The first church building in
Patchogue, a small poorly
constructed building, stood at
the Northeast corner of Main
Street and Waverly Avenue. The
Christian people of Patchogue
purchased a lot on this corner
for thirty shillings in 1791.
Presbyterians jointly built and
used a meeting house here in
1794, each denomination using
the building one-fourth of the
time. In 1820 this building was
replaced with a 33' x 39'
2-story meeting house, built by
The cemeteries butted against
the back of these meeting houses
covering an area approximately
600' x 600'. The first burials,
as far as can be determined,
date back to 1794. These
cemeteries had been neglected in
the last decades and partially
overgrown with trees and bushes.
The sporadic clean-ups were
ineffective because the
intervals between the irregular
clean-ups were spaced too far
apart. Over the last ten years,
much progress has been made, due
to scheduled maintenance and
Suffolk County Grants. The
cemeteries now look presentable,
but more work has to be done.
Cemeteries present an important
part of our history. They are
literally history written in
stone, especially the older
headstones from the 1800's. They
contain much information about
the person buried: The dates of
birth and death, the exact age
in years, months and days, his
family members and sometimes,
the reason for death.
The Waverly Avenue Cemeteries
contain the graves of
twenty-four Revolutionary War
Veterans, two veterans of the
War of 1812, twenty-two veterans
of the Civil War, fourteen
veterans of World War I, five
veterans of World War II and one
veteran of the Vietnam War.
Some of the older headstones
have disappeared or deteriorated
and the burial site cannot be
determined. Since many of the
Patchogue men made a living from
the sea, there are quite a few
headstones that list the cause
of death as drowning.
Several headstones of the 1800's
record family tragedies where
three or four children in the
same family died within a few
days or weeks, apparently from
the same epidemic. The good old
days were not as fast paced as
today, but a sickness, which can
be cured with today's medicine,
proved many times fatal.
Tabulating the data from these
headstones gives a person
interested in history a partial
insight of life in the past.
The Union, Gerard, Rice and Old
Episcopal Cemeteries contain
close to 900 headstones.
The Lakeview Cemetery
The Lakeview Cemetery located on Main
Street next to the former site of the
Lace Mill, was donated to the Episcopal
Church by Ruth Newey Smith, one of the
four Smith sisters of Patchogue 100
A Large plot contains the graves of the
Smith family. Four large 20 foot high
memorial columns dominate the center of
this plot. A center driveway, flanked by
concrete sidewalks, circles the large
monument on the North end of the
cemetery. This monument was erected by
Ruth Newey Smith in 1909, in memory of
her mother, father and three sisters.
This monument is 22 feet tall and weighs
approximately five tons. Four life size
statues on the capstone represent Faith,
Hope, Charity and Liberty. This monument
contains a genealogical history of the
Smith Family from 1641 to 1909 in three
thousand words consisting of eighteen
thousand letters. Each one being an inch
square. In 1909 the cost of this
monument was $5,000.00. Another small
statue stands on the front part of the
cemetery near Main Street.
Notable among the three hundred
headstones in this cemetery are the
stones of five drowned sailors of the
schooner "Nahum Chapin", which was
stranded off Quogue on January 21, 1897,
and eight headstones of the sailors of
the schooner "Louis V. Place" which was
stranded off Lone Hill on February 8,
1895. Only four of the "Louis V. Place"
sailors are buried here, although all
eight received a headstone. Augusta
Weeks, one of the four Smith sisters,
donated the burial plots and covered the
expenses for the sailors' burials.
Elizabeth Oakes Smith, a nationally well
know lecturer, reformer and poetess in
the 1800's, lies buried on the East side
of the cemetery alongside her husband
Sebah Smith, who was well known in
literary circles and published his
writings under the name of "Major
They are buried on the site of their
former home in Patchogue, "The Willows",
which is now part of the cemetery.
112 Automotive, Inc.
Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers