Historic Roads

August Road, North Babylon
August Belmont once owned an estate in Babylon. After his death, the land became Belmont Lake state Park. The road bearing his name skirts the north and east sides of the park today.

Beef Bishop Way, Sayville
From 1928 to 1930, Clinton Bishop served as chief of the Sayville Fire Department. His nickname? Clinton “Beef” Bishop. The driveway leading into the firehouse received an honorary title bearing his name.

Bread and Cheese Hollow Road, Northport
Local legend tells us that Nissequogue Indians gave Richard Smith permission to establish the present-day boundaries of Smithtown by riding atop a bull and encircling all the land he could in one day. After the journey, Smith stopped at the Bread and Cheese Tavern for food.  However, the name might also come from local hawthorn plants, which settlers referred to as “bread and cheese.”

Fireplace Neck Road, Brookhaven
The area south of Beaver Dam Road in Bellport was once known as Fire Place. When lighthouses were unavailable, it was common to see fires lit on beaches, so that incoming ships would not ground themselves.

Fort Salonga Road, Northport
Long Island was occupied territory during the American Revolution. The British built Fort Slongo in Northport, naming it for one of its chief architects. The fort was the site of a minor battle on October 3, 1781, when Benjamin Tallmadge led a raid that resulted in the capture of  21 British soldiers. The fort is gone today, but the earthworks remain in the backyard of a local resident.

Granny Road, Farmingville
According to the Farmingville Historical Society, the eastern part of Granny Road was surveyed and cut from “Granny” Larsen’s home to what is today’s Route 112.

Horseblock Road, Centereach
Samuel Smith owned The Horseblock Tavern at the intersection of Middle Country Road and Horseblock Road. By the start of the 19th century, it had gained a poor reputation as a hangout for thieves and drunks. The tavern’s name refers to a horseblock that Smith had set up for his customers to stand on while they saddled up.

Louis Kossuth Avenue, Ronkonkoma
While Bohemia was settled by Czechs, neighboring Ronkonkoma had a Hungarian colony. Lajos Kossuth was a Hungarian revolutionary, and is known as the “father of Hungarian democracy.”

Manetto Hill Road, Plainview
Algonquin-speaking cultures of North America believe that all of creation is permeated by an underlying energy or life force called manitou. The concept is not unlike other animist belief systems across the world, which hold that various landforms and geographic features have spirits attached to them. Manitou Hill once overlooked a small kettle pond that was sacred to the Indians in the area.

Manor Lane, Bayshore
Manor Lane is named for the Sagtikos Manor. The lane runs parallel to the manor property, which at one point included lands between the highways Sunrise and Montauk. The old Gardiner Manor Mall also took its name from the estate, as the Gardiner-Thomson Family were owners of the manor until 1985.

Mechanicsville Road, Bayshore
Bayshore’s original name was Penataquit. It later became Mechanicsville, and eventually Bayshore.

Motor Parkway, Hauppague
William K. Venderbilt II, great-grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, was an avid automobile enthusiast.  He created the first racing championship in 1904, the Vanderbilt Cup Races. His races however, upset Long Island farmers, as the loud and dirty race cars would frighten their livestock. Vanderbilt used his fortune to build his own private racetrack- the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway. It began in New York City, and terminated at Lake Ronkonkoma.

Muttontown Road, Glen Head
Mutton (the meat of a sheep) was an expensive luxury in the colonial era. Sheep farms would drive their livestock through this area to the slaughterhouse, where the meat would be exported to wealthier areas.

Oxhead Road, Stonybrook
It has been said that the road took its name from an ox head that was set on a fence post at one point.

Penataquit Avenue, Bay Shore
Bayshore’s original name was Penataquit. It later became Mechanicsville, and eventually Bayshore.

Roe Boulevard, Patchogue
The Roe Family came to Patchogue after the Revolutionary War from Setauket, where Captain Austin Roe served as a spy. Captain Roe’s descendant, another Austin, once owned much of the land to the north of Patchogue Village. At the turn of the 19th century, he sold most of it off to be subdivided and built upon. Austin built his own home on the corner of Lakewood Street and North Ocean Avenue in the early 1900s, and his grandson Clifford Marshall continued living here until 2013.

Skunks Misery Road, Locust Valley
Early settlers used the area’s swamps as a dumping ground. Skunks were seen in the mess, eating the refuse left in the muck. The smell was so unbearable that folks questioned how even these animals could stand the odor.

Snedecor Avenue, Bayport
It might be said that Eliphalet Snedecor created Oakdale. While the hamlet did exist before “Liff” started his tavern along Montauk Highway in 1820, it wasn’t until wealthy New Yorkers began making the trip to the Connetquot woods that the region surounding really boomed. Snedecor’s patrons founded the Southside Sportsmen’s Club, using the present Connetquot State Park as a private hunting and fishing preserve until the state bought it in 1973. Snedecor’s Tavern still exists as the original section of the Main House at the park’s entrance off Sunrise Highway.

Sweet Hollow Road, Melville
Melville was once known for its abundance of domesticated honeybees. It is widely believed that the hamlet’s name is derived from the Latin word for honey- mel. This may also be the reason behind the area’s 19th century name- Sweet Hollow.

Traction Boulevard, Patchogue
By the turn of the 19th century, Patchogue had become a major tourist destination for city dwellers seeking respite from the summer heat. The Suffolk Traction Company provided trolley car transportation from the village to Canaan Lake, a few miles north. Today, Traction Boulevard remains noticeably wide, a reminder that at one time large trolleys shuttled passengers up and down the Traction Boulevard.

Whiskey Road, Middle Island
Though unconfirmed, local legend tells us that when workers were hired to lay down the road, they were paid in liquor. To provide incentive, the town laid bottles of whiskey along the road and spaced them at set intervals.

Wolf Hill Road, Huntington
Wolves roamed Long Island in the 17th century, ravaging local farms and settlements. Packs were known to congregate in the area now known as Wolf Hill Road.

Zavra Street, Bohemia
John Vavra was one of the founding fathers of Bohemia, having emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the mid 1800s. In the 1970s, a street was cut into a former farm off of Sycamore Avenue. The developers wanted to name it for Mr. Vavra, but a mistake occurred when they examined a 19th century spelling of his name- written in script, the letter V looked more like a Z.


4 Responses to Historic Roads

  1. John Leddy says:

    This is great! I’m hooked.

  2. Jack Harris says:

    Ok, how did Bread & Cheese Hollow Road get it’s name?
    I grew up on Jane Drive, in between Belmont Park and Woods Road School. August Belmont was the financier and Builder of the IRT Subway Line (Interboro Rapid Transit) had his own Subway car that he used to tour the line and it was called Mineola…. There is a great PBS special about the building of the New York Subway System called Rivers of Steel it has an extensive portion of it regarding Mr. Belmont and his contribution and lets not forget Belmont Race Track as he was an avid horseman as well.

  3. Rob Fleming says:

    Hi Jack! I just read an interesting article about Bread and Cheese Hollow Road. According to legend, Smithtown’s founding father Richard Smith stopped for bread and cheese at a local tavern on this road. Another story claims that the name comes from local hawthorn plants, which settlers referred to as “bread and cheese.” So, there is no definite answer to this question!

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