Washington's route marked
July 02, 2008 | 07:41 AM
Early on the morning of April 23, 1790, President George Washington and his entourage left the Roe Tavern in East Setauket and likely traveled along North Country Road, past the Village Green, past the home of Samuel Thompson, and along a road known then as the Old Colonial Road to Smithtown.
Through the efforts of Stony Brook University Professor Malcolm Bowman, SBU has researched, identified, marked and preserved a tiny, remaining fragment of the historic roadway that originally ran east from what is now the intersection of Route 25A and Stony Brook Road, alongside the Hawkins-Mount House, through what is now Stony Brook's campus, to connect with Thompson Hay Path and along Main Street past the Village Green.
At a ceremony on June 26 SBU President Shirley Strum Kenny spoke about the importance of our colonial history and congratulated Professor Bowman and his committee for the work they had done in bring this local history to light. Brookhaven Town historian Barbara Russell noted that "local lore claims that President Washington stopped at Roe's to personally thank him for his service during the war. If so, it would likely be that other participants in the Culper Spy Ring were present to meet the president, and former general, who they so faithfully served under."
John Fogarty, SBU's director of capital planning, undertook much of the research that verified the location of the road. He spoke of how he had undertaken the research to prove Professor Bowman wrong and came to discover the ultimate truth of the road's existence at SBU.