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A Series of Firsts at New York Port

By Linda Tancs

On July 31, 1789, the Second Session of Congress chose the village of Sag Harbor in New York as the first official port of entry into the United States.   That was a smart choice, considering that the hamlet had more square rigged vessels engaged in commerce than the Port of New York about 100 miles away.  This enterprising locale enjoys the distinction of having had the first custom house in the country, the first volunteer fire company in the State of New York and the first newspaper printed on Long Island.  Its ascension as a whaling capital was fueled by the need for whale oil to light lamps.  The Broken Mast Monument in Oakland Cemetery is a testament to the whalers lost at sea centuries ago.

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