As I said a few months ago in the Spotlight Photos Section ( Tale Of Two Towns ) I can't really tell the story of The Mastics, without including the major population areas near it, especially the towns of Patchogue to the west & Moriches to the east. I have many personal memories of both places going back to 1950, although my connection to Patchogue holds more affinity ( I lived there from 1964 - 1973)
In my course of studying the transformation of Mastic Neck in the early 20th century from a handful of large private estates to a blue collar vacation spot, I discovered that many of the estate workers came from the Moriches area. Several generations of the Ross, Penney and Hulse families just to name a few were caretakers for the Dana, Knapp and Floyd estates.
So I have decided to kick off this little adventure with a look at old Moriches. It also seems fitting to start here, as it is where I learned to read and write at what was known as the Moriches Annex school 1st - 3rd grades... they were formative years for sure.
The gentleman standing on the dock or footbridge in this early 1900's postcard is most likely Edmund Hallock (1842-1930). The Hallocks like the Penney, Ross, Bishop, Fanning,Terry, Chichester, Tooker, Hawkins, & Walkman families, are names that go way back in Moriches history. From what I can tell from this photo I would say it was probably taken on the headwaters of Forge (Mastick) River where it is crossed over by the Montauk Highway. Mr. Hallock had property on both sides of Montauk Highway and was postmaster at one of the oldest Post Offices in Suffolk County. And no one who went to the Annex or William Floyd school could ever forget the elementary school teacher Mrs. Hallock and her yardstick !
The Hallock Store & Post Office (RED DOT) was tucked between their home (Picket Fence) and the church (Rail Fence)
At Times Parts Of North East Mastic Were Called West Moriches
Looking eastward along The Main Road (now Montauk Highway) about 1905. That is the Edmund Hallock residence on the left
photo: Illustrated History Of Moriches by Van & Mary Field
As far as a "town" was considered Moriches was in reality just a wide spot in the road compared to the much larger Centre Moriches (original spelling) But it was the closest town of convienence for the Mastic estate owners from the begining of the United States until the mid 1920's when Mastic started to develop. Moriches provided a Post Office, general store, a school and a church which was also the social center.
photo: Illustrated History Of Moriches
As pretty as a Christmas card.
This photo of the Moriches church was taken in the 1950's by the Vignali family. John Vignali was pastor here from 1947- 1987. That's the parsonage next door. John's daughter Dorothy Vignali Schell who sent it to me along with other photos was in the William Floyd Class of '63. I always recall looking at the steeple on our trips to Center Moriches throughout the '50's & early 60's.
The steeple is a little shorter but the church & parsonage are still standing strong.
Today it is known as The Moriches Bible Church