W.W. Munsell, History of Suffolk County (1882), “Southampton,” pp. 25-31
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THE TOWN OF SOUTHAMPTON. - Page 25
Halsey purchased a large number of lots of the original owners, much of which land is still in possession of his descendants. The old Halsey house stood on the east side of the road running from the house of Joel Tuthill, and about 80 rods south of it. Abram had a son David, who had sons Hiram and Oliver, from whom the present families are derived.
The Tuthill family so numerous in this part of the town is descended from two men, John and James, who were uncle and nephew and came from Southold about 1760. The former from his success in the chase was generally known as " Hunter John." Like the Halseys he bought an extensive tract of land, and his descendants reap the benefit of his foresight. His house stood south of the present residence of Herman Rogers, and his tombstone in the burying ground near by bears the following inscription:
" In Memory of John Tuthill, who died Novr. 4 1805, aged 77 years."
He left sons John, Daniel, Jonathan and Joshua, whose descendants are very numerous and respectable. His wife Sarah died December nth 1820, aged 84. James the first of that name lived on the present homestead of Austin Tuthill, and his tombstone in the family burying ground states that he died may ist 1828, aged 78 years and 24 days. He left sons James, Joseph, Benjamin, Daniel, Seth and Salem, each of whom left a numerous offspring.
The Rogers family is descended from Joseph Rogers, who came from Bridgehampton about 1760, at which time he sold his house and land at that place to Thomas Sandford, in exchange for "all his lotted land and meadow at Speonk." This embraced all the land between George W. Tuthill's mill stream and the Great Pond, and comprised lots 8 to 23 inclusive, Speonk division. Joseph Rogers died about 1800. His estate, though subdivided among descendants, still remains in the family. The tract of land between the Great and Little Ponds was called in ancient times "Basket Neck."
The Phillips family, consisting of four brothers — William, Josiah, Joseph and Moses — came from the town of Brookhaven in 1757. William purchased of Jeremiah Smith "2% lots in Basket Neck, lying between the west line of lot 24 and the middle of lot 26." This is now the homestead farm of William E. Phillips. In 1771 Joseph Rogers sold to William and Josiah Phillips all that part of his estate "lying east of the new road running Across my neck" (the "new road" being the one running from Speonk to Waterville by the house of William E. Phillips).
In 1782 the four brothers bought of Henry Ludlam "a certain tract of land and meadow at Speonk, bounded by the bay and land of Wm. Chard, south by bay, west by land of Vincent and Stephen Rogers, N. by Morriches road.',' This is now the estate of Joseph Phillips. These families, with the Tuthills, Halseys and Rogerses,owned at one time all this section of the county.
The church in the village was built in 1846, and was originally Presbyterian. It has of late years been connected with the Methodist society, and the pulpit is at present supplied by the pastor of the church at West Hampton.
The population of Speonk is 196. The entire business of the place has until within a few years been farming and fishing. It now bids fair to become a favorite resort for summer visitors from the city, and this business is rapidly increasing. There is one hotel in the place, known as the Rossmore House, established in 1872. An academy was started here in 1862 by Professor John Tuthill, but was discontinued after a few years. At the eastern extremity of the village, on Speonk River, is the carriage manufactory of Elias T. & Lewis Tuthill. This was established in 1844, and in 1867 came into the possession of its present owners. The building is very substantial, built of brick, arid the waterpower is ample. About $4,000 worth of work in the shape of carriages, sleighs and heavy wagons is done annually, and the firm has most excellent facilities both for manufacturing and repairing.
Next east of Speonk River is Brushy Neck, and next to this are what are known in the old records as "Great Tanner's Neck " and " Little Tanner's Neck." The tract of land bounded east by Beaverdam River was called by the Indian name of Apocock. The first settlement at Tanner's Neck was made by Jonathan Jagger, as early as 1740. He purchased many lots of the original owners, one of his purchases being of Daniel Wick, who sold him "2 lots bounded W. by middle of the swamp which separates Little Tanner's Neck from Great Tanner's Neck." His house stood south of the road, not far from the present residence of his descendant Seth R. Jagger.
Brushy Neck was granted by the town in 1742 " for a parsonage for ye use of a gospel minister that shall be sutebly qualified for ye ministerial function, and shall be settled by our people yt shall call him thereto; and on default ye said Brushy Neck shall return to ye proprietors again." As it afterward formed part of the Speonk division, it seems to have reverted to them. Hugh Raynor, a son of Jonathan Raynor of Southampton, was one of the early settlers of this place and owned the tract lying west of Beaverdam River. In 1799 he sold the north part of the tract to Thomas Rogers of Riverhead. This place is now-owned by his descendant Lester H. Rogers.
THE METHODIST CHURCH is situated in this village, and to the kindness of Rev. Edward K. Fanning, the present minister, we are indebted for this sketch of its history. In 1831 Reuben Harris was the circuit preacher in this county, and preached at West Hampton. Under his labors Ezra Jagger was converted, and he was the first of that denomination in this part of the town. Believing it to be his duty to join a church, he went alone in his boat to Patchogue, and
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united with the church at that place. Soon afterward a class was formed here, of which he was leader. He became a local preacher, and joined the New York conference. For sixteen years he was a faithful itinerant preacher, and he died in 1850. The first Methodist class consisted of Ezra Jagger (leader), Silas Tuthill, Thomas Rogers, Charles Howell, William Raynor, William Jessup, Phebe Jagger, Phebe Corwin and John Gordon.
The sentiments of the community were strongly Presbyterian, and much prejudice was entertained against the new sect. The schoohouses where they had formerly held meetings were closed against them, and they were compelled to meet in private houses. At that time Rev. A. S. Francis was preaching in the village, and he started one day with Ezra Jagger to cross the bay in his boat. In company with them was the latter's father, Deacon Cephas Jagger, and the following story is exceedingly characteristic of the deacon, as well as of the times:
The conversation turned on the late revival, and the deacon inquired, "Why don't you build a church for yourselves?" Mr. Francis replied, " I do not think we can get the means." The reply was, " You don't know what you can do till you try." Mr. Francis then asked, " What will you give us? " The deacon paused, and after a long silence answered, " I am a member of the other church, and it will not do for me to do much, but I will put? t into Ezra's power to give the land to set it on, and to?cut what timber he pleases out of my woods." The?offer was at once accepted, and an effort made, which was crowned with merited success. The land given was part of Deacon Jagger's homestead, and the church was built in 1833. Mr. Jagger soon after called for letters of dismissal from the Presbyterian church, and joining the Methodists remained a faithful member till his death.?The first sermon in the new church was preached by?Rev. Daniel Ostrander. For the first few years it was called the West Hampton mission, but in 1836 it became a self sustaining circuit. The parsonage, a comfortable dwelling house, was built in 1856, and adjoins the church. In 1859 the church was enlarged and improved, and its membership is large and increasing.
It should be stated that West Hampton is a general name for the regions between Quogue and Speonk, and there is no village with that title. Beaverdam has the best claim to be the local name. The first mill and first church in the western part of the town were built here, and here is the last resting place of the early settlers.
The facilities for a waterpower mill at this place supplied a want that must have been severely felt at that early day. The first mention we find in the trustees' book. At a meeting April ist 1746 "it was voted that Abigail Howell, widow of John Howell jr., should have the use and improvement of the stream called the Beaverdam, with all necessary conveniences for a mill and the making of a dam, for twelve years to come, and then to'return to the town." The mill was built soon after and is mentioned in 1748. In 1758 it was granted to Benjamin Homan for thirteen years, "provided the said Homan shall keep and maintain a good grist-mill, and grind for one-tenth of what he grinds, and shall not by any means or pretentions take or exact any more, on forfeiture of the use of the stream; and at the expiration of the term the stream to return to the Town." In 1771 the same was granted to Jeremiah Homan (probably a son of Benjamin) for the term of ten years,"on condition that he do keep a mill in good order, and grind after the common custom, and maintain a good road over the mill-dam, and likewise provide and keep a good road from the meeting-house across the river, four pole wide, at his own cost."
Before the mill-dams were built on Beaverdam and Speonk Rivers the old Country road crossed these streams near their heads, and, it is supposed, at the same places the Indians had their crossings. After the dams were built the roads were turned so as to cross them. At the old road, some distance north of the mill at Beaverdam, is the corner between the " Upper division" and the " Last division" in Quogue purchase. A line running from the center of the dam to the bridge at Riverhead separates Quogue and Topping's purchases, and this dam is also the corner of the "Speonk division," and "Last division" in the latter.
CHURCH AND CEMETERY.
The exact time when a church was erected here is unknown, but it was previous to 1758. It stood in what is now the burying ground, very near the gate. It remained till 1831, when the present church was built at Quogue. The church organization was of course Presbyterian, and for many years the parish was connected with Moriches. The -first minister was Rev. Nehemiah Greenman, who preached in 1748 and 1749, and Rev. Abner Reeve was ordained in 1755. This became a distinct parish in 1763, but for 20 years after that time there was no settled pastor. A complete list of the pastors till 1843 may be found in Prime's history of Long Island.
In 1771 the town granted to the western parish the use of a tract of woodland extending from the east side of the mill pond to a point twelve rods east of the meeting-house, and running north to the "old road," for the use of a school-house and meeting-house, and it still remains for the same purpose. The tract of land east of the river and south of the mill was the " blank lot "in the Upper division, Quogue purchase. It contained 100 acres, and was sold by the trustees to Hezekiah Howell in 1738, and the latter sold one-fourth of the property to Nathaniel Howell. The houses in this village stand on this lot. The burying ground here is the oldest in the western part of the town, and here " the rude forefathers of the?hamlet sleep." The oldest tombstone bears the following inscription:
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"In Memory of Elisha Howell jr., who died Sept. ye 8th 1754, in ye 17th year of his age."
The following perpetuate the memories of some of the early settlers:
" In Memory of Stephen Jagger Esq., who died April 10, 1796 in the 77th year of his age. Be not slothful, but followers of them who by faith and patience inherit the promises."
" In Memory of Ephraim Halsey, who died August 20th 1764, aged 71 years."
" In Memory of Cornelius Halsey, who died April 19 1782, in the 61 year of his age."
In this cemetery stands the monument erected by public subscription in 1866 to the memory of the soldiers from West Hampton who fought and fell in the struggle to preserve the constitution and crush the great rebellion. It is of brown stone, about 16 feet in height, and bears the following inscriptions:
" West Hampton's tribute to the patriotism and bravery of her sons who in the war for the preservation of the Union heroically fought and honorably fell."
",Capt. Franklin B. Hallock", Serg't Cyrus D. Tuthill, Corp. Hiram H. Wines, Reeves H. Havens, Timothy W. Robbinson, Thomas M. Smith, Edward Stephens, James E. Griffing, Henry S. Raynor." Onuck and Potunk.
The native Indians seem to have had no name for the vast tracts of woodland which form the larger part of this portion of the town. Their villages were on the necks of land near the bay, and each of these had a very significant name in their language. The two necks lying east of Beaverdam River were known as Great and Little Wonunk, which name has been corrupted into "Onuck." It is probable that here was made the first settlement west of Southampton. Isaac Halsey had a house here in 1738 and purchased a large tract of land surrounding.
The two necks are at the present time almost wholly owned by his descendants, and this is probably the most fertile portion of this region. Isaac Hahey left a son Ephraim (whose epitaph is given above), and from him are descended the families now living here. The residence of Dennis K, Halsey stands on the site of the original house built by the first settler early in the last century.
The neck next east of Onuck is known by the Indian name of Potunk. It is bounded on the east by the ?swamp and pond called by the aboriginal name " Monobaugs," which separates it from Ketchaponack. The laying out of the upland and meadow in this neck may be found in the second volume of printed town records, pages 114, 277. The corner lot on the south. side of the road oiy)osite the house of Nathan Jessup is supposed to be lot 14 in the original division. It was sold to Nehe- miah Sayre by Jonathan Jagger in 1759, and continued in possession of his descendants till within a few years, when it was sold to the Stephens family. Among the first settlers here was John Jessup, who was living here at the Revolution, and whose grandson Deacon John S. Jessup, lately deceased, inherited the lands and inhabited the mansion built by his ancestor.
Next east of Potunk, and extending to the stream known as Aspatuck River, is the neck called by its original Indian name " Ketchaponack." It is probable that a settlement was commenced here as early as 1738, at which time Jonathan Raynor had a house and orchard on the lot now occupied by the homestead of Elisha Raynor. Among the first settlers was Jonah Bower, who lived on the place now owned by Charles Griffin, his land being bounded east by Aspatuck River. His son Grant Bower lived on the homestead of the late Deacon Fanning Griffin. The Howell family is descended from John Howell (a son of Captain Josiah Howell of Southampton), who was generally known as " John Howell of Canoe Place," from his keeping a house of entertainment at that place before the Revolution.
The Great South Bay here ends in a narrow channel (crossed by a bridge) which connects it with Quantuck Bay. Near this is the country seat of the family of General John A. Dix, late governor of the State. The hotel of Mortimer D. Howell is a popular resort during the summer of a very superior class of city people, and the vicinity has many attractions, which are highly appreciated. A union chapel, built in a style of elegant simplicity, is one of the finest features of the village.
Between Aspatuck and Quantuck Rivers is a neck of land called in our ancient records Little Assup's Neck, or Quiogue. The latter is the name now in use. This neck was originally owned by Daniel Halsey and Daniel Foster. The Presbyterian church of the West Hampton parish stands at the head of the neck, having been removed to this place from Beaverdam in 1832. Near it is the parsonage, now occupied by Rev. William B. Reeve, who after having served the church as a " stated supply" for twenty years was at length installed in 1875.
Originally the roads from one neck to another ran of necessity around the head of the creeks; but about 1860 the inhabitants of this region, inspired with a most commendable public spirit, built bridges of a very durable nature across the streams of Beaverdam, Aspatuck and Quantuck. The latter is a work (sf some magnitude, and it is said that the wood growing on 12 acres of woodland was used in making a foundation.
The tract just east of Quantuck Creek was known in ancient times as "Assup's Neck," and extends east to a
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creek called "Cutting's Creek." Next to this, and bounded easterly by a pond and swamp near the road running to the beach, is the neck called by the Indians Quaquanantuck, which has been contracted into "Quogue." This is the first point east of Rockaway where access can be had to the ocean shore without crossing the bay, and to this fact the village owes its prosperity; for Quogue is undoubtedly, in proportion to the number of its inhabitants, the wealthiest village on Long Island. The great extent of salt meadow was the cause of the first settlement, and it is probable that the first collection of houses in the western part of the town sufficiently numerous to be called a village was at this place. The first actual notice that we have of a settlement is in 1748, when William Johnes sold to Jonathan Cook "60 acres in Quogue purchase, bounded N. by highway, S. by bay, W. by Josiah Howell, E., by John Post, with all the buildings and fences thereon." This includes the present homestead of Henry Gardiner of Quogue.
Among the early settlers was Captain John Post, who owned the homestead now in possession of his descendant George O. Post. Another was Josiah Foster, a son of John Foster jr., of Southampton, who was among the very first to attempt the subjugation of the wilderness; he built his house on the site now owned by the heirs of Erastus Foster, and after a long life left to his sons a large estate, and the still richer legacy of a remarkable faculty for increasing it.
Captain Josiah Howell and Deacon Thomas Cooper, with Captain Obadiah Rogers, also had houses toward the west end of the village, while the Jessup family still retain much of the land owned by their ancestor Deacon Thomas Jessup.
The pond and swamp to the east of the Quogue lane was called in ancient times Ogden's Pond, from the name of the first purchaser of " Quogue purchase." The tract of land lying east of this was called Ogden's Neck, and the creek separating it from the next neck (called Second Neck) was known as Ogden's Creek. The first settler in Second Neck was Nathan Herrick, who had a house on the estate now belonging to George F. Stone, as early as 1745.
The village burying ground contains many old tombstones, marking the resting places of the early settlers, and a few of the oldest are here given:
" Here lies the body of Jonathan Cook, who departed this life March 7 1754, aged 54 years."
" In memory of Elizabeth, wife of John Foster, who departed this life ye i8th of March 1773, in the 78 year or her age." [She was the mother of Josiah Foster, mentioned above, and lived with him during the last years of her life.]
" In Memory of Mr. Elisha Howell, who died Sept. 7 1777, ill 'he 73d year of his age."
" In Memory of Abigail, wife of Capt. John Post, who died March 17 1772, in ye 67 year of her age." [Captain John Post, the first settler, died January 3d 1792, aged 92.]
" In Memory of Mr. Nathaii Herrick, who died March 24 A. D. 1783, in the 83d year of his age."
" In memory of Mr. Daniel Howell, who died May 21 1798 in the 23 year of his age. 'In youthful bloom dieeases wore my life away; My soul returned to God, my body to its native clay. My friends, consider well your mortal state. Secure your souls in Christ before it be too late.' "
The whole of Quogue Neck seems to have been divided into four tracts, bounded north by the road and running south to the bay. The eastern one was owned by Deacon Thomas Cooper. Next west was the farm of Thomas Jessup. Next came Captain Thomas Stephens; while west of all, by Cutting's Creek, was Josiah Howell.
Captain Obadiah Rogers's house was north of the road and very near the present house of S. D. Craig, while somewhat east of him, and on the south side of the road, was the house of John Halsey.
The proximity of this village to the ocean renders it a favorite summer resort, and its privileges have for many years been highly appreciated by the class of wealthy citizens who desire to spend the heated season ''on old Long Island's sea-girt shore." The business thus created has from a small beginning very largely increased, and the place is now almost wholly composed of large boarding-houses, which are very liberally patronized.
A few years since an attempt was made to manufacture iodine from the seawater on a large scale, but it failed to prove as remunerative as was expected. Its projectors next turned their attention to manufacturing steel from the magnetic " iron sand " which is found here in great abundance. It was soon discovered that, although the finest kind of steel could be made from this ore, the cost of manufacturing was too large to make it a successful business, and the buildings and machinery was sold at a great sacrifice. Within the last year a new enterprise has been started, which has so far been very successful. The iron ore is separated from the sand by magnets, and, packed in bags, is transferred to foundries in New Jersey and made into steel of a very superior quality.
Next east of Second Neck is Short Neck (or, as it is sometimes called in the old records. Third Neck), and east of this is Fourth Neck. Although land was cultivated here quite early there does not appear to have been any settlement on this neck before the Revolution.
At the point where the railroad crosses the Country road at Atlanticville station, on the south side of the road, stands an old oak tree, which formerly gave to this locality the name of " Box Tree." This is derived from the fact that in former times, when the mail was carried weekly through the island in stages, it was the custom to leave letters and papers for this place in a box nailed on this tree.
Atlanticville and Pine Neck.
This vicinity was known by its ancient name of Fourth Neck till within thirty years, when a post-office was es?tablished and called Atlanticville. The place contains a district school-house and a small Methodist church, built in 1850. The population in 1880 was 267. The
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creek on the east, which separates Fourth Neck from Pine Neck, was called by the Indians Achabacawesuck. This name was evidently too difficult for English tongues to pronounce, so the first four syllables were speedily dropped, and the creek is known as " Weesuck." Pine Neck, with the exception of a few houses and a small tract of cultivated land on the eastern side, remains a wilderness of pine forest, and from the nature of the soil does not seem likely to be cultivated to any great extent.
A large boarding-house on Tiana Bay, kept by Benjamin F. Squires, is a favorite resort for sportsmen. Tiana is the largest creek that empties into Shinecock Bay, and connected with this creek — or bay, as it may well be called — is a peculiarity that deserves special mention.
On the east side of the creek, and covering quite an extent of its bottom, are stumps of pine trees evidently standing in the place of their growth, at a place where the water has now a continual depth of three or four feet; and it would seem as if the original forest had been in some ancient time suddenly submerged and the trees killed, and the parts remaining in air had decayed and broken off, leaving the stumps where they have since remained.
At the place where the Country road crosses the brook is the boundary between the Canoe Place division and the Last division in Quogue. purchase. On the east side of Tiana Bay is a point called the Ram Pasture, from the fact of its having been fenced off for that purpose in early times. The whole tract of country east of this to the main part of Shinecock Bay was known to the Indians as Pauganquogue, which has been shortened to its present form of PONQUOGUE.
The account of the laying out of this region and tracts westward of it may be found in volume III. of the printed town records, page 100.
The light-house on Ponquogue Point was built in 1857 and first lighted January ist 1858. It is 160 feet above the level of the sea, and is distant one mile from the ocean. This lighthouse stands on lot No. 25. This lot was drawn in the original laying out by Elisha Howell, who left it to his son Lemuel, who in turn left it to his son Moses. The latter died leaving one child, Charity, who married Rensselaer Topping, of Sagg, and the lot thus came into his possession. He sold it to John Foster, from whose assigns the lighthouse lot was purchased by the United States.
The Bay View Hotel, built in 1875, is an extensive building, and large numbers of sportsmen are attracted to this point by the excellent facilities afforded for their favorite amusement.
The village on the west side of this region is called Springville, and the district schoolhouse is in the immediate neighborhood. Previous to the Revolution there were no inhabitants in this portion of the town. The first settler here was Wakeman Foster, who early in the present century had a house where his descendant John Foster now lives.
The village of Good GROUND, now so thrifty and prosperous, with a population in 1881 of 553, had no existence previous to 1800. At that time the only house in the vicinity stood a little west of the present house of Elisha King, and was owned by a widow named Goodale. The next building erected here was a log house which was built in 1804 and stood near the present residence of Mr. Williamson. After this large tracts were bought by the Squires family, and gradually the primeval forest was cleared away. A small tract of land near the center of the village has a soil so decidedly better than the rest of the country round that it has given its name to the place. The first mention which we have of it is in the laying out of the "Lower division" (1738}, when the record says, "We layed out a highway near the middle of said neck (Pauganquogue) eastward of the good ground." This is the highway running south by the railroad station. The lands on the south side of the street are the amendments to the division above mentioned, while the land on the north side is the Canoe Place division. A Methodist church was organized and a meeting-house erected at Good Ground in 1836, and a larger and better edifice was built in 1863.
North of Good Ground, near Peconic Bay, is a small village called Squiretown. The first settler here was Ellis Squires, the ancestor of the family now so numerous. The best information we can obtain indicates that he was a brother of Jonathan Squires who came from Nantucket in 1769 and settled at Wainscott, in the town of East Hampton. About the time of the Revolution Ellis was living at Flanders, where he had a house near the present residence of Oscar Goodale. A few years later he moved to the place above mentioned, where he purchased lot No. 8 Canoe Place division (the south end of which is at the Good Ground school-house). He and his sons afterward bought lots 9, 10 and 11. The houses of Joshua and NicoUs Squires stand on the loth lot.
Ellis Squires died in October 1822, aged 84, leaving several daughters, and three sons — Ellis, Seth and Daniel — each of whom left a numerous family.
This place, which is a narrow isthmus connecting the two parts of the town, derives its name from the fact of the Indians drawing their canoes across here from the North Bay to the south side. In 1739 the trustees sold to Jeremiah Culver a piece of land at Canoe Place, embracing the present hotel property and running east to Shinecock Hills. Until after the Revolution his was the only house in the wilderness between Riverhead and Southampton, and its advantages as a stopping place were highly appreciated by travelers on that desolate
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road. He was living here as late as 177 1, but during the Revolution the place was owned by Major George Herrick. In 1785 he sold the premises to John Howell, grandfather of Charles Howell late of Ketchaponack. From him it passed into the hands of Israel Conkling, since which time it has had many owners. Excepting the house above mentioned, the only human habitation was a small house built "by Wakeman Foster about 1800, which stood on the north side of the road, a little west of the hotel.
The bay privileges caused a village to spring up, and a small church was built under the auspices of the Long Island Presbytery in 1819. This building still stands, on the west side of the road leading south from Canoe Place, and services are occasionally held. The Shinecock tribe of Indians have a piece of land about half way between this place and Good Ground, and here their church stood in the early part of the present century
The railroad crosses this tract, and about two rods south of the track is the grave of Paul Cuffee, the last native preacher to the Long Island Indians. The grave was originally enclosed with a neat paling, which is now in ruins. The headstone still stands, bearing the following inscription:
"Erected by the New York Missionary Society in Memory of the Rev. Paul Cuffee, An Indian of the Shinecock tribe, who was employed by that Society for the last thirteen years of his life on the Eastern part of Long Island, where he labored with fidelity and success. Humble, pious and indefatigable in testifying the gospel of the grace of God, he finished his course with joy on the 7th of March 1812, aged 55 years and three days."
It is sad to reflect that the tribe for whose welfare he labored with such fidelity is willing to allow his remains to rest in a neglected grave.
About two miles from Riverhead is the village bearing the above name. The first settlement was made here about 1770, and the first settlers were Josiah Goodale (who was living here before the Revolution, and whose descendants still remain) and Ellis Squires. A Congregational church was built here about forty years ago, and a Methodist church was built at the expense of Rev. Nathaniel Fanning about i860. The population is 126.
The facilities for a mill at this place were perceived at a very early date, and in 1644 an agreement was made between the town and Edward Howell, by which the latter agreed to build a mill and the town at large was to build a dam and furnish a sufficient force to open the "Sepoose" (as the artificial channel between Mecox Bay and the ocean is called); and Mr. Howell was to have forty acres of land adjoining. This is now the homestead of the late David Hedges Sandford. The mill and privileges soon after passed into the hands of William Ludlam, who died in 1665, and in his will left the mill to his sons Henry and Joseph. The latter removed to Oyster Bay about 1670, and the mill continued in the possession of the family of the former till 1733, when Jeremiah Ludlam sold it to John Conkling, of East Hampton. In 1790 it was owned by Hugh Smith, of Moriches, whose heirs probably sold it to Jonathan Conkling about 1794. It was purchased about 1815 by John Benedict, and still remains in the possession of his descendants.
In 1746, at a meeting of the town trustees, it was voted " Yt the Inhabitants of the Mill should have a peice of land for a burying place at a place called ye new burying place, Near Israel Rose's, to bury ye dead, to be to them and their's forever." The following are the oldest inscriptions:
" In Memory of Mr. Abraham Halsey, who died Nov.28th A.D. 1759, in the 64th year of his age.
" Samuel son of Joel & Hannah Sandford died June ye It 1755, aged about 9 months."
"In Memory of Mr. Joel Sandford, who departed this life Feb. ye 15 1795, aged 70 years."
" In Memory of Daniel Sandford, who died Nov. 8 1807, in the 74 year of his age."
This village was constituted a school district in 1813 and a schoolhouse erected, which in 1870 was replaced by an elegant building. This is now one of the model schools of the town. The population of the place is 173.
Mecox was the original name for all the tract of country between Mill Creek and Sagg, and Bridgehampton derives its name from a bridge which was anciently built over Sagg Pond. The ancient road from Watermill to the eastern part of the town ran through the lane by the homestead of Theodore Halsey; then through the farm of David Halsey to the wading place, across to the lane running to Mecox street, through the street to, the road to the ocean, and probably around Sagg Pond by the beach. To avoid this" circuitous road the town in 1686 voted to? pay j£5° " for the building of a bridge over Saggaponack? Pond," and the inhabitants of Saggaponack and Mecox were to keep it in repair; the bridge to be made suitable? for horses and carts to pass over. It is probable that the bridge was not built till several years later, and we? believe it was not finished before 1691.
The second church built in the village of Southampton, in 1652, stood on the south side, of Isaac Wilman's house lot. Between the south line of the lot and the meeting-house was a small "gore piece " of land, which was long a source of dispute. To settle it the town in 1672 granted to Wilman the privilege of taking up the land that was due him on a division on the west side of Sagg Pond, and gave him two acres in addition. When it was proposed to build the bridge it became necessary
THE TOWN OF SOUTHAMPTON. Page 31
to buy a road to it through this piece, and accordingly a strip four rods wide was bought, the town allowing Isaac Wilman for it the right to take up twelve acres of land. This right he sold to Christopher Learning, who in 1687 proceeded to locate his claim on the corner lot in Sagg, where the boarding-house of Hiram S. Rogers now stands, on the north side of the road to Wainscott. The bridge was built by EzekieJ Sandfqrd, and was a little south of the present one; for in 16^9- Isaac Wilman sold to Ezekiel Sandford seven rods of land to connect the "bridge lately built" with the road formerly bought, and the same was sold by him to " the inhabitants of Saggaponack and Mecox," and the deed is entered in the town clerk's office.
The road purchased from Wilman included a piece of four rods square " to set a meeting-house on," which was on the north side of the road, about fourteen rods from the pond. Here the first church was built, probably about the time that the bridge was finished.
The second church was built in 1737, on the north side of the roadleading from Bridgehampton village to Sagg.
The bridge fell out of repair and ceased to be used as a highway, and in 1765 the road bought of Isaac Wilman was sold by the trustees to John Sandford, and the places that had known them knew them no more. In 1876 Silas Tuthill, of Speonk, who had purchased a tract of land at Sagg, began to agitate the idea of rebuilding the bridge, and reopening the ancient highway. He found few to assist him, but, thanks to his foresight and energy, the bridge was rebuilt, and a new road to it, on the same site as the one bought of Isaac Wilman, was bought by the town and laid out as a highway in 1882.
The first settlement at Mecox was made about 1660. The population in 1880 was 1,253. The first house was built by Ellis Cook, on the south side of Mecox street, near where his descendants still live. Among the first settlers were Thomas Cooper, Benony Newton, Anthony Ludlam who had a house here in 1665 near Calf Creek, where his descendant Charles Ludlam now lives), Jacob Wood and John Beswick ("brickmaker"), who in 1671 sold his house on the east side of Swan Creek to Isaac Mills. On the north side of Mecox street lived Thomas Cooper (next east of the marshy hollow), and east of him lived James Hildreth, whose ancient homestead was standing within a few years. At the west of the hollow lived Benony Newton, whose next neighbor west was Matthew Lum. In 1678 the town voted fourteen acres of land to Ezekiel Sandford, on condition that he should settle in the town and carry on his trade of making cart wheels. This tract was next south of the homestead of Hon. Henry P. Hedges. South of it was a lot he purchased of Robert Woolley, and on it the house built by Ezekiel Sandford still stands.
The first house in what is now the main village of Bridgehampton was built by John Wick about 17 12. His home lot was the corner of the village street and Lumber lane. He was a magistrate and a man of note in those early days. He was buried on his farm, and his tombstone may still be seen standing about thirty rods north of the main street, and as far west of Lumber lane; it bears the following inscription:
"Here was layed the body of Mr. John Wick, Esq., Who Dyed January the i6th anno 1719, in the 59th year of his age."
The old burying ground at Mecox contains the graves of the early settlers of this part of the town, and we here give some of the inscriptions ^yhich will soon be illegible:
" Here lyes the body of Benony Newton, deceased March the 4th 1703 4 in the 54th year of his age."
" Isaac Newton was born May 20 1676, dyed March 20 1703-4 in the 28 year of his age."
" Here lyeth the Body of Anthony Ludlam, who dyed March the 17 Anno 1681-2, in the 31st year of his age."
" In Memory of Capt. Daniel Sayre, who died May ye ist A.D. 1748, in ye 63d" year of his age."
"Here lyeth ye Body of Mr. Anthony Ludlam, who dyed December ye 21 1723, aged 53 years."