian Endeavor Society of 50 members. There was also the Women's Mutual Benefit Society, which was active in the work of the church.

       Only 14 family names were on the membership roll of this church at that time. They were Wells, Hallock, Reeve, Fanning Benjamin, Conklin, Downs, Aldrich, Luce, Moseley, Young, Pennsy, Tuthill and Howell. The most of the members were three or four of those family names.

       The Hallock's were descendants of Peter Hallock, the first of that name to settle eastern Long Island. 

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