Farming and. Fishing Were Main Occupations

Footnotes to Long Island History

OCT 20,1966


Thomas R. Bayles

 Editor's note: Our review of the history of the Moriches bay area takes a step backwards in time this week to
take a closer look at the area in its early days. This information comes from the book "Historical sketches of Suffolk county
 "by Richard M. Bayles. The books was published in 1874.Thomas R. Bayles, the son of Richard M. Bayles has supplied
 the following information.

        Moriches is the general name derived from the Indians who once occupied the territory, now applied to a continuous settlement extending along the country road from the head of Forge river within two miles of the east line of the town, a distance of about five miles. It is divided into three villages West Center and East Moriches each of which has a post office farming and fishing are the principal occupations of people.

        West Moriches contains a store, grist mill saw mill and paper mill and thirty five houses is located at the head of the Forge river about three miles from the bay. The river is navigable for small vessels nearly up to this point. An iron forge was established here by Col. Floyd in the early part of presents century, but did not continue long. post office opened 1827, with James M. Fanning as postmaster.

 Center Moriches a village of 600 inhabitants, is beautifully situated near the east bay it contains two churches four stores two hotels and a number of tradesman. A grist mill is located on Terrell's river which forms the boundary line between this and East Moriches. The villages is largely visited during the summer season and two large boarding houses are located near the shore. A large number families accommodate summer boarders. A bathing station on the south beach opposite here affords excellent facilities for surf bathing and a number of sail boats make connection with that point daily. The first church of this village was built in 1809 Although the origin of the settlement must date back nearly two centuries and a church  organization has been sustained here for half a century no house of worship appears to have been located her until 1809 when a building for the use of all

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