Old Quogue
by Van R. Field

    Quogue is a shortened version of the Indian name for the place, Quanqanantuck.  40 settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts in 1640, founded Southampton Town.
    By 1651 Quogue was purchased by Richard Odell.  John Ogden purchased part of the land.  John Cooper bought rights to the beach for whaling.  Indians were employed to catch whales and shared in the carcasses, which they used for food.  Shell heaps were found in recent times East of Pine Neck Point indicating that an Indian village was probably there.  Long Island Indians were water people.  They clammed, oystered and fished in the bay.  They used clamshells to make wampum, their money.
    About 1740 a settlement started and grew into Quogue village.  By 1755 the first church was organized in Ketchaboneck [Westhampton] and was used by the people from Quogue.  In 1870 Quogue had their own church, the one presently on the corner of Beach Lane.
    Quogue started a school in the winter of 1795-6 with 24 boys and 9 girls.  The teacher was paid 11 shillings per student per quarter.  In 1813 Quogue School became part of District three.  A new building opened in 1822.  It is now behind the Quogue Library. 
    In 1790 the census found 99 people in 12 families living in Quogue. 
       As transportation advanced from stagecoach to railroad, people living in New York City discovered the cool ocean breezes of the south shore of Long Island in summer beat the sweltering heat of their City mansions.  Boarding Houses and hotels sprung up to accommodate these families.  Quogue and Westhampton were among these summer resorts.  Mother, children and the Nanny would move into these boarding houses for the summer.  Father followed on weekends on the train.  Trains were met by wagons from these hotels. Thatís where the name Station Wagon came from.  Some of the places were the Howell House, Hallock House, Foster House, Cooper House, Post House and Quogue House to name a few.
In 1849, shortly before the Civil War a Life Saving station was established on the beach to try and save the lives and the cargos of the sailing ships that were wrecked during storms.  Ships from Europe upon spotting the south shore of Long Island, followed it to New York Harbor.  If the weather turned bad and the ships got too close to shore they would be wrecked.  Soon after grounding and being pounded by the surf, these wooden ships would break up and would wash ashore along with the cargo and the people. 
    The first station housed a surfboat and some rescue equipment.  Local fishermen would race to the building and drag out the equipment and attempt to save the people. There was an inlet a little east near where the Quantuck Beach Club is today.
    In 1872 the building was replaced by a larger station with an observation tower and room for a crew of seven or eight.  Paid members of the U.S. Life Saving Service, who served during the winter when most of the wrecks occurred, had replaced the volunteers.  In 1887 wings were added to the building.  The roof was painted red to make it easier to see from a ship. They were called the red roof stations.  There was one about every four miles on the beach.  To the west was Potunk (Westhampton) which was destroyed when an inlet broke through during the 1938 hurricane.  To the east was Tiana.  The old Tiana buildings are now beach clubs. 
    In 1912 the old Quogue building was again replaced with a larger building.  Both buildings are still on the beach on Dune Road.  The old station has been moved east and has been rebuilt as a private home.  The 1912 building is little changed.  It is also a private home and the owner is preserving it and has it on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Much of this material is extracted from NOTES ON QUOGUE 1659-1959 By Richard Post 1959 by the East Hampton Star
Van R. Field  2-3-02