PACKET BOATS 1829-1844


Between Southold (and other parts of the North Fork) and Sag Harbor


“Packet boats are small boats designed for domestic mail, passenger and freight transportation in Europe and its colonies, including North American rivers and canals. They were extensively used for much of the 18th century and in the 19th century, and featured regularly scheduled service.”—Wikipedia


The list attached here documents the various packet boats that traveled from Southold to Sag Harbor (and other locations) in the days before the railroad. The railroad put many of these small firms out of business as it was cheap and fast to use the railroad. It includes the name of the ships, their masters, the date and the towns that were served. The key for those places that are only identified with initials/abbreviations are:


(CT) - Connecticut

(Greenp.) - Greenport

(J or James) - Jamesport

(N.S.) - New Suffolk

(O) - Orient

(R) - Riverhead

(S.H.) - Sag Harbor

(S.I.) - Shelter Island

(South) - Southold

(Temp./camp meeting) - Religious/temperance meeting


© 2020 by Southold Historical Society.



Tel. 631-765-5500


54325 Main Road

PO Box 1 
Southold, NY 11971



Prince Building: 

Society Office: M - F 10am - 2pm

Gift Shop: M -F 10am - 2pm

Treasure Exchange:

T, TH, F, Sat. 10am - 3pm

W 1pm - 4pm


  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube



For the safety of our staff, volunteers and the community during the COVID-19 crisis, the Society remains closed to the public.

 Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updated information.