Summer Resort Era
Although several wealthy New Yorkers, seeking escape from the tumult of the city, built country estates in Huntington as early as the 1830s, the railroad made Huntington a summer colony for wealthy New Yorkers, who could now commute to work in the city while their families spent the summers near Huntington’s shores. By the late 1880s, Huntington had well established summer colonies all along its shores. Resort hotels and summer cottages attracted many to the town.
The advent of the automobile along with improved roads made Huntington even more accessible. Centerport resident William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. built the first roadway specifically for automobiles in 1908. His Long Island Motor Parkway ran from Queens to Ronkonkoma. In addition to providing easy access to Long Island, it served as a racetrack for the annual Vanderbilt Cup races. A portion of the road led through Dix Hills opening up that section to large estates.
In the 1890s, local utility services were established. A trolley ran from Huntington Harbor to the train depot. Service was later extended across the Island to Amityville. The trolley was replaced by buses in 1927.