Mrs. Danowski did not live in Center Moriches, but most of her life she attended school in Center Moriches along with other students from surrounding towns. In her lifetime, Mrs. Danowski has seen major changes in the community. Center Moriches was the community center for many of the surrounding towns because it was where the school and library were located.
Mrs. Danowski was there when the library was first built. The amount of money it cost to build the library came out of the taxpayer’s pockets. Members of the library had a fee to pay as well. The fee was paid in the form of taxes. Mrs. Danowski heard her classmates talk about being members of the library and she would go to there once in a while herself. Mrs. Danowski loved books. Before the library was established, her mother would buy her books from the bookstore.
Mrs. Danowski and her friends would hang out at the pharmacy, which is now a restaurant in town. She used to love getting milkshakes at the counter. The pharmacy was the hang out spot. When Mrs. Danowski looks in the restaurant now, she can still picture where the old milkshake counter used to be.
The Ketcham Inn dates back to 1693. Throughout the 1700's it was a place to stop when you were traveling from Brooklyn to Sag Harbor. Many famous people stayed at the Inn. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison stayed there during the American Revolution. Then stagecoaches would bring tourists right to the Ketcham Inn and local boarding houses. In the 1940's the Inn had a gift shop and tea room. In the 1960's the Inn became a half way house. During the 1970's it became a shelter for battered women and children. Today, the Ketcham Inn is being restored and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
~ From an Interview with Virgina Mastrangelo
~Written by Krista L.
Dionne Levine grew up in the city and moved to East Moriches in 1956. She has lived in East Moriches and Center Moriches for over 50 years. She taught in the Center Moriches Schools and owned the Bailstone Flower Shoppe and raised her children in East Moriches from 1956-1980.
During the 1960's or 1970's there were many problems that arose. There was an East Moriches arsonist that set fire to the East Moriches School, Fire House, and a couple of other public buildings. Racial problems also arose as people moved in from NewYork City.