Reminiscent of Southold’s New England heritage, this quaint hamlet was known in the 17th century as Booth’s Neck. Then by the 18th century its name had changed to Robin’s Island Neck.
The community of New Suffolk nestles along its eastern shore. One of two planned communities in Southold, the hamlet was created in 1836 by four investors who purchased the Albertson farm and laid out the community along the Peconic Bay waterfront. It not only had a school and store but also a hotel to accommodate a bustling summer tourist trade. The scallop trade was once an important source of revenue during winter time.
A busy port, New Suffolk is probably best known as the location for the water trials for the first United States Navy Commissioned submarine, the Holland.
The United States Torpedo Boat Holland (SS-1)
Christened: May 17, 1897
Commissioned: Oct. 12, 1900
The USSTB Holland (SS-1) was the Navy’s first commissioned submarine. The ship was designed in the 1890s by John P. Holland, an inventor and self-taught engineer who emigrated from Ireland.
The Holland and six more submarines were brought to New Suffolk for trials in Peconic Bay and / or overhauling at the Holland Torpedo Boat Company on the shores of New Suffolk.
The Holland’s design was drawn to imitate the sleek lines of a porpoise, and every effort was made to enhance submerged performance. It was designed to be a warship with much of the restricted interior space dedicated to a weapons system.
The Fulton one of six submarines tested in New Suffolk.
Approximately a mile off the shore of New Suffolk lays Robbins Island. Now privately owned, the island was once owned by the ardent loyalist, and former Town Supervisor Parker Wickham. At the conclusion of the American Revolution, Wickham was the only loyalist in Southold to lose his property including Robbins Island by an act of the New York Legislature, for siding with the British during the war.