Noyac (Noyack) is a name of Indian origin, meaning “a point or corner of land.” Probably because of Jessup’s neck, a peninsula acquired by John Jessup in colonial times, that juts deeply into the bay. Once home to the Montauk and Shinnecock tribes, it is now the exquisite Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge Center that offers a wide range of habitats from shoreline to kettlehole ponds.
Noyac is rich in history and natural resources. Peconic Bay, its forests, ponds and streams were a great bounty to its inhabitants, starting with the Native Americans who had a sizeable population here. In the 17th and 18th centuries, mills, powered by water (both stream and tidal), were used to grind grain, saw planks, full wool and weave fabric. In the 1800’s it was the descendants of Noyac’s Jeremiah Osborne who introduced Merino sheep, thoroughbred cattle stock, the Bartlett pear and other fruit varieties to the east end of Long Island.
During the Revolutionary War, Col. R. J. Meigs and his rebel force landed by boat in Noyac from Connecticut and sneaked into Sag Harbor and launched a successful raid on British ships moored in the harbor.
In the late 1800’s and 1900’s it became a summer colony with hotels (that have long since burned down), a few grand Victorian homes, and in the 1930-40’s bungalows. It’s most famous and beautiful beach—Foster Memorial Beach, known as Long Beach—was given to the town in 1949-50 by Clifford Foster and it’s a delight to locals and visitors alike. Noyac’s hills, created by glaciers that receded ten thousand years ago created the thickest and most pristine lens of fresh water on the South Fork, as thick as 500 to 800 feet in parts. It’s the waterworks that feeds our surrounding area. The Town Code recognizes our morainal hills as a “sole source aquifer” and “deep-water recharge area” to be protected. Native American Indians called it “the place of good water” as did colonialists on down to modern day. To a certain extent, it remains so but is under siege from developments.