by Bradley Harris, Smithtown Town Historian
(This is the third article in a series about the history of the Ft. Salonga area for the FSA newsletter. This article focuses on the period of time after the Revolutionary War and before the Civil War, a time when Ft. Salonga was a stagecoach stop on the road between Smithtown and Huntington.)
Ft. Salonga in the nineteenth century….
When the Revolutionary War came to an end and the Treaty of Paris was written in 1783, the British forces occupying Smithtown and Huntington pulled out and seemed to disappear overnight. Many of the people who lived in the Ft. Salonga area and had fled across the Sound to escape the British menace, returned to find their homes and farms in shambles following the eight long years of the British army’s occupation. Houses had been broken into, the contents taken. Barns and outbuildings had been pulled apart and the boards broken up for firewood. Fences had been destroyed and livestock had been hunted and consumed, and farm fields lay fallow and neglected. For some folks the devastation was so discouraging that they decided to pack up what was left of their worldly possessions and headed west to start life anew. Those who stayed — the Smiths, the Gildersleeves, Platts, Longbothums, Ketchams, Skidmores, and Rogers worked to rebuild and restore their farms. The homes that remained standing were clustered along Bread and Cheese Hollow Road, North Country Road, and Ft. Salonga Road, and these clusters became the centers of population in the area during the 19th century. One of these centers was located where North Country Road and Bread and Cheese Hollow Road intersected and was known as Fresh Pond. Read More