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Manorville Station-

Footnotes to Long Island History

Manorville Station

December 9, 1965

by

Thomas R. Bayles


Caption:  Looking into the past we see the Manorville railroad station as it looked about 1910.  Visable are the old oil platform lamps and the “block” which is in stop position for trains from either direction.  The station was an important meeting place for passenger trains on the single track line, and equally important as a freight depot since all potatoes and cauliflower were shipped by rail in those days from Riverhead and points east.  Times have changed, however, and modern transportation means have taken away the importance of the modern day “Iron Horse.”

When the main line of the Long Island Railroad was opened to Greenport in July 1844, it was a tome of great rejoicing by the people of eastern Long Island.  The “iron horse” had finally arrived, and a trip to the city that had taken two days or more by stage coach, was now made in as many hours.

          Manorville was an important stop for the “Boston trains,” as the trains were called that took passengers from New York to Greenport, then steamboat to Stonington,, Conn., and then the Old Colony Railroad to Boston.  This was before the shore line of the N.Y.H. &H Railroad was built along the Connecticut shore.  The trains stopped at “Manor” to load wood for the wood burning locomotives and for the passengers to get refreshment.

          In later years the “Cannon Ball” from New York to Montauk split at Manorville, with one section going to Greenport and the other section to Montauk over the branch line to Eastport.  The old “Cape Horn” train ran daily round trip from Greenport to Montauk via Manorville and the branch line, which had been abandoned for several years and the tracks torn up.  The station had been removed and only a shed is left to mark the once important railroad junction, which was a train order station with an agent and block operator.

          Around 1900, the shipping of cordwood was an important business and in one year G. W. Raynor shipped over 1000 cords of wood by freight from the Manorville station.

          During World War One, loaded troop trains and visitors excursion trains ran from Camp Upton to New York over the main line, and the empty trains returned on the Montauk division to the cut off West of Eastport, up the branch line to Manorville and back to Camp Upton.  During heavy movements the trains operated every half hour or so.

          The railroad was not opened to Patchogue until 1868, and on to Eastport in 1881 to connect with the line from Manorville to the Hamptons and Sag Harbor, which had been opened several years before.  Port Jefferson was not reached until 1873, so the main line stations were important as stages met the trains and carried the mail and passengers to the north and south side villages.

          Now a little over a hundred years have passed since the first train ran to Greenport and passenger service has been reduced to one train each way daily.  Most of the stations have been torn down and replaced with small sheds.  The passengers are carried by buses operated by the railroad running from Riverhead and Greenport to Huntington where they connect with the trains to New York.

          Express and less carload freight are no longer carried by the railroad and mail is no longer handled by rail, so that all the Long Island Rail Road has left is passenger service and car load freight.

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