Finding Aid for the Records of
the Yaphank Historical Society

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March 18, 2013

PREFACE

 

Contact :

  • Historian - Phone: (631) 924-3401
  • Yaphank Historical Society
  • Yaphank Ave. and Main Street
  • P.O. Box 111
  • Yaphank, NY 11980

Directions: Follow the Long Island Expressway to Exit 67. At the first intersection turn north toward the lake. The Yaphank Historical Society is first house on the left on the north side of the lake.

Access: Access to the non-digital records of the Yaphank Historical Society is arranged by appointment only.

Requirements: Researchers are required to wear gloves when handling records. A photocopy machine is not available, but researchers are welcome to take photos with mobile devices. Personal items will be checked at the door. Researchers may take notes on a mobile device or with paper and pencil.

Meetings: Third Thursday of the month (except December and January) at 7:30 pm at the Robert H. Hawkins House on Yaphank Ave., Yaphank, NY.

Webmaster: webmaster@yaphankhistorical.org for more information.

INTRODUCTION

HISTORY of the YAPHANK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

SCOPE and CONTENT NOTE

DESCRIPTION of RECORD SERIES

            People

            Residences

            Schoolhouses

            Churches

            Geographic Locations

            Commercial and Non-Profit Organizations

            Historical Events

            Yaphank Historical Society

INTRODUCTION

All roads lead to Yaphank, a small Long Island community located in the center of Suffolk County, New York.  Yaphank, originally known as "Millville," began as a farming community in 1726.  The original name referred to the location near the grist and sawmills along the Carmens River.  In 1845 Millville became Yaphank, a native American word used in a 1692 land grant with William Smith.

Yaphank was a center for trade, transportation and social welfare on Long Island.  In the late nineteenth century its citizens were associated with the Long Island Railroad, the Audubon Society, and Harpers Bazaar.  The Suffolk County Almshouse and Children's Home, the only county social welfare system at the time, were located in Yaphank. 

Before or during both World Wars Yaphank was an active community.  During World War I soldiers on their way to Camp Upton, located just east of Yaphank, stopped at the Yaphank train station.  One of these soldiers, Irving Berlin, wrote the song, "Yip, Yip Yaphank.". In 1935 the German American Settlement League purchased property for a summer camp to promote German culture. From 1936 to 1939 ethnic Germans from the New York metropolitan area were drawn to Camp Siegfried to organize and stage huge pro-Nazi rallies.

Brookhaven Town, Suffolk County and New York State have recognized the significance of the history of Yaphank. New York State and Brookhaven Town designated a Historic District which includes several buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include the Hawkins House (1850), St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (1853), and the Homan-Gerard House (1790).

HISTORY of the YAPHANK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

In 1972 the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities sponsored a survey of old homes on Main Street in Yaphank. The survey was used to establish the Yaphank Historic District on the New York State Register of Historic Places. In 1974 a number of owners of the historic homes and other residents of Yaphank drafted a constitution and by-laws to formally establish the Yaphank Historical Society (YHS) to preserve Yaphank and the surrounding areas. From its inception the YHS has collaborated with Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town to restore historical residences and provide a venue for community activities, such as Victorian teas, historical dramatizations, a Halloween Haunted House, and historical educational opportunities for both adults and children.

SCOPE and CONTENT NOTE

The records of the Yaphank Historical Society include: 1) primary sources, such as donations of family records, manuscripts, letters, diaries, maps, books, photographs, posters, postcards, daybooks, and video and audio recordings from the early nineteenth century through the early twenty-first century and 2) secondary sources, such as newspaper clippings and articles about the Yaphank community, cover the time period from 1875. Many secondary sources were collected through research conducted by the YHS historian.

Also refer to Yaphank and the Smith Estate

 

DESCRIPTION OF RECORD SERIES

 


People

The record series, People, includes information about people who lived or worked in Yaphank or people who influenced the history of Yaphank since the early eighteenth century. Files are organized by the name of the person.

Mary Louise Booth

Richard C. Chapin

Anne Fegley

Robert Hawkins (1778-1862)

Charles E. Howell

Henry P. Kovarik (1900-1983)

Christian Krabbe

Leslie R. Marchant

Judge Gustav Neuss

Samuel F. Norton

Overton Family

Captain William Phillips

Squire William Phillips

Dr. G. H. Swezey

Weeks Family

Clara Winslow Weeks (1860-1929)

Yaphank As It Is and Was

Video Interviews

Audio Interviews

Image Files

 

 


Residences

The record series, Residences, includes information about the homes, estates or institutions where people lived in Yaphank since the early eighteenth century. Some of the residences have been occupied over time; others were destroyed or abandoned. Some of the records in this series are historical residences that have been restored by the Yaphank Historical Society alone or in conjunction with Suffolk County or Brookhaven Town. Files are organized by the names of the owners or the name of the institution.

Robert H. Hawkins House- c. 1850

Mary Louise Booth House - c. 1829

William Jones Weeks Family Octagon House - 1848

Suffolk County Almshouse and Farm Complex - 1871

Smith Estate at Longwood - 18th century

Phillips-Bianca House - c. 1850

Swezey-Avey House - c. 1843

Homan-Gerard House - c. 1790

Robinson-Mills-Tuthill-Mannino-Daly House - 1726

Holden-Herbert-Foley House - 1820

 

Schoolhouses

The record series, Schoolhouses, includes information about schools that were located in Yaphank since 1815. Files are organized by the name of the school.

Schoolhouse on Middle Island-Yaphank Road, 1815

Octagon School on Main Street, 1854

West Yaphank School on Mill Road, 1880-1906, 1907-1952

Yaphank School on Main Street, 1926-1953

Charles E. Walters School, 1953-

Middle Island Cooperative Nursery School at Yaphank, 1965-2007

 

Churches

 

The record series, Churches, includes information about the churches, church events, and church bulletins. It does not include the church records. Files are arranged by the name of the church.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church - 1853

Yaphank Presbyterian Church - 1851

 

 

Geographic Locations

 

The record series, geographic locations, includes documentation pertaining to physical locations in Yaphank, in addition to geographic resources like maps and surveys. Files are organized by the name of the place, region, road or document format, such as maps.

Yaphank Historic District

Cemeteries in Yaphank

Yaphank Lakes

Carman’s River Nature Trail and Sanctuary

Camp Siegfried

Camp Upton

Maps and Surveys

County Road 21

Prosser Pines

 

Commercial and Non-Profit Organizations- Historical Yaphank

 

Yaphank Post Office

Grange Hall

Homan-Gerard Mill

Yaphank Railroad Station

Swezey Mills and Upper Lake

Yaphank Chamber of Commerce

Yaphank Fire Department

Radio Corporation of America – NY Radio Central

Jack and Vera’s Travel Lodge

Lakeview Inn (Mill House Inn)

 

 

Historical Events

The record series for historical events covers all resources that reflect the general history of the area and what was happening in Yaphank at a particular time in history. Files are ordered by the historical period in time.

 

Colonial Times

Civil War

World Wars

Yaphank Long Ago

 

Yaphank Historical Society

Organization and Administrative Records

Events and Fundraisers

Educational Programs

Restoration Projects

Financial Records

Digital Records

Awards

Curator Records

Historical Publications

Donations

 

P e o p l e

 

The file includes information about prominent people in Yaphank from  1726- present.  The files are organized by the last name of the person.  More detailed and comprehensive records are held for the following people:

 

A. Mary Louise Booth (1831-1889)

Mary Louise Booth was the author of the 1859 publication, History of the City of New York, and the first editor of the magazine, Harper's Bazaar.  She translated French to English and worked for the New York Times in New York City.  The file includes a timeline history, photos and copies of photos of Booth and her home, copies of newspaper clippings from 1876-1976, record of the house donation, copies of the 1889 surrogates court record and the death certificate, genealogy and biographical information, copy of the 1870 census, the will of Anne W. Wright, and copies of letters with transcriptions from 1865 and 1872 from Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward respectively.   Also included is a copy of A Little Book of Friends, by Harriet Prescott Spofford, published in 1916.

Also see: http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/history/bio/boothmary.htm.

 

B. Richard C. Chapin

Richard C. Chapin was the pastor of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and the author of Little Susy's Church.  The file contains correspondence; copies of emails from Vicar Chapin; a copy of his book, a 1988 manuscript and a CD; church newsletters; photos; a 1980 newspaper article.

 

C. Anne Fegley

Anne Fegley was the editor of the local newspaper, "The Town Crier in Historical Yaphank" from 1976-1980.  The file includes the "Town Crier" publications as well as children's booklets that she wrote.

 

D. Robert Hawkins (1778-1862)

Robert Hawkins was known as "Blind Robert."  The file contains cemetery photos, copies of news articles, an obituary, maps of Yaphank, the Hawkins family emblem and two genealogical records: A Hawkins Genealogy 1635-1939: Record of the Descendants of Robert Hawkins of Charlestown, Massachusetts by Ralph Clymer Hawkins (1987) and A Hawkins Genealogy Supplement Volume II: Record of the Descendants of Robert Hawkins of Charlestown, Massachusetts compiled by Susan H. Carmiencke and Bayard C. Carmiencke (2001).

 

E. Charles E. Howell

Charles E. Howell was a Yaphank businessman.  The file contains photos of Howell's store, an 1897 store advertisement, a biography of Charles R. Howell (1840-1864) who fought with the 2nd NY Cavalry Company C in the Civil War, a Howell genealogy, and correspondence from the grandson of Charles R. Howell, Ralph D. Howell.  Also included in the file are the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form for the Hawkins-Howell-Overhoff house c. 1884, and a copy of a 1916 accounts receivable record for the Charles E. Howell Fine Groceries and Dry Goods store.

 

F. Henry P. Kovarik (1900-1983)

Henry P. Kovarik was a Czech immigrant known as the poet laureate of Yaphank and author of 170 poems and two books, Concept of a Bible for Our Times in Sententious Poetry (1968) and National Bicentennial U.S.A.  The file includes his writings, some of which are in Czech with transcriptions, correspondence, photos, poetry, newsletters, newspaper clippings and the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form for the DeLaMarca-Kovarik house.

 

G. Christian Krabbe

Christian Krabbe was an immigrant from Denmark who opened a real estate office in Yaphank in the early 1900s.  He was also an insurance agent, a Vice-President of the Peoples National Bank in Patchogue and the Brookhaven Town Tax Assessor.  The file includes a biography, correspondence, copies of newspaper articles, and real property records such as a 1917 tax summons and complaint and billls and payment records.

 

H. Leslie R. Marchant

Leslie R. Marchant, son of Judge Marchant, was a Yaphank builder.  The file contains newspaper clippings, a 2012 CD with photographs, copies of photos and a painting of Judge Marchant and his wife, Ada Marchant.  Also in the file are 1) a transcription of an interview with the Jean Carol Marchant, daughter of Leslie and Mildred Marchant and granddaughter of Ada Homan Marchant and Judge Fredrick P. Marchant and 2) a 1942 autobiography of Betty Marchant, daughter of Leslie and Mildred Marchant.

 

I. Judge Gustave Neuss

Judge Neuss objected to the Nazi crowds in Yaphank in 1937.

The file contains copies of photos and newspaper articles from the early 20th century. 

 

J. Samuel F. Norton

Paintings of Samuel F. Norton and his wife, Eliza Norton, were restored by the Yaphank Historical Society.  The paintings hang in the south parlor of the Hawkins house.

The file contains: before and after photos of Samuel and Eliza to document the restoration process; records of the Norton-Mannino house including a history of the property ownership from 1842-1970; correspondence and a description of the property and its use; Historic Buildings Evaluation for the Norton House; Building-Structure Inventory Form; history of the donation of the paintings of Samuel and Eliza Norton.

 

K. Overton Family

This record is the book, The Overton Genealogy- The Overton Family of Long Island, NY - Especially the Descendents of David Overton of Southold and Coram 1640-1965 by Alvin R. L. Smith (1965).

 

L. Captain William Phillips

The file contains excerpts from the book, Images of America Yaphank, by Tricia Foley and Karen Mouzakes.

 

M. Squire William Philips, son of Captain William Phillips

The record includes a map of property holdings and daybook from 1816.

 

N. Dr. G. H. Swezey

The record includes the Physicians' Diary 1882 by Dr. G. H. Swezey in addition to Dr. Swezey's 1870 account book.

 

O. Weeks Family

Archibald Weeks wrote the lyrics for the Cornell University Alma Mater. The file includes original letters and transcriptions (1827-1942) and  documents about the Weeks family members including: Archibald C., Francis, Reginald, Susan Amelia, Laura and Clara. Several daguerreotypes and copies of photographs, a deed, the original and a transcription of Susan Amelia Weeks' 1887 diary, obituaries for Archibald and Clara Weeks, a genealogy, lyrics for the Cornell Alma Mater, and an article by Richard Chapin about Francis W.Weeks are included in the file. Other items in the collection include the Susan Maria Weeks Notebook 1850-1876 (recorded the deaths of family members and President Abraham Lincoln), an 1880 autograph book from the Yaphank School, a 50th anniversary book for Joseph and Julia Weeks Lawless, a 1912 bridal shower book,  the Bible of the Family of James Huggins Weeks and Susan Maria Weeks, and a photo with the prose and poetry of Harriet Page Weeks Hawkins.

 

P. Clara Winslow Weeks (1860-1929)

Clara, author of the 1913 publication,"A China Plate," was the daughter of William and Mary Croswell Weeks and the granddaughter of James and Susan Weeks.  She was known in Yaphank as "Aunt Clara" and raised four children from the Suffolk County Children's Home.  The file contains a brief biography, photos, an obituary, correspondence, the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form for Clara's home known as the "Lilacs."  Also in the file are copies of newspaper articles, a floor plan for the Octagon house, an inventory of the items in the "Lilacs" after the death of Clara Weeks in 1929.  In addition, a 1911 Buffalo Pottery plate is included in the collection.

 

Q. Yaphank As It Is and Was

           The file includes the book, newspaper clippings, including an 1875 book review and a rebuttal by the author, and copies of photos. The book includes some illustrations and biographical sketches of:

Alfred Ackerly

Doc. James I. Baker

Jonas Buckingham

Augustus Floyd

Edward Livingston Gerard

Robert Hawkins Gerard

Daniel Hammond

John Hammond

Jonah Hawkins

Richard Hawkins

Robert H. Hawkins, Jr.

Edward Henry S. Holden, M.D.

Daniel Homan

Edward Homan

Mordacai Homan

Samuel Lester Homan

Thomas Homan

Simmons Laws

Apollas Mills

Edward Wickham Mills

Isaac Mills

John Phillips Mills

Samuel F. Norton

Sereno Burnell Overton

William Phillips

Alfred Reid, Sr.

Sidney H. Ritch

Samuel Smith

Hon. William Sidney Smith

Daniel B. Swezey

Daniel Downs Swezey

George Franklin Thompson

Nathaniel Tuthill

James Huggins Weeks

William J. Weeks

 

R. Video Interviews
     with Yaphank Residents – In processing: Not currently available to the public

S. Audio Interviews

a. Recorded
   Lois & Frank Hulse (two tapes)   04/08/1982
      by Karen Mouzakes
   St. Andrew’s Church History (two tapes)   10/25/1989
       by Rev. Richard Chapin

b. Transcripts of telephone interviews
   Jean Marchant
   Case VanWyk
   Herschel Cozine

T. Image Files

The file includes multiple volumes of hardcopy images printed from digital files. The images cover the spectrum of the collections of the Yaphank Historical Society.

They include:
Vol. 1.   Early Mills, Revolutionary War, Tallmadge Trail
Vol. 2.   Prosser Pines, Mill Road, Life on Main Street, Henry P. Kovarik,
Vol. 3.   Yaphank Grange Hall, Enlisted Men’s Club, Camp Upton, Yaphank Fire Department, RCA, Yaphank Garage, Camp Siegfried, L.R. Marchant, Christian Krabbe
Vol. 4.   Churches, Cemeteries, Schools, General Stores, Suffolk County Almshouse, Suffolk County Children’s Home
Vol. 5.   Summer Strangers, Long Island Railroad, Yaphank Lakes, Fourth of July, Yaphank Post Office
Vol. 6.   Weeks Family





R e s i d e n c e s

 

A. Robert H. Hawkins House- c. 1850

The Robert H. Hawkins house is the best example of mid-nineteenth century Victorian architecture in Yaphank.  The file includes the house history, family genealogy, floor plan, restoration photos, articles, reports and a list of the property owners between 1826 -1966.  Specifically, the record includes 1) the brochure, "Historic Sites in Yaphank" by the Yaphank Historical Society (YHS), 2) copy of the YHS founding document, 3) the Building Structure Inventory Form 1978, 4) the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Form 1984, 5) 1972 survey  of the property, and 6) an inventory of the Robert H. Hawkins house after his death.

 

B. Mary Louise Booth House - c. 1823

The Mary Louise Booth house, restored in 2010, is the birthplace of Mary Louise Booth, author of the 1859 publication, History of the City of New York, and the first editor of the magazine, Harper's Bazaar.  The file includes 1) copies of newspaper and magazine articles, 2) photos of Mary Louise Booth, the 1998 relocation and the 2010 restoration, 3) the Building Structure Inventory Form from 1973 and 1979, 4) a copy of the deed recorded in April 1829, 5) history of the property owners from 1829-1942, 6) the Booth House Furniture Plan, and 7) an inventory of house contents before the restoration. 

 

A collection of artifacts from the Mary Louise Booth House includes: photos of the house, some furnishings, wallpaper samples, a small bottle and an undated Christmas card.

 

C. William Jones Weeks Family - Octagon House

The Octagon House was built in 1848 when the octagon configuration was a popular design for buildings.  The file includes 1) articles about the history of the Octagon House, 2) copies of newspaper clippings from 1887, 3) interior and exterior photos of the Octagon House on East Main Street, 4) copies of photos of the Weeks family members, 5) undated land deed, 6) floor plan of the Octagon House, 7) Weeks genealogy and a biography of William. J. Weeks, 8) Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University 1890-1900, 9) alumni records from the Yale class of 1844, and 10) correspondence to acquire a copy of the William J. Weeks diaries.

 

D. Suffolk County Almshouse and Farm Complex

Before 1870, each town in Suffolk County managed a poor house for the residents of the town. In 1870, Suffolk County established a county-wide poor house in one institution located in Yaphank in central Brookhaven Town.

The Suffolk County Poor House, as it was originally known, was established to care for the poor. According to the Public Works Administration publication, The End of Journey's End,(large PDF) the Poor House became a catch-all for the impoverished as well as criminals, "lunatics," and "cripples." In 1929 New York State mandated that all institutions known as a "poor house" or an "almshouse" change the name. As a result, the Suffolk County Almshouse changed its name to the Suffolk County Home.

Associated with the Almshouse and the Suffolk County Home was a farm where many residents worked. The farm and the hay barn are currently operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

For more information, go to: http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/CountyClerk/HistoricDocumentsLibrary.aspx, or http://dlib.info/home/mptakacs/almshousehome.html or http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/history/yaphank/almshouse.htm and Yaphank As It Is and Was.

The file at the Yaphank Historical Society includes: copies of newspaper articles from 1875-2000, an inventory of the graves in the Almshouse Cemetery 1871-1953, 1878 correspondence from Superintendent Weeks about the Almshouse scandal, and copies of photos of the 1) Almshouse and barn, 2) murals in the Almshouse, and 3) the Almshouse staff in 1898.  

E. Smith Estate at Longwood

The Smith Estate was home to Eleanor Jones Smith (1804-1884) and William Sydney Smith and their children, Robert Russell and Amelia.

The file includes copies of newspaper clippings from 1975, copies of photos, and copies of the 1980 publication, "Longwood A History" by Jean C. Lauer, the New York State Register filing, and correspondence with Brookhaven Town.

 

F. Phillips-Bianca House c. 1850 

Captain William Phillips was an officer in the American Revolution and served under William Floyd.  The house is located on the Talmadge Trail, where Benjamin Talmadge rested and watered his horse.

The file contains: copies of photographs of the Phillips family, the original deed and the house; documents and articles related to the house, land, and preservation including a copy of the 1870 land purchase agreement for the Suffolk County Almshouse and the 1908 will of Philetus Phillips; newspaper clippings; correspondence; a 1796 deed for Dayton Phillips; family genealogies for Van Horn, Phillips, Buckingham, and Corwin.

 

G. Swezey-Avey House

The Swezey- Avey House was the home of mill owners, Christopher, Daniel and Van Ransellar Swezey.  The original house with a stone foundation was built in the early 1700s.  A Victorian addition was erected c. 1844.

 

H. Homan-Gerard House

The Homan-Gerard House, built by Daniel Homan in the Federal Style in 1790, was originally the home of a mill owner, John Homan.  The E.L. Gerard family lived in the house from c.1873-1919.  The home is being restored by Suffolk County Historic Services and the Yaphank Historical Society.

 

I. Mills-Tuthill-Mannino-Daly House

The file on this 18th century house includes newspaper articles, the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form, and the New York State Historic Trust Statewide Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings.

 

J. Herbert-Foley House

A 1930s paste book was found in the Herbert-Foley House.  The file includes the paste book with newspaper clippings for the time period, photos, the Building-Structure Inventory Form for the Herbert House, and a 1944-1945 tax receipt.

 





S c h o o l h o u s e s

 

 

A. 1813 Schoolhouse on Middle Island - Yaphank Road

The file contains a photo and a description from the Brookhaven Town record

 

B. 1854 Octagaon School on Main St.

The file contains photos, postcards, copies of newspaper clippings, articles by Thomas R. Bayles, and the Directory of Public Schools 1929-1930 by New York State.

 

C. 1880-1906 West Yaphank School on Mill Road

It burned and was rebuilt.  The "new" school was occupied from 1907-1950s.

 

D. Yaphank School on Main St.

This was occupied from 1926-1953. The file inlcudes the Building-Structure Inventory Form.

 

E. 1953 Charles E. Walters School

The file contains early photos and a coloring books of historical places in Yaphank.

 

F. Middle Island Cooperative Nursery School at Yaphank (St. Andrew's Church) was occupied from 1965-2007.

The file includes school newsletters and the charter from the New York State Department of Education.

 


C h u r c h e s



A. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church c. 1853  (Little Susy's Church)

The file contains church newsletters between 1943-1995; newspaper articles from 1953-1985; a copy of "A History of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church- Little Susy's Church;" photographs; documents including the Building-Structure Inventory Form from 1973 and 1979, the recommendation to list St. Andrew's on the New York State Register of Historic Places, a deed from 1872, an undated list of church members, a list of clergy who have served at St. Andrew's and land sale/ transfer records; correspondence.

 

B. Yaphank Presbyterian Church- Parish of Yaphank c. 1851

The Yaphank Presbyterian Church was built by Charles Woodhull of Sayville, NY.  The file contains photos, newspaper clippings, church newsletters from 1957 and 1958, a program for a theatrical production in 1959, a history of the church on the 100th anniversary.  Also in the file are the Building-Structure Inventory Form 1973 and the 1958 record of the name change for the church.

 

G e o g r a p h i c   L o c a t i o n s

 

A. Yaphank Historic District

The file is organized by each house in the district and includes articles, photos.  It also includes: the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form; the 1973 Historic & Natural Districts Inventory Form; maps including a Bowe-Albertson map of the Yaphank Historic District with a list of properties; a 1974 Historic Resource Survey Manual by the New York State Division for Historic Preservation;  the Town of Brookhaven brochure, "Town of Brookhaven Procedures & Guidelines for Property Owners in Historic Districts & Transition Zones." Photos, correspondence and 2 booklets, "Longwood Long Ago: The Story of Coram, Gordon Heights, Middle Island, Yaphank, Ridge & Lake Panamoka," by Suzanne Johnson and "The Early Years in Middle Island, Coram Yaphank and Ridge, by Thomas R. Bayles."

 

B. Cemeteries in Yaphank -

The file contains 1) copies of emails with a record of stone inscriptions for persons buried in the Yaphank Cemetery going back to the year 1806, 2) photos of cemetery monuments taken from 2006-2009, 3) Yaphank Union Cemetery, 4) copies of news articles and 5) a notebook entitled, "Yaphank Cemetery Association presentation to the Yaphank Historical Society Nov. 16, 2006" which includes lists of interments in the following cemeteries:

·        Buckingham-Homan Cemetery,

·        Old Yaphank Baptist Cemetery,

·        Yaphank Union Cemetery,

·        Presbyterian Church Cemetery

·        Hawkins Family Cemetery

 

Also see: http://longwood.k12.ny.us/history/cemet/yaphank and http://dlib.info/home/mptakacs/almshousehome.html

           

C. Yaphank Lakes:

·        Yaphank Upper Lake (Willow Lake)

·        Yaphank Lower Lake (Lily Lake)

The file includes: copies of newspaper clippings from 1880-2008, copies of photos from 1900-2009, correspondence concerning repairs for the Lower Lake dam and 2001 and 2007 environmental documents such as the Draft Plan to Eradicate the Invasive Species, Variable Leaf Watermilfoil and Carolina Fanwort from Upper Lake and Lower Lake in the Carmans River Watershed.  In addition, the file includes publications of the Coalition to save the Yaphank Lakes, 2008 minutes of the Carmans River Task Force, as well as two  books 1) The Carmans River Story: A Natural and Human History by Pamela Borg and Elizabeth Shreeve (1974) and 2) Canoeing the Carmans River by Robert P. Long and William and Barbara Wilhelm.

 

D. Carmans River Nature Trail and Sanctuary

The Nature Trail and Sanctuary is a popular location for geocaching. The filing series includes information about sites on the trail, photos, brochures, reports and maps.  Examples include the undated brochure, " Carmans River Nature Trail and Sanctuary" by the Suffolk County Parks, photo images of trail markers or locations in the Sanctuary such as the Weeks Octagon house foundation (2005), Weeks Pond (2005), the Homan-Gerard Mill site (c.1915), the Cranberry bog (c. 1880), the John Homan house and a drawing of the Hawkins Carriage House (c. 1850).  The file also includes 1) the Phase I Cultural Resource Survey Report for Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation and the New York State Division of Historic Preservation - "Southaven County Park (1990)," 2) a description of the Octagon house and Cranberry bog, 3) a list of graves in the Buckingham-Homan Cemetery (2006) and 4) a map of the Nature Trail which highlights the Homan-Gerard house, the Mary Louise Booth house, the Buckingham Cemetery, the foundation of the Octagon house and the Cranberry bog.

 

E. Camp Siegfried

The German American Settlement League bought the James and Henry Coombs homestead in Yaphank in 1935 to establish a summer camp for children. In 1936 the German American Settlement League received funding from the German American Bund. Additional property was purchased in 1937. The Long Island Railroad Sunday Special brought weekend visitors from Brooklyn and Queens to Yaphank to participate in pro-Nazi rallies. Local businesses at first welcomed the business generated by the weekend crowds. However, they soon became disenchanted by the extraordinary number of people who came to the rallies and overran the village. The weekend visitors marched down Main Street bearing flags with swastikas. Many locals suspected subversive activities and investigations were initiated by the FBI.

Pro-Nazi weekend rallies reached a peak in 1938, but dropped dramatically in 1939 after Hitler invaded Poland. In 1940 the German American Settlement League, under new leadership, became independent of the Bund. Ethnic Germans from New York City continued to buy into the German American Settlement League to build summer cottages. In the 21st century the German American Settlement is a year-round residential community and home to families of all ethnic backgrounds.

The file contains photos, copies of news articles, the history of homeowners in Siegfried Park, and information about Yaphank streets originally named for Nazis.  

 

Papers about Camp Siegfried include:

·        Nazi's of Yaphank by Barbara Rivadeneyra (with bibliography)

·        The German American Bund by Gustave Neuss (2002)

·        Hitler's Long Island Legion by David Behrens

·        This Was Yaphank by Ambrose Clancy

·        Camps, Flags and Hate- Camp Siegfried, Long Island by Joseph Jahn

Fliers and Brochures about Camp Siegfried include:

·        New German Settlement in the Making

·        38th Anniversary- German American Settlement League, July 21, 1973

Also see: http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/history/yaphank/german_american_bund.htm

 

F. Camp Upton

Camp Upton, just east of Yaphank (now Brookhaven National Laboratory) was established as a training camp for military recruits during World War I and again served the same function during World War II.  Irving Berlin, composer of "God Bless America" and many other songs, was an army recruit at Camp Upton during World War I.  The file includes brochures, photos, postcards, a 2012 CD file with Camp Upton photos, newspaper clippings, and correspondence from 1918 and 1919.

 

G. Maps and Surveys

The file includes surveys and maps of Yaphank, Brookhaven Town planning maps, topographical sewer district maps (1963), 3rd legislative district map (1993), the Atlas of Suffolk County published by E. Belcher Hyde (1909), and the J. Chace Jr. map of Suffolk County.

 

H. County Road 21

County Road 21 is Main Street in Yaphank.  The Yaphank Historical Society was established in response to a proposal to widen the road.  The file includes a 1989 traffic study and documentation from a 1970 lawsuit filed on behalf of some of the residents on Main Street.

 

H. Prosser Pines

The collection includes a CD with photos (c. 1916) of George and Nellie Prosser, the former owners of Prosser Pines.

 

 

C om m e r c i a l  &  N o n - P r o f i t  O r g a n i z a t i o n s

 

A. Yaphank Post Office

The file includes articles, photos and correspondence.

 

B. Grange Hall (Lakeside Hall- Maspeth Manufacturing Co.-Clock Factory- Yaphank Gardens- Key Bank-Washington Mutual-Chase Bank)

The file includes the by-laws of the Yaphank Grange No. 1349 Patrons of Husbandry, the Manual of Subordinate Granges of the Patrons of Husbandry, the article, "History of Grange Hall," photos, programs from performances at Grange Hall, an order for catering at Yaphank Gardens, advertisements, newspaper clippings, the music book, Grange Melodies, published by the National Grange of Patrons of Husbandry for the Granges of the United States (1915), and the 1973 Building-Structure Inventory Form.

 

C. Homan-Gerard Mill

The file includes photos, copies of deeds, correspondence, photos, newspaper clippings, reprints of articles, surveys and reports, a Gerard genealogy, bills and biographical information. Specific highlights include: photos of the Homan-Gerard Mill, the John Homan house, the Yaphank Mill, and Edward L. Gerard; correspondence with Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town; deeds for the grist mill, saw mill, fulling mill and bolting from 1821; land deeds from 1826 and 1827; a 1995 report from Brookhaven Town; the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Homan-Gerard House and Mills dated 1988; a history and chronology from 1726-1988; the Building-Structure Inventory Form; biographical information about Edward L. Gerard, bills from Gerard's Yaphank Mill; floor plan and outbuilding descriptions.

Several reprints are also available in the file: 1) "Edward Livingston Gerard" from the 1875 publication, Yaphank As It Is and Was, 2) The Early Years in Middle Island, Coram Yaphank and Ridge, by Thomas R. Bayles, and 3) Early Mills, Roads and Industries in Brookhaven Town, by Thomas R. Bayles.

 

 

D. Yaphank Railroad Station- Long Island Railroad

The file contains: copies of photographs, Long Island Railroad (LIRR) timetables from 1884-1903; newspaper clippings 1964-1981; postcards; commuter tickets 1868 and 1895; LIRR freight bill; reports and publications including 1) List of Hotels and Boarding Cottages on Long Island issued by LIRR in 1887, 2) Report of the Board of Directors of the LIRR to the Stockholders 1845, 3) Annual Report 1892, 4) History of LIRR 1834-1974, and 5) "Along the Track" by the LIRR in celebration of 150 years of service 1834-1973; map of the LIRR system 1910; a rail spike from the grand opening of the Brookhaven Rail Terminal 2011.

 

E. Swezey Mills and Upper Lake

In the late 1700s Christopher Swezey owned Robinson's Mill on the Upper Lake in Yaphank and it was eventually passed on to his sons.  The Swezey Saw Mill burned in 1914.  The Swezey-Avey house stayed in the family until it was sold to the Town of Brookhaven in 1965. Siegfried Park was originally part of the Swezey homestead.

The file contains: a description of Robinson Mill and Captain Robinson's house c. 1726; copy of correspondence about the saw mill; copies of photos of the water gates, old saw mill, Swezey's Pond, the Swezey Mill site and the Upper Mill Dam; newspaper clippings, obituaries for Van Ransellar Swezey and John Webber; the Building-Structure Inventory Form 1973; copy of 1893 Town of Brookhaven records; postcards of the mill site; two reprints of publications by Thomas R. Bayles, Yaphank and Its Early Mills and Mills of Yaphank, Vicinity.

 

F. Yaphank Chamber of Commerce

The file includes an undated copy of the by-laws of the Yaphank Chamber of Commerce, minutes of meetings (1966-1970), correspondence along with membership lists and membership cards.

 

G. Yaphank Fire Department

The file contains the 1926 constitution and by-laws, copies of photos from 1939, newspaper articles, a commemorative plate and drinking glasses, and two booklets, "50th Anniversary Antique Parade and Muster-Yaphank Fire Department 1926-1976," and "25th Anniversary Ladies Auxiliary of the Yaphank Fire Department 1951-1976."

 

H. Radio Corporation of America - NY Radio Central

United States regulations in 1917 & 1918 required that radio communications must be in the hands of U.S. corporations.  Radio Central America was founded as a subsidiary of General Electric in 1919 and located in Rocky Point, NY.  file includes 1977 newspaper clippings, photos and newsletters.

 

I. Jack and Vera’s Travel Lodge

The file contains photographs c. 1950.

 

J. Lakeview Inn (Mill House Inn)

The collection includes a photo postcard and advertisement c. 1960.

 

 

H i s t o r i c a l    E v e n t s

 

A. Colonial Times

The file contains the book, The Colonial and Revolutionary History of Central Brookhaven, a looseleaf with a bibliography by Paul P. Alessi (1978). and Early Settlers of Long Island & Their Participation in the American War for Independence.

 

B. Civil War

The book, Longwood in the Civil War, by the Longwood Society for Historic Preservation, is included in the file.

C. World Wars

Yaphank is located very close to the former Camp Upton.  The Yaphank Historical Society collects artifacts and ephemera from the local community that documents historical events.  The file, World Wars, includes: a card to encourage people to buy War Savings Stamps during World War I, letters dated in 1942 and 1944, a Kodak verichrome film metal packcase, photos, and text and color reproductions of paintings to depict uniforms, arms and equipment used by the United States military from 1781-1963.  The file also contains books including, the 1919 publication, Same Old Bill, eh Mable! by Edward Streeter.

 

D. Yaphank Long Ago

There are two booklets in this file.  They are: "Longwood Long Ago: The Story of Coram, Gordon Heights, Middle Island, Yaphank, Ridge and Lake Panamoka" by Suzanne Johnson (2004) and "By gone Years in Middle Island, Coram, Yaphank and Ridge" by Thomas R. Bayles (1975).  The file also contains copies of newspaper articles and newsletters from 1878 - 2008, photos and the Undated National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form for the Robert Hawkins homestead.

 

 

Y a p h a n k   H i s t o r i c a l  S o c i e t y

 

A. Organization and Administrative Records

This file, organized by year from 2001-2010, includes membership application forms, membership lists, minutes of the executive board meetings, agendas and minutes of the monthly general meetings, correspondence, newsletters and the New York State and Local Annual Sales and Use Tax returns and liability insurance documentation.

Also available in a separate files are the constitution and by-laws, photos, minutes of meetings, and YHS correspondence.

 

B. Events and Fundraisers

The file includes negatives, slides and photos of Yaphank Historical Society events. Documentation is also available for the Victorian Holiday Dinners from 1996-2011 and the Christmas House Tours for 1992 and 2006-2008.
Digital files in the series are available for:

Candlelight Tour and Holiday Dinner - 1995, 2007, 2009
Christmas 1855: House decorations and photographs - 2010
Christmas Parade - 2010
Christmas Party - 2009
Halloween Treats for Tots - 2007
Victorian Tea - 1997, 2010
Community Yard Sale - 2010
Yaphank Historical Society Country Fair - 1996
YHS 2008 Events

 

C. Educational Programs

The file includes 19th century trade cards, postcards and greeting cards, coins found in Yaphank 1830-1905.  Educational programs offered by the Yaphank Historical Society include:

Advertising Card & Paste Book Greetings
Almshouse & Children's Home Yaphank
Business & Advertising in Yaphank
Mary Louise Booth House at Millville, NY
Parish of Yaphank & Millville
Saving the Eliza & Samuel Norton House
Victorian Entertainments
Victorian Funerals & Mourning
William Jones Weeks
Yaphank- A History in Pictures
Yaphank Grange No. 1349
School Houses

 

D. Restoration Projects

The file includes negatives, slides and photos of Yaphank, and the restoration of historic buildings.

 

E. Financial Records

Documentation includes the monthly treasurer's report, bank statements, invoices, records of membership dues payments,  contracts between YHS and Suffolk County from 1996-2009, purchases for restoration projects and YHS events, grants and donations, current tax and insurance records.

 

F. Digital Records

There is a collection of 40 CDs with digital photos that document the restoration of the Robert H. Hawkins House and the Mary Louise Booth House.  The CDs also provide digital access to documents such as deeds, news articles, wills, old obituaries and some Brookhaven Town records. The digital files include CDs that capture local events in 1937, 1988 and 1998:

  • Haywood Shannon Yaphank c. 1937 15 minutes.
      Yaphank Firehouse, Yaphank Cemetery, parade at Siegfried Park, an airplane event, Shannon House and livestock, a ballgame and skeet shoot.
  • Haywood Shannon Yaphank c. 1937 41 minutes.
      The Haywood Shannon House & grounds, weddings, visits to Bellport, and city visitors marching down Main Street from the Yaphank Station to Camp Siegfried
  • Scenes at Brookhaven Airport April 1988
  • Relocation of the Mary Louise Booth House, September 1998, one hour 55 minutes
  • Interiors of historic houses in Yaphank

 

G. Awards

The file contains documentation of awards to the Yaphank Historical Society.  An example is an album with photos and news articles about the 2005 Pelletreau Award.

 

H. Curator Records

The file contains a descriptive inventory with an assessment of the condition of each item of historical art, furnishings and/or household items maintained in each YHS restored house.  Data pertaining to provenance, conditions of donation /loan, digital images, and disposition status are included in the file when appropriate.  There is an index to the acquisition numbering system. 

 

 

 

 

I. Historical Publications

The Yaphank Historical Society has collected many brochures, booklets and books about Yaphank and Long Island, many of which were written by the author, Thomas R. Bayles. The following is a list of some of the titles by various authors that are available in the archival collection:

  • 1937 Yearbook - Suffolk County Republican Club
  • American Revolutionary War Patriots Buried in the Town of Brookhaven
  • Bellport A Historical Community
  • Bi-Centennial - History of Suffolk County
  • The Black Minority in Early New York
  • Blue Point Now and Then
  • A Brief History of the Arsenal
  • Brookhaven Villages of 1874
  • The Captain Edward R. Rhodes Memorial Collection of Local History
  • Caroline Church of Brookhaven - Restoration of 1937
  • Early American Vocal Music in Modern Editions
  • The Early Years in Middle Island, Coram, Yaphank and Ridge
  • Four Traditions: Women of New York during the American Revolution
  • Guide to Islip Town Government - The Decade of the 80s
  • Harbors of Long Island Sound and nearby waters: New York Harbor to New London, Connecticut (1950 edition)
  • Historic Lake Panamoka
  • Historic Sites in Yaphank (includes a bibliography)
  • A Historical Tour of Suffolk County 1974
  • History and Guide to the Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge Trail-The Capture of Ft. St. George at Mastic, NY and the Burning of the Forage at Coram, NY, November 23, 1780
  • A History of Mattituck
  • History of Miller's Place
  • History of Orient
  • John Jay 1745-1829
  • Landmarks of the Revolution in New York - A Guide to the Historic Sites Open to the Public
  • Long Island Landmarks
  • Longwood Long Ago: The Story of Coram, Gordon Heights, Middle Island, Yaphank, Ridge & Lake Panamoka
  • Maude Adams - A Brief Sketch of Her Life and Career
  • Miller Place 1976
  • New Amsterdam 1626 Now New York City (A Historical Story) Polly Bergen Lettters
  • Pacific Grove - An Early Seaside Retreat Revisited
  • Scrimshaw Folk Art of the Whalers
  • Setauket - The First Three Hundred Years 1655-1955
  • The Sheriffs of Suffolk County- A Historical Overview of the Office of the Suffolk County Sheriff and His Department
  • The Spirit of '76
  • The Story of Second House Montauk
  • Tales of the High Hills - Legends of the Montauk Indians
  • True Tales from the Early Days of Long Island
  • Wading River 1671-1971
  • The Wading River Pauguaconsuk
  • Whalebone and Ivory Toy Sculpture & Scrimshaw Collection of the Pintauro Family
  • Yaphank As It Is and Was- Prominent Men and Their Times

 

J. Donations

A. Gift of the William Herbert Family

The William Herbert family donated 23 3"x3" reels of vintage 8 mm films.  The films feature cartoons, news and sporting events from approximately 1928-1956.  Some of the titles in the collection include:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Steamboat Willie 1928
  • Wild West Mickey
  • Little King 1933-1934
  • Underwater Champions 1937
  • Water Babies 1937
  • Louis vs. Schmeling 1936
  • News Parade- US Marines Capture Tarawa

B. Lucille’s Shop - Bank of the River Gift Shop

 

C. Donation Agreements