Stony Brook, Suffolk County is a historic hamlet on Long Island’s North Shore with many historic structures, modern architecture, and natural features. Originally known as Wopowog, the land was settled by the Setalcott tribe until the land was purchased in 1655. The area was known for its historic grist mill and colonial buildings, one of which housed the famous artist William Sidney Mount. Stony Brook developed rapidly in the 1870s with the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road.
The area saw a growth in commerce especially after the creation of the Stony Brook Village Center, and today Stony Brook is perhaps best known for the state university, Stony Brook University. The area is also very close to Setauket, a historic village that played a major role in the Culper Spy Ring throughout the Revolutionary War. Here is our guide to historic sites across Stony Brook, Long Island!
1. Gamecock Cottage
The Gamecock Cottage is a historic Gothic Revival-style building built in around 1876, probably as a safe haven for yachtsmen, according to the Three Village Community Trust, which stewards the site. The one-and-half-story building, which used to be rented out in the summer, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is situated on the West Meadow Wetlands Reserve and includes a front-gabled roof with bright-white windows. The cottage has been owned by the Town of Brookhaven for over 60 years, and it is often considered “the most painted and photographed structure in the Three Villages.”
It is located at the very westward end of the beach called Shipman’s Point on a narrow peninsula, down the road from what was once a row of nearly 100 wooden beach cottages that were constructed during the 1920s and 1930s. Controversy over the construction of private homes on public land increased over the years, and as plans were made by local officials to return this area of the beach to its natural state, the local community rallied to get the cottages landmarked. Despite successful addition of the West Meadow Beach Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, almost all the cottages were bulldozed anyway. Another great way to visit the Gamecock Cottage is by kayak.