Did you know that the actions of a few brave Long Islanders, with names like Tallmadge, Woodhull, Brewster, Strong, Hale and Townsend helped changed the course of the Revolutionary War.
Come to Long Island and discover a fascinating history filled with spies and intrigue. Here, through the actions of the ‘Culper Spy Ring’ and other supporters, these brave Long Islanders risked their lives to get George Washington the information needed to win the war.
Travel along Route 25A, also known as the Long Island Heritage Trail, which originated in the early 1700s and is a major part of the history of Long Island, NY. President George Washington traveled this same route in a 1790 horse-drawn carriage tour on a mission to thank his Long Island supporters and spy ring for their help in winning the American Revolution.
You can travel the same route on a journey that includes Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay, site of the British quarters and where Robert Townsend later became part of the Culper Spy Ring. Visit Fort Hill cemetery, where Robert Townsend (aka Culper Jr.) is buried on Simcoe St. in Oyster Bay.
Visit the Arsenal in Huntington, where Job Sammis hid stores of gun powder in his attic during the onset of the British occupation; the Conklin House where Sybil Conklin lived and worked here while her husband David was held prisoner by the British during the Revolutionary War; and the Brewster House in Setauket where American Patriot Caleb Brewster spied on British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
The Stony Brook/Setauket area was 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 America’s ‘first spy ring.’
See statues of Benjamin Tallmadge and Richard Woodhull at Setauket Elementary School on Main St., East Setauket.
See 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 go 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: www.threevillagehistoricalsociety.org
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/paththroughhistory