3. Hercules Pavilion

Hercules Pavilion

Overlooking Stony Brook Harbor just across from the Stony Brook Village Center, the Hercules Pavilion on Main Street houses the figurehead and anchor from the prestigious U.S.S. Ohio, the first ship launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1820. Although the U.S.S. Ohio was destroyed and sunk in Greenport, Suffolk County, the massive bust of Hercules was saved and originally sold for $10 to the Aldrich family of Aquebogue. Ward Melville later acquired the bust in 1954 for preservation, and it is said that if you kiss the brow of Hercules, you’ll be married within a year.

The pavilion also houses the Polaris Whaleboat, thought to be the only surviving artifact from the Charles Hall expedition to the Arctic in 1870. It was placed in the American Museum of Natural History after it was recovered by Robert Peary in 1905, and 40 years later, naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy transferred the Polaris to the collection of Ward Melville.