My Neighborhood: Setauket, Long Island

Eileen Hattersley

Eileen Hattersley was drawn to the historic communities of Setauket and East Setauket by their waterfront location and proximity to Stony Brook University and Hospital. “A lot of the professors and doctors live here,” Hattersley says. This makes the twin hamlets, which share a zip code and are collectively known as the Setaukets, “a very educated and liberal-minded” place, she notes. About 35 years ago, Hattersley and her husband, Ron Gold, built a house on a parcel of East Setauket farmland that was among the last in the area to be subdivided and developed. The couple has raised two sons here—and more than a few puppies. An animal lover who worked in broadcast advertising sales earlier in her career, Hattersley has devoted the past 14 years to running a popular home-based dog-breeding business called Labradoodles of Long Island.

—by Bernadette Starzee

FRIENDLY FACES

Mostly residential, the Setaukets have a few commercial strips with stores, restaurants, and service businesses. “It’s the type of place where when you walk into the dry cleaner’s or the hardware store, they know you personally,” Hattersley says. “The Rolling Pin Bakery (1387 Rte. 25A, 631.689.2253) is wonderful. They made our son’s wedding cake, and they make cakes for caterers.” Hattersley also enjoys going to the Setauket Village Diner (238 Rte. 25A, East Setauket, 631.941.382 6) for breakfast and lunch. “The owner is very friendly, the food is homemade, and it’s all local people in there,” she says.

STORIED PAST

The Old Setauket Historic District includes a village green where the Battle of Setauket was fought in 1777. Hattersley is a member of the Setauket Presbyterian Church (5 Caroline Ave., 631.941.4271), which the British took over during the battle. The original structure was replaced in 1812, but the white-steepled church and its burial ground, which dates to the 1600s, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Three Village Historical Society, housed in a historic building ( 93 N. Country Rd., 631.751.373 0), has exhibits and works with Tri-Spy Tours (516.398.7936, culper.com) to offer walking, biking, and kayaking tours of historic sites. Tours pertain to George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, which was based in Setauket. Come summer, the Historical Society’s grounds are also home to a weekly farmers market, one of many farmstands and markets specializing in locally grown products.

BACK TO NATURE

Hattersley enjoys walking her dogs in Frank Melville Memorial Park (1 Old Field Rd., 631.689.614 6). The 24-acre green space offers trails around a scenic pond, a bird sanctuary, and historic structures including a mill house with a working waterwheel, the restored Setauket Post Office, and the Bates House, available for private functions.

BEST BEACHES

West Meadow Beach on Long Island Sound is a large beach with a spray park, playground, gazebo, environmental programs, and a 2.4-mile walking trail that is popular year-round. “It’s very lovely, with a beautiful walking path,” Hattersley says. Dogs aren’t allowed, however, so when she’s with her four-legged friends, she heads to the Port Jefferson Public Beach and Dog Park in the bustling community just east of the Setaukets.

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