ImageWhile walking along the shoreline of Reeves Beach you will come to what appears to be the ruins of an old pier or dock. Upon closer inspection, it looks more like the ruins of an old ship. If you stumbled upon these ruins and thought it was an old ship, you are close. A sudden storm, in 1957, tore apart a train of barges and pontoons being towed by two tug boats. The barges wound up all over the north shore, some being sunk to avoid becoming navigational hazards. They were carrying dredging equipment to Stony Brook. What you are seeing is the ruins of some of the barges.

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To see the barge ruins, park by the gazebo at the north end of Park Ave in Riverhead, walk to the shore, then proceed west for 2000 feet. You can't miss them.

 

Comments (10)

    I am very familiar with swimming in these wrecks over 50 years ago. There were in total 6 -7 ships, 4 East, 3 West. The story back then described them as WW1 wooden transport ships intentionally brought there to form a breakwater, however, the project was not fully approved. A "mystery" fire broke out and sank them. 1 ship broke away from the 3 west ships and settled between the two rows close to shore. The breakwater never properly formed and whomever sank them abandoned the effort.
    Mr. Meyer is most correct about the history of the boats. They were well entrenched in the sand when we visited our grandparents who had a cottage nearby in the early 1950's. There were actually 6 boats. The sixth broke away at some point and was beached between the 5 pictured and was eventually covered with sand. It would reappear from time to time when storms washed the sand out.
    This is true we learned this in school they were world war 1 landing craft placed there.
    My husband's grandfather has told the same story Mr. Meyer has posted. This entry should be corrected- ask any resident of Riverhead (we're fourth generation) and you'll get the correct story of the intentional beaching of these ships as a breakwater. What is Mr Leita's confirmation that they were lost in a winter storm? Mr. Meyer- I would be very interested in your nautical artwork- do you have a website?
    Mr. Meyer, What are the chances of seeing scans of the photos you mention? Would be very interesting for the historical record and of course would confirm your account.
    I happen to know personally 3 people that wittnessed the 5 ships being put into place to form a break water for a sand and gravel operation in the early 1930's. And they have photos that were taken by their father of the 2 rows of ships, 3 make up the eastern row and 2 in the western row, alll set up end to end on purpose to form as I said the breakwater. In the early 1940's these same people were at the Baiting Hollow Congregational Church for the morning service, suddenly someone burst in shouting the ships are on fire! all of them! Everyone went down to see this including the farther and his siblings and yes he took photo's of the ships burning. also these ships were last used as Wortld War I troop ships, steam powered sailing ships. They were moved from New York Harbor as surplus derilects stripped of their engines and salvagable materials and brought to their final resting place. THAT IS THE TRUE ACCURATE STORY ABOUT THE 5 SHIPS AT REEVES BEACH. I WAS THERE ON 5/13/12 TAKING MORE PICTURES AS I HAVE OVER THE PAST 36 YEARS, SOME TIMES TO USE THE SHIPS AS A BACKDROP FOR MY NAUTICAL ARTWORK AND MOSTLY TO JUST GO SEE THIS BEAUTIFULL SCENE ESPICIALLY WHEN THE SUN IS SETTING FROM MID SPRING THRU TO THE FALL, WITH SOME OF GOD'S PAINTING WITH THE CLOUDS IT IS GREAT!
    We just visited them today . To appreciate them you need to go at low tide . You can then see the propellers .
    I used to explore these with my brother-in-law and cousin back in the '70s. Awesome!
    i have had many parties on these things and many 4x4 drives down the beach to just park here and clear my head. thre pretty cool the motors and props are still in the water as well
    In the "Cove" off Belle Terre were also several sunken barges from the sand mining industry. Don't know if any traces are left.

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