HARBORFIELDS… its beginning in 1956

When my family first moved to Centerport in March 1955 I was in the 7th Grade at the Little Neck School on Little Neck Road in Centerport.  This building now houses the Centerport Methodist Church and Pre School.  This school consisted of two classes for each grade level.  The classes were split up in two different groups of kids….  The kids that lived on the Huntington Beach Side… (across the Mill Dam, not known as “the Presidents Streets” or the Little Neck Peninsula side (or the Vanderbilt area — otherwise known in Real Estate as “the other side”)  …  People have actually called and said “We live in The President’s Streets and just wondering if you have any listings coming up in Centerport on The Other Side)  …  Basically, these two classes remained “segregated” until the new district was formed.

The classes together made up the grades for the school.  It wasn’t until we entered the new school district that was formed when Huntington School District declared that no more would they take kids from Centerport and Greenlawn to enter their school did these two classes mix together along with the kids from Greenlawn which is now known as Harborfields School District.  At the time we started school in then what was called the Taylor Avenue School, (which is the furthest south area closest to Pulaski).HARBOFIELDS TAYLOR AVENUE BUTTON FROM 1955

There was only a 9th grade and an 8th grade coming together in Greenlawn.  It was at the beginning in September 1956  when we all got together and the first BIG assignment was to name the school district.  There were many different names chosen by the social studies classes, but the one that was chosen was Harborfields….  Harbor from Cow Harbor (Centerport Harbor) and Fields from the potato fields in Greenlawn where the school was located.  It was our job to decide many things… the school colors (green and white), the mascot (Tornado – then was the “Taylor Tornadoes” the school ring design, the school alma mater, all the cheers, and every other important thing that makes up a school district!

Here was the Harborfields beginning….

Growing up on Northport Harbor

THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLE DAYS…… (I used to cringe when my parents used this expression)

I grew up on Northport Harbor but on the beautiful shores of the Centerport side.  My Mom and Dad found a little enclave of pilots in Centerport in the late 50’s.  (My Dad was a pilot for Pan American Airlines)….  Beautiful, rural, tranquil, and sitting on a beautiful harbor which was mudflats at low tide…  Yes, back then low tide was mud all across the harbor.  You couldn’t walk on it  (believe me we tried but you would start to sink as if you were in quicksand)…you, of course, couldn’t swim or boat in it, you could just observe it!  But two times a day when the tide was high it was a beautiful paradise with beautiful birds like ducks and geese and it was a great fishing spot.  There were many Mallard Ducks which swam on the harbor (thus the name of our street,  Mallard Cove)…  Sometimes men with “duck blinds” located right where Sea Spray Drive is now….  They would sit with their loaded shotguns till the timing was just right and hunt ducks.  Duck was a food delicacy and these guys at it every night during the duck hunting season.


Beautiful Northport Harbor and beyond – bird island to the bottom left…



Growing up there gave me the opportunity of learning to water ski daily (when it was high tide) from the early spring after school, weekends, and the whole summer long, into those warm days of fall.  What a wonderful life to live this carefree style.  Waterskiing was my passion …  As soon as I heard the roar of a boat engine starting I threw on my bathing suit, water skis under my arm and off I went.  Oh, by the way, there were no speed limit restrictions for running a boat on the harbor.  It was fair game, and as fast as you wanted to, you could do it.  We water skied traversing the harbor from Northport to Centerport and back and forth…. it was pure bliss and a great way for a kid to spend the afternoons and weekends… carefree like a kid should be, and having fun!!!

In around 1959 one morning we woke to the sounds of roaring engines in the harbor, it was loud and woke us all up that morning… we had no idea what it was…  It was the engines of a dredge that was clearing out the harbor.  They decided to make deep waterways so that boats could come in and out of the harbor even at low tide.

Have you heard of BIRD ISLAND in Northport Harbor?  Bird Island at that moment was being created!   The dredges worked day in and day out digging out and piling all the mud in the middle of the harbor creating what then became BIRD ISLAND.  During the transition my dog Rex was banned from the beach… Why you ask?  Because as soon as he heard the sound of the engines starting to roar, he would run right down to the beach and swim out to see what was going on.  That was fine but it was distracting to the captain and mates of the dredge boat.  One day they thought, “let’s teach this dog a lesson.  Let’s get him in the bucket and drop him out over the water!  He’ll never come back and bother us again”…  Their plan failed because Rex loved this little game and kept swimming back for more each time!!!  Af first the guys on the boat Loved the fun of this, but realizing that this just wasn’t going to get their job done, a few days later they walked up to my house carrying Rex and handing him to my Mom and said she would have to keep the dog hostage until the job was done!

Ahh, these were the days!! Here is where my story begins…



Growing up on Salem Ridge Drive… Harborfields School District….

The year was 1954…………  Bill and Rita Asher decided that their Cape Cod home in Mineola was too small for their growing family.  Rita had been campaigning for years to move and when she found the perfect house in the perfect location, husband Bill had to agree that it was a good idea.  She found a development in Huntington (it always felt more like Greenlawn) called Salem Ridge which was being developed by a builder named Boris Gertzen.  Gertzen built two styles of homes, split levels and ranches.  Brian’s family bought a split level home which was modified from the standard three bedroom model to a five bedroom model to accommodate Brian, his parents, older brother, younger sister, younger brother and grandmother.  Below is a copy of the Newsday ad for Salem Ridge that Brian’s mother saw to find out about their soon-to-be built home.

SALEM RIDGE DRIVE AD 1 They moved right in and the siblings, 4 of them, all attended the Broadway School (now Harborfields Public Library) …   Brian and Jerry were the oldest two boys who lived in the house in the upstairs and largest bedroom, and the other two siblings are Andrea and Randy.  This soon became the “hub” for the kids from Salem Ridge Drive … soon to be referred to as “The Salem Ridge Gang”.  The family thrived with friends and sports and fun on Salem Ridge.  When you stood at the end of Salem Ridge Drive you could see all the way down the street because there were no tall trees yet and you were able to see the swimming pools being built up and down the street.  At the time there were no fences around the pools so one of the big things at night was to go “Pool Hopping”… that is sneaking into your neighbor’s pools and see just how many you could “hit” in one night!  Another mischievous thing that would happen as they got older and stronger was “borrowing” a small dingy from one neighbor and putting it in their friend’s pool….  I remember hearing about the morning that Bill Asher woke to get ready for work and peeked out the window only to see someone’s dingy floating in his pool…..  Wasn’t happy!

Brian’s best friend, Tom Kubicki, lived at 8 Cherry Lane….  He and Tom soon became inseparable.  They played basketball for the Huntington YMCA Bobcats coached by Mickey Norton and then both went on to star on the Harborfields High School football, basketball and baseball teams.  BUT how did Brian and Tom go between each other’s houses?  There was no Buttercup Lane or Windmill Drive….  On that property was a working farm called Miller’s Farm.  The man who ran the farm was Rolf Walters.  There one could see cows being milked, chicken eggs being gathered, horses being ridden, and cattle being slaughtered!  Playing hide and seek in the barn in the haystacks was a fun activity.  Brian would play basketball at Tom’s house or vice versa and when they walked back home across the farm fields after dark they had to be careful not to step in a “cow pie“… 

Driving down Salem Ridge Drive from Greenlawn Road the “development” ended  at 23 Topsfield Lane and at 41 Salem Ridge Drive.  The next Salem Ridge development was called “Crown Estates” and began at 43 Salem Ridge Drive.  That development started around 1961 and extended all the way around to Renwick Avenue.  The majority of houses built in Crown Estates were very popular spacious ranches or farm ranches with a few colonials here and there.   

A Little about the Author……

Let me introduce myself….. 

I am Suzanne (Robertson) Asher, Harborfields FIRST cheerleader and Graduate in the first class of Harborfields High School.  I grew up on Mallard Cove in Centerport.  Here I reminisce about the community in my latest blogs of memories.  My Dad was a Pan American Pilot and moved our family to this little enclave of other pilots (Mallard Cove was almost ALL pilots living in the neighborhood) in the mid 1950’s.  I am passionate about the area we live in!  Along with my husband Brian, who also grew up in the district on Salem Ridge Drive, we are TOP Real Estate Agents for Signature Premier Properties.  I have started writing BLOGS about growing up and living in the area….  Here is are some little stories  that I want to share!!!  Read on…………………


The Asher Brothers…. Two brothers Attending Two Different PUBLIC High Schools…. Huntington & Harborfields!

BLOG Brian and Jerry

The year, 1954, the Asher family moved out to Huntington with great excitement as their four children would have an acre of property and lots of land to play sports…. they built a pool and Asher’s house was soon the hub of the neighborhood kids…

This gave Brian and Jerry, the two oldest Asher siblings,a great opportunity to explode their Athletic talents in their new schools and play sports together!  Well, not so fast!!! 

Is it possible for two brothers to live in the exact same house, share the same bedroom, and attend two different public high schools????  read on……

Brian Asher (the other half of Brian & Suzanne Asher, The Winning Team in Real Estate) has an older brother Jerry, who is two years older.

As it turned out, the Asher family moved to Salem Ridge Drive in Huntington in the mid ’50’s.  They built a beautiful new house on an acre with a pool.  Bill Asher (their Dad) moved the family out from Mineola where he owned two businesses, Asher’s Pharmacy and Asher’s Liquor store across the street.

Brian and Jerry were superb athletes who excelled in every sport they tried!  Both were captains of their football, basketball and baseball teams.

Jerry went to Huntington High School to pave the way for younger brother Brian.  Well, during that time, Huntington School District said that they were getting too crowded and so a new school was formed encompassing Centerport, Greenlawn, and parts of Huntington and a tiny bit of Northport.

Brian had to go to the NEW school, Harborfields.  As years went on, both boys continued to excel not only in their sports but also academically.

During Jerry’s Senior year, and Brian’s Sophomore year, both boys were Captains of their Basketball teams, and they played each other in a game on February 19th, 1959.  Imagine the Ref’s surprise when he introduced Brian Asher to Jerry Asher at half court before the game!!!  Here were two boys from two different Public High Schools, Huntington and Harborfields, competing in the same sports and playing in the same game… AGAINST each other!!!  And living not only in the same house but sharing the same bedroom!!!  How amazing is that!!!

Both brothers went on to attend competing Ivy League Colleges as well, Jerry attending Princeton and Cornell for his Law Degree and Brian attending Harvard then Cornell for his MBA!

Here are the brothers in their football Jerseys… OK it isn’t their basketball digs, but hey, you get the idea!!!!



Voting for Miss Rheingold at the Greenlawn Fireman’s Fair….  Who remembers this???  

My first recollection of the Greenlawn Fireman’s fair was when I first moved to Centerport in 1956 and had just spent a lazy summer of fun with my best friend Barbara where I grew up on Mallard Cove and we spent the summer rowing our boat around Northport Harbor and leisurely would row to Northport Village Dock and get greasy french fries in a paper bag  from the little deli on the corner of Main Street Northport, then rowed back over to the Centerport Yacht Club and sunned on the dock while chowing down on these grease balls and then headed back home to her dock on Mallard Cove where we listened and sang our favorite songs of the times… Blue Suede Shoes and all…..  Wow life was good then… the summer passed and Barbara said we had to go to the Greenlawn Fireman’s Fair………. this was at the tail end of the Summer of ’56 and we were going to be the first class in the NEW school of Harborfields…….  We called it Taylor Avenue School because Harborfields had not been named yet….  more about that later…. 

Do you remember voting for Miss Rheingold????  My first recollection of the Greenlawn Fireman’s Fair was that Labor Day….  the year that we had moved to Mallard Cove in Centerport….  That Labor day was the year that Harborfields School District was formed and we were days away from “Centerport Kids” meeting the “Greenlawn Kids”….  It was so exciting that we were going to the fair and seeing the kids that we would eventually graduate from High School with. 

It was more than a fair for sure….  It was a social event that was so much a part of our lives!  It was where you went to spend your money on fun rides, cotton candy, fun games, taking chances on live stock (pigs, chickens, goats) pets (dogs and cats) … you always came home with a winner, even if it just was a Gold Fish … The game was throwing a ping pong ball in a fishbowl and you would win the fish that was in the bowl… they would take the bowl with the fish and pour in a plastic bag that you would bring home.  In the morning your Mom would have to take you to the Pet Store to buy a bowl, sand, little plastic things for the bowl, fake grass, gold fish food, and many $ later you would bring home your set up and put your little fish inside just hoping it would last thru the following week!!!! 

But more than a four day event, always beginning with a parade on the Thursday evening before Labor Day the Greenlawn Fireman’s fair was our big social event of the year.  We would go there to meet friends after not seeing most of them during the summer… there was a big thing that always happened at the Fireman’s Fair.  It was seeing the candidates for “Miss Rheingold”… this was huge!  It was like having Angelina Jolie in your home town!!!  This was a nation wide vote for Miss Rheingold!  They were all pretty girls that were running for the title of Miss Rheingold! 

Once graduating from High School we always went to the Greenlawn Fireman’s fair.  As we went to college this was always the place come back and meet your friends…. even if you had to travel acoss country, people would congregate at the Beer Tent, once over 18 years old, and that’s where you would meet…..  As the years passed and you married and had kids, this was the place to bring your kids, people would flock to the fair.  Then your kids would do the same, and then bring their kids and the tradition would carry on, and on, and on.  Our grandsons now go back and do exactly what we did oh so many years ago!!!

Now wouldn’t you want to buy a house in this community and send your kids to Harborfields?  If you would call Suzanne & Brian Asher, the Winning Team in Real Estate…. Nobody knows the area like we do!!!  Send an e-mail to:  sasher@signaturepremier.com






Menu for LINKS


Menu for LINKS


Links Log Cabin

Fine steaks and $1 burgers and fries…Centerport, New York!  Boy do Suzanne & Brian Asher have great memories and stories to share!!!

There was this great restaurant in Centerport.  It was called Links Log Cabin.  Here during in the 50’s and probably before and after that, people from all over the island would come to enjoy a great dinner here in Centerport! It was a very popular place, and you would usually have to wait on line to get in!!!  Our family went to Links when we came out to Centerort to “visit” our home being built on Mallard Cove.  My Dad would get his traditional burger, while my Mom would chow down on a big lobster and suck every morsel out of that baby!!!  (Currently at this spot there are condos.  Links burned down in 1965 ..  Now is a development called “Courtyard Circle”.)

Brian’s brother Randy worked there for a time while in High School.  Randy went for a job interview at Links and they asked if he could open clams.  He said “sure” (he was a pro at opening Clams because Brian was a clam digger as he made his way thru Harvard and younger brother Randy was his “cul boy”/helper)…  and he was immediately hired for the job in the kitchen.  When he showed he head of the kitchen how fast and efficient he was at opening clams, he was so proud, only to have the boss say it wasn’t right!!!?  What do you mean I didn’t do it right?  At this resstaurant, they took one clam and cut it in half then ut each half in the two clam shells!!!  So much for old fashioned “value”….  and who in their right mind who is eating raw clams actually LOOK at the clam they are about to eat???!!!!!

Still in all, this was a fun place to go to eat….. and even tho they skimped on the clams, the burgers were THE BEST!!!!  

If you would like a copy of the LINKS LOG CABIN menu from the 50’s, just e-mail me at sasher@signaturepremier.com and I will send or drop off the menu to you!!!



The Mill Dam Bridge — Centerport — New York

Rainbow over the Mill Dam......Suzanne (Robertson) Asher grew up on Mallard Cove in Centerport.  Her father, a Pan American Pilot, moved the family there in the mid 1950’s. She was Harborfields first Cheerleading Captain and Graduate in the first class of Harborfields School District.  She reminisces about the community in her latest blogs of memories.  Here is one of the many on-going thoughts from her past.  Suzanne with Husband Brian (Harborfields first quarterback) are TOP real estate agents in the Township of Huntington working for Signature Premier Properties…. Her web site which is still under construction…. http://www.HuntingtonThenandNow.com  …. Here is where my story begins……..has so many fun and interesting little stories of the community…

The Mill Dam Bridge, the beautiful little bridge that separates Centerport from Centerport!!!  It takes you over Centerport Harbor, where on one side is the Harbor, the other side is the Mill Pond, where I used to ice skate when I was growing up.  The Little Neck Side, which is sometimes referred to as “the other side” and the Presidents Street side, or HBCA (Huntington Beach Civic Association) ……  All together as one to form Centerport.….  Back when I was attending Little Neck School until 8th Grade when the new school district of Harborfields was formed, there were TWO separate classes in my 8th grade.  I grew up on Mallard Cove, so the kids who lived on the Little Neck side were in one class……….. and the kids from the other side (then “Huntington Beach”) were in the other 8th grade class!!!!  If that isn’t  segregation!  I never understood it!  But there was a definite separation, altho this didn’t affect us when we merged together with the kids from Broadway School in Greenlawn  (now Harborfields Library) in 9th grade at the Taylor Avenue School (now Harborfields High School — see earlier blog about The New School District Harborfields)

The Mill Dam Bridge was something we walked across often (with our Mom’s approval of course) …..  We would go to Rudy’s,  (Rudy ‘s son Richie was in Brian’s class) the little deli on the other side of the bridge, to get our lunch or hang out. Across the street from Rudy’s was a bar called  “Drifters Reef”–   (here is where our Mom’s said “be careful and don’t talk to anybody from the bar!!!)  …  It was about as far as we were able to venture!!!!!  But that was our big treat!  Mill Dam Bridge has seen us grow up!!!

And there was the time when I walked across the bridge with my friend Lenore Boudreau, when a man stopped us.  He said he was from Newsday and wanted to take a photo of us sitting on the LOCKS where the water flows in and out of the pond, so we climbed down to the ledge and sat together where he took our photo!  Of course when we related this story to our Mom’s they were panicked!  Was this man legit?  “you should have run away from him”……… but guess what, our photo appeared in Newsday the following day!  And we were “famous” in the school!!!!!!

How many times in my adult life have I driven over the Mill Dam Bridge and stop to see a sunset, or a sunrise, or a storm where the water breeches the bridge, or a blizzard where you could hardly see,  or fished off the bridge many years ago, as far back as the 50’s with my mom, or the 70’s with my son and daughter, or the 90’s with my grandsons!  This bridge is a connection in my life, I probably went over it every day when 18 years ago today my oldest Grandson was born, and our second Grandson shortly after that, and we would drive over the bridge on our way to visit them!!!!!  It’s that warm and fuzzy feeling of being rooted right where you grew up!!!!  There is nothing like it!!!!!

Yesterday was no exception to taking in the sights of the bridge…………. where I stopped and caught this amazing photo!  (Thank God for my IPHONE!)  There was a thick fog over Centerport Harbor, and the sun was shining above, and a beautiful rainbow was up there!!!!  That is what I wanted to share with you today!!!!!

What I love about living where I grew up, at every turn of my car I remember events in my life, and always things that happened and friends that I had, and wondering just what might have happened to these people…. where did their life take them, what road did they take?  We had so many memories of growing up here…….  They were very special.  We were very lucky…. living here was an amazing life experience…..  We see it so often in our business……  People who are second, third, fourth generation of living RIGHT here in Centerport…….  Our family, for example, our Grandsons are Junior (Conner) and Senior (Justin) at Harborfields High School……..  We  are THIRD GENERATION at Harborfields School District!!!

So when you are thinkng about moving, and looking for a life style that rivals no other, a place where you have everything at your fingertips, beaches, beautiful restaurants, everything you ever want to do, boating, swimming, theater, ocean, the greatest city in the world, excellent schools………….. LOOK NO FURTHER…..

Call Suzanne and Brian Asher, who’s web site “www.HuntingtonThenAndNow.com” ( is where to go for wonderful stories about growing up in the area) and ALSO where they can help you find the home of your dreams and this will be  “where your story begins”!!!

Look no further to find the Best Real Estate #1 agents in Huntington Township….. Follow their blogs to read wonderful stories about growing up here!!!!!