Walking the streets of the little hamlet of New Suffolk, one would hardly believe that it was once home to America’s first submarine base and one of the busiest ports in the area.
The submarine USS Holland (SS-1), the first commissioned submarine in the U.S. Navy, along with five other Holland Torpedo Boat Company-designed submarines of the Plunger class, were based in New Suffolk between 1899 and 1905, prompting this claim. First called Booth’s Neck and, later, Robin’s Island Neck, the area was already a busy port long before the Holland Torpedo Boat Company began making submarines for the US Navy.
Although the boat company is gone, replaced by a community park, garden, and café overlooking the bay, the area continues to offer an abundance of aquatic activities. New Suffolk is a popular destination for recreational boating and the small downtown center is the best place to watch the North Fork’s popular Wednesday Night Sailboat races.
New Suffolk still retains its quaint New England charm, with stunning historic architecture and a two-room school house for students in grades K-6. The New Suffolk School District is one of the smallest in New York State.