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Long IslandHistory

Lawmakers to honor Culper Spy Ring at Setauket event

Two Long Island state legislators are introducing twin bills in both houses of the State Legislature that would earmark Route 25A as a key road in history because it was the preferred route for the first organized spy ring in the nation, a secret cadre that helped defeat the British in the War of Independence.

State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and state Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) will join Purple Heart recipients, other elected officials and civic leaders Thursday to recognize the Culper Spy Ring for its service to the country at its birth and designate the segment of Route 25A from Great Neck to Port Jefferson as the Washington Spy Trail.

The event takes place at 10:30 a.m. at The Brewster House on Route 25A and Brewster Hill Road in Setauket, the village where, historians say, in 1778 the Culper Spy Ring was born.

The dedication is the culmination of an effort since 1996 by the North Shore Promotional Alliance, which said the road was also traveled by George Washington himself in 1790, after the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, to thank patriots for helping the nascent republic win its independence.

The nonprofit group, which aims to promote the history, arts and natural resources of Long Island’s North Shore from Great Neck to Port Jefferson, said Route 25A is also the road that Culper spy Austin Roe used to penetrate enemy lines to deliver secret messages to spies in New York City.

Other expected attendees include state Assemb. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-St. James), Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Edward Romaine, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, North Shore Promotion Alliance President Gloria Rocchio, and trustees, town officials and local business leaders.

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