Patchogue Bustled in ‘83

Footnotes to Long Island History


DEC.22, 1960


Thomas R. Bayles

    The following article appeared in The Advance for August 18, 1883 under the heading, The Eagle on Patchogue.:

       "Of all summer resorts on the South side of Long Island, Patchogue is the most cosmopolitan, It has the bustle, the social activity of a city, and it glories in its metropolitan air. The genuine native born Patchogue seems to say by his very looks, This is a place of importance on the south side. Islip and Babylon will do very well for you if you want to put on airs and show yourself off in a dog cart, but if you want genuine down right fun, this is the place where you are going to have it and make no mistake about it. A Patchogue merchant views with an eye of pity a Speonker, or an Eastporter, or a Sayviller, or a dweller in either of the Moriches. He takes pride in keeping the residents of those places acquainted with the fact that in Patchogue they don't have simply a country store, but stores of all kinds. You don't have to get your shoes, your saddles and your smoked beef in the same place, but you can find stores devoted to various specialties where you can get just good bargains as you can put in the city.

       The butchers in Patchogue cut and saw and slash with a city air, and carve quickly and neatly. The drug stores are ablaze with light, and soda water is dealt out briskly. The sound of the billiard bail continually breaks upon the ear and the clink of glasses and the shaking of ice suggests the thought of mixed drinks. The beach stages run faster and their drivers announce their coming in a louder tone than anywhere else on the south side.

       There is a bank here and men rush to and from upon the streets as if they had much to attend to: sometimes they rush to the bank to save a note from going to protest. There is a hall here to which the Patchogue citizen with pride, informing you that theatrical combinations find Patchogue a great place for their attraction. Everywhere, both day and night, there are signs of activity and excitement.

       There are a great many city people to whom a place like this is a heaven among summer resorts, and Patchogue, with its reputation for life and gayety attracts the lively and the gay, people ride in buggies and light wagons here, and they ride fast. Enjoying a little dash on the road now and then, and they laugh out loud and sometimes holler as they speed past. I think I detect on the part of the native maiden a tendency to evince a pride in being a Patchoguer. She dresses more carefully than her sister of the neighboring towns, walks daintily and shows by her demeanor that she is no country girl. She likes to walk with a genuine backwoods girl, one from Coram for instance, or a Speonker, for then she thinks the contrast is so great that she shows to the best advantage.

       Patchogue has always been a popular resort, and  this summer has more summer boarders than ever before. There are at present no less than 1,000 city people stopping here. Last year there were but three furnished cottages rented. This season there are 13 at prices from $50 to $150 a month. The boarding houses and hotels are full and it is hard to get accommodations. The Lake view house at the west end of the village has been newly painted and furnished and has over 100 guests. On the shore a new hotel the Clifton House, has been built with rooms for over 75, An additition has been put on the Ocean Avenue house at the foot of the avenue near the bay.


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