May 9, 2016 by huntingtonhistorian
Everyone knows Huntington is a great place. But in this case, I use “rocks” as a noun, not a verb.
Ask any Long Island grade school student and they will tell you, Long Island was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers pushing soil and rocks down from Connecticut. When the glaciers melted, the soil and rocks stayed behind to form Long Island. Most of those rocks were small, but occasionally exceptionally large boulders would be left behind. These are known as glacial erratics. Many of these glacial erratics have been put to use as memorials and landmarks.
Here are some of Huntington’s most notable rocks.
Perhaps the most famous rock in Huntington. An account of the Nathan Hale Memorial’s history and travels can be found on this site at
George Taylor, who was the man responsible for the Nathan Hale memorial rock, had another large boulder moved from his Hale Site estate to the Huntington Rural Cemetery to mark his family’s grave.
Not too far from the Taylor family plot is the most visited grave in the Huntington Rural Cemetery. The grave of Harry Chapin is also marked by a boulder.
The eighteenth century burying ground in Crabmeadow has lost most of its grave markers to time, weather, and vandalism. In 2003, this boulder was installed to replace the missing individual markers.
The boulder at Gold Star Battalion Beach does not mark any graves; it memorializes the 127 Huntingtonians who died fighting in World War II.
Similarly, this boulder in the Village Green recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by 47 Huntington men during the Vietnam War. These men are also remembered with a living memorial of Kwanzan cherry trees.
The Daughters of the American Revolution placed this memorial at the Old Burying Ground in 1909. In fact, the Burying Ground was in use four decades earlier than the DAR women thought.
The DAR also placed this boulder on the Village Green to commemorate the Town’s earliest history.
On the North Meadow adjacent to the Village Green is a memorial to the man who helped expand the open space in the heart of the Town Spot. To find out more about the North Meadow, read the entry at
This small rock marks the western end of the line between the colonial Village Green or Town Common and the North Meadow. Its twin near Park Avenue is missing.
From the valley of Park Avenue to the highest point of Long Island, this boulder marks the summit of Jayne’s Hill, a favorite spot for Walt Whitman to visit.
This boulder was dredged from the bottom of Cold Spring Harbor. It was originally placed in front of the old Cold Spring Harbor Library on Shore Road to commemorate the hamlet’s whaling history. When the library moved from that location in the 1980s, the boulder was moved to the Whaling Museum.
Near the waterfront in Northport village is perhaps the greatest concentration of memorial boulders in Town.
The Centerport memorial park utilizes both natural boulders and finished granite.
Heckscher Park has its share of boulders. This is the most well known.
Heckscher Park also features the use of cobblestones, seen here on the entrance gate and the cottage. The design by Roland von Waldburg inspired many similar cobblestone walls throughout Town.
The only famous Huntington boulder not moved by artificial means, Target Rock still sits where the glacier left it off the east side of Lloyd’s Neck. (Although technically in Oyster Bay, we claim it as Huntington’s). This bird could not have nested here when the rock got its name.
The rock was used by British warships for target practice during the Revolution, but the bulls-eye was added much later.
Another painted rock now sits on the grounds of Huntington High School. This rock, which formerly sat on the other side of the hill on the corner of Houldsworth Drive and Horizon Drive has been used by high school students since 1961 (shortly after the high school moved to this location and Houldsworth Drive was created) to mark sporting events, birthdays, reunions, and other notable events. The rock was moved to its current location at the exit from the high school in 1986.
Despite having been painted for more than 50 years, the layers of paint are not as thick as you might have suspected.
Even Billy Joel gets a boulder.