We would like to thank our Village
Historian Evelyn Ellis for providing the following information.
A Capsule History of Lindenhurst
The Village of Lindenhurst
traces its beginning back to the Indians, when Secatogue and Massapequa
tribes roamed the "Lindenhurst" woods in search of food.
The area was then called Neguntatogue, which means, "forsaken
Huntington farmers of English origin were the first white people to
discover the territory. They
came in search of salt hay. It
was found growing abundant in our marshland.
1657 Jonas Wood, a Huntington farmer, and his neighbors signed a treaty
with the Secatogues for five necks of land including Santapogue Neck
(now Venetian Shores). Little
Neck, which is the land west of the Lindenhurst Canal, was acquired a
short time later.
the Huntington farmers came here in the 1600’s, there was no
settlement established at the time.
In the 1780’s Jesse Ketcham and his wife, the former Temperance
Brush, built a home on what is now Montauk Highway just east of
Washington Avenue. Other early settlers in “Huntington South” (as this are
was then called) were the Strongs, the Bartos, the Smiths, the Van
Nostrands, and the Fleets. They
lived quiet, farm lives until 1867 when the South Side Rail Road laid a
single track to Babylon. The
area was then opened, with travel to New York City being quicker and
Wellwood, an Irishman, and his wife Abby, had bought some acreage as
early as 1861. After the
arrival of the railroad, they purchased vast amounts of land.
By 1870 they owned so much land that the railroad’s timetable
listed a “Wellwood Station”. Around
this time, Thomas Wellwood met Charles S. Schleier, a native of Breslau
Germany. He had come to
America in 1850 and settled in Brooklyn.
Schleier has a great dream to build a “place where German
immigrants can live and work”. Charles
Schleier had soon sold Thomas Wellwood on the idea of establishing a
“City of Breslau”
they formed the “Breslau Cooperative Building Association” They brought “city people” into this community by
excursion trains in the hope of selling property to them to build homes
and come here to live. The
“City of Breslau” was formally dedicated on Pfingst (Pentacost)
Monday, June 6, 1870.
growth of industry was encouraged.
Before the turn of the 20th century, numerous
factories and businesses flourished in the new Village, providing many
local families with employment. The
rapid growth of the Village soon made our early settlers realize the
need for a fire company. In
1877 the “Breslau Feuer Wehr” (Fire Protection) was formed.
Four years later the name was changed to the Breslau Engine
Company, as it is still known today.
This same year, the “Union Hook & Ladder Company” was
organized. In 1884, the
“Library Hose Company” was formed.
By 1885, these three
companies, with a total of 44 men, combined and became known as the
“Breslau Fire Department”
1891, the Village’s name was changed to “Lindenhurst”. It became the Incorporated Village of Lindenhurst in 1923.
One year later the Lindenhurst Police Department was organized.
It served the Village until 1960 when it was incorporated into
the Suffolk County Police Department.
early-1900s photo looks south on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, near
Gates Avenue. The photographer was atop the Liberty Hose Co. tower.
Huntington farmers, who built a one-room schoolhouse on what is West
Montauk Highway, established our present public school system in 1841. In 1870 the German settlers established another school on
School Street. A new wooden
school was built in 1876.
early settlers brought their religion with them and soon built houses of
worship. Ground was broken
for the first Catholic Church on June 21, 1870.
In 1913 the Village’s first parochial school was completed to
educate the children of the local parish.
Others soon followed. On
August 28, 1872 formal dedication ceremonies were held for a newly built
Lutheran Church on present West John Street.
In 1874 a religious group founded the Jewish Congregation “Neta
Szarschea”. This group
was short-lived and a generation later it was replaced by the
Lindenhurst Hebrew Congregation incorporated December 18, 1913.
Grace United Methodist Church was founded September 19, 1926 and
the congregation of Bethel Baptist Church, now First Baptist Church was
organized in 1942. St.Boniface’s
Episcopal Church was organized in 1951.
Today with a population of
over 27,000, the Incorporated Village of Lindenhurst is largest Village
in Suffolk County and the fourth in New York State. Lindenhurst in
larger than the four eastern towns on Long Island.
It is also larger than 39 of the 62 cities in New York State