Newspaper Articles from;
The Long Islander
Port Jefferson Echo
New York Times
South Side Signal
Sag Harbor Express
Suffolk County News
The Long Island Traveler
On various Middle Island topics.
Excerpts typed by students of the
May 3, 1850
Dr. Edward Brown has received the appointment of
Post Master at Middle Island, Benj. T. Hutchinson resigned.
The Brooklyn Eagle
December 14, 1868
A $100 cow belonging to James Swezey of Middle
Island killer herself by getting entangled among the trees with a rope
by which fastened at pasture.
September 1, 1869
The farm at Middle Island formerly owned by Mr.
Calvin Turner, has been recently sold to Mr. Chappel “artist and
historian” of Brooklyn for $7,000.
March 12, 1870
The other day a party of men were getting ice from
a pond in Middle Island, the consolation of the bottle being freely
dispensed among them. One man made a very sounding demonstration of his
enthusiasm by plunging into the water being about five feet deep, He
managed to keep right side up and seemed to enjoy the bath hugely, much
to the amusement of bystanders.
South Side Signal (Babylon)
Sept 03, 1870
The Methodists have been holding an eight days, grove meeting in
Grove. Last Sunday, the closing day of the session, was the occasion of
general rush. Stage loads and wagon loads from the region round about
their way. The evening, also brought a good audience. The air was so
that the speaker's voice could be heard at a distance of more than a
The late Fair and Festival of the Presbyterian church or Middletown
cleared $155. A steeple is being erected on their chapel at Yaphank.
A large eel was caught in "Half Mile Pond" the other day-size, 3
and eight inches in circumference,-weight, 5 pounds.
A' driven well" has lately been put down on the place formerly owned
late R.W. Smith, of Coram. The water previously obtained was about ten
twelve feet from the service, but was not good. The well is "driven"
forty-six feet below the surface, and the result is a flow of good
Feb. 11, 1871
According to the Riverhead News, Yaphank has about
100 dwelling houses, 3 churches, 1 free school and about 300
inhabitants. The same authority says the stage running between Middle
Island and Yaphank station carries in it a snug little coal stove so
passengers can keep “as warm as you please” while on the road.
July 15, 1871
The “Fourth” was celebrated here in a more than
usually liberal manner. Mr. Bartlett gave at his residence, a brilliant
display of fire works in the evening; also refreshments and music in
profuse variety were placed at the disposal of the two or three hundred
natives and others who were present.. A good time was the verdict of all
present. At the same time another display of like festivities was in
progress at Artist Lake under the auspices of Mr. Carpenter, whose
residence adjoins the lake.
1871 July 22
South Side Signal
acceptance of an invitation from the teacher of School dist, No 17, we
took our line of March, on Friday afternoon to attend a picnic of the
School on the Shore of Artist Lake. On the way we noted the improvements
which have been made within a few months’ past, B.T. Hutchinson has
built a neat and substantial picket fence enclosing his house, farm
buildings, and garden , stretching quite a distance on the Country Road
and extending back on the Miller Place Road. C.R. Hoyt has almost
finished a new house on the Yaphank and Millers Place stage road. It is
rumored that the road at that point is to be widened to its legitimate
dimensions four rods.
That would be a good
idea to apply to many of our roads. At H. G. Randall’s we found the
spirit of improvements had enlarged his store and re-constructed his
barns. Mr. Van Horn’s barn also been re-built. Just east of the Lake Mr.
Crawford had been putting up a cottage, on a lot of short distance back
from the road. Still further on, George Chappell has built a residence
on one of the most beautiful natural sites in the vicinity. On the lake
we found several row-boats pulling about, one of which was occupied by a
lady of our acquaintance, nearly eighty years of age, who seems as young
and as merry as any of her grand-daughters, and who passes much of the
time, in this the cloudless evening of her life, with her row-boat and
fishing-tackle upon the pond alone.
In the cool retreat of
the picnic grove we found a group of happy children enjoying themselves
as school children always know how to do. After disposing of a point of
the contents of the well set table, and a rowing expedition on the
beautiful Lake, the parties were invited to the house of Mr. Van Horn,
where they were treated to ice cretin and music.
December 31, 1871
I do not observe in the columns of your esteemed
paper any notice of events or improvements going on at Artist Lake,
Middle Island. It would doubtless interest your readers to learn
something of this heretofore remote region. I regret that you have not
yet made it convenient to visit this delightful and healthy locality,
and witness the beautiful scenery in which it abounds. The fine prospect
of the lake and surrounding country, from adjacent hills, must be seen
to be appreciated. Beautiful even in winter, in spring and summer
“Artist Lake” and its surroundings are more than picturesque. The lake
is situated on the south side of the old Kings Highway, which was laid
out in 1705, from Fulton ferry, Brooklyn, through the middle portion of
Long Island to near its eastern extremity. It is about 4 1/2 miles from
the sound and about the same distance from Yaphank Station L.I.R.R. and
60 miles from N.Y. It will measure about 1 ½ miles in circumference.
There is no visible inlet or outlet to the lake, but it is fed by
living springs boiling up from its bottom. The lake abounds with an
abundance of fresh water fish, supplying fine sport to the disciples of
Isaac Walton. The shores have a gradual slope, and are gravely affording
bathers a secure footing to any desired depth, the extreme depth of
water being about 20 feet. The lake instead of being a round pond is is
partially divided by a peninsula. There is also a pond of considerable
size about 4 rods north of the lake, which one would conclude had once
been a part of the same water. Between these two runs the highway. With
the exception of two valleys, which in some remote period been water
tributaries to the lake, the surrounding land rises gradually to an
elevation of about 60 feet, affording excellent building sites for
residences. The soil is heavy loam, as productive as any on Long Island.
The trees are hard wood – oak, chestnut, hickory, black walnut and
locust. New York citizens visiting Artist Lake in the summer can enjoy
boating, bathing, and fishing to their hearts content, and may also add
to their enjoyment healthy exercise of hoeing corn and digging potatoes,
together with air unequaled for purity; they may live long and die
happy. Three years ago Artist Lake was known only as a large pond,
around which were located three farmhouses; cultivated land could be
purchased at from $25 to $40 per acre, and like all sections of country
the highways were indicative of the inhabitants; namely one zig zag
track, making it necessary to travel a mile and a half to the mile and
woe be to the stranger who, becoming a resident, attempted alteration or
improvement in the old established way of doing things. Artist Lake has
been blessed by the settlement around it of several cultivated families
from the city, who have given it an impetus on the road of improvement.
Within the last two years there has been purchased in the vicinity of
the lake several hundred acres of land in plots from ten to forty acres
each, N.Y. citizens. Among the most noted, I would mention the place of
A. Chappel, a noted artist formerly of Brooklyn. E.D. carpenter, grain
broker of N.Y. Mr. Balling an artist of note, has created a handsome
dwelling after the Swiss model. He has recently painted a fine picture,
representing ‘brush burning at Artist Lake” Now is the time to stake out
January 6, 1872
Orlando Randall of the Ridge fell from a load of
wood a few days ago and was severely injured. A number of years ago Mr.
R lost one of his arms by a threshing machine and probably the loss of
the arm had much to do with the fall.
South Side Signal (Babylon)
The Yaphank Division Sons of Temperance, held a public meeting
evening of Dec. 1st. Addresses were given by Rev. Francis Hallock, and
Reid, Jr. Snags recitations & c., by the Division. The attendance was
quite large, but owing to some of the speakers not being on hand the
entertainment was not as good as intended. We trust the people of
will not let so good a cause as this go down for want of proper support
their part. We think when young people have principle enough in them
abstain from intemperance, there is some hope of making good citizens of
them. Give them a few words of encouragement.
Geo. Randall of Ridgeville, is having 600 cords of wool cut.
The Brooklyn Eagle
March 23, 1873
The wife of one Mr. Fields, a woodchopper at “the
Ridge” Middle Island ran away last week with one of Field’s employees
named Edward Dayton. Mrs. Fields is but 19, not old enough to know when
she is well off. Fields is now probably better off than he was before.
1873 March 15th
South Side Signal
A new school house is very
much needed at Artist Lake, District no 17, and we understand the main
parts of the citizens are in favor of it. This is a good idea as a new
and commodious school house always gives an air of thrift to a
neighborhood and shows that the children are thought something of. The
old tumble –down structure now used by the district is a disgrace to the
place, and the sooner it is razed to the ground the better.
The Suffolk Club of
Southaven has their notices up for bidding, fishing in Carman’s River,
north of the South Country road. We presume this also includes the
stream up to Smith & Orchid’s Mill, this place. If so are boys will have
to be careful how they fish for trout below the mill.
Good skating March 6,
the latest in twenty years.
Balling the well known
and talented artist of Artist Lake, who’s great painting “ Brush
Burning” attracted so much attention at the County Fair last fall, has
an exhibition at a well known gallery in New York a number of fine
paintings, including “ John Brown’s Head” which are well worthy the
attention of the lovers of art.
The young misses of this
place have been suddenly transformed into looking like ladies of mature
age. The old fashioned style of dressing the hair, by twisting it up in
a knot at the back of the head is reviving, and is all the rage here. It
is decidedly the most becoming mode we have lately seen, but makes the
ladies look older, especially the very young.
The exhibition given by
the scholars of the Middle Island Public School, came off at the M.E.
Church on the evenings of the 6th and 7th, and was
a successful affair. The programmer was extrusive, compromising some 70
pieces, which were spoken and characterized very nicely. Among’ the
varied list, the following are worthy of mention. The Reporter’s Last
Item, by Miss Ida Edwards; Hattie and Wille Gray, by Miss Emma Balling:
Hernias Daughter, By Miss Alice VanHorn: The Dream by Sydney Phillips
was well spoken and the ideas conveyed through it was very apparent,
vie: The need of a new school house. Duets by Miss Homan and brother,
was well done. The music was finely rendered by Miss C. Yaphank. Space
will not admit us to particularize. Lester Homan, as the old grandma,
and a number of small children did their parts very well. The whole
affair reflects great credit on the school and manager, F.M. Hallock,
who is deserving of much praise in making the occasion a success.
The local Temperance
Society is trying hard to struggle into existence as a Division, and
things appear somewhat brighter then they were some weeks ago.
The Grande Scribe, B. B.
Hopkins having been expected to delivery an address, on Saturday
evening, a large delegation of Sons of Temperance from Holbrook and
Waverly. Came up to lead their aid, in organizing a Division, but the
Grande Scribe not being on hand, no lecture giving. The whole parts
however, were hospitably entertained by our worthy friend J. Reid, Jr.,
at this residence.
The Long Island Traveler
April 10, 1873
Died on March 21, 1873 Michael Gurvey of Middle
Island age 55
Mr. Edward Swezey is cutting off quite a large lot of locust timber
Rev. Mr. Woodruff held his donation visit on Wed. 3st.
Services are held in the M.I. Presbyterian Church every Sabbath.
We have our mail now three times a week instead of once, on the old
Ichabod Carter of his place, was arrested on Dec. 27 by Constable
brought before Justice Osborn at Manorville, to answer a charge of
threatening the life of Silas Carter of that place. He was held under
of $500, to appear at the spring court.
The Long Island Traveler
March 5, 1874
Died on February 21, Nathaniel Hudson of
Middle Island, age 81.
May 7, 1874
Ezra K. Randall on April 27, 1874 of apoplexy at
June 25, 1874
Married at Middle Island on June 3, by the Reverend
Dr. Cooper, Reverend John Woodruff to Rachel, daughter of Abner Van
October 23, 1874
Died at Middle Island September 28, David Thompson
March 13, 1875
J Hurtin is preparing to build a new barn in place
of the old one, which has stood the storms of nearly a century.
The sleighing is splendid, and men and horses,
sleighs and sleds are busy. Some of our neighbors are engaged in hauling
huge logs to the saw mills and if anyone doubts the strength of our soil
let him look at those logs.
Mr. Carpenter of Artist Lake had the misfortune to
have an ankle broken last Friday by the overturning of the sleigh in
which he was riding.
October 30, 1875
William Walling of Middle Island has reopened his
boot and shoe shop.
November 4, 1876
Captain Samuel Overton formerly a prominent
sailing master of Middle Island died at Alexandria, Va., Friday Oct. 13,
of congestive fever, at the age of 49. He had commanded the schooners
Golden Rule, C.L. Hulse, of port Jefferson, and filled other positions
of trust and responsibility.
March 10, 1877
The following is the roll of honor of Middle
Island school, District No. 17;
Victor Edwards, Edward Edwards, Irene Dayton, Sarah
Phillips, Kate Risley, Thomas Risley, John Risley, Mary Risley, Lissie
Swezey, Lizzie Van Wort, Dolly Washington, Ida Homan, Susie Homan.
January 12, 1878
Mrs Mehetabe Swezey departed this life November
11, 1877. Had she lived till dec. 28th, her life would have
reached the lengthy period of 87 years. She was the daughter of Deacon
David Davis of Middle Island. She was united by marriage to Joshua
Swezey, February 20, 1813, whom she survived by two years.
The Long Island Traveler
Feb. 7, 1878
Died on Jan. 8, Annie the eldest daughter of
Charles Dayton of diphtheria.
The Brooklyn Eagle
January 6, 1886
At Middle Island William Carpenter sold forty
three acres on Artist Lake to John C. Fry for 8,000
The Brooklyn Eagle
October 23, 1887
The certificate of incorporation of the Middle
Island Sportsmen’s Club was filed today at the County Clerk’s office.
The Long Island Traveler (Southhold)
For The Traveler.
Mrs. Julia A., widow of Orange H. Cleaves, who died at her home in
Greenport Feb. 17, was well known in Suffolk County. She was a sister
Mrs. Wm. Chatfield Booth whose death on July 22, while on a visit to
Cleaves was noted in The Traveler. Mrs. Cleaves nephew, Mr. Wm. E.
a resident of Southold. A niece, Miss Mary L. Booth, is editor of
Bazaar." Mrs. Cleaves leaves five children, as follows: Addison C.
of New York, Mrs. Sarah J. Carley, of San Francisco, Geo H. Cleaves, of
W.A. Cleaves, of Greenport, Miss Julia A. Cleaves, of Greenport;
besides seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Mrs.
Cleaves' maiden name was Julia Monsell born at Middle Island, March
11,1804, and was a daughter of Nathaniel Monsell, and has resided in
Greenport since 1890, 58 years. Greenport was then known as Sterling,
there were scarcely a dozen dwellings in the place. There were only two
houses between their residence on Main Street and the Bay. She was
to Orange H. Cleaves, of East Marion, on June 6th, 1820, by the Rev.
King, whose entire pastorate was spent in Middle Island. She joined the
Presbyterian church in February 1834, 54 years ago. Her husband, Orange
Cleaves, who died several years ago, was a prominent architect and
and a large share of the finest houses in Greenport were erected by
One of her nephews, Robert Petty, is Sheriff of Suffolk County. The
services took place Monday Feb. 20, at her late residence. Mrs.
the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, officiated and spoke impressively
the life, influence, and Christian example of the deceased.
The Long Islander
February 2, 1889
A ball match was played Saturday afternoon
at Middle Island between nine from Port Jefferson and the Middle Island
nine. The final score was Port Jefferson 21, Middle Island 12.
Sag Harbor Express
August 1, 1889
Mrs. Lydia Turner who recently died at Middle
Island, aged 96 years 8 months and 5 days retained unimpaired mental
faculties to the last. She did her own housework and most of her sewing,
received and wrote many letters.
March 20, 1891
S. Downs has in his possession a shoe that tells the story of 76 years.
This shoe was made by James Hurtin of Middle Island for Richard Downs a
child 3 years old. This shoe has been carefully preserved in an old
chest for years. It is a curious piece of workmanship, compared with the
finely finished shoes of today. This shoe is made of the hardest cow’s
hide leather, with a thick stiff sole, hand sewed, which could not have
afforded the wearer much comfort.
Port Jeff Echo
June 24, 1893
Arthur Viertel has
removed himself from Brooklyn to his farm at Middle Island having
disposed of his business in that city.
Port Jeff Echo
January 20, 1894
Officer Brown arrested
Frank Edwards of Middle Island on Tuesday on a charge of resisting an
officer. He was taken before Justice Wheeler and the examination was
adjourned until Saturday. Edwards it appears had been in some trouble
and “knocked out” constable Randall of Middle Island when he attempted
to arrest him on a warrant issued by Justice Carman of Patchogue. A
Deputy Sheriff later shared the same fate. His attitude toward Officer
Brown, however, was very lamb like.
Mary F. Darling to AZEL R. Suerger
400 acres N-S Granny Rd., Middle Island $525
Port Jeff Echo
July 2, 1898
George Albin has
completed his new house at Swezey Town.
The Middle Island boys played the Yaphank baseball
club at Yaphank on Saturday afternoon. The result was an easy victory
for Middle Island 41-13
The Brooklyn Eagle
January 27, 1899
Mrs. Mary Terrel, widow
of Minor Terrel, died at the home of her daughter yesterday. She was
born at Middle Island and was 86 years old.
The Brooklyn Eagle
The Presbyterian Church
of this place was struck by lightning during the Thunder storm Tuesday
night. Floor boards, casings and plastering were torn in places. The
floor of the choir platform were shivered and the chairs tumbled about
in wild confusion. A spruce standing in front of the church about 40
feet high was shivered to splinters, and some limbs were thrown across
the street. Mr. Thomas Dixon felt the shock in his home about 200 feet
from the church.
September 8, 1899
are a number of ponds here and when the water is high in them as it has
been this summer they encroach upon the highways so much as to almost
make them impassable. A few weeks since two ladies from the north side
were thrown into the water and drenched from head to foot, by the
condition of the road near Victor Edwards, the ponds there had risen
over the road and a narrow causeway had to be built up through part of
the submerged portion. The horse became frightened and sprang out of the
road into the water where there happened t be the debris of a buckhorn
wire fence, which cut the horse so as to endanger his life.
On the upper Swezeytown pond some narrow escapes
from serious results have happened by a narrow and high causeway being
built to raise the road out of the water. At the lower Swezeytown pond
the public recorded highway around the pond is impassable and has been
for months. There is no way of passing the pond without trespassing on
private property. At Horace Randall’s pond the Miller’s Place road has
been passable only by a long plunge through water. On the Northeast side
of Artist Lake it has been impossible to pass without going through
water from one to two feet deep. There is no real need of these
deplorable conditions existing. In all these instances there is land
enough for roads clear of the ponds. And the market value of the lands
is not more than $10 to $50 an acre. Roads were originally laid out
close to the ponds to facilitate watering stock, which was kept by the
inhabitants a hundred to one what it is now. But such necessity does not
exist now and there is no reason why the public should not have roads
convenient to use clear of the ponds.
Port Jeff Echo
September 29, 1900
James Randall died at his
home on Monday after a long illness aged 55. The services took place
Wednesday at the Middle Island Church. The Reverend, Mr. Bassett
The Brooklyn Eagle
December 26, 1900
Nelson Munsell a Middle
Island resident died last Saturday. He was a farmer and had reached the
age of 94. He was noted for his activity and physical powers of
endurance. On his 90th birthday he sowed a field of several
acres of rye, doing all the work of sowing and harrowing himself. On the
following summer he harvested the crop with his own hands. In his
younger days he followed the water, sailing a sloop from the eastern
ports of Long Island to New York City. During the Cholera time in 1832
when all communication was shut off he ventured in this commerce and
received large profits. He was married to Maria Havens of Moriches in
1837 and leaves 5 daughters and 2 sons.
The Brooklyn Eagle
The funeral for Azel
Swezey was held on June 17, at his late residence. He was a descendant
of Stephen Swezey, the founder of the hamlet of Swezeytown, a suburb of
this place. He was an enterprising farmer and a patriotic citizen, and
for 35 years was sexton of the Presbyterian Church here. He was 81 years
old and leaves 5 sons and 2 daughters.
The Long Islander
March 23, 1906
Peter Wenner of this
place, has bought the Daniel Petty Farm at Middle Island for $9,000.
This farm has been in the Petty family since 1772.
The Long Islander
January 10, 1908
Christian Inglert of
Middle Island charged with the murder of G. Shepard Ritch last fall will
be tried at a special term of the Supreme Court before Justice Crane
Monday Jan. 27. Lawyer Ralph J. Hawkins will defend the accused. At the
time of the shooting Inglert said that Ritch and another man broke into
his house early in the morning and threatened to kill him, so he used
the gun in self defense.
Port Jeff Echo
September 19, 1908
The Funeral of Mrs.
Victor Edwards, who died on Friday aged 31 years old after a short
illness, was held on Sunday and the interment was in the family
plot at Middle Island. The deceased who was 85 years old is survived by
one daughter and by two sons, Edward Edwards of Manhattan and Victor
Edwards, of Middle Island.
The death of a three
year old son occurred on Sunday afternoon. The funeral is being held on
Tuesday, Two other children seriously ill were removed to a city
hospital on Sunday in the effort to save their lives. Mr. Edwards has
been ill but is improving, it is understood.
Port Jeff Echo
June 24, 1911
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fry
returned to their Middle Island home last week after spending the winter
Richard Bayles has been surveying the
boundaries of the Middle Island school district during the past week.
A large tribe of very bold gypsies came through
here Wednesday and tried to take whatever they could find.
Port Jeff Echo
August 10, 1912
The Presbyterian Church
fair was held at the parsonage Wednesday afternoon and evening. A very
huge crowd attended from this place and many other villages. Over 160
dollars was cleared.
Port Jeff Echo
January 9, 1915
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Bubb wish us to express their most hearty
thanks to the many friends who so promptly and generously came to their
rescue after the destruction of their home last week and made
contributions of money and materials and help and sympathy to help them
re-establish the comforts of a home.
Port Jeff Echo
January 23, 1915
Foxes are proudly about the woods and sometimes came too near
the homes of owners of churches. Herbert Benjamin shot one the other
day, one of the largest ever seen around here. Two or three shots were
necessary to bring him down.
The boys and girls have enjoyed a salubrious
period skating the ponds by moon light, the constellations having
conjoined to afford them an unusual opportunity for this clear, moonlit,
smooth, hard, frozen ice, breezy air, and some rosy cheeked girls.
Port Jeff Echo
January 30, 1915
G. Randall’s horse took flight at some little noise on day last week.
Just as Mr. Randall was preparing for a drive, Rev. Ball who was about
to get in the buggy was thrown, headlong on the ground,
sustaining some severe bruises. After running less than half a mile and
narrowly missing a collision with a large oak tree, the horse was
brought under control.
Port Jeff Echo
April 3, 1915
Thompson has sold his farm to parties from the city and it is reported
that a family of 10 children is to occupy it. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson will
move into the house formally occupied by Samuel S. Davis of Coram.
Activity in the timber business apparent about the
tract owed by Messers Potter and Brush. A large number of oak
piles have been cut and shipped to Greenport where they are to be used
in the construction of a dock. The chestnut trees on the tract are of
large size and they have been cut for telephone poles. Five teams have
been several days at work hauling them to Rocky Point for the long
We are losing confidence in that groundhog. After
assuring us that he would stay out and influence an early spring, the
old whelp crawled back into his hole again, and left us to shiver –
nobody knows how long. We shall go for that groundhog, with pitch fork
or shot gun, the first chance we get.
June 19, 1915
Berry Picking is in full blare this week. The
berries are developing very well.
Flag Day was observed on Monday. Our youths
who are qualified to regents’ examinations at Port Jefferson and
Patchogue Monday and Tuesday.
July 31, 1915
J.H. Randall has
purchased a new truck, of about 2 tons capacity, to use in his fruit
business. He is trying it out carrying early apples to the market.
Harry Still’s new house
on the Yaphank Road, just south of the Middle District school house, is
rapidly approaching completion.
Port Jeff Echo
August 21, 1915
Charles Miller has started his big truck, carrying peaches to
the city markets. He started the first of the week with a load of nearly
200 crates of fancy stock, which brings about $2.00 a crate. Fred
Randall has a new orchard and just now a bumper crop of beautiful
Carmans is breaking his trees down with their load of luscious fruit.
The atmosphere was
enlivened with rays of cheer from the countenance of Ray Randall of Port
Jefferson, in the interest of a new motor vehicle called the “Ford”
which is receiving some favorable notice in some parts of the country.
Port Jeff Echo
September 4, 1915
Susanna Meullen died last Wednesday. Burial was made on Friday in the
Union Cemetery. Reverend J. Norris conducted the service at the grave.
Mrs. Meullen with her husband, Adolph Meullen
moved to Middle Island from NYC in 1869. Since which her life has been
one of faithful service and devotion to home duties. She leaves a
husband and one son, Charles, a resident of the city.
The death of Elbert J. Swezey, which occurred
on Thursday night of last week, removed one of the most substantial and
highly respected members of our community. He was 76 years of age, and
departed this life like a shock of grain fully ripe, having filled a
long life with honest and earnest activity and usefulness to his family,
the church, and community where he lived. He died in the house where he
was born and had always lived, the house occupying the site of the
original settler of the name in this locality, his ancestor of the
fourth generation who built here more than one hundred and fifty years
Port Jeff Echo
September 11, 1915
opened in district #17 last Tuesday with Miss Violet Van Horn there as
the teacher. In district #16 Miss Ethel Gerrard will begin school next
September 25, 1915
thunder storm which passed over here Friday, just at night was the most
severe one that we have had this season. Several trees were struck.
Jason Randall was on the Longwood Road at the time and saw a large oak
shattered to pieces by lightning.
Port Jeff Echo
October 16, 1915
Risley and Miss Bessie Lighthall of Yaphank were married by Reverend J.
Norris at the parsonage last Wednesday evening. The boys gave them a
Serenade on the following night to emphasize the good wished of the
entire community to the prosperity and happiness of the young couple.
They are keeping house in the Adam Bubb place.
C.H. Hagen has a new
Ford car for his children, Frank and May, to use in attending the High
School at Patchogue daily.
Henry Nimmich has sold
his farm in the Ridge to one Mr. Burtis of New York, who will take
possession on November first.
Port Jeff Echo
October 30, 1915
Butler, Herman Bubb and Roy Still were initiated into the Yaphank Grange
last Monday evening.
Wallace Mott has closed up his garage business at
Setauket for the season and returned to his home in Swezeytown.
November 13, 1915
of Judge Bartlett was at his country place over Sunday enjoying the
autumnal beauty of that enchanting retreat.
Mrs. Parker is having the interior of her house at
the lake decorated to keep pace with the improved appearance of the
Many of our voters were disappointed at not having
a chance to use the voting machine about which they heard so much. Its
failure was not the fault of the machine so much of the blundering of
the experts who came from new York and Boston to manipulate it.
Port Jeff Echo
November 20, 1915
family of Henry Nimmich left their farm at this place to reside in
Ridgewood, last Friday. The people of this place regret to have them
leave us. Their furniture was conveyed in Charles Miller’s five ton
truck to their new home. The Nimmich farm sold by him to Charles M.
Burtis, is now under contract of sale to the State Conservation
Commission, presumably to be used as a game preserve. It consists of 200
Leslie Risley is employed with the Suffolk County
Telephone Company for a while, beginning with last Monday.
November 27, 1915
Risley is employed on the new game farm preserve lately vacated by Henry
Nimmich and family. The state conservation commission now has possession
of the farm, and operations and building and improving upon it have
begun. A caretaker with a wife and three children are in charge. It is
stated that 5000 pheasants are to be turned upon it.
December 11, 1915
Mrs. Jemima Randall who died at her home in
Woodhaven, Sunday night was one of the oldest natives of this place now
living. Being well up in the eighties. Remains were brought here and
laid away in the family plot in the Union Cemetery on Wednesday. She was
the daughter of Horace G, and Sabra Randall. In her young womanhood she
taught school, and gray haired men still hold pleasant memories of her
genial influence in the school room. In 1855 she was married to J.
Orlando Randall, and since his death, which occurred thirty years later,
has remained his widow, devoting herself to the care of the four sons
and one daughter he left, all of whom survive her.
December 25, 1915
For a long time sliding down hill on the snow has
been a popular amusement of the boys in winter, but sliding up the hill
is quite new. Albert Bayles has accomplished this, by the help of his
motor wheel, which he attached to the rear of his sled, and then he
rides over the snow, up hill or down, wherever he wishes to go, on a
beaten road or on ice.
Superintendent of Game Farms Rogers, of Watertown,
N.Y., is here attending to the installing of the pheasant nursery on the
L.I. Game Farm here. Some pheasants have been received, and 50 hawk
traps arrived last week.
William Herbert has left the employ of Judge
Fergueson and has moved with his family into the rose place by the lake.
Christmas exercises were held in the school in
District No. 17 on Thursday evening.
Mrs. Mary Ackerly was found dead in her house,
where for some time she had been living alone. Neighbors not seeing any
signs of her about the premises for several days, made investigation and
found her lying on the floor where she had fallen and died without a
struggle. Funeral and burial services were held Sunday afternoon. The
burial place was the Yaphank Cemetery. She was a native of this place,
belonging to the Hallock family, once quite numerous here, but now
almost extinct. After living several years at Yaphank and later in
Brooklyn, she bought the old Nichols farm here about 25 years ago and
has since lived upon it. Her husband Albert Ackerly, was a native of
Yaphank, where he carried on a store. His health failed about seven
years ago and he retired to the farm here, dying three years ago.
Port Jeff Echo
January 15, 1916
Adam Kavinish and family
have moved into the house formally occupied by Leon Edwards and has
served a position at the Wellington Farm.
William Zebrowski purchased a horse of dealer
Chichester last week.
Port Jeff Echo
January 22, 1916
Cracker Checker team of Yaphank came to the “store” (Pfieffer’s) last
Thursday night prepared to clean up our champion player, Everett
Topping. A hot contest ensued but at the end of the evening the score
stood 5-4 in favor of M.I, so Mr. Topping still holds the championship.
Port Jeff Echo
March 4, 1916
party of young Folks went on a straw ride to Patchogue Saturday night.
They reached home at about 4 o’clock in the morning.
March 6, 1916
Bridget Ann Risley an old resident of this place died while on a visit
to her sister, Mrs. McNulty, at Laurel last Friday. She had lived here
since 1861 and with her husband John Risley. Mr. Risley had built a home
and reared a family of 8 children, all of which lived to grow up and get
married. Mrs. Risley was a kind hearted, vigorous, industrious woman and
was held in high esteem by all who knew her. She was over 80 years old
and had been a widow for over 20 years.
Parties from the Vicinity of Roslyn
are digging up and carrying white pine trees from the Victor
Edwards farm to be transplanted into the grounds of wealthy country
estates in the Wheatley Hills Vicinity.
June 3, 1916
B. Randall died at his home here May 30th of heart trouble
and other complications after an illness of 5 weeks. He was born in
Middle Island on March 24, 1852 and was son of Ezra king and Polly
Gildersleeve Randall. Mr. Randall was married to Anna Isabel Horton of
New York City, March 13, 1875 and this is the first death in the family.
For 38 years he has lived in the house he built.
June 17, 1916
improvements at the state game farm continue among which are a large new
barn, large additions to the house and numerous small houses. The 500
pheasants are laying eggs now at a lively pace. And besides what are
being incubated under hens on the farm about 60 or 70 settings of eggs
are shipped weekly to different parts of the State.
Port Jeff Echo
July 29, 1916
fishing privileges in the ponds of Victor Edwards farm has been leased
to T.H. Rodman so the public are forbidden fishing there. The towns
right to these ponds were conveyed by the trustees to the owner of the
farm over a century ago.
William Zebrowski and
Allie Ritch have purchased motorcycles for practical business.
The teachers have been
engaged for the schools in Districts No. 16 and 17; Miss Nellie Swezey
in the former, and Violet Van Horn in the latter.
August 12, 1916
John L’Hommedieu an octogenarian who
was once a school boy here, during the past week paid a visit to some of
the localities that revived memories of his youthful days. He found a
few- very few- almost none- of the boys left with who played ball with
him in the front of the old church 60 years ago.
September 2, 1916
Mrs. Parker, who was once a school
girl here, as Emily Nichols, with her daughter and grand daughter, and
her sister, Mrs. Edward Carman visited scenes of long ago on Tuesday
September 9, 1916
Allie Ritch is at work again for Mrs. Miller,
helping to harvest the crop of peaches which is good now, and they are
bringing good prices. Mr. Miller has his big truck in commission taking
them to market.
Woodmen are cutting the timber on the tract of
Gorge W. Brush, and it is being shipped in poles by way of Yaphank
Looks like an envious thrust that the Yaphank
scribe lets drive in proclaiming the 9 foot weeds that grow from the
fertile soil of Middle Island. Yes, brother, you are up against it. The
arid plains of Yaphank will have to wiggle hard to show such evidence of
Port Jeff Echo
October 7, 1916
Smith Thompson died of pneumonia on Wednesday, aged 71 years. Reverend
A. A. Ball officiating, internment made at Middle Island
Captain Ed Swezey is out with
threshing Machine for the past week on two at Mount Sinai.
October 14, 1916
Miss Anderson of New Suffolk is teaching the
“Ridge” school, Dist. No. 19.
Stunts of the weather as well as of the German
submarines were the topics of the gossips.
Port Jeff Echo
November 25, 1916
C.S. Miller is getting ready for spring work by
spreading stable manure from the city over his fields.
Joseph Butler has shipped on a voyage to
Joseph H. Randall reports the crop of apples grown
on his Oakland farm as about 500 barrels.
Mrs. Minnie Parker has gone to Rocky Point to spend
the winter with her daughter, Mrs. Virgie Fry.
Port Jeff Echo
January 20, 1917
Gardner B. Topping died Monday night at his home
in this place. He had been sick but a few days. The prevailing disease,
of the nature of grip, seized upon him and weakened his vitality,
resulting in a general breakdown. He was eighty years of age and had
been in the Navy during the Civil War. His home since his youth had been
this place. Mr. Topping’s occupation was that of a mason.
Mrs. Sophia Ehlers died on January 14, after a
lingering illness of the nature of astma, aggravated by the prevalent
influenza. She came from Germany upwards of 30 years ago, and has
resided in this place about 25 years. Her husband died here about 8
years ago. She is survived by one son, Frederick H. Ehlers.
February 24, 1917
merry ring of the Woodman’s axe and the crashing of falling trees remind
the neighbors of the vicinity that the worth of cutting and shipping the
big timber of the Phillips-Swezey tract is progressing.
Some apprehension has been felt in
regard to the effort of the severe cold weather of the winter upon peach
buds, but examinations have shown that they have not been seriously
damaged. The peach prospect thus far is good.
Henry kruzer has moved his effects, with his wife
and son, from the Hutchinson homestead to the tenant house recently
bought by Hewlett and Fred Mott at Swezeytown.
March 24, 1917
The farmland and outbuildings of the estate of
William H. Fry have been leased to a party from Rocky Point.
We are pained to hear of the death of Henry E.
Randall, a former resident and native of this place, who died at
Freeport last week.
Harry Still has traded off his automobile for a
horse and buggy.
William Still has bought Adam Bubb’s horse.
Mike Conserva has bought a horse of Frank, the
agent of John C. Fry.
Port Jeff Echo
March 31, 1917
regret to learn of the death of Mrs. William G. Miller, at Freeport,
last week. She was a maiden of this place, her maiden name being Mary
Esther Randall. She was the daughter of Jehial W. Randall, who then
owned what is not the state game farm.
Port Jeff Echo
April 21, 1917
G. Randall has purchased one of the Moline farm tractors that are
promising to take the place of the horsed in the big farm work.
Mrs. Harry Still met
with an accident trying to hold a runaway horse about a week ago. She
was thrown down and dragged some distance, receiving such a shock that
she was prostrated and her condition was serious for several days.. She
was attended by Dr. Roe of Patchogue and now appears to be fairly on the
road to recovery.
July 21, 1917
blight is threatening the crop, which in most respects in unusually
promising. Prof. Sirrene of Riverhead was called on day last week to
diagnose a field of tubers on the Dixon farm which was thought to be
affected with the blight, but he pronounced it injured by a disease
which has been transmitted through the seed planted.
July 28, 1917
The death of Henry Butler which occurred last
week, removes from our midst an honest, industrious and peaceable
citizen, a native of the Emerald Isle, who has lived in this place about
35 years, where he has raised a family of ten children, nine who were
present at his funeral.
August 11, 1917
Bertram Still, Jason Randall, James Ashton and
Thomas Bayles were called to Bayshore to attend physical examinations
before the exemption board Monday and Tuesday.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Abrecht have moved into the
Smith Thompson house on the opposite side of the road from his property.
August 18, 1917
We regret to hear of the death of Elbert
Hutchinson at Sayville. He was one of the boys born here nearly 75 years
ago, son of the late Benjamin T. Hutchinson. (Was a soldier during the
Civil War with the 127th New York Infantry)
A caravan of work teams from the city passed
through here on Friday on their way to the camp, On the Robert Randall
road to the camp one of their powerful gray horses dropped dead beside
Improvements have been
made upon the cemetery, in the way of clearing the wild growth of briers
and bushes which have been allowed to grow for several years.
Bertram Still has retired from his
engagement at Longwood to be ready to answer the call to go into the
military training, which he expecting shortly to receive.
Camp Upton seemed to offer open house
to visitors on Labor Day. The road leading into it from this direction
presented a continuous stream of autos during the busy hours of the day
as thick as they could find their way through the cloud of dust that
filled the air.
friends of Mrs. Topping, widow of Gardiner Topping, a veteran of the
civil war, are congratulating her on the successful result of her
application for a pension.
Samuel Buel Swezey died last Thursday,
September 20th after an illness of about 2 weeks. He was one
of the hardy stock of a family that has furnished many examples of
longevity having reached his 95th birthday. He was a man of
kindly disposition and unassuming manners. He was born almost on the
same farm on which he spent his life and died. That farm now known as
the Wellington Farm, he inherited from his ancestors and sold it several
October 6, 1917
the season draws to its close the sightseers at Cam Upton appear more
eager to get a look at the fairy development that puts “Jack and the
Beanstalk” in the shade. It was estimated that 7000 automobiles were in
the camp last Sunday afternoon. All roads leading to the camp were
congested with traffic and several collisions were reported. The road
through this place leading to the camp presented an almost continuous
stream of autos going or returning.
Eli Fordham of Southampton spent two days here
last week making an sketch in oil of the Hutchinson house. This house
was built before the Revolution by William Brewster, a descendant of the
elder Brewster of the Mayflower fame, in the sixth generation. The house
was inherited by Benjamin Brewster, son of William and by him sold to
Benjamin Hutchinson, the grandfather of the present owner.
The Wellington Farm is reported as having large
crops to gather, but help is scarce to gather them. The war and camp
demands have drawn upon their forced until only 3 men are left to work
October 20, 1917
Mrs. Parker has rented
her beautiful residence overlooking the lake to an officer of Camp Upton
for the occupancy of his family.
Operations at Camp Upton
have been extended to and beyond the Country Road, east of the Ridge.
Work is progressing on the rifle range, which extends north of the road.
The Hay Road has been widened and improved up to the Country Road so
that it is now a very convenient and popular entrance to the camp.
November 3, 1917
The past week has seen
more auto traffic on the country road through here then ever before. It
looks as though thousands were discovering that the most direct route
between camp Upton and NYC is along this road. We notice that General
Bell seems to have made the same discovery and expressed the hope that
the road be macadamized to the point of connection with existing
Building has already begun on the lots
leased on the Ehler’s farm for business purposes.
U.S. Target Range – Danger!
Firing on the Camp Upton Range will begin on Monday
Nov. 29, and will continue daily from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m.. During these
hours it will be dangerous for anyone to be in this vicinity and all
persons are warned not to trespass on the Range, which extends north
from the Middle Island Road to the L.I. Railroad (Wading River Branch)
and east from the Shoreham South Haven Road to the Wading River - Manor
December 8, 1917
pop, pop, pop of the rifle practice on the camp Upton range is daily
heard through the middle hours of the day.
February 2, 1918
School in district #16 has been
suspended for the past 2 weeks on the account of measles. The teacher
Miss. Van Horn has been very sick with them, but is now improving.
The order calling for the registration of so
called alien enemies applies to two sober, industrious residents of this
place, Adam Kalinawicz and Henry Koraliszyn, natives of Galacia, a
Polish province, now held by Austria.
About six weeks ago a camp officer,
Fullerton Weaver, driving an automobile came into collision with Mr. and
Mrs. Paul Fichtner, who were riding in a buggy on the road in ridge. The
buggy was demolished and Mrs. Fichtner was badly cut about the head. The
insurance company compromised with the Fichtner’s as report says, paying
them about $200.
are being passed along to Jason Randall and Miss Peterson who were
quietly married on day last week. Miss Peterson is from Riverhead and is
teaching in district #19 in the Ridge section of this place.
March 9, 1918
On Thursday last week,
the practice with 4 inch guns at the camp began. Some of the reports
were heavy enough to shake the windows in the houses of this place.
William Harry, Roy and Frank Still,
Herman Bubb, and Albert Bayles are among the new recruits in the
construction gang at the camp this week.
As Mrs. Ruth Mott and Mrs. Ruth Mailer
were driving to the post office last Tuesday, their horse took flight at
a cow that was being led along the road, and whirling sharply across the
lawn of the Smith Thompson place upset the buggy, throwing the occupants
out, and dashing it against a post. The horse broke from it and with
harness flying wild, it started a mod run for home. After running a mile
the horse was stopped by Fred Brenner, fortunately. The women escaped
without serious injury.
March 30, 1918
Ashton the 2nd has been harrowing and honing the Long wood
road into camp and has so improved it that it is the best road into
camp- A great improvement.
April 6, 1918
fire destroyed the old Zachariah Dayton home last Friday. Occupants of
the adjoining farm on the northward were clearing and burning grass and
rubbish when the fire spread across the line until it reached the house.
The house was unoccupied. It was built about 75 years ago, and for many
years occupied by the Dayton family, all of whom moved away. The site
was once occupied by Daniel Swezey who in 1799 moved to Herkimer Country
from which place his descendants struck the trail westward and founded a
colony on the beautiful shore of Lake Chautauqua, and later played a
part in the building of Rockford, Illinois.
April 20, 1918
activities are evident on our roads and about us in all directions.
Sunday noon a platoon of soldiers filled the road as they were marching
past, in route to the camp from of their practice stations where they
have been encamped for a week or more in Centereach or Terryville.
Another camp is located in Robinson’s field near Artist Lake. We
understand they are practicing for signal services, and the wires which
the stretch temporarily for telephone and telegraph instruments.
Joseph Butler was at home
on relief from duty in the Navy over Sunday.
May 18, 1918
official electrician at the camp has domiciled himself and his wife in
rooms at E. Pfeiffer’s for the season
An officer from the training camp at
Plattsburg, now on duty at the camp Upton has moved his family to the
Albert Randall place.
Joe Butler of the US Navy is reported
on a ship at Key West.
Roy Still purchased a canoe and set it afloat in
Artist Lake. He desired to have his picture taken in it, but just as the
camera was ready to snap, the canoe tipped him overboard and the picture
was a failure.
May 25, 1918
Still is reported in London separated from his company, sick with
June 8, 1918
Parker is at her home for the summer
The disposition of the
women seems to be quite general here to accept their newly acquired
rights of suffrage, and they are sending in their enrollment
applications as they receive the blank forms.
A detective in uniform
was interviewing people here a few days since, for the expressed purpose
of getting information regarding the movements of certain German
June 15, 1918
is announced that the Meat Wagon which has been a regular visitor at our
doors from Port Jefferson for 40 years is to be withdrawn from the
July 13, 1918
Edwards herd of Holstein cows now numbers 8 head quite like old times to
see again, such a herd of cattle on the farm here.
August 3, 1918
Butler and Arthur Risley are reported as having reached France in good
August 17, 1918
camp market to his a good share of the garden products raised here,
mostly at good prices. Mr. Miller took in about 8,000 ears of corn last
Miss Nellie Swezey has been engaged to
teach the school in district #17 for the coming year.
August 31, 1918
Since 10,000 or more colored soldiers from the
South were brought into the Camp the guards are alert to prevent any
booze being brought into the limits. The other day an undertaker was
rounded up as he entered the camp and the guard insisted on examining
his embalming kit to make sure that it was not filled with booze.
October 5, 1918
demonstration of the Delco electric light system was given to some of
our people one evening last week, some light sure.
The teacher that was to come to
district #16 has gone some other way and now the trustee us looking
again for a teacher.
October 19, 1918
Sad and sudden was the news that came to us last
week that Jotham H. Swezey had died Monday night, Oct. 7th at
his home in Lebanon, Conn. He was born in Middle Island in 1864 and in
his early manhood was employed here as a clerk in the store of his
uncle, J.H. Randall. He was later employed in the store of Swezey &
Jotham H. Swezey
A feeling of
very real sadness passed over this village when word was received here
that Jotham H. Swezey, for about 15 years as well known as any resident
of Sayville, had passed away on Tuesday at his home in Lebanon, Conn.,
where and his family went to live about four years ago.
was born in Middle Island about 48 years ago, and always lived in this
section until his removal to Connecticut. After leaving Middle Island
in young manhood, he went to Patchogue and was for years in the employ
of Swezey & Newins. He married Miss Edith Brundage, then of Patchogue,
and came to Sayville to live in about 1900, conducting the men’s
furnishings store which he later sold to Frank F. Walter. Here he was
allied with every interest which stood for the best things in
Sayville. He was always prominent in the affairs of the Congregational
Church and was sadly missed when he moved away from the villiage.
wife and two children he survived by a brother and three sisters.
services were held in Lebanon at 2 o’clock this afternoon.
November 9, 1918
Swezey is cutting and carting to the railroad quite a number of spiels
for government work at Greenport. Besides timber from his won farm, he
is working a considerable tract and Judge Bartlett’s extensive property.
Election passed off very
quietly, the newly enfranchised women showing a fair degree of interest
in voting. Mrs. Leonard Miller of Yaphank has the honor of being the
first woman voter at the polls.
Dr. William Sidney Smith
who has been in camp at Iowa and was on his way with his unit to go
overseas, had the opportunity to spend the day Sunday at his home in
Longwood adjoining Camp Upton.
from Henry Butler reports him in the trenches in the midst of active
Timber dealers bought of J.H. Randall the large
old black walnut tree that stood at the rear of the Hutchinson house. It
listed in falling and came crashing down upon the kitchen knocking off
the chimney and breaking a big hole in the roof.
Joe Butler arrived home Monday for a short leave
of absence from the battleship on which he has been patrolling the
Atlantic coast line for several months.
December 7, 1918
Zebrowski and family have moved from the O.T Fanny house into the Smith
Frank Depta and family have moved from
the John C. Fry place to the farm at Yaphank formally owned by Albert S.
Still had a Vigorous experience the other day when he undertook to
convey a cow and calf to Kings Park. In passing a school in Smithtown
the cow became so elated at the sight of the happy children that she
climbed over the shoulders of the driver and started at breakneck speed
with tail waving in the air away to the right, while the calf jumped out
on the left and dashed over a railroad embankment into the woods, while
the horses caught the enthusiasm and tied to dance a “grinny rool” on
the hide toes. Just how Mr. Still conquered the attention we have not
heard. - But at last count had quarted the horses and captured the cow,
but the calf was running.
January 17, 1919
The Country Road was a lively scene Tuesday
morning, when it looked as though all the farmers of the westward
villages were speeding to the camp to attend the great sale of horses. A
number here bought horses at fair prices.
February 3, 1919
Swezeytown pond – known on the records as
“Half Mile Pond” is lower than it has been in about 50 years, if ever
before. People should take warning that it is unsafe to drive into it
now as there are miry spots near the shore where it is low.
February 8, 1919
The horse sale at Camp last week Thursday was a big
affair. Many went over from here, and some were able to purchase horses.
Charles Miller bought a team of mules. Most of the horses were bought by
dealers from the outside. Many carloads going to southern States.
Our teachers, Miss Schoonmaker of No. 16, Nettie
Swezey of No. 17, and Constance Prentiss of No. 10 attended the
Teachers’ Conference at Miller Place last Tuesday.
February 15, 1919
Sunday afternoon most of the auto owners about
here went over to the Camp and took the invalid and wounded soldiers out
to the hall at Yaphank, where they were treated to refreshments, and
after a brief social call were returned to the Camp Hospital.
John G. Randall has turned his energies into the
direction of dairying. He has a herd of 20 cows, and supplies milk to
March 1, 1919William Herbert, who has been
in France and returned to Camp Upton, visited his father at Ferguson’s
club house this week.
Marion Van Horn and Anthony Zebrowski and his
family attended the farming implement demonstration at Aquebogue on
March 8, 1919
Leslie Risley is at home, having been discharged.
Mr. Hurtin, familiarly known as “Uncle Joe,” a
youth sporting in the early nineties, discovered in the barnyard remains
of a hen that to his practiced eye suggested the work of a possum. He
was quite enthusiastic in bygone years in the pursuit of game and had a
reputation as a sure shot. He interested himself in setting a trap for
this possum overnight, and in the morning he was pleased to announce to
the other boys. “I got him.”
John Morris is visiting friends here on a leave of
absence for a short time, before being discharged from service in the
Canadian Army, with which he has been in France. He was one of the
school boys here about twelve years ago.
William O’Shea has been discharged from the
service and we hear that he will return to his former position on the
Game Farm, from which he was taken by the draft.
April 5, 1919
One of our oldest inhabitants in the person of
Philetus Phillips passed away on Thursday, of last week. He was a member
of one of the oldest families who have lived here from the pre –
revolutionary period to the present time. Deceased was about 84 years of
age and has always lived on the paternal farm.
May 3, 1919
Herman Bubb and Leroy Still have enlisted in the
Army for 3 years in the Aviation branch of the Army. They reported to
Fort Slocum for induction.
Miss Tessie Hagen visited her home here over the
weekend. She holds a very responsible position as nurse to Dr. Pflugg in
August 30, 1919
The Middle Island Boy Scouts went on a Ford hike
to Montauk Point Sunday. They were delighted with the trip. After they
sighted the lighthouse in the distance, and it began to play hide and
seek with them, they grew uneasy and suspicious that it had been moved
further East so they stopped and inquired if it really had, but being
assured that it was where it had been all the time for 125 years past,
they took heart pursued on till they overtook it.
Sept 13, 1919
School was open in District. No 17 Monday morning,
with Mrs. Jennie Morrison of Moriches as teacher. In district No. 16,
Miss Nellie Swezey, who is to teach, is sick and could not begin school.
Tony Zebrowski is building a garage for the
accommodation of his Maxwell touring car on the premises occupied by
The Country Road has gone to pieces under the heavy
traffic it has had during the summer.
September 27, 1919
John Randall has added to the equipment of his
dairy farm an improved silo, which is the first of this modern device to
be established in this place.
Charles Miller has undertaken the job of marketing
1000 bushels of potatoes from the farm of E. Pfeiffer. Last Sat. he took
185 bushels on his truck to Rockaway.
October 25, 1919
James Ashton 2nd and his associates,
John Swezey, George McMullen and others are busy putting the Country
Road in order westward of the post office, and Fred Ehlers, eastward,
with bone, tar and oil, and loam and gravel.
William O’Shea is temporarily in the position of
foreman at the State Game Farm here.
It seems like old times to see wagons with apples
and a barrel on top going to the cider mill. The scarcity of sugar seems
to be discouraging the culinary use of apples.
November 15, 1919
The new fangled sanitary apparatus has been
installed in the school house in Dist. No. 17.
Peter Costello has fitted up a cider mill on the
premises occupied by him, and has been making cider for parties at
Hempstead. They loaded a big truck with it last Thursday, but could not
make the hill on the country road. The cargo was transferred to wagons
and hauled to the top of the hill., where the next morning it was
reloaded on the truck and headed westward.
November 22, 1919
Fred Ehler’s is putting loam on the club
house hill, to expand the width of it so that traffic will have a more
A few gunners from the outside appear about the
deserted fields on the old farms, but they are rather a glum set, for
game is scarce. The severe winter of two years ago killed off the
November 29, 1919
We are informed that Anthony Zebrowski has
bargained for the purchase of the Smith Thompson house.
December 27, 1919
William Herbert is home for a few days with his
parents. He is in the Merchant Marine running across the ocean on
regular trips to some port in France.
January 3, 1920
Ice houses are being filled with ice about 7
inches thick on Artist Lake.
January 10, 1920
The Wittschack family have moved from the brick
house in Swezeytown to the Pickney farm at Pennaquid.
Some of our young folks were proof against the
zero weather, went to Riverhead last Friday to see the basketball games.
February 21, 1920
There is a hill next to the school house in
District 17 that presents an angle of about 50 degrees from the
horizontal and on the glazed surface of the hard frozen snow they shoot
down the incline, sitting on barrel staves, pieces of burlap, or
newspapers instead of hand sleds.
March 6, 1920
Unusual activity at the Camp last week in cleaning
up and putting things in order for the inspection by General Pershing on
Two automobiles passed through here on the first
day of March, being the first on the road since the 4th of
The Long Islander
March 26, 1920
There will be an big auction sale of
horses, wagons, harness and pigs at Hagen’s store, Middle Island,
Saturday, March 27, at 1 P.M.
April 17, 1920
One of the patrons of School No. 16, a woman of
Austrian nativity, having imaginary grievances appeared at the school
and deluged the teacher with a tirade of abusive language, much to the
disturbance of the good order of the school room. The teacher appealed
to the kind offices of Justice merchant of Yaphank, and he advised the
woman to make a proper apology to the teacher, and save herself the
disgrace of an arrest and fine.
June 12, 1920
Mrs. Minnie Parker has sold her place at the lake
to Henrietta Mostert.
September 18, 1920
A delegation from here attended the meeting at the
Grange hall, Yaphank, last Wednesday evening, called to consider the
organization of a local company to purchase the water power rights. In
the temporary organization R.M. Bayles was made chairman, John C. Fry,
secretary and John S, Jones, treasurer.
Most of the boys of this vicinity are now employed
on the radio operations toward Rocky Point.
Miss Violet Van Horn is teaching in the Patchogue
October 23, 1920
Camp Upton is certainly finding, statements to the
contrary put forth by some of the city newspapers. Nearly 1400 men were
shipped out one day last week, and only about 600 remain. The railroad
has discontinued passenger service to and from the terminal station in
October 30, 1920
One of the meanest developments of human depravity
is stealing water pails that are left at the watering places for the
convenience of watering horses that pass along the road. We have reports
of several instances of the kind perpetrated at the brook crossing near
Hurtin’s corner and at Swezey’s mill pond. This is cruelty to animals
November 27, 1920
William Still is preparing to erect a combination
garage and general utility building on his property. He was fortunate in
securing a quantity of very good lumber from the wrecking of the
buildings at the Camp.
Tony Zebrowski has also secured a supply of good
lumber from the camp for additions to buildings on his property.
Fred Brenner has installed an electric light plant
on his premises to light up his store and dwelling. He also has a water
pressure system in process of installment.
Speaking of the Camp, it appears to be moving out
every day. Many buildings which had been erected by individuals and
societies are being sold and wrecked. There are only about 275 men in
the camp, they belonging to the quartermaster and utility department.
December 18, 1920
Charles Miller is going forward with repairs of
the old Daniel Petty homestead on his farm, for the occupancy of the
lessees, Martin Rusin and Frank Kazel, who are moving in from Cutchogue.
February 5, 1921
Large quantities of second hand lumber from Camp
Upton are going through here daily to the villages westward.
Some of our farmers are taking advantage of the
chance to get horse manure from the camp to enrich their farms at a
price within reach of their means.
June 10, 1921
A special school meeting was called for District
19 at the Ridge on the 7th to consider the proposed change in
the line between that district and Yaphank, a hearing before Supt. Craft
being set for that date.
Victor Edwards harrowing with a spirited team the
other day, lost control of them and they ran away and ran into the pond
near his house. The harness was badly broke, and one of the horses was
June 18, 1921
School in No. 17, Miss Angeline Smith,
teacher closed with interesting exercises on the afternoon of Thursday,
the 9th inst.
Miss Muirhead returned from Locust Valley last
week, and is fitting up her tea room in the old Hutchinson house, now
the summer home of Messrs Craft and Hicks. This tea room, fitted with
dainty and artistic appointments, is intended to be an attractive
breathing spot for tourists passing.
July 2, 1921
Miss Muirhead opened her tea room Saturday, with
The Mostert family moved into their new house on
the site of the Alonzo Chappel house, overlooking Artist Lake.
July 23, 1921
Some of our people who own land along the
river are asking the town trustees to declare null and void the grants
once made to mill owners to flood their land for milling purposes, now
that those purposes have been abandoned.
August 13, 1921
A special meeting was held in District No. 17 last
Tuesday evening to consider the question of building a new school house.
The prevailing sentiment was in favor of a new building. Supt. Craft was
present and reminded the meeting that the present school room was only
large enough to accommodate 14 pupils according to the State
requirement, while the fact developed that there are about 24 pupils to
be taken care of.
Mrs. Alice Eldridge of East Marion spent Sunday
with visiting Mrs. R.M. Bayles and looking through the old Hutchinson
house, the home of her childhood.
October 15, 1921
Harry Still has purchased a building at Camp Upton
and had it moved to his home lot, where it may be fitted and finished as
Mr. Lighthall, the teacher in District 16 was
taken sick and school was suspended for the week.
We see that William T still has been appointed
attendance officer for the schools of this place. A good selection and
we trust the people who belong in these schools will be in their places
or be able to give a good rendition why not.
October 29, 1921
Proposals are invited for building a school house
in District No. 17. Specifications and plans may be seen at the office
of R.M. Bayles, Middle Island.
November 12, 1921
The farm of J.C Fry at the lake was sold at a
legal sale last Saturday, the price we understand being a little above
November 19, 1921
Some interesting local items developed in the
recent election. Joseph Hurtin 93 past, walked into the booth and
prepared his ballot without any assistance, and in much less time than
many half his age. He has been taking an interest in elections ever
since the campaign of Zachary Taylor.
November 26, 1921
Some of the railroad buildings at Camp Upton are
being taken down to rebuild elsewhere. The Still brothers, William,
Harry and Frank and Albert bayles are on the job.
Gunners should be careful how they shoot in this
vicinity of dwellings, Baker Ruland, whose poultry yard borders the
woods has had several hens shot by them the past few days.
December 17, 1921
Edward Pfieffer has bought a building from the
Camp, formerly used by the railroad, and has had it moved upon his land
to fit up as a bungalow for rent.
A special meeting has been called in District 17
this Friday evening to consider appropriation for the new school house.
January 14, 1922
Judge Willard Bartlett, and his family spent New
Year’s Day at his farm in this place. Sixty years ago he was a prominent
figure among the boys who gathered on this pond to enjoy the skating
when it was good on holiday occasions.
April 1, 1922
Messrs Hicks and Craft and Mrs Muirhead visited
their farm here last week and brought with them Mr. Blauvelt whom they
left in charge as foreman of the farm for the season.
Larry kaminiski is making progress with the
dwelling which he is fitting up on the farm which he recently purchased
from Mrs. Dixon. With a building moved from Camp Upton as a nucleus he
is making a very neat looking bungalow.
May 13, 1922
The funeral of Smith Thompson of this place was
held in the Presbyterian Church Wednesday afternoon, of last week and he
was buried in the family plot in the Union cemetery. He was an old
resident of this place, having settled here about 1870.
May 20, 1922
When will all the building movers stop tearing
down our telephone wires?
May 27, 1922
Mrs. Muirhead has arrived and is hustling
preparations in the old Hutchinson house for the opening of the Orchard
Tea Room for the summer. This old house was a popular stopping place for
passengers through the island a hundred years ago and popularity seems
not to fade under the mists of a century.
June 17, 1922
Herman Bubb has returned home from the
Philippines, where he has been serving his country in the Army. His term
of enlistment for three years has been completed.
July 1, 1922
Roy Still caught a Black Bass in Artist
Lake that weighed 51?2 pounds and measured 22 inches in length.
The road oil is actually flowing. The road from
Middle Island post office to Yaphank has been oiled this week, a large
gang of shovelers being on the job applying the gravel as fast as the
oil is put on.
July 2, 1922
The old stand where Oscar F. Swezey started a
store in 1860 has again changed hands. The Hagen family, who have
occupied it as a hotel and general store for the last 20 years,
transferred it to Leon De Ryckere by whom with his wife, Anna it will be
continued. Charles J. Hagen will continue for a while in charge of the
The hay crop is unusually heavy, but the weather
is very unfavorable for gathering it.
The Hagen Hotel or Hunters’ Inn as it is named is
under new management had about 20 guests from the city booked for the
fourth of July vacation period, which this year reached from Saturday
afternoon to Wednesday morning.
Mrs. Ann F. Swezey, who has been under failing
health conditions for the last year or two, passed away last Friday
afternoon in the 86th year of her age. She had spent her life
in this community, of which she was a highly esteemed and very useful
member having been born on the farm which she inherited as the fourth
generation in its successive ownership, and spent her life upon it. She
became a member of the Presbyterian Church here in 1855 and has always
shown a deep interest in the activities of the church, for many years
being president of the Women’s Missionary Society. Her maiden name was
Petty, and in 1849 married Edgar G. Swezey.. She is survived by a
daughter Flora L. Dixon.
August 19, 1922
Improvements are being made to the Gurvey farm,
the roof on the dwelling is being shingled anew, and a barn is in the
process of building.
September 9, 1922
The rock ribbed hills are giving up their store of
broken rock and stones for purposes of improvements on the shore front
near Patchogue. Teams and motor trucks are busy day after day gathering
up and hauling stones from the hill top farms here to the south side.
Of course the Hunters’ Inn former Hagen’s Hotel
was full of guests over the weekend.
September 16, 1922
Miss Muirhead’s orchard Tea Room has had a very
successful run this summer, more so than any previous season.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Yarrington are moving to
November 11, 1922
Jason L. Randall aged 66, retired sea captain,
died at his home in Groton, Conn., Tuesday last, after 3 years illness
of sleeping sickness. He was born at Middle Island. He was a member of
the New York Marine Society.
November 18, 1922
Deer are becoming very numerous in the woods
between here and Yaphank. Old roads and paths are full of their tracks.
The other day a party of surveyors in the woods back of Mr. Walters farm
were interviewed by a big buck with great 4 prong horns who came out of
the bushes approaching within a rod before wheeling away and bounding
into the thicket.
January 6, 1923
The sympathy of his friends here is extended to
William O’Shea in the loss of his mother.
Rumors are afloat in regard to new construction
work at the radio plant between here and Rocky Point. It appears that
some enlargement of the plant is contemplated. The force of men working
there is being increased.
January 27, 1923
Great sport was enjoyed by the young people
coasting on the east hill last Friday evening sliding down the road,
which was beaten smooth enough to be in good condition to give them a
run of about a third of a mile. A couple of autos were stationed where
their lights could be thrown down the tracks to facilitate activity and
We have lost our oldest
inhabitant by the death of Joseph Hurtin who quietly and peacefully
passed to the life beyond last Saturday morning at the ripe old age of
94. He was born in Middle Island on the farm, which he inherited from
his father Samuel Hurtin, and on which he spent the years of his active
life, until 5 years ago when he gave up his farm and went to live with
his niece, Mrs. Edward Pfieffer, with whom he made his home the
remainder of his days. He was never married, but during most of his life
his household affairs were managed by his maiden sister Miss. Jerusha
Hurtin, or later by his widowed sister Mrs. Hannah M. Overton and her
daughter Mrs. Pfieffer. In pastime amusement his dog and gun were his
favorites and he held high reputation as a marksman.
February 3, 1923
“variety is the spice of
life” is an old saying and in school District No. 16 they are having
plenty of it this winter. The teacher fell into the habit of skipping
Mondays – don’t know why just yet. Years ago preachers were sometimes
troubled with what they called “Blue Mondays” Anyhow the pupils would
come and find no teacher so they got discouraged and next day they
didn’t go to school. Then the teacher came to school and sent the truant
officer after the delinquent students. Next week the pupils and parents
appealed to the truant officer to go after the delinquent teacher. While
the truant officer was deciding whether to go after the pupils or the
teacher the latter appeared and the trustee told him that another
teacher had been employed and referred him to the District Supt. For
further information. This will be the fifth teacher for the school since
Sgt Craft son of Supt.
Craft was the substitute teacher for a few days, but had to return to
February 17, 1923
Thomas J. Dixon passed away during the night of
last Thursday, after lingering two years following a stroke, which
rendered him helpless. Mr. Dixon was born in 1846 at Mobile Alabama. In
his boyhood he drifted up into Delaware County N.Y., whence he entered
the Army in the Civil War, following which he engaged in various
mercantile enterprises in and about New York City until 1896, when he
bought a farm in Middle Island. He first married Harriet F. Bedell, of
Queens, by whom he had one son, John Irving Dixon, who is now living in
Massachusetts. Mrs. Dixon was burned to death in the fire that destroyed
their house in 1906. He afterwards married Miss Flora L. Swezey of
Middle Island, they had one son Thomas Dixon.
February 24, 1923
We are informed the John
C. fry holdings have been sold to Charles E. Walters of Yaphank, and
that he has arranged with William Zebrowski to operate the part known as
the brick house farm that is the former Joseph Topping farm.
March 14, 1923
A gang of men were
engaged cutting ice on the Swezeytown Pond Thursday and Friday of last
week filling the ice house on the De Ryckere place. Arden Benjamin is
the foreman on the job.
The Sylvester M. Swezey
farm of about 177 acres has been sold to John Harris. The farm has been
in the Swezey family ever since the year 1745, excepting for a few years
in the early part of the last century when he was in possession of the
March 17, 1923
Sidney Tangier Smith
died in N.Y.C. last week. The body was brought to Longwood for burial in
the family plot. He was one of ten children of William Sidney and
Eleanor J. Smith, and had reached the age of 88 years. The records of
the Middle Island Presbyterian Church show that he was baptized here in
infancy in 1835. His boyhood home was here, but in active life he was
engaged in business in the city.
In school No. 16 the
honor pupils for March are Elsie Brenner, Mildred Brenner, and Genevieve
Mazeski, having passed their monthly tests with the highest average. The
best record of attendance for the month past was made by Barbara Swezey,
who lost only 2 hours on account of heavy storms.
March 24, 1923
We understand that Judge
Bartlett has gone on a trip to Bermuda to spend a few weeks.
Lester Davis is an
enthusiast in the development of fine stock of the Holstein Fresion
breed. He has the finest herd of cattle ever seen in this locality. At a
recent testing under supervision of a State official it was shown that a
single cow gave 28 pounds of butter in 7 days. In the quantity of milk
given by one cow the record shows forty quarts in one day. In the test
for butter fat contained in the milk the record showed a little above
five percent as highest.
January 25, 1925
Willard Bartlett former
Chief justice of the Court of Appeals and law partner of Elihu Root died
at his home in Brooklyn last Saturday. He was 78 years of age.
In 1858 Bartlett came
with his father and the family and settled at Bartlett, which is between
Coram and Middle Island.
February 24, 1927
Adolph Meullen age 86
died in New York City last Saturday. His body was brought to Middle
Island for burial.
January 20, 1931
Edward Pfeiffer has
engaged the services of the road contractors gasoline shovel in digging
out his pond which has been dry for several years. About 20 years ago
this pond was the source of trouble on account of flooding the roads on
both sides of it and it was a common sight to see fish swimming from the
pond and through a culvert under the country road and down the river
towards Yaphank. Now the river is dry for than a mile south. Will the
spring rise again and the river flow from its source once more?
January 27, 1931
A party of city hunters
got all excited in their efforts to capture one fox which they started
up in the woods between Middle Island and Yaphank a few days ago. They
thought they had him cornered in a patch of woods but Mr. Fox didn’t
think so and ran to the river, but there the ice broke and he couldn’t
get across. Finally the hunters captured him.
September 18, 1931
Donald Ferguson has been
busy the past week getting a large number of apple and peach exhibits
ready for the Mineola fair.
The Ridge school house
has been repainted inside and several alterations and improvements to
the equipment made.
October 9, 1931
Doctor Neuss of Yaphank
made the annual medical inspection of the children in school District
No. 17 last week.
With potatoes at 35
cents a bushel and the cauliflower crop fast going bad, the farmers in
this section who specialize in those two crops are facing serious
losses, which in some cases will result in the loss of their farms. And
still with such an overproduction of everything thousands of people in
our country are unable to get anything to eat.
It is reported that the
State game farm is to be changed over to quail raising. Most of the
workers on the farm have received notice of dismissal from this farm
although they may be transferred elsewhere.
The Obiedensky family
who have been occupying the farm which they purchased from Anthony
Zebrowski are preparing to move back to Huntington for the winter.
November 6, 1931
The children in the East
Middle Island school house held a Halloween party last Thursday
afternoon at the school house, under the auspices of the teachers, Leroy
Albin and Mrs. Davis. A play under the direction of Mrs. Donald Ferguson
was presented after which games were in order.
A new flagpole is being
installed at the school house which will be more in keeping with the
appearance of the building than the old one.