A 42-acre piece of land in Jamesport known to contain the cremains of ancient Long Island residents is slated to be preserved by Suffolk County, announced Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski at Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter’s State of the Town address Wednesday night.
The property, known locally as Sharper’s Hill, is an archeological site that was the last known repository of special cremains of transitional people on Long Island, dating back 8,000 to 10,000 years.
The property includes two lots, 10 acres fronting Route 24 that are commercially zoned, while 34 acres behind the property could be developed with houses.
A development plan, called Jamesport Commons, was in the works for the site.
Mr. Krupski announced Wednesday that “the landowner accepted an offer from Suffolk County to preserve the properties in perpetuity.”
The ten acre front parcel, which contains Sharper’s Hill, will be preserved for use as a hamlet park.
The 32-acre parcel to the north contains prime agricultural soils and will be preserved through the County’s farmland purchase of development rights program.
Last year, Mr. Krupski sponsored the legislation which began the preservation process.
“There are many people to thank for getting us to this point, including my colleagues in the Suffolk County Legislature for approving the appraisal, Riverhead Town for agreeing to maintain the hamlet park, the landowner for participating in the process and the community for having the foresight in recognizing the importance of these lands and working towards their preservation,” said Mr. Krupski.
Although the Suffolk County Legislature must approve the final purchase, Mr. Krupski said he has “a strong degree of confidence” he will have the support of his colleagues.
Members of Jamesport civic groups have long worked for the preservation of the property.
“This action by the county precludes massive commercial development which would have literally overwhelmed the hamlet of Jamesport,” said Save Main Road representative Larry Simms. “It preserves the character of the rural corridor, the backbone of our agriculture and tourism-based economy. And, it delivers much needed, centrally located public space, with access to a regionally important historic site.”
“These benefits will be enjoyed not only by residents and business owners in Jamesport and neighboring hamlets, but by everyone using Main Road,” he added. “We’re all indebted to Legislator Krupski and his staff, as well as to the town board, which partnered in the maintenance of the new park.”
The preservation efforts were also supported by the Jamesport/South Jamesport Civic Association, the Long Island Indigenous People Museum & Research Institute, the Setalcott Nation, Group for the East End and North Fork Environmental Council.