Northport Village - Early 1900s
Early 1900s: Northport Village
Northport , NY
The first inhabitants of Northport were peaceful Indians known as the Matinecocks, whose camp perched on a lakeshore site now occupied by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).
The first white men known to have seen Northport were Dutch sailors exploring the Long Island coast in 1650. The harbor has continued to play a pivotal role in local history ever since.
Migration came to the territory from New Amsterdam and reported their discovery to the Dutch government at The Hague. The report described "good fishing, fine meadowlands and mostly level ground suitable for farms and cattle". Six years later, this area, which would be called Great Cow Harbor, was purchased from Chief Asharoken by three Englishmen for seven quarts of liquor, two coats, four shirts and eleven ounces of powder. Relations between the settlers and the Indians were friendly, and the small colony flourished with farming and shell-fishing.
Matinecocks who camped along streams and called the area Opcathontyche, meaning Wading Place Creek. In 1656, Asharoken, head of the Matinecocks, sold land in the area to settlers from Huntington who cleared it for farms. The area at that point was called Great Cow Harbor, presumably because of the unusual proximity of cattle pastures to the harbor mouth.
- Photo taken looking from Northport Harbor up Main Street. Here showing the Trolly cars that used to run up and down the street. In earlier times and before the Trolly and streets, it was said that the Indians used the same thoroughfare as there means to Northport Harbor for fishing.
Asharoken Beach: Northport NY
View of Asharoken Beach, Northport NY