07/02/15 12:00pm
07/02/2015 12:00 PM
Dark Horse Restaurant owner Dee Muma weeds the gravel in front of the pump house in Grangebel Park Monday evening. She’ll soon be selling lunch there. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Dark Horse Restaurant owner Dee Muma weeds the gravel in front of the pump house in Grangebel Park Monday evening. She’ll soon be selling lunch there. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Grangebel Park — likely the first park ever built in town, according to the town historian — will soon see yet another change in its 123-year-evolution.

Built in 1907 to power the town’s water-district infrastructure, the park’s now-vacant pump house, on the Peconic River, will soon see a new use: Dee Muma, owner of the nearby Dark Horse Restaurant, will begin selling lunch from the historic brick building within a few weeks.

“I really feel that [the park] is just the star of our town,” she said. “It’s a gem, and we all need to recreate more and use it. By putting a luncheon place there, it becomes a meeting ground for everybody.”

(more…)

12/28/14 10:00am
12/28/2014 10:00 AM
Judge Griffing's family home on W. Main St. in an undated photo. (Griffing family courtesy photo)

Judge Griffing’s family home on W. Main St. in an undated photo.

Grangebel Park was created in a “different time,” said Riverhead town historian Georgette Case.

It was built in the late 1800s by county Judge Timothy Griffing, who transformed his family’s land along the Peconic River into the park. The Griffing homestead off Main Street overlooked the stately park, which has always been open to the public, Ms. Case said.

Grangebel was likely the first park ever built in Riverhead, she said, and it was designed for a purpose expressly different from that of modern parks, which often have ballfields and soccer pitches and playgrounds. They’re designed for recreation, first and foremost.

From the beginning, however, Grangebel Park has been for relaxing, Ms. Case said. (more…)

05/24/14 10:00am
05/24/2014 10:00 AM
Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Long Island Aquarium Exhibit Artist Eli Fishman shows Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter one of two steel fish sculptures that mark a fish ladder at Grangebel Park. (Courtesy photo)

Two steel fish sculptures were unveiled this week at Grangebel Park in Riverhead to commemorate “World Fish Migration Day” today. The sculptures are part of a newly renovated fish ladder by Long Island Aquarium Exhibit artist Eli Fishman.  (more…)

04/22/14 2:00pm
04/22/2014 2:00 PM
The east dam in Grangebel Park (BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO)

The east dam in Grangebel Park (BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO)

It’s about that time of year again.
No, not time to hit the links or start planting your garden.
It’s time for the alewives.
Christopher Paparo, who runs Calverton-based Fish Guy Photos, posted a video over the weekend of the alewives running through Grangebel Park.
“The ‪#‎alewife‬ run is in full swing on Long Island. Took this video this morning in Riverhead. ‪#‎Intova‬” he posted on Facebook.

The fish passage, which allows alewives to migrate back up the Peconic River, was championed by Bob Conklin, a former Riverhead biology teacher.

Mr. Conklin died in December 2010, just three months before the passage — which was about 10 years in the making — was completed. I

The passage replaced an old dam that was built many years ago and was blocking alewives from traveling from the salt water portion of the river to the fresh water part, where they spawn.

In 2012, the project was the subject of an episode of the fishing show ‘Lunkerville.’

Watch the video by clicking here:

04/14/13 7:45am
04/14/2013 7:45 AM

JOHN NEELY PHOTO | A candlelight vigil against gun violence was held in Grangebel Riverfront Park in Riverhead Saturday night.

Calling for federal action against gun violence, a candlelight vigil took place Saturday night at Grangebel Riverfront Park in Riverhead.

The one-hour vigil, themed “We Have Not Forgotten,” was planned by Riverhead Organizing for Action, part of a national nonprofit that advocates for federal policies throughout the country.

It came after several incidents of gun violence that have hit close to home, including the death of Riverhead High School graduate Demitri Hampton, who was gunned down in his cousin’s Flanders home in January.

cmiller@timesreview.com