History & Culture
As with much of the North Shore, Riverhead’s early inhabitants were Algonquin-speaking Native Americans when settlers arrived in the 1600s. But it took until the aftermath of the American Revolution for the town to be mapped out and founded in 1792. The 19th century saw Riverhead the hamlet emerge as the commercial hub. That history of commercial strength laid the foundation for a cultural scene you might not find elsewhere on the North Shore. The jewel in the cultural/historic crown is the lovingly restored Suffolk Theater on East Main, which brings in established comedians like Bob Saget and Paul Reiser; old-timey chart-toppers like Mary Wilson and Art Garfunkel; and novelty acts such as the Chippendales male revue and a woman who impersonates Barbra Streisand. On the same street is the well-regarded Long Island Aquarium. Today, Riverhead is on the move, a 21st-century success story with a welcome diversity and attractive property values.