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Port Jefferson Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 34 photos

Port Jefferson is located approximately 56 miles east of New York City, in the northern part of central Suffolk County. Being easily accessible by road, railroad and water (Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Steamboat Company and private boat), one would expect that the historic nature of the village would have disappeared long ago. Not so! A stroll down tree-lined streets, where many shops and restaurants occupy historic buildings, clearly affirms the village's commitment to maintaining its "small town" appeal. From its beginnings as a waterside home for the Setauket Indians, to its present-day position as a popular day-trip destination, Port Jefferson has grown and prospered.

A little history about Port Jefferson - How Port Jefferson got it's Name.

Back in 1682, when John Roe built his home at the edge of the harbor, in the area once known as "Drowned Meadow," he probably never imagined that it would grow from these humble beginnings.

Twenty-five years after this first home by the water was built, true harbor development began. When John Wilse, a Setauket shipbuilder, received permission to build an 18 foot pier into the harbor, the village's long-term interdependence on the sea was born. In 1797, at his boatyard in "the meadow," he built a 40-ton sloop, thus beginning Port Jefferson's long history of shipbuilding. This was quickly followed by additional projects, including the construction of wharves and marine railways. In 1835, with its increasing commerce and growing population, Jeffersonian democrats renamed the meadow Port Jefferson.
Years later,P.T. Barnum and associates founded a steamboat line in the village. Today, the same company continues to operate the "Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Steamboat Company," annually transporting over 750,000 passengers between Long Island and New England.
In 1963, Port Jefferson incorporated.Having beautiful beaches, a deep water harbor, sheltered anchorages, and well-appointed marinas, the village now had a vehicle for protecting its abundant resources as well as improving its amenities. Port Jefferson became a beautiful playground, offering a quality of life which continues to lure new residents, businesses, professionals and visitors.

  • Intro Written Jan 13, 2001
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