The story of Ships’ Hole Farm is one of nature and civilization gradually coming together to form a unique bond of people helping people, and welcoming others to join the effort.
Sixteen feet. On land, that’s hardly any distance at all. But on water, it was enough to cause an entire stretch of Long Island to become a center of transportation and commerce.
Thousands of years ago the entire region was under ice. As the glaciers melted and soil and rock deposits were left behind, early bands of Native Americans—the Nissequaq, an Algonquin-speaking tribe—slowly began to explore and inhabit the region. During that time they discovered a tributary that had been carved out of the northern shore of the island; it became known as the Nissequogue River.
English settlers descended on North America from the fifteenth century onward, and civilization—with its concepts of industry, commerce, and property ownership—gradually changed the once simple, communal way of life.
Ships began to navigate the Nissequogue. At times, however, the changing tides of the river would render it impassable. Shipmen discovered a pocket of water tucked into the western bank of the river, just downstream from Smithtown, that remained sixteen feet deep at low tide. Vessels would anchor there when the tide was out, and locals dubbed it “Ships’ Hole.”
By the early 1800s a residence had been built on the shoreline property adjacent to Ship’s Hole. Despite the fact that the river was later rerouted and the once-busy pocket filled in, the agricultural effort that sprang up on the property became known as Ship’s Hole Farm.
Throughout the 1800s, the Nissequogue River was a vital key to commerce and growth on the North Shore. Towns sprang up, and industries—including shipbuilding—provided jobs. Businesses opened and goods were traded, and gentlemen farmers and other businessmen would gather at Rassapeague, a nearby sportsmen’s club.
Ship’s Hole Farm changed hands just twice over the next 189 years, but remained a private working farm known for its rich agricultural resources, livestock and, yes, even pheasants. (That’s another story—we’d love to tell it to you sometime.)
Today, we continue to draw on the rich history of Ship’s Hole Farm as we help expand the idea of community by bringing businesses and individuals together for mutual benefit and growth.
- Our organically grown produce represents the foundation of our farming business, and are of the highest quality and nutritional value.
- Our digital platforms provide a unique marketplace where local businesses can introduce their products and services to customers nationwide.
- Our network of financial and technology partners is a powerful resource for businesses looking to grow and thrive in our modern, global economy.
The land of Ship’s Hole Farm was once a passage way for commerce and community, a familiar friend to those who explored her shores. Today, we remain committed to that ideal, by serving as a trusted colleague and unique resource for our agricultural, business and community partners.