East Marion

History of East Marion

Population increase spreading outward from the original 1640 settlement of Southold led to the development of East Marion some 20 years later. First known as Oysterponds Upper Neck (Orient was Oysterponds Lower Neck) the hamlet later became Rocky Point and was, for over 50 years, headquarters of a life saving station which rescued countless people who otherwise would have been lost when their ships were wrecked off the sound shore. The United States Coast Guard was in charge of the station during World War II.

Tradition tells us that the hamlet’s present name came from a local admirer of General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” of the American Revolution. An “east” was added when it became known that New York State already had a place named Marion.

Back in the old days, residents of East Marion were nicknamed “shad eyes” since so many were fisherman (Orient residents were known as “turnip pullers” as they tended to be farmers).

East Marion received wide acclaim when, on May 30, 1949, they dedicated a new government post office to serve also as a World War II memorial. The former post office was in a corner of B.C. Tuthill’s run-down store. Town residents raised over $7,000, which together with a bank loan for $1,000, was sufficient to erect the present building.