Riverhead Station and Block Signals out front of the ticket bay, when it was a manned block office. 
Train Order signal on mast 1953 Archive: Dave Keller

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Riverhead Station colorized post card - View E 1906 Archive: Dave Morrison

RIVERHEAD:  1st Depot appears on timetable of 6/14/1845. Moved for use as a railroad bunkhouse: 3/1870
2nd Depot opened: 3/1870
3rd Depot opened: 6/2/1910. Agency closed: 11/13/72 (per "LIRR Ticket Office Hours" listing). Housed signal maintainers until depot was restored and ownership transferred to the Town of Riverhead: c. 2001 
4th Depot with hi-level platforms built: 2000-01

Hyde-map_Riverhead_c.1910_SteveRothaug.jpg (489138 bytes)
Riverhead Hyde map <1902-1908 Archive: Steve Rothaug

Emery Riverhead Station area 1938 - Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

Emery Riverhead Turntable area 1938 - Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

Railroad Museum LI Trackage, Photos, Info

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                                      Emery map Riverhead MP72-73 10/1957 Archive: Dave Keller

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Emery map Riverhead MP73-74 10/1957 Archive: Dave Keller

LIRR Riverhead 1985 map Archive: Frank Fiore

GLF duck-chicken feed plant - View E c.1955
 (Emery-SUNY-Stony Brook)

Riverhead - Suffolk Agway - View E 7/1986 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky
riverhead-1966.jpg (98977 bytes)
LIRR 1966 Freight Sidings Map - Riverhead
LIRR maps RIverhead 1986.jpg (70034 bytes)
LIRR maps - Riverhead 1986 Page 58






Riverhead Turntable Sanborn Maps - Archive: RMLI, Don Fisher

Sanborn map 1885: 1st table west of Griffin Built <1885 45' - 48' in length (Don Fisher)
Map 1891: 2nd table built <1891 55' in length (Don Fisher)
Map 1897: 2nd table realigned track to the turntable
Map 1902: 2nd table removed <1902  It may have been taken out after the 1897 map published or up until 1902 map revision update.
Map 1909: Table re-installed <1909  This table larger then 1891/1897 version. Note 1   And re-installed in 1902 up until the 1909 map published.. 75' turntable with the pit wall so very close to the passing siding (Don Fisher) Note 2
Map 1929 The rest of the maps show realignment of tracks to the table. Out of service 1952.

Note 1: A larger diameter table for bigger engines as K2s (4-6-2) locos were turned on it. This larger 75’ table, in the same location to replace the 55’ would make it the 3rd different table at Riverhead.
Note 2: The 1909 turntable is larger then the 1891 version. 55’ vs. 75’. Using the same turntable center pivot the existing 1891 2nd table pit needed to be dug out another 10’ each way for the newer c.<1909 75’ table.

Sanborn maps were published in volumes, bound and then updated until the subsequent volume was produced. Larger cities would be covered by multiple volumes of maps. Between editions of published volumes, map updates were sent out as correction slips. Sanborn employees, called "Pasters" or "Correctors", would visit subscribers' offices to paste the slips on top of the old maps.  Riverhead had two turntable locations, the first original built west of Griffin and the 55’ to 75’ upgrade east of Griffin by the School house.  Three turntables total.  Research: Steven Lynch

Comparison of the 55' and replacement 75' turntables.

Riverhead turntable - Emery map 10/1957 Archive: SUNY-Stony Brook
Note: Freight/Express House razed 1962 per Emery.

Riverhead-water-tank_crossing-shanty_viewNE_1940_(Weber-Morrison).jpg (97243 bytes)
Riverhead water tank and crossing shanty view NE 1940
(Fred Weber - Dave Morrison)  Note:  The water spout at the entrance to the turntable for watering locos in the yard. Info: Dave Keller

Riverhead Griffin Ave. crossing - View W 1940 (Weber-Morrison)

Riverhead water tank view NE with the turntable pit and passing siding in the foreground 1940 (Fred Weber - Dave Morrison)

Riverhead turntable pit excavation - Richard Horn (left), Bill Raynor 1998
Photo/Archive:  RMLI - Don Fisher

Riverhead turntable  project - ex-GTW RR 86' turntable for future installation
7/08/2002  Photo/Archive:  RMLI - Don Fisher

Riverhead turntable property evaluation 2001 Archive:  RMLI - Don Fisher

Riverhead turntable property evaluation - View south 2001 Archive:  RMLI - Don Fisher
Riverhead Station Area

Riverhead Station - View SW c.1905 Archive: Dave Keller

Riverhead Station LIRR valuation photo rear view NE with the freight house visible at the far right.  10/1917 Archive: Dave Keller

Crossing-Shanty-Osborn-Ave-Frt Cars Spotted-Riverhead, NY (view NW) - 06-1933 (Keller).jpg (78688 bytes)
Crossing Shanty - Freight cars spotted at B. S. Golding's Feed, Osborn Ave., Riverhead View NW 6/1933 Archive: Dave Keller
Station-Riverhead-RH Block Signals-Frt on Siding (View E) - 06-1933 (Keller).jpg (50865 bytes)
Riverhead Station - RH Block Signals- Freight on siding 
View E  6/1933 Archive: Dave Keller

Crossing Shanty - Osborn Ave. and Watchman-Riverhead-View S - c. 1946 (Weber-Keller).jpg (78787 bytes)
Watchman  and crossing shanty at Osborn Ave., Riverhead 
View S c. 1946 (Weber-Keller)

Frt House-Hoppers in Yard - Riverhead, NY (View NE) - 1936 (Keller).jpg (68487 bytes)
Riverhead Freight House Covered grain hoppers in yard 
View NE 1936 Archive: Dave Keller

Long Island Cauliflower Association
Marcy Ave., Riverhead 1959+ Archive: TC Fleischman

Riverhead-Station_viewW_11-12-1943_RMLI-Morrison.jpg (90848 bytes)
Riverhead Station - View W 11/12/1943 (RMLI-Morrison)



It's 1951 with  busy potato and cauliflower business on the North Fork near Riverhead. The LIRR dispatched a light engine to Greenport working westbound picking up the iced loads for NY City markets.  Notice the ice truck icing down the produce, long before mechanical reefers were used.


Riverhead - Reefer being iced c.1951 Photo: John Krause

North Fork potato field  - Archive: Carolyn Gillespie-Markowitz

A very important food crop that was grown on Long Island is the potato. The history of the potato can be traced back to South America around Peru and Chile which the Indians were growing potatoes for centuries before the Spanish brought the potato back to Europe. Then the Irish were the first nation to grow the potato as a filed crop. In 1719 Scotch-Irish settlers in Londonderry New Hampshire were the first to grow potatoes in America. And later on some farmers on Long Island started growing the potato.

A new market for potatoes opened up in Suffolk County when the LIRR built out to Riverhead and Greenport. Within a few years the market price for potatoes doubled  in price from .18 a bushel to .42 a bushel around 1850. During harvest time for the potato which is between  August and October a farmer would dig up his potatoes, have them graded, sacked and then brought to a potato dealer which were located near the LIRR. The potatoes would be weighed and then dumped into a reefer. The LIRR would then haul the potatoes westbound to the NYC market. The potato farmer at this time had small fields with limited production and had to deal with problems such as the potato blight and getting good seed potatoes which would be planted in March.

In 1908 a few potato growers formed a stock corporation called the Long island Potato Exchange in Riverhead. The exchange loaded potatoes, handled fertilizer and other farm supplies through its warehouse. The company,  due to poor management, went out of business in 1914. By the time America entered World War One many inventions to help the potato farmer were manufactured as well as more scientific approaches to agriculture with experimental farms (called stations) located on Long Island. The Suffolk County Farm Bureau was organized which helped farmers with the latest information on solving the problems of production and marketing. Most Long Island potato farmers bought seed potatoes from Maine but you had to wait out the growing season to see if it was good crop. The seed potato couldn’t   freeze or be kept hot or it would be a very bad year for the farmer. The State of Maine has a tight control over the potato and therefore a little chance that a potato would have fungus. In 1915 a few farmers from Riverhead traveled north to look over potato fields and selected the best looking fields and have the seeds shipped to Riverhead in the fall. By 1921 the group formed a company named the Long Island Produce and Fertilizer Co. They built a warehouse next to the LIRR tracks in Riverhead just to store potato seeds. Every March delivering potato seeds to dealers would be good business for the LIRR.

By the 1920’s there were over 37 potato houses serving farmers by grading potatoes and packing them between Calverton and the  North and South Fork. Some of these efficient dealers and packers were Fanning and Housner, Maxim Bobinski, I.M. Young, Long Island Potato, Grange League Federation, A&P Produce, Suffolk Produce, Long Island Produce, South Shore Produce. These companies had many different trackside locations in just about every East End town. It would be up to a farmer who was watching market prices to decide when to bring his potatoes to any of the dealers. Some potatoes, depending on the market price, would be stored throughout the winter and spring to get the highest price. The potato houses were like warehouses equipped with fans and ventilating system and humidity and heating equipment. Between 1920 and 1940 the LIRR added new sidings to accommodate many newly built potato houses in Eastern Long Island such as in 1922 LI Produce in Riverhead. And in 1924 I.M. Young built a Calverton Potato House and another one in Riverhead. In 1926 the L.I. Produce completed a fertilizer warehouse in Mattituck. And in 1946 I.M. Young established themselves in Bridgehampton with a potato house. These as well as all the other potato houses were all shipping points for the LIRR. In 1929 the LIRR transported 11,000 carloads of potatoes. And in 1930 10,195 carloads of potatoes were handled by the rail road.  This was the beginning of more truck completion for the LIRR. And big change that helped farmers everywhere with production during the dry years was the use of portable overhead irrigation.

At various times during the Summer and Fall harvest time the LIRR would station extra locomotives in Riverhead just to do the switch work at the many sidings in order to keep the regular road freights from spending too much time in Riverhead. During the 1930’s Diesel No. 401 or 402 was used. During World War Two a class H6sb 300 was used. Riverhead was also a turning point for “Cauliflower Specials” and “Potato Specials” at times.  During the 1930’s it was common to see freight trains with 110 cars of potato reefers being hauled by the LIRR and mixed freight trains with 70 cars on them.

Between 1943 and 1947 the United States Government purchased  practically all of Long Island’s crops and shipped them all by the LIRR . The freight traffic was so heavy that the LIRR had to use regular boxcars along with reefers to haul potatoes and cauliflower westward to Holban yard and points beyond. The freight business was so good that the LIRR had 36 freight stations repainted and 30 miles of new rail as well as new ties and ballast installed in 1943.

One of the problems that a potato farmer had to be concerned with was being affected by the golden nematodes. In 1941 a potato field in Nassau County the nematodes was discovered. It is believed that a US Army World War One surplus tire that were brought back to the United States from Germany was carrying this parasite along with dirt in its treads. It is resistant to chemicals and can remain dormant in the soil for many years. The nematodes will eat away at the roots of the potato and once found in the soil you will not be able to grow any more potatoes. This potato filed was purchased by Mr. Levitt and became Levittown. The golden nematodes is the reason why you are not allowed to export off Long Island any topsoil, sod, or bring into Maine any Long Island potatoes. (Interview with Joe Geryela)   LIST-NRHS Michael Bartley

A truck offloads potatoes onto a conveyor and into a storage space at Philbrick Starch Co. on Raynor Ave. in Riverhead in 1959. Philbrick Starch Co., a Maine company, open a $200,000 Long Island plant in 1958 which played a part in a federal subsidization of low-grade potatoes for about 430 Suffolk County farmers. Potatoes were washed, ground, and starch and protein water were then separated from the pulp which was dehydrated for cattle feed. The plant was New York State’s first starch factory, but was shuttered by the county health department when waste materials threatened to contaminate the water system.

Andrew Dzenkowski, Sr.1935 
Photo: Charles Meredith Archive: Southold Historical Society

Typical potato and cabbage pallet loads
Archive: Mark Kwiatkoski

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Riverhead view W at Osborne Ave. crossing - B. S. Golding's Feed and 
Lumber Yard siding c.1962 Photo: Brad Phillips

LIRR-461_Train-202_Scoot_Riverhead view W_Riverhead-Station_Golding's Feed and Lumber Yard siding_8-27-73.jpg (55336 bytes)
Riverhead Station - Eastbound "Scoot"  LIRR #461 Train #202  8/27/1973  Archive: Dave Keller

Note: One-car train #202, the Greenport Scoot, that ran between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.  When the daily train ran between Jamaica and Greenport it was train #204.  That train was cancelled and replaced by this shuttle.

 ticket_Riverhead-Calverton_ 4-07-61_BradPhillips.jpg (42016 bytes)

ticket_Riverhead-Calverton-reverse_ 4-07-61_BradPhillips.jpg (25075 bytes)
Ticket between Riverhead and Calverton 4/07/1961 Archive: Brad Phillips

lirr111-H10s_Water-Spout_Riverhead-Express-House_c.1952_DaveKeller.jpg (77106 bytes)
H10s #111 is stopped at the express house and is preparing to take on water in this c. 1952 view looking east. At the left is the freight house with boxcar spotted on the house track. (Dave Keller archive)

LIRR #151 Riverhead freight - View E of Raynor Ave. c.1985
Photo/Archive: Frank Fiore

Note: Left siding is LI Produce, next 50 car passing siding, Main
and right is the “Freight Track.  (See LIRR maps above)

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Riverhead Station Hi-level platforms - M1 #9548 View W
1/28/2015 Photo: Edward Hand

lirr210_train204_newspaper-baggage_Riverhead_viewNW_7-1-64 BradPhillips.jpg (108310 bytes)
LIRR #210 Train #204 newspaper baggage Riverhead view W 7/01/64
Photos: Brad Phillips
LIRR210_train204_newspaper-baggage_Riverhead_viewW_7-1-64 BradPhillips.jpg (115174 bytes)
LIRR #210 Train #204 newspaper baggage westbound approaching
Riverhead Station view W 7/01/64

Riverhead RF-62 pair-MP15s c.1990+ Photo/Archive: Frank Fiore

ticket_Form_1H-G _Riverhead-New-York_US-Govt_8-01-68_BradPhillips.jpg (37725 bytes)
Ticket Form 1H-G Riverhead to Penn Sta. US Gov't 8/01/68 
Archive: Brad Phillips

Track Geometry Vehicle - Engineering Inspection Vehicle (EIV) TC82
Riverhead west of station 10/22/2020 Photo/Archive: Steve Rothaug

NYA RS70 westbound at LD (Larry Dixon) siding (previously RH) MP73.2
 Riverhead 8/03/2021 Photo/Archive: Daniel Foran
Note: Larry Dixon. former GST-General Superintendent-Transportation

Main Line - Riverhead Track profile map 1994

Riverhead Trackside

riverheadmappaulstrubeck.gif (10693 bytes)    1.-3. LI Ice Company
    4.-5. LI Coal Association
    6.-7. LI Produce
    8. Suffolk Potato
    9. Jackson

                                    Riverhead LIRR Map: Paul Strubeck  c. 2008

LIRR Siding Map 1966- Raynor Ave to Marcy Ave.


riverhead10.jpg (85109 bytes)
Switch off the siding that enters into Slater's. There is another switch inside the fence, And this spur once served as a LILCO track. 
riverhead13.jpg (124640 bytes)
 Looking back east you can see the switch leading into Slater"s and the other switch to get to the buildings. The spur looking east once served LI Ice Co. and LI Coal Association 


riverhead17.jpg (99542 bytes)
The first unloading door on the spur 
(Spot #1 on Map) 
riverhead18.jpg (63719 bytes)
Another unloading door (Spot #2 on Map) 
riverhead20.jpg (128768 bytes)
Crumbling smoke stack by the 1st building
riverhead21.jpg (43511 bytes)
A more modern unloading door 
(Spot #3 on Map) 
riverhead24.jpg (77972 bytes)
Wooden unloading door (Spot #4 on Map) 
riverhead25.jpg (72407 bytes)
The last unloading door of the spur
(Spot #5 on Map)
riverhead26.jpg (143995 bytes)
Track Bumper, Just before Marcy Avenue (Spot #5 on Map)
riverhead28.jpg (75138 bytes)
LI Potato Building, No more track 
but the ROW is visible. (Spot #6-7 on map)
riverhead29.jpg (81607 bytes)
LI Potato 1st Unloading door 
(Spot #6 on map)
riverhead30.jpg (80453 bytes)
The other unloading door at LI Potato, Now sealed up (Spot #7 on map) 
LI-Potato-Building_Swezey-Ave_viewNW_ 2-20-17_SteveRothaug.jpg (56076 bytes)
LI Potato Building view N W 2/20/17 Photo: Steve Rothaug

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LI Potato Building view N W 6/21/17 Photo: Steve Rothaug

riverhead32.jpg (70415 bytes)
 Unloading doors (Spot #9 on map)
riverhead36.jpg (85261 bytes)
The end of the ROW view W
 riverhead31.jpg (69821 bytes)
Another building once served off the same ROW, The 1966 map notes this one as just "Jackson",  spots #8 & 9 are visible.  View E
Section-Shanty-west-Osbourne-Ave-Riverhead_viewSW_3-1970_Keller.jpg (220385 bytes)
Riverhead section house west of Osborne Ave. View SW
1971  Photos/Archive: Dave Keller  
Section-Shanty-west-Osbourne-Ave-Riverhead_viewSE_3-1970_Keller.jpg (194949 bytes)
Riverhead section house west of Osborne Ave. View SE 
1970  Photos/Archive: Dave Keller  

Suffolk Potato Exchange sack Archive: Tommy Byrne
Photos, descriptions, research and designed maps, not otherwise noted, are courtesy of Paul Strubeck.