Sayville History, Long Island

Click for Old Pictures - A collection of old photographs and pictures

Long Island Maritime Museum
Long Island Maritime Museum. Exhibits about the wireless station and boating. On the bay.
(631) 854-4974.

Meadow Croft
(631) 567-1487
The Jon Roosevelt Estate, constructed in 1891. At one time looked haunted. Set back in the eastern swamps. Jon Roosevelt was part of the famous Roosevelt family. Click here for full story.

The Telefunken/Sayville Wireless Station Known for the interception of the promise by the German government that if Mexico attacked us during World War I they could get California back. Mexico was involved in this intrigue until they got caught.

Melissa Joan Hart - Most famous person from Sayville.


Sayville was inhabited by Secatogue Indians of the Algonquins and  there were thirteen tribes. Secatogue means "black meadow lands". The Secatogue Indians were mostly peaceful and showed the settlers how to plant potatoes, sweet corn, squash, and other crops. The Great South Bay has hard clams called "quahogs" in the Indian's tongue. The dark purple part of the shell was carved into beads and strung on sinews. It was called wampum.

The First Sayvillians

During 1655 settlers from Connecticut landed in what is now Setauket, Long Island. Long Island was part of the Connecticut colony. During 1697 William Nicoll got land from William III. The expanse was from the Connetquot River to Namkee Creek , that sets the border between Bayport from Bluepoint, north to Lake Ronkonkoma, and south to the bay. Sayville, West Sayville, Oakdale,  Bayport, Bohemia, and part of Holbrook, became part of Nicoll's property, but the bay and Fire Island went to Brookhaven.

Sayville Founded by Family of Witch Hunters!
The early settlers on Long Island came from areas of New England such as Connecticut and Salem Village, Massachusetts.  Sayville's Founder John Edwards, who was a tailor, was born in 1738 in Easthampton.  The Edwards moved to the county from Salem Village, Mass., and was involved in a Witch Trial!. After returning from the French and Indian war, John Edwards saw the beautiful land along the Great South Bay at Sayville and wanted to return. During 1761 John Edwards and his wife Sarah Edwards built the first home in town. Today it would have been located on the corner of Foster  and Edwards. During 1913 it was destroyed by fire. During 1785 Matthew Edwards, the son of John Edwards, constructed a house on what is now the corner of  Edwards and  Gillette Ave. In 1838 Matthew's son James moved the house to the corner of Collins Ave. and Edwards Street. This is now the location of the Sayville Historical Society which started in 1944. It is located in the south of Montauk.

The Name Sayville

There is controversy as to why Sayville is called Sayville. There are several theories: It was a misspelling by a clerk, there was already a "Seaville" so it was renamed Sayville because "Say" means "Sea" and another is Sayville is a contraction for "Salem Village" as in Say+Ville. Another is at a meeting at the old Bedell Tavern John Wood called for the name to be Seville, then changed to Sayville by a clerk's error.

World War I

The accountant of Joe Kennedy was stationed in Sayville during World War I. As soon as the war started he enlisted in the navy at the age of about 45. He was stationed in Sayville, given a gun, and ordered to protect the coast from German invaders. During the week he spent his time playing cards and drinking on the Fire Island beach. Every weekend the rich "Great Gatsby" type society women in the then new, big Victorian mansions would have huge parties for the sailors where  they had all you can drink free alcohol. He said, "Fighting in World War I was the happiest part of my life."

The Telefunken West Sayville Wireless was very significant during World War I. The Germans used it to sink the Lusitania and help Mexico invade and steal states like California. President Woodrow Wilson sent the Marines to Sayville to kill or attack the German there. Thus, America's first military action in the First World War was in Sayville.

Father Devine

Father Devine aka George Baker was a black cult leader that set up his headquarters in Sayville. The house was sold to him because the prior owner wanted to spite a neighbor that he did not get along with by having a black live next to him. The ad actually said for sale to "colored." He commanded his followers to worship him as God incarnate. Their first communal dwelling, which they called heaven, was in Sayville. All members had to turn over all possessions to him, and work for free.  There was lots of noise. "I phoned to Divine's place one night and I asked if the noise could be stopped," said a neighbor. "A voice I believed to be his replied, ‘Do you know whom you are talking to? This is God himself!"'

Father Devine A Sayville resident that said he was God, and said he killed a judge with his supernatural powers.

The Curse on the Village: He put a curse on the village " Sayville sowed seeds of its own destruction."

Because of the weird goings on, many real estate agents wanted to run him out of town since his presence lowered the property values on Macon St. Worldwide there were 178 “Heavens” and Father Devine contributed to Sayville’s reputation for this sort of thing worldwide. People came from all over to worship him as god.  According to Newsday, ""I have information that this man is not a moral man, but immoral," Smith said. 'I believe that he is not a useful member of society, but rather a menace to society.' Divine would have the last laugh. Five days after the sentencing, the 55-year-old Judge Smith died of a heart attack. From his jail cell in Riverhead, Divine is reported to have said, 'I hated to do it.' " "Devine Intervention in Sayville" by George DeWan, Newsday.

He was arrested in 1931 for being a nuisance. Father Devine was convicted, and immediately afterwards the judge died. Papers all over the country said the judge was struck down by god for sentencing Devine to 1 year in jail. Eventually to the relief of the business community and real estate agents, Devine relocated to Harlem. His white woman was called Mother Devine.

"FLASHES of LIGHTENING went out from his body."

USE OF LIGHTNING: According to the FATHER and MOTHER DIVINE'S International Peace Mission Movement, "Witnesses say that just then FATHER clutched HIS Heart and in the power of HIS Spirit flashes of  lightning went out from HIS Body, and as it did so, the D. A. staggered from the middle of the courtroom to the stairway outside, falling down the stairs paralyzed." In addition, his followers claimed he set a hotel on fire, and killed his critic Mrs. Annie Hallick, all with his supernatural powers.

Marlon Brando Marlon Brando - Marlon Brando got his first acting job in Sayville. Following is an excerpt from Mr. Lawrence Grobel's book, "Conversations with Brando.": "In the summer of 1944, as a member of New York's Dramatic Workshop, he performed in Sayville, Long Island, where casting agent Maynard Morris 'discovered' Brando."

Great Acts of Vandalism - The greatest act of Vandalism in the town was when some kids in the early 1980s broke the dam of Lotus Lake and largely emptied the lake. Another infamous act was the when the windows were broken during a football game by the same kids. So many windows were broken at the same time that one eyewitness said, "In the dark, it looked like the whole building was coming down!" Mr. Carpenter, the principal of the High School at the time said of the leader, "This is the worst student I ever encountered. I call upon all students to help me capture him." He never did.

Sayville Historical Society
(516) 563-0186
Open to the public: First and third Sunday, October through June (2:00-4:00 p.m.)       
Corner of Edwards Street and Collins Ave., south of Montauk Hwy.

The Sayville Historical Society has a museum and archives about the history of the village.

Eileen Stevens 

Linda Gray as Eileen Stevens

Linda Gray of "Dallas" played a Sayville mother whose son was murdered by a group of mean kids.

Her son was sleeping at home, and some rotten kids pulled him out of his home, locked him in a car trunk,  and took him away. They forced him to drink alcohol until he was dead. It was done by members of a school club. Her son was named Chuck Stenzel. A famous book was written about the incident and she got many anti-hazing laws passed. She dedicated her life to fight hazing and the kids from the school club. A movie about her and her son , that the cruel kids killed, was called  "Broken Pledges: The Eileen Stevens Story." with Linda Gray of Dallas. Linda Gray also made a movie with Melissa Joan Hart. MORE

Linda Lovelace

Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace lived north of the North Woods when the woods was still there, and south of the dumps. She was often seen shopping in SunVet Mall and Times Square, which is now K-Mart. She made a film where she had sex with an animal, as well as with Sammy Davis Jr. AND his wife. Hypnosis was used to increase her sexual appetite and she interviewed to work for Xaveria Hollander the "Happy Hooker."

Her home just off  Sunrise Hwy. was used as her world headquarters to fight pornography with Gloria Steinem.



The biggest selling porno movie in history.

Islip Grange
Open: Monday thru Thursday (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
Restored buildings including a windmill and church.

Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart made shows about Sayville, and is its most famous person. The first year of Sabrina the Teenage Witch was inspired by her treatment at the Sayville Schools. The movie "Drive Me Crazy" was also inspired by  Sayville.

Melissa Joan Hart Biography    Melissa Joan Hart - Click for her life in Sayville.

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A History of the Sayville Community By Charles P. Dickerson Historical Sayville, Sayvile, Savyille and Long Island History and Sayville News. See the Suffolk County News archives.

History of Sayville

Historical West Sayville

Sayville History

Sayville Historical Society

Long Island History and history museums. Suffolk County History and Museums information, with info on genealogy . Town of Islip History. Sayville Clock. The Sayville Inn is located near downtown. m d o main real Long Island and New York State scary urban legends and folklore. Folklore and Urban Legends of Long Island, New York City Scary Myths Reference Archive & True Pictures of Sayville. Sayville Folklore and City Urban Legend, Long Island Myth, Lake Ronkonkoma
Pictures true pics. Author of urban legends. Melissa Joan Hart. Fisherman Urban legend.
of the Indian princess. Stories. Melissa Joan Hart Biography.

The oldest home around was built by Zebulon Gillette in the 1796. Zebulon Gillette lived from 1788 to 1828, and he married someone called Lucinda Avery.
They lived in Bayport/Blueprint, not Sayville. They more than likely came to Suffolk County from Massachusetts. Gelton Gillette was born in 1807 in Blue Point.
Charles Z. Gillette livd in Sayville in the 1860s. Here is the picture of the Gillette Department Store: http://sayville.suffolk.lib.ny.us/Businesses_files/Lg%20Gillette.htm 
Rob_roos Amity  The truth of Jeremiah Ketcham in Amityville. Jerimiah Ketcham was weird, as well as Ron DeFeo. Long Island History and Legends. Al Capone Hardy Boys in Bayport, with info on Edward Stratemeyer and Leslie McFarlane.

 The murders on long island could very well have been a hoax. The house may be haunted. The murder was terrible. The dollhouse at 2 brunswick became a movie The auction and pictures of the dmv may of been a true story haunting haunting the horor and the basketball team had any difffernt Amityville pictures that are horrow of the house that lutz lived in. Plenty of Amityville horror photos and useful information about the Dominicans and dmv and the history of the village and house. Father Pecoraro the priest was called Father Mancusco in the movie. The haunting of the horrible house. Home of horro. Amityville Real Estate. The Warrens investigated. Images of the monster and the true story of the horrors and the tale of the house. Tales and stories of the supernatural and Jodie the Pig, and other monsters. City Confidential and info on Kaplan, with details on the Seventh Victim. George Lutz said the house was scary and creepy. The murder was spooky in Long Island. Really freaky. The biography of Butch DeFeo. Amityville photos and pictures. There was a possession of the son at the Horror House. He killed his whole family. There were many horrors in the house. The house was known to be haunted. But many say it was a horror hoax, just a story. The haunting and the horror story was well known. The Amityville Horor occured many years ago. The history of the area tell the truth about the horror. The news and photo of the photo amytville home is here, with photos of De Feo. Links to sites and a space project. George Lutz went insane. John Ketchum and accusations of being a witch.. The house in New York had many stories told about it, but what is the truth? Chief Rolling Thunder and the Indian legand.