Orient's American Revolution History
The hamlet was settled by five families in the 17th century on land granted by the King of England. During the American Revolutionary War, it was Benedict Arnold's settled his headquarters.
Along with the famous American Betrayer nearby American Loyalist were stationed there too. Back then many of the loyalist's were British rebels who founded the political party Toryism in 1689.
They conducted raids on Yankee-held Connecticut. Ferry service has connected Orient Point to southern New England for well over a century.
Orient Beach State Park is a natural wonderland of waterfront and a rare maritime forest with red cedar, black-jack oak trees, and prickly-pear cactus. In 1980 it became a National Natural Landmark. Other natural attractions in the park include the saltwater marsh and marine wildlife.
Great Blue Herons, Egrets, Black Crowned Night Herons, and Osprey are common sights in the park, leading to its recognition as an Audubon Important Bird Area. There are so many things to do in Orient Beach State Park. Guests come for relaxing, picnicking, enjoying the peaceful outdoors, and various recreation activities.
Visitors can swim in the bay, fish from shore, go kayaking, windsurfing, and stand-up paddle boarding, go hiking or biking or walk a nature trail. Pavilions available to rent for private parties. Orient Beach is a United States Light House Society Passport Stamp Location where patrons can view Orient Point Lighthouse, Plum Island Lighthouse, Long Beach Bar Lighthouse, and the Cedar Island Lighthouse.
Special events such as the Spring Egg Hunt and Holiday Tree Lighting, Bike-a-thons, and kayaking tours are all well attended. The Oysterponds Union Free School District's mission is to educate and nurture the mind, body and spirit of all students. They only operate Oysterponds Elementary School that educates students from Pre-Kindergarten through 6. The district pays for students in grades 7-12 to attend nearby Greenport schools.
Most Orient residents head to nearby Greenport for shopping opportunities as well as cultural and historical attractions.
Convenience to Route 25 and the Long Island Rail Road’s Greenport station allows for simple travels and commutes from Orient.
Orient, NY in Present Day
Today, it is even easier to get to Connecticut across the Long Island Sound from Orient. The Cross Sound Ferry offers regular service to New London, Connecticut. The trip takes 90 minutes. The fleet includes the high-speed Sea Jet. This passenger-only boat gets across the Sound in only 40 minutes.
Casino bus packages can be purchased for both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. A two-hour sunset cruise aboard the high-speed catamaran Cecilia Ann is a fun way to spend an evening. The Long Island Lights tour offers great views of eight lighthouses and historically significant sights around the waters of Plum Gut, Gardiners Bay, Long Island Sound, New London Harbor, and Fishers Island Sound.
Take a step back in time on the North Fork. The Oysterponds Historical Society Preserves the Native American artifacts, documents, family records, tools, art, and other surviving evidence of the maritime, agricultural, cultural, and religious life of the early residents of the area.
In 2019, they are celebrating 75 years of welcoming guests to their annual Summer exhibitions, programs and community events in their restored buildings that showcase previous chapters of life in Orient. Admission to tour the Village House and the Old Point Schoolhouse is always free.
Heritage Day starts with a parade, then a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Old Point Schoolhouse and a celebration in Poquatuck Park. The Holiday House Tour is a special way to celebrate the season.
Local farms grow and sell 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers.
There is something very special about speaking directly to the farmers about their crops.
Most produce is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, utilizing organic methods when practical. The farm stands make Orient a destination for foodies, literally farm to table.