Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Suffolk County and Its Towns ...
There are a number of mechanic shops in the place, and five general stores, one of which, that of Clock Brothers is claimed to be the largest store in the county. The main street of the village, which is the south " country road" lies abont one mile from the bay. The churches, stores, hotels, and most all the other "institutions " are upon it.
In the southern and eastern parts are a number of fine residences, some of them occupied as summer seats and others permanently. The village site is a beautiful one. Nature laid here a suitable foundation for Art to build upon. The principal part of the village is built upon the neck of land covered by Gibb's patent of 1692, which lies between the brooks Orowac on the west and Wingatthappagh ( an Indian name meaning "sweet waters ") on the east.
This neck is about a mile in width. About half a mile west of the brook Orowac another stream runs down, rejoicing under the two names of Kakaijongh and Awixa. It is needless to say the latter name is the one most generally used. Saxton's Neck lies between the two brooks last mentioned.
Upon this neck the Olympic Club have fine buildings elegantly furnished. They have been established here abont fifteen years. On the west side of the brook Awixa Mr. John Moubray, the patentee of the large tract bearing his name, built a house and settled. A part of the house is still standing, though it has undergone some changes since first placed there. A paper-mill belonging to Ebenezer Hawkins is situated upon Orowac brook. Near this, lumber and coal yards are located on the main road, at the head of the creek into which this brook empties. This is the only place on the south side of the county where there is depth of water sufficient to admit navigation as far up as the country road.
The channel here is about thirty to forty feet wide and three to four feet deep. Large scows are employed to transport the cargos of sloops and schooners from out on the bay up to this landing.. On a smaller brook which empties into Orowac creek from the east Mr. J. H. Doxsee has a large trout-pond, the water from which is also utilized in driving a wheel connected with a shaft which runs under the owner's barn. Belts from pulleys on this shaft are attached to various machines as occasion demands, and thus a cheap and convenient power for driving threshing machines, fanning mills, corn shellers, feed cutters and grinders, saws, grind-stones and the like, is always at hand and ready for action.
Doxsee's canning establishment is located on the east side of Orowac Brook or Doxsee's Creek as the lower part is called, about half a mile below the main road. Here a considerable business, which has no rival in the county, is carried on in the preparation of hermetically sealed goods, principally confined to the canning of green corn, tomatoes, clams and fish. After considerable time and money had been spent in experimenting upon the process of preserving "qua- haugs," or hard clams, Mr. Doxsee started the business successfully about seven years ago. The canning of fish — moss bunkers—was added during the past season [1872.] These fish are "scaled," and cleaned, by a series of simple machines which perform the work with unerring nicety, after which they are cooked, by a process which we do not propose to explain, and then packed in tin cans somewhat the shape of sardine cans, but containing about two pounds each.
Everybody knows that the meat contained in these fish is the sweetest of almost any fish-meat in the world, but the great objection to eating them has always been the innumerable fine bones which they contain. The . beauty of the "American Lunch Fish " put up at this establishment is, that they are cooked or prepared in such a way that all the bones, not excepting the back-bone, are as tender and eatable as any part of the meat, and can hardly be discovered from it. About thirty thousand fish have been put up here this season. A five-horse-power steam engine is used for running the necessary machinery, and ten to twenty hands are employed in the establishment. The principal other articles canned here during the season are six thousand bushels of clams, four hundred bushels of tomatoes and the product of ten acres of corn.
Near this is a good dock to which any ordinary sized sloop or schooner can come at any time of tide. The channel from the outer bay to this point has been improved within the past year by the expenditure of about $7,000 ; $4,400 of which was appropriated by the state legislature, and the balance paid by individual contribution of J. H. Doxsee Esq. Here is a splendid opening for business in the way of a lumber or coal yard, or any other branch of business requiring a location immediately accessible by vessel. With a channel fifty feet wide and seven to eight feet of water this is without a question the most convenient landing on the shore of the town.
A ship-yard has not long since been established near the mouth of the creek by Alonzo Smith. Two sets of marine railways are connected with it, and considerable repairing ia also done.
Page 215A Presbyterian chapel was built in this village in the year Babylon. In 1857 a separate church was organized here. A
new church edifice, one of the largest and handsomest in the county, was completed about May 1st, 1869, at a cost of $15,000, including furniture etc. About $8,000, or the greater part of the expense of this noble enterprise was paid by the generous contribution of the late Mr. Robert L. Mait- land. A handsome bell from Meneely's celebrated West Troy Foundry was presented by the Stewarts—sugar refiners, of New York. The choir-loft contains a splendid pipe organ which cost $1,500, to the purchase of which Dr. A. G. Thompson made liberal contributions. The old church is retained as a lecture room, used for the accommodation of prayer meetings, Sunday schools and the like.
A short distance east of the new Presbyterian stands the Methodist Episcopal, a handsome edifice of less dimensions, but neat appearance. The first church erected by this denomination about this neighborhood was built some time about the year 1840, on a site about half way between this village and Bay Shore. In 1866 the old church was pulled down, and some of its materials used in the construction of the present one, which was erected that year. The congregation in which the two villages had before been represented was now divided and a separate church established in each place.