Riverhead, NY

Hallockville Museum Farm and Hallock State Park (former KeySpan Property)

Project Type

Conservation, Farms for the Future

Acreage

529.0

Things to do

Hiking, Birdwatching, Photography, Nature Study, Farming

Access

Public

Address
6038 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901

About

The former Keyspan Property (and formerly LILCO) is now home to Hallockville Museum Farm and the new Hallock State Park Preserve -- along with multiple farm operations. These are important places for visitors to see and where you can learn about an extraordinary conservation effort that was undertaken in the early 2000s.

The conservation story includes many partners, including theTrust for Public Land, the KeySpan Energy Corporation (formerly LILCO and today National Grid), the Peconic Land Trust, the Town of Riverhead, New York State, and the Long Island Farm Bureau. This unique partnership enabled the preservation of important agricultural, historical and natural resources.

The History

The former KeySpan property has a long agricultural history, having been divided into farmland parcels in 1661 by the early English settlers of the area.

By the early 20th Century, the property was comprised of nine family farms. In 1903, the Boys Club of New York founded Camp Carey on the property, having purchased 30 Sound-front acres. They added another 95 Sound-front acres to the camp in 1944. The camp hosted about 2,500 boys per summer for six decades.

There was a time when these productive agricultural fields, woodlands, and sound-front would have had a very different future. In the early 1960s, Levon Properties Corporation purchased the 10 individual parcels comprising over 540 acres, and proposed an Industrial Park on the property. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Riverhead Town Board in 1963, and was expected to be completed by 1973. Forty million cubic yards of material (comprising bluffs over 100’ tall) was proposed for removal, and much was removed in the central area of the property.

However, by the early 1970s, the project was abandoned for a variety of reasons, and the property sold to LILCO, which proposed nuclear- and coal-powered plants for the site to much local opposition. The property became part of the KepSpan Corporation after LILCO dissolved most of its assets to LIPA, with the remaining parts of the corporation merging with Brooklyn Union to form the KeySpan Energy Corporation.

In 2002, the Peconic Land Trust began working with KeySpan, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), and New York State to protect the property. The Trust for Public Land purchased the property in 2003.

After purchasing the property, the Trust for Public Land sold 228 acres of wooded sound-front property to New York State for future use as parkland -- and is today Hallock State Park Preserve.

Separately, a 20-acre farm parcel was also conveyed to Hallockville Museum Farm, a 5-acre parcel was conveyed to the Long Island Antique Power Association, and 16 acres were conveyed to the Long Island Power Authority.

Putting the Ag Lands Back into Production

Of the remaining 295 acres of farmland, the Trust for Public Land sold the development rights to limit the land to agricultural use to New York State.

The Peconic Land Trust, under contract with the Trust for Public Land, and with considerable input from New York State, prepared a plan for the subdivision of the farmland acreage to create 8 farm parcels. The farm parcels were then sold -- through a lottery system -- to local working farmers at affordable prices in 2004.

Sites

Hallockville Museum Farm & Hallock State Park Preserve

In 1975, the Hallockville Museum Farm was created to preserve and interpret the history of farming on the North Fork of Long Island. Started by a small group of local residents, the Museum began officially when LILCO donated the Hallock Homestead, outbuildings and 2.5 acres to the museum. Today, the museum includes 18 buildings on 28 acres – and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2017, New York State opened Hallock State Park Preserve. The 220 acre preserve, with visitor center, includes nearly 1 mile of pristine beachfront along with hiking trails throughout the woodlands.

Today, you can visit the Hallockville Museum Farm for tours of the historic buildings and farmland, see tractor pulls hosted by the Long Island Antique Power Association, hike the trails of the Hallock State Park Preserve, and see farm operations unfold on the fields to the north of the museum farm.

Our thanks to everyone involved in making this happen. Go out and visit!

Visitor Information

Information on visiting can be found on the websites for the Hallockville Museum Farm, Hallock State Park Preserve and the Long Island Antique Power Association.

Get Directions

Hallockville Museum Farm and Hallock State Park (former KeySpan Property)

Get Directions

Hallockville Museum Farm and Hallock State Park (former KeySpan Property)

6038 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901

Things To Do

Hiking
Hiking
Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Photography
Photography
Nature Study
Nature Study
Farming
Farming

Get Involved

Hallockville Museum Farm is always looking for volunteers. Learn more!

×
Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.