The Perkins Local History Collection
Our Yellow Barn's History
The barn was originally the Perkins’ Family Carriage House built circa 1873. It was given landmark status by the Town of Riverhead in 2017. The Perkins House is part of the founding history of Riverhead Town. John Perkins came to America in about 1828. He met his wife Marion and bought the mill at Upper Mills from the Albertson’s and settled in Riverhead. He operated a woolen and fulling mill, manufacturing wool goods and stocking yarns with a specialty in waterproof fabric. John Perkins died in 1866 and his sons, John R. and J. Henry took over his business. J. Henry managed the family’s store and John R. managed the factory. In 1888, J. Henry Perkins started a hydro-electric project, converting waterpower from the Peconic River to electrical energy to provide lights for his neighbors. The Perkins Family also had owned a button factory as well as a chocolate factory. In 1929, The Riverhead Hotel Association opened the Hotel Henry Perkins to honor J. Henry Perkins and in that same year, construction of the Suffolk County Historical Society building began. Both the Suffolk County Historical Society and The Riverhead Free Library properties were gifts from the Perkins Family. The Perkins Carriage House also known as the Yellow Barn is currently being used by The Friends of the Riverhead Free Library for the sale of gently used books to support the library and its programs.
Our Local History
Historic Districts and Buildings
Local History Rooms
These public libraries in Suffolk County have local history rooms:
In addition, other libraries in Suffolk County usually have local history special collections or archives. Inquire at the reference desk.