Longwood Long Ago StoryMaps
Longwood Long Ago: Coram
Coram began as a hamlet in the center of the town of Brookhaven. Native Americans were the first people to live here, as early as the 1600s. They lived in groups along local rivers and ponds. The early name was “Wincoram”, later shortened to Coram. This Native American word means “a passage between hills or a valley”, which probably referred to the fact that it was between Bald Hill and Coram Hills. Before houses were built, the land was used as a cattle pasture. Trees were cut down for wood, which were then sent to New York City.
Longwood Long Ago: Gordon Heights
In 1927, a developer named Louis Fife bought property in Yaphank from "Pop" Gordon and began selling plots of land to African Americans living in New York City. Land was available for as low as $1 down and $10 a month. The community grew as people built houses and created small farms called homesteads in the quiet, rural setting. There were several churches, community centers, and civic groups for residents as well as hotels and restaurants that attracted famous African American leaders and entertainers.
Longwood Long Ago: Middle Island
Middle Island was home to Native Americans before it was settled by people from the North and South shores of Long Island. Long ago, Middle Country Road was the stagecoach route from New York City to Greenport, and there people would get on a ferry to New England. Brewster’s Tavern was one of these stagecoach stops. Between 1730 and 1750, people began to build houses along this road. Middle Island was first known as Middletown but was called Brookhaven when the first post office was established in 1796.
Longwood Long Ago: Ridge
Ridge, also called Ridgeville and Ridgefield on old maps, was an early settlement in the town of Brookhaven. It was briefly known as Randallville, as Stephen Randall was the first person to build a home there in 1728, and for years nearly all the residents were Randalls. There are two books written on the history of the Randall family and they can trace their descendants back to John Randall, born in England in 1629. The Randall cemetery near Whiskey Road bore the names of many of the early settlers of Ridge.
Longwood Long Ago: Yaphank
Yaphank was first called “Millville” because of the many mills that were built there. The name was changed in 1846 when the first post office opened and it was discovered that there were already 13 other Millvilles in New York State. So William J. Weeks, a prominent citizen, suggested the name “Yaphank” from the Native American word “Yamphanke”, meaning “the bank of a river”. The Carmans River, first known as the Connecticut River, passes through Yaphank. People built dams on the river, forming Upper and Lower Yaphank Lakes.