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Full text of "Long_Island_Forum_Volume_17_"

r 



LONG I SLAND 

FORUM 




Schooner John R. Bergen in Hurricane (see story page 27). 



n 



TABLE of CONTENTS 



THAT HULBERT FLAG 

UNDER THREE TOWNSHIPS 

A HURRICANE AT SEA 

HE SAW PRESIDENT WASHINGTON 

DECLINE OF L. I. WHALING 



Dr. Clarence Ashton Wood 

Evelyn Rowley Meir 

Harry B. Squires 

Kate Wheeler Strong 

Paul Bailey 



LETTERS FROM FORUM READERS 



FEBRUARY 1954 



.00 a year by Mail; Single Copies 25c 



VOL. XVII, No. 2 



H. E. Swezey & Son, Inc. 

GENERAL TRUCKING 
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Telephones 
Riverhead 2350 Eastport 250 



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Phone FArminsrdale 2-0300 



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Salrs and Service 

MULLER 
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BRAKES RELINED 

on Passenger Cars and Truck* 

Power Brake Sales Service 

Suffolk County Brake Service 

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Tel. 1722 



FURNITURE 
S. B. HORTON CO. 

(EHtabliihed 1862) 

821 Main St. Greenport 

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Texaco Products 
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(formerly Barker's) 

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SUNRISE 

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'Blue Coal' 
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Lindenhurst 
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22 



THE 

LeNG Island 

Published Monthly at 
AMITYVILLE, N. Y. 

FOR LONG ISLANDERS EVERYWHERI 
Entered as second-class matter May !1. 1947. at the 
post office at Amityville. New York, under the Act of 
March ?. 1879. 

Paul Bailey, Publisher-Editor 

Contributing Editors 

Clarence A. Wood, LL.M., Ph.D. 

Malcolm M. Willey, Ph.D. 

John C. Huden. Ph D. 

Julian Denton Smith, Nature 



Tel. AMityville 4-0554 



That Hulbert Flag 

In her History of East Hampton 
(p. 112) Mrs. Jeannette Edwards 
Rattray says that the roster of 
Capt. John Hulbert's company of 
Hampton minute men and "their 
homemade battle flag were found 
under the eaves in Dr. John Lyon 
Gardiner's house in Bridgehamp- 
ton." She adds that the flag now 
at the Suffolk County Historical 
Building "is the earliest flag of 




Dr. Clarance Ashton Wood 

this type to be preserved." She 
does not say it is the "original 
Stars and Stripes", which flag was 
adopted by Congress June 14, 1777 
as a naval flag. 

I said in the May Forum, 1951 
(p. 93): "By his purchase of the 
former Bridgehampton residence 
of Capt. Hulbert, Dr. Gardiner 
came into possession of the so- 
called Hulbert flag together with 
some old papers pertaining to the 
military service of Hulbert and the 
Hampton minutemen. These were 
found by Dr. Gardiner in the attic 
of the old Hulbert house and there 
Continued on Page 30 



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Funeral Director 

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Day and Night Service 

172 Main St. Tel. 1085 Ulip 



Loans on Bond and 
Mortgage 

DaposiU Accepted by MaU 

First National Bank of Islip 

Hambcr Fed. Deposit Insurance Corp. 



PHONOGRAPHS 

SUFFOLK AND NASSAU 

AMUSEMENT CO. 

Tel. 2393 Patchogue 



FURNITURE 

Frigidaire 
Home Appliances 

Englander & Simmons 
Sleep Products 

BROWN'S 

Storage Warehouse 

Your Furniture and Appliance Store 

18t Maple St. Phone 31 ISLIP. L. I. 
Established 1919 



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MEATS 

South Side Meat Market 

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AMityville 4-0212 



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Auto Busses For Hire 
AMityville 4-0225 

Near Amityville Depot 



1 

{ 
i 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



'TDecline of L, L liOhaling 



"XTARIOUS reasons for the 
* sudden termination of 
Long Island's whaling indus- 
try have been advanced. These 
include the alleged scarcity of 
whales, the discovery of min- 
eral oil and the California Gold 
Rush. Nevertheless, whales 
were plentiful, as evidenced by 
a $995,000 "take" in 1847; 
likewise, the first oil well (at 
Titusville, Pennsylvania) was 
not opened until 1859, nor did 
the east coast exodus to Cali- 
fornia occur until 1849, more 
than a year after the majority 
of Sag Harbor's whaleship 
owners decided that they had 
had enough and would make 
no further investments in the 
industry. 

Viewed from this angle, 
Long Island whaling may be 
said to have committed sui- 
cide. Many another industry, 
many a business concern faced 
with an equally grave situa- 
tion in which further capital 
was essential, has increased its 
investment, adopted more ef- 
ficient methods and success- 
fully come through. There are 
those who reason that had this 
been done in the case of Long 
Island whaling, the industry 
could have continued with 
l^rofit for ar«other generation 
n.t least and possibly much 
longer. 

As it was, when in 1847 a 
near-million dollar gross re- 
turn failed to show a substan- 
tial ret profit because whal- 
ing shins had had to sail too 
far and be away too long in 
order to fill their holds, the 
owners, with few exceptions 
decided to quit the ga^ne. Ship 
after ship was sold into other 
pursuits. Some became coal 
barges; some freighters. A 
number were left idly at an- 
chor, remaining unpainted 
a"d reglected until impressed 
a year or more later into the 
"rush" to Califoriiia. Within a 
very few years the once im- 
portant Loner Island whalinnr 
fleet was completely dispersed. 
So. too, were the men engaged 



Pau/ Bailey 



in the devious branches of the 
industry, such as owners, 
agents, brokers and hundreds 
of self-employed who operated 
kindred business concerns. 

As for the whaling skippers 
and sailors who numbered 
thousands of Long Islanders, 
they found themselves left 
high and dry. Many took up 
fishing, some went in for farm- 
ing, but a large number re- 
mained unemployed except for 
odd jobs. To such men the Cali- 
fornia Gold Rush, coming after 
months of uncertainty and in 
many cases idleness, was a 
siren call indeed. To men who 
had rounded the Horn and 
sailed the Seven Seas, the west 
coast was not far away. Many 
of them had glimpsed the 
mountains, bays and beaches 
of the Far West from the deck 
of a whaleship. Callow youths 
who had hoped to take up 
whaling accepted the west- 
ward trek as a substitute. 

Local shipowners had no 
reason to halt the impending 
exodus. With only two whale- 
ships clearing Sag Harbor in 
1849 in quest of whales, many 
of the others, unrepaired and 
unpainted, began hauling 
freight and passengers 
to San Francisco. Some 



took the long voyage around 
the southern tip of South 
America or through the 
Straits of Magellan, just north 
of the Horn, while others went 
as far as the Isthmus of Pana- 
ma, there discharging cargoes 
and passengers to be carried to 
the Pacific on the new Isthmus 
Railroad, and thence up the 
west coast on a line of packets. 
The Southampton and Cali- 
fornia Trading Company was 
organized on Long Island to 
utilize former whaleships in 
the mad scramble to the gold 
fields. There was a tremendous 
demand for building materials 
and many a shipload of Long 
Island finished lumber was 
carried to Frisco at $60 per 
ton. Thus the local whaling in- 
dustry, which had died in 1847, 
was completely buried by loss 
of ships and men within a few 
years. 

Brindley D. Sleight, Sag 
Harbor editor, declared that 
not less than 800 Long Island 
whalemen started for Califor- 
nia in 1849. That landsmen, 
including a great many carpen- 
ters and other artisans, great- 
ly exceeded that number there 
is little doubt. Southampton 
town alone lost more than 250 
of its unemployed whalemen. 
So large was the exodus from 
this and East Hampton town 




Sag Harbor's Old Custom Houss 



23. 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 

that Pastor Copp of the Sag 
Harbor Presbyterian Church 
held a special service for these 
departing citizens and their 
families and preached a fare- 
well sermon which could well 
be called a funeral address 
over the remains of a dead in- 
dustry. 

This church, minus its ma- 
jestic steeple which Sleight 
stated was in its day the tallest 
in America, is now known as 
the Whalers' Church. Its spire 
was the principal landmark 
for incoming and outgoing 
ships. The steeple was blown 
down in the hurricane of 1938 
and though quite intact where 
it lay, was never replaced. Ac- 
. cording to Historian Henry 
Triglar Weeks, most of its time 
honored material became fire- 
wood for local consumers. 

The Iowa, Captain William 
Howes, was the first Long Is- 
land ship to leave for the west 
coast. With a cargo of lumber 
and a number of optim- 
istic gold-seekers, she cleared 
Sag Harbor shortly after New 
Year's Day of 1849, to be fol- 
lowed on Feb. 3 by the Sabina, 
Captain Henry Green. Besides 
lumber and provisions for San 
Francisco markets, she carried 
19 east end whaling skippers 
in a personnel of some 50 men, 
each one of whom had invested 
$500 towards purchase of the 
vessel and financing the voy- 
age. 

There are Long Islanders 
today who speak with pride of 
having an ancestor among 
these argonauts who have been 
likened unto the Pilgrim Fath- 
ers of 1620. The skippers who 
went along were Henry 
Rhodes, chief mate; Thomas 
E. Warren, second mate; 
Franklin C. Jessup, William P. 
Huntting, Job Hedges, Al- 
phonse Boardman, George W. 
Post, Pyrhus Concer, John 
Kellas, Daniel Howell, Na- 
thaniel Post, Charles Crook, 
James E. Glover, Robert E. 
Gardiner, Stephen B. French, 
Watson C. Coney, Absolom 
S. Griffing. John W. Hull and 
William S. Bellows. 

Other Long Island whale- 
men who joined the argosy and 

Continued on page 26 



FEBRUARY 1954 



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Member Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 



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Designers and Manufacturers of the 



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WALTER A. SAXTON 
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Brookville, L. I. 

BRookville 5-0020 



24 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



e 



Under ^hree ^ownship^ 



'T' HE heart of the village of 
■'■ Wading River, as it is 
known today, enjoys the dubi- 
ous distinction of having been 
a part of three townships at 
different times in its life. 

First settled in 1671 by a 
delegation of "eight families 
or eight men" from Brook- 
haven, it followed naturally 
that tiie new village was a part 
of Brookhaven Township. Al- 
though a group of Southold 
people came shortly thereafter 
and settled themselves in the 
east portion of the commun- 
ity, still the major part of the 
village belonged to Brook- 
haven for some years. 

In 1709, it became a part of 
Southold Town, under circum- 
stances which many find 
amusing. 

The records tell us that one 
John Rogers, who had been a 
townsman of Brookhaven, had 
removed himself to the Town 
of Southold, and through a 
chain of unfortunate circum- 
stances, had become a public 
charge. 

Southold claimed, with sopie 
justice, that the cost of his 
support was chargeable to the 
town whence he had come. 
Brookhaven seemed to feel 
differently. After all, the 
Brookhaven fathers opined, 
Rogers had left Brookhaven 
for Southold of his own free 
will, and they washed their 
hands of him. 

During the year of 1708, 
much correspondence was un- 
dertaken which in those days 
consumed a long space of time. 

The evidence was finally 
proved against Brookhaven, 
however, for, at a meeting of 
the trustees in June, 1709, 
there was made the following 
resolution : 

"Upon the application of 
James Reeve, in behalf of the 
Town of Southold, in refer- 
ence to defraying the charge 
of keeping John Rogers, it was 
agreed upon between the said 
James Reeve on the one part in 
the town of Southold, and the 



F/oelyn Rowley <J\(Ceier 

Trustees of Brookhaven on 
the other part, that the Town 
of Brookhaven shall be ac- 
quitted and fully discharged 
from all charges whatever, 
that now is or shall hereafter 
be concerning the said John 
Rogers, his keeping or care, on 
the condition that the Town of 
Brookhaven do assign unto 
the Town of Southold all their 
patent right of the land and 
meadow on the East side of 
the Wading River, and also 
shall pay unto the said James 
Reeve, four pounds in current 
money at his house, for the 
use of the Town of Southold, 
at or before the 29th day of 
September next ensuing the 
date hereof." 

A note continues to state 
that a consideration of the 
deal shall be that Southold 
should "take care of the afore- 
said John Rogers and give him 
his rum". 

By virtue of this deal, the 
Town of Southold acquired a 
triangular parcel approxi- 
mately one mile on the West, 
seven-eighths of a mile on the 
East, and three-fourths of a 
mile on the North, a center 



line of the Wading River, or 
the Creek, becoming the boun- 
dary line between the Towns 
of Brookhaven and Southold. 

Thus for 83 years. 

On March 3, 1792, an act 
was passed dividing Southold 
into two Townships, the wes- 
terly part becoming the Town- 
ship of Riverhead, which act 
accounts for the third town- 
ship figuring in Wading 
River's "ownership". It re- 
mains a part of Riverhead 
Town today. 

As things turned out, the 
deal was an unhappy one for 
Brookhaven financially. South- 
old, and later Riverhead, ac- 
quired for purpose of taxation, 
about 279.44 acres. A mini- 
mum estimate of its assessed 
valuation at the present time 
might be $300,000, divided in- 
to over a hundred ownerships. 
Think what this area may 
have brought into the tax cof- 
fers, through the years! 



I remember Gerritsen's tide mill 
(January Forum) when it was 
running and doing business. Did 
you know some of those thrifty 
Dutchmen used to use the mill 
pond to fatten oysters in? J. P. 
DeLong, Jamaica. 




Peconic River 50 Years Ago 



25 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 

Decline of Whaling 

Coumiueu from paj^e 24 

who, notwithstanding their in- 
vescment, served as needed 
before the mast were Thomas 
1^. Kiley Jr., i nomas J. Glover, 
John H. Cook, Augustus Lud- 
low, William W. Parker, David 
F. Parker, George Herrick, 
Andrew L. Edwards, James 
Rogers, John B. Crook, G. U. 
liatch, Theodore H. Wood, 
Horatio Rogers, Charles Sieely, 
George Howell, C. W. Howell, 
John R. Mills, N. B. Rogers 
and others. 

This memorable voyage 
around the Horn officially be- 
gan at New York where addi- 
tional cargo and passengers 
were taken on, and as might be 
supposed the departure of the 
old whaling vessel with its all- 
captain crew proved a Roman 
holiday for journahstic hu- 
morists and, in lieu of radio or 
television, vaudeville come- 
dians. The gallant Sabina, 
nevertheless, weathered the 
bombardment of early Vic- 
torian jokes with the same 
indifference that she later 
rounded the Horn, to even- 
tually drop anchor in San 
Francisco Bay. There, how- 
ever, she was practically aban- 
doned as her gold-feverish 
personnel rushed off in quest 
of pay dirt. 

Day after day, month after 
month, year after year she lay, 
finally settling into the mud 
as the city grew up around 
her. In time her timbers, cut 
from Long Island trees, be- 
came a part of the ground 
about her remains just as so 
many Long Islanders became a 
part of the body politic that 
grew up on the west coast. 

The Sabina's fate also befell 
the local whaleship Niantic. 
Abandoned in San Francisco 
Bay in the fall of 1849 by her 
gold-hungry crew and pas- 
sengers, she lay near the 
shore until reclamation opera- 
tions by the booming city ab- 
sorbed her Long Island tim- 
bers. In the case of this ves- 
sel, however, her memory was 
kept alive by a hostelry being 
erected over her grave. Named 
the Niantic Hotel, it stood un- 



FEBRUARY 1954 



til recent years as a monu- 
ment to all those Long Island 
whaling ships which ended 
their days along the west coast 
of America. 

The whaling ship Huron, 
which left Sag Harbor for the 
Pacific on June 19, 1849, had 
lain for months on a sand flat 
near Sag Harbor before being 
pulled off, patched, painted 
and sent around Cape Horn 
with Captain George H. Cor- 
win in command. Barely had 
she reached San Francisco 
when Captain Corwin died. 
Nevertheless, her cargo of 
Long Island lumber was dis- 
posed of at Gold Rush prices 
and a handsome profit was re- 
turned to Oliver R. Wade and 
his partners in the venture, all 
residents of eastern Long 
Island. 

The schooner Sierra Nevada, 
a speedy product of Benjamin 
Wade's Sag Harbor shipyard, 
left for California August 28, 
1849, taking a number of pas- 
sengers and a cargo of provi- 
sions and lumber. Her master, 
Captain Lawrence B. Edwards, 
of an old east end family, 
landed his passengers safely 
at San Francisco, sold the car- 
go, then sold the ship and, 
electing to remain a Western- 
er, became the young city's 
first superintendent of 
wharves. 

The Cadmus (of Lafayette 
fame) left Sag Harbor Oct. 
20, 1849, commanded by Cap- 
tain John W. Fordham, and 
reached 'Frisco Bay only to 
share the fate of the Sabina 
and the Niantic. Twenty-five 
years before, she had carried 
the Marquis Lafayette from 
France to New York on his 
memorable visit to be the 
guest of honor of the United 
States in recognition of the 
French general's services in 
the Revolution. Captain Ford- 
ham left' the Cadmus at S^n 
Francisco and entered the 
trans-Pacific trade. He never 
returned to Long Island but 
died some years later in 
China. 

On October 23, 1849, the 
Hamilton weighed anchor at 
Sag Harbor enroute to Cali- 

Continued on Page 32 



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26 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



© 



cA \Murricane at jea 



nN August 1887 the three- 
^ masted schooner John R. 
Bergen, with a cargo of 1000 
tons of raw sugar, under the 
command of Captain WilUam 
J. Squires, enroute from Cuba 
to Boston, was struck by a 
hurricane. One sailor was 
killed and another suffered a 
broken leg from the heavy 
seas. The ship's phght may 
be judged from the cover 
photograph of the large oil 
painting of the vessel made 
by Antonio Jacobsen of Ho- 
boken, N. J., from an account 
of the episode supplied him 
by Captain Squires, who was 
my father. 

A hurricane at sea in sail- 
ing ship days was a great deal 
more serious than it is today, 
with wireless, modem means 
of rescue and powerful en- 
gines to drive the vessel. In 
the old days ships could do 
little for one another in such 
a condition as each had its 
own battle to survive. 

In the case of the schooner 
Bergen my father, in order to 
keep her head to the mighty 
blasts, used a sea-anchor con- 
sisting of a spar with a storm 
trysail attached to it. Mean- 
while the schooner drifted to- 
wards the Great Isaac Shoal 
lighthouse and to avoid the 
shoal the sea-anchor was 
shifted from the bow to the 
stern to keep her stern to the 
wind and lessen the drift. 
This shifting of the sea- 
anchor during the height of 
the hurricane, performed on 
a stygian night, was later 
called "a marvelous piece of 
seamanship finely executed". 
It savpd the ship and its cargo, 
valued in all at some $90,000. 

It seems that the wind 
helped to tow the dra<? easter- 
ly enough for the Bergen to 
clear the shoal. Later the 
hauser was again shifted, this 
time hack to the bow, and 
thus the vessel rode out the 
hurricane, finally reaching 



Harry B. Squires 

Nassau in the Bahamas under 
a jury sail rig. 

Mr. Jacobsen also did a 
large color painting of the 
schooner Louis V. Place, com- 
manded by my father, which 
was lost off the south shore 
of Long Island, about opposite 
Sayville, in the winter of 
1895. The Forum has told the 
story of that wreck in which 
my father lost his life. 

Another schooner com- 
manded by my father was the 
Carrie A. Lane, which was also 
commanded for a time and 
partly owned by Captain John 
B. Phillips of Sag Harbor, 
who likewise commanded and 
had an interest in the Louis V. 
Place at one time. Incident- 
ally, Lane was the family 
name of my father's mother. 

The Carrie A. Lane, a four- 
masted schooner, went ashore 
about 11/^ miles east of Shin- 
necock Life Saving Station on 
September 18, 1886. Her mas- 
ter then, a Captain Stratton 
and his two daughters were 
rescued by breeches buoy and 



the vessel was later hauled 
off. 

My father, Captain William 
H. Squires, was a direct de- 
scendant of Ellis Squires 1st 
(1738-1822), who with his 
wife and nine children sailed 
from Machias, Maine, to Long 
Island in the summer of 1773 
and settled near Red Creek, 
north of Hampton Bays. Dur- 
ing the Revolution he had his 
troubles with the British 
troops part of whose earth- 
works may still be seen north 
of Canoe Place Inn. 

His brother Allen P. Squires 
served as postmaster at Good 
Ground (Hampton Bays) for 
49 years and also kept a gen- 
eral store there. Another 
brother was assistant keeper 
of the Shinnecock lighthouse 
of which a cousin served as 
keeper for 17 years. One 
brother and four other men 
named Squires from this vicin- 
ity were victims of the sea. 

To go back to the schooner 
John R. Bergen, my father re- 
ceived from her owners a gold 
medal which I still have, for 

Continued on page 37 




Schooner Louis V. Place 



27 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



FEBRUARY 1954 



Reminders 



Pleasure Boat Insurance Specialist 

GEORGE C. BARTH 

134 A Broadway, next to Post Office 

AMityville 4-1688 (Res. 4-0855) 



Automotive Supplies 

E. Clayton Smith, jobber. Re- 
placement parts, tools and equip- 
ment. 218-220 East Main Street, 
Babylon. Tel. 551. 



Imperial Washable Wallpapers 

Moore's Paints and Varnishes, Duco 
and Nu-Enamel, Artists' Materials. 
Gus Schmidt, 74 East Main St., 
Patchogue. 



Visitors Welcome 

The General Museum-Library of 
the Suffolk County Historical So- 
ciety, at Riverhead, is open daily 
(except Sundays and Holidays) 
from one to five P. M. 

Visitors always welcome (no 
charge) at this educational insti- 
tution where items connected with 
Long Island's history, culture and 
natural sciences are on display. 



Wines and Liquors 

Large assortment of Popular 
Brands at the Lowest Possible 
Prices and in various size con- 
tainers to suit your needs. Losi's 
Liquor Store, 170 Park Ave., Amity- 
ville. 



Dodge-Plymouth Sales-Service 
Distributors for Firestone Products 

TERRY BROTHERS 
430 W. Main St. Tel. 109 Patchogue 

The Thirteen Tribes 

A second printing of The Thir- 
teen Tribes is now ready for mail- 
ing. Price per copy postpaid. One 
Dollar. 

This brief sketch of the customs, 
habits, characteristics and history 
of the Long Island Indians by the 
Forum editor is being used in social 
study courses in a number of pub- 
lic schools. The pamphlet is well 
illustrated and has heavy durable 
covers. 

Address Long Island Forum, 
Amityville, N. Y. 



Cash and Carry 

Service 15% Off 

UNQIIA LAUNDRIES 

AMityville 4-1348 
Dixon Avenue Coplague 



We liked Dr. Rapp's account of 
Setauket's Caroline Church. It's as 
beautiful as its history is inter- 
esting. (Mrs.) Gretta Barberry, 
Newark, N. J. 



Having read of Oliver Charlick, 
cne-time LIRR prexy, before, I 
think Brother (John) Tooker was 
pretty mild in his account of him. 
David A. Albertson, Little Neck. 



Surely have enjoyed reading the 
Forum this past year. (Miss) Mary 
Louise Winters, Houston, Texas 
(formerly of Westhampton Beach). 



L. I. Forum Index 

Complete Index of the L. I. 
Forum, 1948-1952 (five years), 50 
cents, postpaid. 

Also complete Index for 1938-47 
(10 years), $1. 

Send check with order to Queens 
Borough Public .Library, 89-14 
Parsons Blvd., Jamaica 32, N. Y. 
Atten. L. I. Collection. tf 



Books For Sale 

Life and Writings of Frank 
Forester (H. W. Herbert), two 
vols. Gunning, fishing, etc. 1882. 
Deluxe binding, fine condition. 

Denton's "Description" 1670. 
Gowan's reprint 1845. Contains 
listing of "Early Printed American 
Books". 

Historic Long Island (Rufus 
Rockwell Wilson) 1902. 

Brooklyn Village (Ralph Foster 
Weld) Columbia University Press. 
1938. 

Address L. I. Forum, Amityville. 



Tappen Data Wanted 

Who was the father of Jeremiah 
Tappen, late of Sheepshead Bay, 
horn about 1809, died October 14, 
1864. Buried in a Quaker Cemetery 
in Jericho. L. I. Reinterred Novem- 
ber 9, 1883 in Greenwood Cemetery, 
Brooklyn. Also seek names of 
father's brothers and sisters, if any. 
George C. Stephen, (Descendant), 
87 Dartmouth Road, Manhasset, 
L. L (2). 



Miss Kate Wheeler Strong con- 
tinues to tell interesting tales of 
old Long Island. Hope she'll keep 
doing it. (Mrs.) Eva Franklin Coy, 
Kew Gardens. 



Now Available 

Meigs, editor "Private and Fam- 
ily Cemeteries in the Borough of 
Queens", 1932. Postpaid $2. 
Queens Borough Public Library, 
89-14 Parsons Boulevard, Jamaica 
32,N.Y. Attention L.I.Collection.(3) 

Unbound Forums, By Year 

Complete yearly sets of the Long 
Island Forum, unbound, $3 post- 
paid. Address L. I. Forum, Amity- 
ville. 



Etchings By Robert Shaw 
"Home Sweet Home" 

"Nathan Hale Schoolhouse" 
UNFRAMED, 8"xl2", $15 
Box X, L. I. Forum 

FAMILY HISTORY 

Start yours now with our Simpli- 
fied Worksheets and Directions . . . 
Complete Set, punched for three- 
ring binder, postpaid $1. . . . 

GIDEON STIVERS 

Box 382 Riverhead, L. 1. 

The Bowne House 
Historical Society 

Judge Charles S. Golden, President 
presents 

The Bowne House 

Built 1661 

Bowne St. and Fox Lane 

FLUSHING, N. Y. 

A Shrine to Religion Freedom 

ADMISSION FREE 

Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays 1 to 5 P.M. 

Sponsored by 

HALLERAN AGENCY 

Realtors Flushing, N. Y . 



Farmingdale Federal Savings 
and Loan Association 

312 CONKLIN STREET 

First Mortgage Loans Insured Savings 

21% Dividend 



Phone FArmingdale 2-2000 



FARMINGDALE, N. Y. 



28 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



■Id 



\}ie jaw 'T^resident '^IjlJashington 



V? 



AMONG old papers belong- 
ing to her mother's fam- 
ily, my cousin Miss Carolyn 
H. Strong found an account of 
the life of the illustrious Rev. 
Peter I. Vanpelt, incidents 
from which she has kindly 
allowed me to use in the 
Forum. 

The Rev. Peter was a native 
Long Islander, bom in Bush- 
wick, Kings County, in 1778 
while the Revolution was rag- 
ing. He was the son of John 
Van Pelt (two words) and 
Phebe Duryea, of an old 
Huguenot family which had 
helped settle that town. The 
Duryea farm lay on Newtown 
Creek about opposite the old 
Alsop place. On his father's 
side Peter was descended 
from one of the earliest sett- 
lers of New Utrecht while his 
grandparents on both sides 
were active in founding the 
Reformed Church in America. 

One day in April 1790, 
when Peter was twelve years 
old. President George Wash- 
ington passed through New 
Utrecht on his way to call at 
the Lefferts home. The dis- 
tinguished visitor and his cor- 
tege paused in front of Peter's 
school where Schoolmaster 
Muhsenbelt had drawn up the 
pupils as an honor guard. 

That was a momentous day 
for the future preacher, but 
something even more wonder- 
ful happened to him later on. 
In the afternoon he had gone 
to his grandfather's fishing 
station on the beach and was 
there when Washington came 
along to observe the drawing 
of the seine containing a great 
haul of shad. As the general 
watched, Peter stood beside 
him and you can imagine that 
he never forgot the incident, 
nor failed to tell of it fre- 
quently throughout his life. 

Peter was sent to grammar 
school and later to Erasmus 
Hall to study under the emin- 
ent Dr. Wilson, princinal. 
Upon the latter's being called 



f^te "H^/iee/er ,§trong 

to Columbia College, Peter 
succeeded him as principal of 
Erasmus before himself en- 
tering Columbia. When, fol- 
lowing Washington's death in 
1799, Congress called for 
memorial services on his birth- 
day in 1800 throughout the 
nation, it was the Rev. Peter 
Vanpelt who delivered a stir- 
ring oration at the historic 
old Flatbush Church to a 
gathering of some 7000 
mourners. Needless to say, 
he told the story of his own 
youthful meeting with the 
first President a decade be- 
fore. 

During the War of 1812, 
while serving as pastor on 
Staten Island, the Rev. Peter 
Vanpelt was appointed by the 
Governor as chaplain of the 
troops there while President 
Madison broadened his sphere 
to include the entire New 
York area. Besides being pas- 
tor of several Staten Island 
churches, Peter served for a 
time as commissioner of 
schools there. He founded at 
least one Sunday School and 
was very active in the temp- 
erance movement. This natiA'e 



Long Islander spent his final 
years in retirement in New 
York City. 



Schodack's Location 

Felix Reifschneider's article in 
October Forum interested me very 
much "Who Remembers Scho- 
dack." 

We moved to Rockville Centre 
about 1910 or 1911, and I recall 
that some of the residents of Seho- 
dack were inclined to lose their 
temper at hearing that name men- 
tioned, and I think that it was 
eventually changed to either 
Tanglewood or Lake View; I do not 
remember which. Now for the 
location; it was north of the two 
Brooklyn Water Works ponds, one 
of which was Smiths Pond on Mer- 
rick Road, east of Ocean Ave., and 
Woodfield Road I think was their 
main street. 

I imagine that it would be almost 
impossible t» identify it today 
with the Parkways which have been 
built, and the general building up 
of the community. 

Wilson A. Higgins 

Hillsdale, N. Y. 
Note: Now who can tell the ori- 
gin of the name Schodack? Edi. 



Was thrilled to read Dr. Wood's 
revelation that Major Andre, who 
is usually associated with Rayn- 
ham Hall in Oyster Bay, also 
stopped at East Hampton. It was 
an A-1 story. George St. Dennis, 
Brookhaven. 




Van Pelt-Woolsey Homestead^ Brooklyn 



29 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



FEBRUARY 1954 



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Furnished Cottages 

Farms - Homes - Acreage 

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General Brokerage 

Manhasset and vicinity 

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148 Mineola Boulevard 

Phone Garden City 7-7200 



Hicksville 



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90 Broadway Tel. Hicksville 600 



Riverhead 



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Eastern Long Island Country 
Places along Ocean, Sound, 
Peconic, Shinnecock Bays. 



North port 



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EDWIN N. ROWLEY, INC. 

Real Estate — Insurance 

Appraisals 

74 Main Street 

NOrthport 3-0108 and 2272 

Members L. I. Real Estate Board 



Latest Dividend Declared 
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Savings Accounts opened 
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Letters From Our Readers 

Continued from page 22 
they remained for more than four 
decades." 

In the next issue of the Forum 
(June, p. 113) Mr. Frank Knox 
Morton Pennypacker, official his- 
torian of East Hampton and also 
of Suffolk County said that state- 
ment was "entirely false." 

I had also said in the May Forum 
that: "About eight years before his 
death, March 30, 1898, Dr. Gardiner 
transferred the flag and the Hul- 
bert military papers to the attic of 
his Tower Hill house." That, said 
Mr. Pennypacker, was a "fabrica- 
tion." He was "of the opinion that 
the only time it was in Bridge- 
hampton before William D. Halsey 
purchased it was when William 
Gardiner took it with him to the 
Dr. Gardiner house." 

The East Hampton historian con- 
cluded by saying if what I had said 
in the previous issue of the Forum 
were correct and if he "could 
believe there was any truth" in 
my statement that the flag had re- 
mained attic-bound in Bridgehamp- 
ton since the Revolution, then he 
"would condemn displaying such 
material in any Historical Institu- 
tion, least of all in our County." 

In the July 1951 Forum in which 
my article entitled Hulbert Flag 
Not the First was published. Miss 
Gertrude T. Leverich, niece of Wil- 
liam D. Halsey who gave the flag 
in question to the Suffolk County 
Historical Society, said (p. 136) "I 
know the old Hulbert flag came 
from the house in Bridgehampton 
in which Capt. John Hulbert once 
lived. This house was the home of 
Dr. John Lion Gardiner while for 
many years he practiced medicine 
here. The flag was found by Dr. 

Continued on next page 

Farmingdale 

GREGORY SOSA AGENCY, Inc. 
Real Estate and Insurance 

Serving The Community Since 1921 
FArmingdale 2-0321—2-1286 



Hubbell, Klapper 6- Mubbell 

LONG ISLAND REAL ESTATE 

65 Hilton Avenue 

Garden City, N. Y. 



REAL ESTATE 

Insurance Mortgages 

JOHN T. PULIS 

101 Richmond Ave., Amityville 

AMiiyville 4-1489 



Port Washington 



Howard C. Hegeman Agency, Inc. 

Real Estate and Insurance 

185 Main Street 
Tel. POrt Washington 7-3124 



Commack 



JOHN W. NOTT 

Established 1925 
Wanted: Large flat wooded acre- 
age eastern L. I. to Riverhead. 
Jericho Tpk. FOrest 8-9322 



Huntington 



HENRY A. MURPHY 
INSURING AGENCY, Inc. 

Real Estate, Insurance, Mortgage 

Loans, Appraisals 

Steamship Tickets 

Cornelius L. Murphy Tel. Hunt. 176 



Wyandanch 



HAROLD S. ISHAM 

All Lines of Insurance 

Real Estate 

Straight Path, Wvandanch 

Tel. Midland 7755 



Mastic 



Realtor — Insurer 
BENJAMIN G. HERRLEY 

MONTAUK HIGHWAY 
Phone ATlantic— 1-8110 



Glen Head 



M. O. HOWELL 

Real Estate - Insurance 
25 Glen Head Road 

Telephone GLen Cove 4-0491 



Bay Shore 



Auto and Other Insurance 

— Real Estate — 

HENNING AGENCY, Realtor 

86 E.Main BayShore 7-0876 & 0877 



Central Islip 



ROBERT E. O'DONOHUE 

Carleton Ave. Tel. 6317 Central lalip 
Real Estate - Insurance 

Established 1911 



Hampton Bays 



JOHN H. SUTTER 
Licensed Real Estate Broker 

1 East Main Street 
HAMPTON BAYS 2-0420 



Tel. BAbylon 5-0265 

W. E. MAGEE, Inc. 

APPRAISER 

Real Estate and Insurance 

Brokers 

Babylon. N. Y. 



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iO 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



1 



Long Island's Suburban Homeland 



Uniondale 



PETER P. ROCCHIO 

The Town Agency For 

Real Estate and Insurance 

889 Nassau Road, Uniondale 

Phone HEmpstead 2-6858 



Patchogue 



Realtors — Insurers 
JOHN J. ROE & SON 

125 E. Main St. Patchogue 2300 



Glen Cove 



HAROLD A. JACKSON CO. 
Insurance and Real Estate 

7 W. Glen Street Telephone 4-1500 



Westbury 



HAMILTON R. HILL 

Insurance - Real Estate 

WEstbury 7-0108 249 Post Ave. 

For Westbury and Vicinity 



Floral Park 



EDMUND D. PURCELL 

REALTOR 

Sales - Appraisals - Insurance 

111 Tyson Ave. FLoral Park 4-0333 

Lake Ronkonkoma 

CLIFFORD R. YERK 

Lots, Farms, Shore Frontage 

Homes Acreage 

Rosedale Ave. and Richmond Blvd. 

Telephones Ronkonkoma 8543 and 8859 

East Norwich 

Richard Downing & Sons 

GENERAL INSURANCE 

Licensed Real Estate Broker 

Tel. Oyster Bay 592 
North Hempstead Turnpike 



'DehjIWe/t 

Heal Estate Insurance 
East Tetauket 

Lond Island. New York 
■ Tel.101 Setaukek I 



Unqua Agency, Inc. 

General Insurance 

Real Estate 

GORDON W. FRASER. Mer. 

199- A Broadway AMityville 4-0376 



Letters From Our Readers 

Continued from Page 30 

Gardiner in the attic of that house 
where a lot of papers belonging to 
Hulbert had been stored and prob- 
ably forgotten for years. When 
Dr. Gardiner moved to the house 
above where we lived he brought 
the flag there with him. I am sure 
Uncle Will got the flag from Dr. 
Gardiner's house on the hill above 
U3. Uncle Will found it in Dr. 
Gardiner's tower hill house after 
the death of Mrs. Gardiner. Mr. 
Pennypacker was not with us when 
Uncle Will found the flag. He 
never really forgave Uncle Will 
for getting the flag ahead of him." 
Mr. Ernest S. Clowes of Bridge- 
hampton and a councilor of the 
Suffolk County Historical Society 
wrote Dr. Alexander C. Flick in 
1927, then State Historian: "The 
flag hung for many years without 
attracting any attention from a 
beam along a stairway leading to 
an observation tower in the (Dr. 
John Lion) Gardiner home. * * * 
After the house was abandoned it 
still hung there and eventually was 
rolled up and thrust into a comer. 

* * * William D. Halsey of this 
place bought the flag with other 
antique stuff sold when the home 
of Mrs. Gardiner, a near neighbor 
of his was broken up. * * * Mr. 
Halsey told me he knew nothing 
about the flag having been found 
with a parcel of Hulbert papers. 

* * * He told me that he considered 
the theory of its having been the 
original Stars and Stripes as 
merely an interesting theory." 

Mr. Pennypacker also said: "I 
can swear however (but he did not) 
that the documents came from be- 
tween the walls of the Hulbert 
House in Sag Harbor. I can also 
swear (but he did not) that unless 
William Gardiner was misleading 
me he showed me the flag in Sag 
Harbor before Halsey saw it at 
Bridgehampton." (Forum June 
1951, p. 113). 

Dr. Clarence Ashton Wood 

Contributing Editor. 

Miller Place 

ALFRED E. BEYER 

Licensed Real Estate Broker 

Member, Suffolk Real Estate Board 

North Country Road Miller Place 

Tel. POrt Jefferson 8-1204 

Massapequa 

TOM ABBOTT 
Massapequa 

Cor. Merrick Rd. and Ocean Ave. 
Massapequa, N. Y. 



East Quogue 



GEO. H. JONES 
Real Estate and Insurance 

Montauk Highway 
Telephone East Quogue 960 



Wantagh 



W. J. JORGENSEN 
Realtor — Appraisals 

Tel. Wantagh 2210 



Babylon 



CHARLES F. PFEIFIE 

Licensed Real Estate Broker 

Lots - Plots - Acreage 

W. Main St., nr. Lake Babylon 644 



Wading River 



WM. L. MILLER & SON 
Real Estate and Insurance 
Phone: Wading River 4323 



Great Neck 



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il 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 

Decline of Whaling 

Continued From Page 26 

fornia which she reached four 
months later. Here her mas- 
ter, Captain Shamgar H. Slate 
gave up his command and 
joined the China trade, leav- 
ing the Hamilton in San Fran- 
cisco Bay. He too died in 
China some years later. In the 
Hamilton's crew was one Ed- 
win Bill who later wrote of his 
experiences on the voyage 
west which included a stop at 
Juan Fernandez Island where 
he visited the cave made 
famous in the then recently 
pubhshed story of Robinson 
Crusoe. 

The exodus of Long Island 
vessels and Long Island whale- 
men from east to far west con- 
tinued all tlirough the Gold 
Rush years of 1849 and '50 
and as new victims of the 
"gold fever" acquired outworn 
whaling ships for several years 
thereafter they too joined the 
movement. 



Commanded by Captain 
Nicoll Richard Bering, the 
Ann Mary Ann cleared Sag 
Harbor October 27 in the year 
1849. At San Francisco Cap- 
tain "Dick" as he was called, 
youngest son of Henry P. Ber- 
ing, who had served as Col- 
lector of the Port of iSag Har- 
bor during the administra- 
tion of President Washing- 
ton, disposed of ship and car- 
go and elected to become a 
Californian. There he re- 
mained, prospering in various 
fields of business until his 
death at Magdalena Bay in 
1873. He was one of a num- 
ber of Long Islanders who 
siettled permanently on the 
west coast and there gave 
root to family dynasties that 
today, bearing old Long 
Island names, are playing an 
important part in the affairs 
of California, its towns and 
cities. 

Most of Long Island's Forty- 
niners, however, returned east 
and with few exceptions had 



FEBRUARY 1954 

little to show beyond experi- 
ence for their pilgrimage. 
Among the exceptions was one 
Thomas Mulford who, having 
returned to his boyhood 
home, Patchogue, thereafter 
lived in ease from moderate 
wealth acquired in the west- 
em gold diggings. Another 
Mulford, Charles W., of 
Hempstead, is also said to 
have amassed a fortune as a 
Forty-Niner. 

During the year 1850 other 
Long Island whaleships joined 
the westward procession. On 
May 1st sailed the schooner 
Robert Bruce, built at Hunt- 
ting's shipyard in Sag Har- 
bor and commanded by Cap- 
tain Richard J. Nichols. 
Twelve days later the little 48- 
ton schooner San Diego, a 
product of Benjamin Wade's 
east end yard, began its long 
voyage west. Her master, Cap- 
tain Jared Wade, however, 
finding the passage around the 
Horn too severe for the tiny 



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il 



FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



1 



^ 



vessel took her through the 
Straits of Magellan. 

According to the journal of 
Charles Waite who passed 
through these straits at 
about the same time on the 
brig B. M. Prescott, many a 
vessel chose this inside route 
to that of rounding Cape Horn 
with its "thousands of bergs 
and the mightiest fields of ice 
on earth, outside the frozen 
polar seas." The San Diego's 
voyage from Long Island to 
the Golden Gate which con- 
sumed seven months, was, 
declared Harry D. Sleight, 
the longest ever made by an 
American ship of its size up 
to that time. But small as 
she was, the schooner San 
Diego survived the frenzied 
Gold Rush days and after 
nearly three decades of trad- 
ing in Pacific waters was 
eventually lost in a storm 
in Sitka Bay, Alaska, in 1878. 

Still another ship to clear 
Long Island for the west coast 
during 1850 was the Acasta 
which had seen long and hard 
service in whaling. Com- 
manded by Captain J. C. Strat- 
ton, she weighed anchor here 
September 14th with a cargo 
of general freight and a num- 
ber of passengers, and neither 
the ship nor her master ever 
returned east. 

Two years later the schooner 
Storm, built at Sag Harbor, 
sailed for California and two 
years after that the Amelia 
and the Draco carried passen- 
gers and freight bound for San 
Francisco. The latter, how- 
ever, altered her plans en- 
route. Off the coast of Brazil 
she came upon the brig Par- 
ana, abandoned but still sea- 
worthy, and took her in tow, 
returning to Sag Harbor with 
her salvage prize. Here, re- 
paired and refitted, the Par- 
ana was renamed the Highland 
Mary and as such sailed 
the whaling lanes for two 
decades, bringing satisfactory 
dividends to her Long Island 
owners. 

Besides the scores of Long 
Island whaling vessels which 
sailed during Gold Rush days 
to the west coast, there in 
many cases to end their days 




Whalers' Beacon on Little Gull Island 



of usefulness, a number were 
sold as they lay in the island's 
harbors, or on the bottoms 
thereof, to outside interests. 
Among these were the Niantic, 
already mentioned, which was 
purchased in New York and 
sailed west from that port; 
the Thomas Dickason, the 
Henry Lee and the Hungarian. 
There were likewise the Os- 
car, the Thames, the Romulus 
and the Citizen, all of them 
purchased during the 1850's 
by New England and other 
parties for service in the 
coastwise trade. 

The Daniel Webster, the 
Henry, the Neptune and the 
Fanny, which had brought 
their Long Island owners divi- 
dends far beyond the original 
investment, were sold for a 



song, to be patched up . and 
sent west bearing heavy car- 
goes and numerous paying 
passengers who preferred 
traveling by sea in a leaky 
ship to trekking cross-coun- 
try through Indian lands and 
over parched deserts. 

One Long Island whaling 
ship, the old and unseaworthy 
Panama, was sold to New York 
parties who loaded her with 
many tons of precious coal 
and sent her forth with a 
makeshift crew of would-be 
golddiggers, enroute to San 
Francisco by way of Cape 
Horn. One newspaper com- 
mented that the reckless souls 
aboard the "derelict" were 
pretty sure to make the Golden 
Gate, one way or another. The 

Continued on page 3 5 




io^i^ijiEiw^ 



3J 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



FEBRUARY 1954 





Dish Towels Come Out 
Of The Kitchen 

Ever wear a dish towel ... or a 
wash cloth? You'll be protid of 
your towel-and-terry togs if you 
copy these easy-to-do oriprinals 
created by students at the Trap- 
hagen School of Fashion in New 
York City. And instructions for 
making them are available. 

A furor over these practical con- 
versation-piece fashions started 
when Lever Brothers, aware of the 
talents of the tyro designers at 
Traphagen School, conducted a 
"Sew and Save" contest for stu- 
dents there. 

Here are some of the amazing 
results. Photographed in action is 
Eileen November's first - prize- 
winning triumph, a beach tunic 
made of four dish towels with two 
wash cloths set on as pockets. On 
the ravishing young model shovel- 
ing sand is Elizabeth Hoe's design, 

34 



a baby shirt made of dish towels. 
To test the simplicity of the sew- 
ing required, every student at Trap- 
hagen made up the design he or 
she entered in the contest, arc 
majors with little cr no sewing 
experience as well as those taking 
courses in clothing construction. 
The prize winners included stu- 
dents from day, evening and Satur- 
day classes. 

The contest sponsorship worked 



DRY CLEANING 



hke a two-way street. The soap 
manufacturer found the fresh, 
intriguing how-to-do ideas they 
wanted for housewives who use 
their detergent, Breeze, since each 
package contains either a dish 
towel or terry wash cloth by Can- 
non Mills. This school's basic pol- 
icy is "Traphagen School of 
Fashion, Cooperating with the 
Trade"; such competitions give its 
students, from novices to most ad- 
vanced, an opportunity to work 
with important manufacturers in a 
variety of ways, and prizes are 
awarded the winners. 

Everyone was pleased with the 
prize styles, ideal for resort and 
summer wear and wi*h no fuss in- 
volved in their care. For free how- 
to-make in.^trnctions. write Trap- 
hagen School of Fashion, 1680 
Broadway, New York 19, N. Y. 



Quality Gifts 

IN CHINA 

Minton Bone, Spode, Doulton 

Syracuse 

IN STERLING 

TowIe Gorham 

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Fostorla Tiffin Duncan 

And in Other Quality Lines 

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FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



1 



Decline of Whaling 

Continued from page 33 

vessel, however, never reached 
California. Stopping for sup- 
plies at a South American 
port, she was promptly con- 
demned by the port authori- 
ties. What became of her 
car^o or of her crew and pas- 
sengers is not known to this 
writer. 

Meanwhile these were sad 
days for Long Island, espe- 
cially at the east end. Few 
families but had been sorely 
affected by the tremendous 
exodus of former whaling 
ships and former whalemen to 
the west coast and other sec- 
tions of the country. Sag Har- 
bor, having rebulkheaded her 
waterfront and erected new 
warehouses and other build- 
ings since the conflagration 
of 1845, was described as 
"seeming to be crated up for 
storage." The old ship canal 
leading to Conklin's Point lay 
almost unused. On the Point 
where ships once discharged 
casks of oil and took on staves 
and barrelheads for future 
cargoes and where Uriah Gor- 
don's shipyard had been a 
scene of bustle and hustle, 
thatch-grass began to grow 
over the launching rails, en- 
closing the shops in a veritable 
jungle. 

When in 1850 the Aqueduct 
Company which supplied ships 
with water at the Long Wharf 
closed down, the clang of its 
big brass bell sounding morn- 
ing, noon and night over the 
years became only a memory. 
It's final stroke was a death- 
knell to Long Island whaling. 

Although as an industry 
Long Island whaling really 
ended in 1850, like a wounded 
whale it continued to struggle 
for some time thereafter. In 
1854, the Ontario, owned by 
W. R. Post, returned home 
from a four-year voyage to the 
Arctic with a small cargo of 
oil and word that her master. 
Captain George B. Brown had 
been killed while "cutting-in" 
on a sperm. Mates L. B. Leek 
and Jonathan Edwards of 
Amacransett had brought the 
vessel back. 




Montauk Light From Watercolor 
by Cyril A. Lawls 

As late as Civil War days, 
because of a tremendous ad- 
vance in the price of oil, eleven 
old and rather dilapidated 
members of the once mighty 
Long Island fleet voyaged 
forth in quest of leviathans. 
They were the Pacific, the Odd 
Fellow, Union, Ocean, Concor- 
dia, Baelina, J. A. Robb, Susan, 
Excel, Highland Mary, and the 
Myra. The Mary Gardiner, ar- 
riving home in 1861 with a 
$40,000 cargo, had outdis- 
tanced a Confederate privateer 
so neatly that her skipper, 
Captain Andrew Jennings, 
gave up whaling then and 
there and turned the vessel 
into a blockade runner in 
which field her speed was put 
to more profitable use. 

Of the island's veteran 



whaleships still afloat at the 
outbreak of the Rebellion, 
three of them^ — the Emerald, 
the Timor and the Noble — 
were sold to Uncle Sam, loaded 
with rocks, fitted with auto- 
matic valves and ignomini- 
ously sunk off Charleston 
harbor in an attempt to 
tighten the Northern block- 
ade of that rebel port. For 
many years after the war 
their submerged hulls pro- 
vided excellent seabass fishing 
for Charleston's saltwater an- 
glers. 

In 1871 five former Long 
Island whaleships, the Fanny, 
John Wells, Minerva, Thomas 
Dickason and Concordia, which 
had been disposed of to New 
Englanders, were lost in an 
Arctic ice- jam which de- 
stroyed in all some thirty-four 
American vessels, valued at 
$1,637,000 — a crushing blow 
to what remained of the coun- 
try's whaling interests. One 
Long Island master. Captain 
Eugene Ludlow of Bridge- 
hampton, was with this fleet 
at the time and wifh other 
survivors was rescued after a 
long journey over the ice- 
fields. 

The following year, whale- 




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35 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 

men visiting- the scene of the 
catastrophe found the charred 
remains of the Concordia 
which it was learned had been 
burned by natives of the re- 
mote region for her metal. 
Not far away from the Con- 
cordia's remains lay the 
Thomas Dickason resting on 
her beam ends, bilged and be- 
yond salvaging. A similar fate 
befell a smaller fleet of Amer- 
ican whaling vessels off Point 
Barrow, Alaska, in 1876 with 
the loss of some lives. 

The Highland Mary came 
within a few years of being 
Long Island's last whaleship. 
As previously told, this gallant 
brig had been found adrift and 
abandoned in the South At- 
lantic in 1850 by the Long Is- 
land whaler Draco. Recondi- 
tioned, she continued whaling 
out of Sag Harbor for more 
than two decades, carrying on 
the traditions of the departed 
industry until all but one of 
the island-built whaleships had 
passed on or into other lines. 
She was finally, in 1871, forced 
to take refuge from a storm 
by putting into Tobiago Is- 
^ land, Central America. There, 
unable to again put to sea ow- 
ing to damaged planking and 
opened seams, she was con- 
demned and destroyed. 

Long Island's last whale- 
ship was the brig Myra. This 
sturdy vessel had whaled 
throughout the Rebellion, 
clearing local waters on one 
voyage just as hostilities be- 
pan. In 1863, commanded by 
Captain Jacob Havens, she 
slipped from Rio De Janeiro 
harbor barely in time to elude 
the Confederate Cruiser Ala- 
bama. Five years later, still 
engaged in whaling and com- 



FEBRUARY 1954 



manded by Captain Henry 
Babcock, she was pursued and 
halted by a United States 
cruiser on the watch for slave- 
runners. 

The brig Myra, one of the 
slowest of all the local whal- 
ing ships of her day, was out- 
standing for seaworthiness 
and strength of construction. 
Her final voyage began on 
July 17, 1871, more than two 
decades after the island's 
whaling industry had been ac- 
cepted as a thing of the past. 
Commanded by Captain Henry 
Babcock, she cleared Sag Har- 
bor with three Long Island 
mates, James M. Herrick and 
James Laury of Southampton 
and David E. Brown of Sag 
Harbor. The only other Is- 
lander aboard her was the 
cooper, also a Sag Harborite, 
Edward Smith. The members 
of the crew, including the 
boatsteerers (harpooners) 
were from other parts, most 
of them bearing names which 
bespoke the Scandinavian. 

The Myra, fully equipped, 
sailed in 1871 because the sup- 
ply of whale-oil failed to meet 
pubhc demands and as a result 
the price of the product had 
reached unprecedented heights 
as also had that of whalebone, 
then being used for such 
things as better horsewhips 
and ladies' corsets. The old 
brig on this last voyage con- 
fined her labors to the South 
Atlantic as it was deemed un- 
safe for her ancient hull to at- 
tempt to round Cape Horn, 
Felix Reisenberg's "cold-look- 
ing nob rising from the sea." 

Whaling during the better 
part of four years off the east- 
ern coast of Central and South 

Continued on next pape 



"THE THIRTEEN TRIBES" 

By Paul Bailey 

Second Printing Now Ready. .$1 Postpaid 

A brief account of the names, locations, customs, 
characteristics and history of the Long Island Indians. 
To which has been added the author's descriptive 
rhyme on the 13 tribal domains. 

ADDRESS LONG ISLAND FORUM, BOX 805 AMITYVILLE 



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(^ 



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FEBRUARY 1954 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 



r 



# 



t 



Decline of Whaling 

Continued from page 36 

America, crossing and recross- 
ing the South Atlantic time 
and again, pausing when need 
be at southern ports and little 
known islands for fresh water 
and other supplies and to 
drop and receive mail at cer- 
tain designated points, the 
brig Myra collected oil and 
bone whose total value ap- 
proximated $32,000, a small 
sum indeed for nearly four 
years' efforts. This gross sum 
was cut down considerably by 
having to ship the products 
north on other vessels. 

Financially, the Myra's ven- 
ture was a complete failure. 
Her owners received less than 
the cost of fitting her for the 
voyage while the officers and 
crew eventually returned to 
Long Island practically unre- 
imbursed for their more than 
three years' service as well as 
for their own personal outlay 
in clothing and other neces- 
sities. But these men did not 
return home aboard the brig 
Myra. They came as passen- 
gers on other vessels, and they 
did not reach Long Island un- 
til the summer of 1875. 

They had been forced to 
abandon the old whaleship at 
the Barbadoes where she had 
taken refuge in the teeth of a 
howling gale in the winter of 
1874. There she had been 
hauled out and officers and 
crew had attempted to patch 
her spreading seams suffi- 
ciently for the long voyage 
home. On December 14, 1874, 
however, examined by the 
authorities, she was officially 
condemned. What little equity 
came from the old ship when 
she was disposed of as junk 



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is not known. Burned for her 
metal, she became a funeral 
pyre for the once important 
Long Island whaling indus- 
try. 



though his death was a tragic 
one, it was a fitting climax to 
a career on sailing vessels 
that had lasted about three 
decades. 



Hurricane at Sea 

Continued from Page 27 

saving the vessel and cargo. 
On Washington's Birthday, 
1895, 14 days after he had lost 
his life in the wreck of the 
Louis V. Place, his body was 
found washed ashore not far 
from his birthplace at Hamp- 
ton Bays and he was buried 
there in the family plot. The 
medal was found in one of his 
pockets, a fitting memorial to 
the Captain and his five sea- 
men who perished with him 
on the schooner Place. 

My fatlier certainly had an 
adventurous life as he went to 
sea at the age of sixteen and 
steadily climbed to the posi- 
tion of ship's master. Al- 



Re. the Louis V. Place 

In reference to the wreck of the 
Schooner Louis V. Place off the 
outer beach about opposite Say- 
ville in February 1895, I knew two 
of the surfmen who took part in 
the rescue efforts. Fred Saunders, 
the surfman who discovered the 
wreck worked on the Nicoll farm in 
East Islip with my father in 1888 
at the time of the blizzard, and he 
died in Mineola in his 94th year in 
1943. Two of his daughters are 
still living, one in Islip; the other 
in Queens Village. 

The other surfman who was at 
the Point 0' Woods station at the 
time was my stepmother's brother 
Robert Albin, for many years a 
night watchman on the George C. 
Taylor place, now part of Hecks- 
cher State Park. Some man named 
Meier wrote a book on several 
wrecks and he mentioned Saunders 
in it. I wonder if Evelyn Rowley 
Meier, who writes such interest- 



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LONG ISLAND 

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Its suburban and rural areas offer ideal living 
conditions. 

Independent Textile Dyeing Co., Inc. 

FARMINGDALE, N. Y. 



Auto Radiators Repaired, Recored and Boiled Out 
Electric Motors— Rewinding and Rebuilding 

AMITYVILLE BATTERY & IGNITION SERVICE. Inc. 
Broidway and Avon Place Phonei 1174 - 2*9S Amityville 



37 



wffgWg^ 



LONG ISLAND FORUM 

ing stories of Wading River for the 
Forum, is a connection of his. 

I was quite surprised and pleased 
to note the citation of my story 
"Hello Girls of Long Ago" in the 
quarterly of the New York State 
Historical Association. It speaks 
well for the Forum and its many 
writers whose stories are so often 
cited by that authority. 

John Tooker, 

Babylon 



He Knows Pepperidge 

The story "Island's Own Holly," 
so interestingly presented in 
your December issue by Julian 
Denton Smith, i.^ greatly appreci- 
ated. Especi'>lly so, since as an old- 
time Long Islander, I long knew of, 
admired its autumn coloring and 
recognized the pepperidge with its 
advantages and disadvantages as a 
usable wood. Glad to learn, 
through your outstanding publica- 
tion, the scientific name and the 
many other appellations for the 
pepperidge tree. Yet, I have heard 
it given still other and unprintable 
nick-names by those whose job it 
was to split some of it. 

Which seems to confirm all that 
has been said with reference to the 
tenacious structure of this wood 
and suggests a bit of humor in that 
connection. 

While hard at his task of sawing 
and splitting some pepperidge tim- 
ber, the farmhand had to take shel- 
ter as best he could during a sud- 
den thunder squall. A blinding 
flash accompanied by an instantan- 
ious crash called the sawer's atten- 
tion to a nearby large locust which 



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had been struck and well shattered. 
Being a pious man, he doffed his 
cap, bowed his head and uttered a 
short prayer as follows, "Please, 
Dear Lord, try this old pepper- 
idge." 

Yours anxiously awaiting each 
issue of the Forum. 

C. Kohler 
Glen Cove 



The Soap Fat Man 

The December Forum came in 
yesterday and I have read all the 
letters and the articles as I have 
been doing for about 15 years and 
always find something new and 
interesting or some name that 
brings back memories of other 
times. 

I liked especially "The Gold Piece 
Tree" and its sentiment of family 
thouehtfulness and cohesiveness. 
The verse therein reminded me of 
a somewhat similar one which I, 
as a kid 8 or 7 years old in Wash- 
ington, D.C., used to recite. That 
version was as follows: 
Sam, Sam, the soap fat man 
Washed his face in a frying pan. 
Combed his hair with a wagon 

wheel 
And died from a toothache in his 

heel. 

It would be interesting to hear 
of other versions in other locali- 
ties. The soap fat man was a char- 
acter in the economies of the 1880s. 
He went from door to door gather- 
ing beef, mutton and other fats 
saved by the housewives and gave 



STILL £ CALSO 

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DISTRIBUTOR 

Tel. SElden 2-3512 



Mending, Restoring, 
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and Personal Files, Etc. 
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Tel. AMityville 4-0680 



FEBRUARY 1954 

in exchange large bars of coarse 
yellow soap used in the rougher 
kinds of scrubbing. 

You are doing a splendid work 
and giving quiet enjoyment to a 
host of people. 

John S. Sumner, 
Indian River Drive, 
Fort Pierce, Fla. 



Schooner Olive Leaf 

I was especially interested in 
yrur picture of the schooner Olive 
Leaf which my family owned. As 
I recall hearing my father speak 
of it, the Olive Leaf was wrecked in 
Port Jefferson harbor during a ter- 
rific gale. 

Mrs. J. C. White, 
Sagaponack, L. I. 

I agree with Ezra Hallock 
Young of Orient that the old fig- 
urehead of Hercules should never 
have been carted off to Stony 
Brook. At the same time I always 
thought that Canoe Place had no 
right to it either. It should stand 
on Conklin's Point in Southold 
town where the frigate Ohio, which 
carried it so many years, was fin- 
ally blown up and burned. Horace 
H. Eversley, City Island. 



Work Clothes and Paints 

Building and Garden Tools 

Desks, Typewriters, Etc. 

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Schrafel Motors, Inc. 

NASH Sales and Service 

NEW and USED CARS 

Merrick Road, West Amityville 

Leo F, Schrafel AM 4-23 06 



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For Luncheons and Dinners 

The Patchogue Hotel 

Centrally located on the 

South Shore for Banquets 

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Modern Rooms and Suites 

Montauk Highway 

Phones Patchoeue 1234 and 800 



Wining and Dining 

in the Continental Tradition, 
superb, leisurely, inexpensive, 
will be yours to enjoy, at the 
entirely new 

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292 Merrick Rd. Amityville 
Phone AMIlyville 4-1699 ' 



For the Sea Food 
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on Connetquot River 
OAKDALE 

Phone SAyville 4-0248 
CLOSED MONDAYS 

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Parson Theodore Hunt 

You told us about Deacon Elisha 
Ackerly and ran his picture in the 
January Forum, but how about his 
minister of the old Patchogue 




Parson Hunt . 

Congregational Church, the Rev. 
Theodore Hunt (1849 to 1858)? 
IVe seen his picture somewhere. 
Jerome Reese, Islip. 



Elizabeth Chase Hawkins' ac- 
count of the Brookhaven lady with 
the world's longest hair was most 
interesting. (Miss) Bella K. Stone, 
Hempstead. 



Mrs. Meier is surely telling us 
some very thrilling things about 
historical Wading River. Don't let 
her stop. Grace Terrell Ames, East 
Meadow, L. I. 



I tried to come back at Brother 
McCarthy with an older L. I. busi- 
ness concern than he told of. But 
I find nothing before that Glen 
Cove mortuary business of 18 iU 
Daniel F. Apgar, Queens. 

You can tell Julian Denton Smith 
that beachcombing may be an art, 
as he wrote in the January num- 
ber, but it is also a complete waste 
of time. I've hunted the sands of 
Jones Beach for many summers 
and the only thing of note I ever 
found was a set of false teeth 
that wouldn't fit. Harry Davis 
Apgar, East Meadow. 



DINE AT 

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SMITHTOWN. L. I., N. Y. 



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Large New Banquet Hall 

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