Come to Long Island and discover a fascinating Revolutionary War era history filled with the intrigue of America’s First Spy Ring. The true events of this time on Long Island are depicted in the AMC series Turn, set to air its third season Apr. 25th.
Among the sites to visit are Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay, site of the British quarters and where Robert Townsend became part of the Washington Spy Ring. The Stony Brook/Setauket area on Long Island was also the epicenter of spy activity, and it is where the small group of friends and Patriots (Tallmadge, Woodhull, Strong and Brewster) got together and became the country’s ‘first spy ring.’
While Long Island was largely occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War there were many brave Patriots who risked their lives to get George Washington the information needed to win the Revolutionary War. Although shrouded in secrecy, the people and events of the era are brought to life in the third season of the AMC series “Turn,” which depicts the story of Long Island and George Washington’s ‘Culper Spy Ring.’
The Long Island Convention &Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission is airing TV commercials during the programming to emphasize the role Washington’s Spy Ring on Long Island played in history. View the commercial here.
The commercial leads into the other places you can visit to ‘make your own history’ on Long Island. The effort will be supported by social media and a website landing page with a map of the ‘spy trail’ has been created at: www.discoverlongisland.com/spytrail
Stretching along Long Island’s North Shore is Route 25A, also known as the Long Island Heritage Trail, where much of the spy activity took place. President George Washington traveled this same route in a 1790 horse-drawn carriage tour on a mission to thank his Long Island supporters and the ‘Culper Spy Ring’ for their help in winning the American Revolution.
All along the route are sites that harken back to the era.
Visit the Arsenal in Huntington, where Job Sammis hid stores of gun powder in his attic during the onset of the British occupation; and the Conklin House where Sybil Conklin lived and worked here while her husband, David was held prisoner by the British during the Revolutionary War.
Explore the Brewster House in Stony Brook where American Patriot Caleb Brewster spied on British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
See statues of Benjamin Talmadge and Richard Woodhull at Setauket Elementary School on Main St., East Setauket. Visit the Thompson House where Dr. Thompson ledger shows he treated some of the spies.
Walk where the British had a garrison quartered where the Battle of Setauket was fought near the Setauket Presbyterian Church on Caroline Ave., Setauket. Nearby on Dyke Rd is the Woodhull Home marker, and venture down Strongs Neck Rd., where Anna Smith Strong and Abraham Woodhull lived.
Make sure to visit the Three Village Historical Society to see exhibits on the ‘Spy Ring’ and to find out about special events and tours. Tri-Spy Tours does kayak tours in the area where the spy ring launched their boats to ferry information across the Sound to Washington’s headquarters.
On the South Shore, be sure to visit Sagtikos Manor in Bay Shore, built in 1697. British forces occupied the Manor briefly during the Revolutionary War. President George Washington then stayed here during his tour of Long Island in 1790.
You can discover this fascinating piece of Long Island history, and other stories about Long Island’s colorful past at www.discoverlongisland.com/spytrail.
The Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission (LICVB&SC) was established in 1979 as the official tourism promotion agency for the destination’s travel and tourism industry. Based on Long Island in Hauppauge, NY, the LICVB&SC contributes to the economic development and quality of life on Long Island by promoting the region as a world-class destination for tourism, meetings and conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and related activities. For more information about Long Island, please contact the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission by calling 1-877-386-6654 or visit www.discoverlongisland.com.