Sunday, November 28, 2010

USGS Survey of 1952: Carman's River

Originally distrubuted by Richard Thomas, 22 Nov 2010. This report provides a historical benchmark of the ground water in the vicinity of Brookhaven National Laboratory. Most important to this site is the information provided on the Carmans River watershed. In addition to the reference posted at the end of this commentary, a link to a copy of the report may be found at

I just discovered a report of the US Geological Service, that is over 400 pages long, that has detailed information on the Carmans River basin.

It's from 1952!

Guess who hired the USGS to do this exhaustive study of the hydrology of this middle part of Suffolk County.

It was the Atomic Energy Commission. They wanted the study done because of "the construction and operation of atomic research facilities at the Brookhaven National Laboratory."

Actually, the War Department made the first request of the USGS to get involved in determining water-supply at Upton in the fall of 1946.

The 1952 report was based on work that began in March 1948.

The USGS drilled many "shallow test wells" of 100 to 200 feet deep and also drilled two deep test wells 1,600 feet deep to determine how the water flowed.

The most interesting chapter is Chapter C that covers things like the "rate of movement of ground water" in the area and the direction of movement.

There is a section on the Carmans River and the relation of its flow to ground water levels and to the "ground water contributing area" (p. C-110).

It has lots of graphs and figures, but some of the larger maps are fold-out pages, and Google didn't bother to unfold them.

What I found interesting was how much a very heavy rainfall increased the flow of the Carmans River.

When there is exceptionally high rainfall in a short period, the water doesn't flow directly into the ground, but instead flows to culverts, ditches, and streams, and directly to the Carmans, Forge, and Peconic Rivers. They call this "overland runoff." See attached.

The USGS has had a gaging station was at the Long Island Rail Road track at Yaphank since 1942.

The report says that the "overland runoff" that increased the flow of the Carmans River came from a 71 square mile drainage area above the gage.

They did measurements on the sandy soil and computed the rate of the "downward travel of ground water" as a function of saturation and the size of a "spill." It could be as high as 140 feet/day for saturated soil and large spills or as low as 1 to 3 feet/day for small leaks.
From the western 40 percent of the Laboratory area, most of the ground water moves underground toward the Carmans River, reaching it somewhere between the railroad crossing at Yaphank and Route 27.
The USGS made actual ground-water velocity measurements to determine the rate of flow using "ammonium chloride tracer solutions," but explained that the results were good only over very short distances because of "many complications" of using tracers to measure the direction and rate of ground-water flow.

So they used "test-pumping" wells to determine the "coefficient of transmissibility" of the soil instead, which allows flow rate and direction to be computed.

They measured the flow of the Carmans River at South Haven, but the flow there was "difficult to measure because the flow here is affected by the tides."

The discussion on the contributing area to the discharge of the Carmans River begins on page C98.


The three principal rivers in the Upton area, the Carmans, the Forge, and the Peconic, are fed a]most entirely by ground water; that is, they receive very little direct overland runoff [except during very heavy rainfalls -- RT]. For this reason, and because the apparent topographic drainage areas of these streams do not correspond with the ground-water contributing areas, the flow of these streams bears little relation to the area apparently drained by their valleys. Instead it is determined by the configuration of the water table. The differences between apparent topographic drainage areas and the actual ground-water drainage areas are shown in plate 8.

Plate 5 shows profiles of Carmans River from Route 25 to Bellport Bay. Plate 6 shows profiles of channel bottom, stream level, and water table for the Peconic River. Figure 37 shows topographic drainage areas for streams in the Upton area. Plate 7 shows water-table contours, ground-water flow lines, and areas contributing ground-water flow to selected gaging stations. The maps on plate 8 show a comparison of topographic and ground-water drainage area for the Carmans, Forge, and Peconic Rivers.

The valleys of both the Carmans and Forge Rivers may be divided into upper, middle, and lower sections. In the upper sections the streambeds are normally dry because they are above the water table; they carry water only on rare occasions when heavy rain has fallen on soaked or frozen ground. All other precipitation not lost by evapotranspiration soaks into the ground to join the water table. The ground-water flow in these areas may be in quite a different direction from the slopes of the streambeds, as in the upper valley of the Carmans River where the ground water flows north although the valley slopes to the south. Because the water table stands high above sea level in these areas, some of the ground water moves downward to recharge the deep aquifers in the Magothy (?) and the Lloyd.

In the middle and lower sections of the Carmans and Forge Rivers and in the lower half of the Peconic, the flow is perennial and is fed by ground water that moves in laterally and also upward from the lower part of the upper Pleistocene aquifer. The relation of ground-water flow to streamflow was used to calculate the transmissibility of the upper Pleistocene aquifer adjacent to the middle section of the Carmans River.

In the lower sections of the three rivers, streamflow is sluggish and is periodically slowed or even reversed by tidal fluctuations in the bays. In these areas the ground-water inflow from the water-table aquifer is augmented by water moving upward form the deeper artesian aquifers. Because of these complexities, quantitative streamflow measurements in the lower reaches of the streams are difficult to make and difficult to interpret and were attempted only for the Carmans River. In the following sections, the Carmans, Forge, and Peconic Rivers are described with the aid of maps (fig. 37 and plls. 7-9), profiles (plls. 5,6) and tables of streamflow measurements.


The topographic drainage area of the Carmans River is about 100 square miles, but this figure is deceptive because only about half this area contributes water to the river. Some 34 square miles of the apparent drainage area lies north of the ground-water divide, and precipitation falling in this area infiltrates to the water table and then flows north to Long Island Sound. South of the ground-water divide on the west, there is a second area of some 15 square miles that contributes ground-water flow, not to the Carmans River, but to several small south-flowing streams which lie to the west of the river. If the terrain of Long Island were not so very permeable, there would be surface runoff from these areas to the Carmans River, but under the existing circumstances they are drained entirely by ground-water flow. The total area contributing to the flow of the Carmans River is, in fact, only 48 square miles, about one half its apparent drainage area.

Pereimial flow of the Carmans begins at Artist Lake, where the river is crossed by Route 25, 3 miles west of the north entrance to the Laboratory, and ends 8 miles to the south at Bellport Bay. The distance, some 12 miles in length as the stream flows, will be divided into three main segments for the purposes of this discussion (plls. 5, 7).

The first section, roughly that part of the river valley which lies north of and which traverses the Ronkonkoma moraine, extends from an indefinite point north of Artist Lake to Bartlett Road. After a series of wet years, resulting in a high water table, the flow of the river probably begins in a small lake just north of Artist Lake, but after several dry years the flow in late fall, when the water table is low, probably begins near Bartlett Road, more than a mile and a half to the south. Five and a half miles south of Artist Lake at Yaphank, where the river is crossed by the Greenport Division of the Long Island Rail Road, a stream-gaging station has been operated by the U.S. Geological Survey since July 1942. Monthly and yearly records of streamflow for this station from 1942 to 1953 are listed in table 11, and more recent records are available in the publications of the U.S. Geological Survey. The flow of the river at this point is in some measure controlled by the two small artificial ponds upstream. The ground-water contributing area upstream from the gaging station is 21.5 square miles, and the average flow for the period of record at the station is 21.76 second-feet, or about 1 second-foot per square mile, which represents an average annual recharge of 13.5 inches. For other points on the stream there are only scattered measurements (table 12).

The second section of the stream lies between Bartlett Road and the dam just above Route 27, 6.2 miles downstream, on the outwash plain south of the Ronkonkoma moraine, which it has slightly dissected. The streamflow at Route 27, just below the dam, was measured on July 29,1952, at a time when the flow was probably close to average. At this point the stage and flow of the stream are somewhat affected by the tides in Bellport Bay, and corrections for this and other factors were required. From 9:13 a.m. to 10:34 a.m., when the stage was falling because of the falling tide in the bay, the discharge was 52.8 cfs. From 12:54 p.m. until 2:13 p.m., when the stage was rising, the discharge was 36.5 cfs (fig. 38). After corrections for changes in pond and bank storage, the average discharge during this period of normal streamflow was computed to be 47.8 cfs. Partial measurements on one or two other occasions tended to confirm this figure.

The apparent gain in streamflow between the gaging station at Yaphank and the bridge on Route 27 is, therefore, the difference between 47.8 and 21.76 cfs, or about 26 cfs, but two small corrections must be made. About 6.1 cfs was being diverted through the Carmans River Duck Farm upstream from the highway bridge, and the rising change in stage of several small ponds in the Suffolk County Game Preserve represented the holding back of about 0.55 cfs, a total ungaged flow of about 6.65 cfs. The corrected flow at the bridge, therefore, is about 54.5 cfs, and the gain in flow in the 2% miles of river upstream is between 32 and 34 cfs.

The third section of the river, from the highway bridge to the mouth of the river at Sandy Point, a distance of about 3.15 miles, crosses the outwash plain south of the Ronkonkoma moraine. In this section, however, the river is a tidal estuary; it has been aggrading its bottom and its small flood plain. Tidal fluctuations in Bellport Bay and Great South Bay are the main cause of variations in stage of this part of the river which, at the bridge on Route 27, varies from a maximum of 3.82 feet above sea level, to a minimum of 0.34 foot above sea level. The average daily range at this point is 0.83 foot.

The discharge of the stream at its mouth could not be measured, but the flow at this point has been estimated to be 72 cfs.


The average discharge of the Carmans River at the gaging station in Yaphank for the period of record through September 1953 is 21.8 cfs, and the area contributing ground water to the stream, as determined from the water-table map, is 21.5 square miles. The average runoff thus is the equivalent of 13.5 inches of water. During these years the rainfall averaged 43.5 inches; because about 22 inches was lost by evapotranspiration, the recharge to the water table must have averaged 21.5 inches. The difference between this recharge and the 13.5 inches of streamflow, or about 8 inches, probably represents recharge to the deeper aquifers, the Magothy(?) Formation and the Lloyd Sand Member of the Raritan Formation.

The measured discharge of the river at the bridge at Route 27, at a time of probable near average flow, was between 54 and 55 cfs. The water-table map shows a contributing area of 36.5 square miles, which represents an average annual runoff of about 20 inches, or 6.5 inches more than at Yaphank, and an amount only slightly less than the average annual recharge. The increase in flow in the 2.75 miles of stream between Yaphank and the bridge is 32 cfs and the contributing area is about 15 square miles; runoff for this area is therefore about 30 inches, or somewhat more than the recharge. The excess over the recharge is due to upward leakage from the aquifers below the Gardiners Clay, but, because the average flow for the total area of some 36.5 square miles contributing to the flow at the highway bridge is only about 20 inches, it is apparent that not all the deeper recharge has come back to the water-table aquifer at this point. There must be considerable additional upward leakage into the area south of Route 27, and the estimated discharge of 72 cfs for the mouth of the Carmans River at Sandy Point is based on the estimate that the 48 square miles of area furnishing this flow contributes an average 22 inches of runoff.


Because the streams are almost entirely supplied by ground water discharge, a close correlation exists between the height and slope of

the water table and streamflow (pl. 7). The relation is, however, not always simple or direct, and the seasonal high or low in a particular observation well may come earlier than, at the same time as, or later than the seasonal high or low discharge at a point on a neighboring stream. The more important factors influencing this relation are (1) the depth to the water table at the well site, (2) the position of the well in the pattern of ground-water flow, (3) the distance of the well from the stream, (4) the hydrologic characteristics of the aquifer in question, (5) the hydraulic gradient, and (6) the variations in the amount of water in storage in the aquifer.

Well S3533 (pl. 1) is about 1 mile east of the nearest point on the Carmans River, and about 3.2 miles N. 16° W. of a point on the river at Bartlett Road, on the ground-water flow line passing through the well. By trial and error a good correlation was found between the water-level stage in this observation well and the flow of the river at the gaging station in Yaphank, although the high and low stages in the well lag about 6 weeks behind the corresponding high and low flow in the river. This relation is shown in figure 39, and is used in figure 40 to calculate streamflow from the well hydrograph.

The derived value for streamflow is within a few percent of the gaged value, except for periods such as August 1947 and November 1952 when there was long, intense rainfall. A somewhat similar empirical relation can be worked out between streamflow and the water level in almost any nearby observation well, whether it is in the area contributing ground-water flow to the stream or not, because both are strongly influenced or even controlled by the cumulative recharge to the water table. For example, the water level in well S3532, about 3.5 miles northeast of Artist Lake and 0.5 mile north of the groundwater divide, can be closely correlated to the flow of the Carmans River, although in this case the stage of the well lags about 2.5 months behind the streamflow.

You can download the entire report as a PDF file.

Unfortunately, only the online version at Google Books is searchable.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The incorporators of The Suffolk Club, aka the Suffolk County Society

In this email from researcher Dr. Richard Thomas, brief biographical research notes on the incorporators of the Suffolk Club is given.

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:15 AM
To: Van Lith, Marty; Deitz, John
Subject: The incorporators of The Suffolk Club, aka the Suffolk County Society

The incorporators and first directors of The Suffolk Club, as shown in the act of 11 Apr 1860, were:

Jones Rogers,
Isaac M. Wright,
Henry A. Coit,
J. Anthony Constant, and
Daniel H. Tompkins.
Jones Rogers
According to passport records, a Jones Rogers was born 08 Dec 1823 in New York City and was still living on 03 Mar 1869, the date the passport was issued. At age 45, he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, had a medium forehead, gray eyes, an ordinary nose, a medium mouth, round chin, brown hair, florid complexion, and oval face.
According to the census, a Jones Rogers lived at Castleton, Staten Island, in 1850. According to the 1864 IRS tax assessment list, he and Frances Rogers resided at 246 5th Ave. Frances's income was $6,709, and the income for Jones Rogers was $2,326.
In 1864, Jones Rogers was taxed $2 for one carriage, and Frances was taxed $4.62 for 154 ounces of silver.
In 1865, Jones Rogers was taxed on income of $4,400 at 5% ($220) and on income of $376 at 10% ($37.60) plus $1 on the first carriage and $2 on the second carriage, and $2 on one watch.
In 1866, he was taxed 5% on income of $4,136, $2 each on his two carriages, and $2 on his watch.
According to the census, another Jones Rogers born about 1803 and lived in the Town of Southampton in 1860 and 1870 and on Fishers Island, at age 77, in 1880. During the Civil War, this Jones Rogers living in Bridgehampton in the Town of Southampton was taxed for on his hogs.
Isaac Merritt Wright
Isaac Merritt Wright's father, William M. Wright, was known as the "Quaker merchant;" he and his grandfather, also Isaac Wright, were the founders of a line of packet ships, famous in the first half of the last century [1800-1850]. The grandfather was born 02 May 1760 (some say in Flushing, some say Long Island City) and died of cholera at age 72 on 09 Aug 1832.
William Wright was born 06 Dec 1787 and died 26 Feb 1850.
Isaac M. Wright, son of William, was born 07 Jun 1812. He was for some years the official representative of the United States at Vienna, Austria. Isaac Merritt married Mary Bedford, and they resided in Hempstead, Long Island, and New York City.
Isaac Wright, like Joseph Grafton, married well. His wife, Mary Bedford, was the heir to two fortunes from the Bedford estate of the late Lord Beresford.
He was also the part-owner of the line of Liverpool packet ships, the Black Ball Line. His brother, John D. Wright, was the founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
He was interred in the Bedford vault (no. 37) in the New York City Marble Cemetery, a small cemetery in the East Village. There is a neighboring cemetery with a similar name, New York Marble Cemetery, but otherwise not connected with this one. There is no interment date listed, but there is a removal date of 13 Jun 1869, the same removal date as for Henrietta A. Bedford (d. 16 Feb 1845).
Another Isaac M. Wright is listed in vault 163, interred 12 Nov 1868.
Aliza A. Bedford, Charles C. Bedford (d. 03 May 1866), Gunning S. Bedford (d. 07 Sep 1870), Henry Moore Bedford (d. 23 Aug 1880), and Jane M. Bedford (d. 31 Aug 1890), who were also interred in vault 37, all have a removal date of 12 Apr 1893.
The Old Merchants of New York, 2d Series, Chapter 25.
Up to 1815 there were nothing but transient ships. Then was first commenced that regular line of packets, such as the world had never before seen. The merchants of the city of New York led off in this undertaking. In 1815 a line of Liverpool packets was established. The ships were to leave New York and Liverpool on the first day of every month. Isaac Wright & Son and Francis Thompson were the proprietors of that line, and they ran it with such success, that after seven years' trial they determined to run a second line, starting from Liverpool and New York simultaneously on the 16th of each month. Additional ships were added, and they were all of the first class, in mercantile observation.
New York Evening Post, 1835.
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Copartnership heretofore existing, under the firm of ROSKELL, OGDEN & CO. at Liverpool, and WRIGHT & CO. at New York, will expire by its own limitation on the 31st instant,
The undersigned will continue as usual, under the firm of
ROSKELL, OGDEN & CO. at Liverpool, and
JAMES D. P. OGDEN & CO. at New York.
THE firm of WRIGHT & CO. will be continued, composed of Isaac M. Wright, Daniel H. Tompkins, and William Wright, for a limited term.
And Notice is hereby further given, pursuant to the provisions of the Revised Statutes of this State, that the two former are the general partners and the latter a special partner, who has contributed this day to the Capital Stock of said firm Fifty Thousand Dollars in Cash, which partnership will commence on the 1st January, 1835, and continue until the 1st January, 1838.
New York, 20th December, 1834.
Henry A. Coit
Henry A. Coit was a New York City importer and merchant. He was born in New London, Connecticut. In 1815 he began business on South street as a shipping merchant. He was a director of the Union National Bank and served as it's Vice President for a time. He also served on the board of directors and as a trustee of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company. He was married in 1822 to Miss Talman, a sister of a man who later became Vice President of the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company.
He died 19 May 1876, probably the oldest merchant in New York at that time, according to the Times.
J. Anthony Constant
J. [Joseph] Anthony Constant was a conservative Democrat. He graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1826 and was a lawyer. He was appointed a judge by the governor before 1844, and he served in the New York State Assembly in 1845 as a representative of Westchester County. He married Eliza Sinclair, daughter of William Sinclair of the U. S. Navy. In 1828 he built a house on a 30-acre estate at Hastings-on-Hudson, which he to Robert Minturn, the owner of the world's fastest clipper ship, in 1850.
He died before his daughter's marriage in 1868 (Eliza Ackley Constant to James C. Kempton, Esq. of Philadelphia). The Union University alumni journal, says that when he entered the college in 1826 he lived in Peekskill and is in agreement with the New York Times in giving his death as 1860 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Times gives a date of 18 Mar 1860 when he was 54, even though that would have been the month before the New York State legislature passed the act of incorporation. He owned parcels of land at the south end of Manhattan (19 Barclay St. and 24 Park Place) which were conveyed by his executors, Eliza S. Constant and William S. Constant, to his daughter, Eliza A. Kempton for $250,000, on 21 Oct 1872.
CONSTANT. -- At Louisville, Ky., on Sunday, March 18, JOSEPH ANTHONY CONSTANT, Esq., in the 55th year of his age. The friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral, on Friday, at 1 o'clock P.M., from Trinity Church. [N Y Times, 23 Mar 1860.]
Daniel Hyatt Tompkins
Daniel Hyatt Tompkins was the son of Daniel D. Tompkins.
Daniel D. Tompkins (1774-1825) was the son of Jonathan Tompkins and Sarah Ann Hyatt. He was a Democratic governor of the state of New York from 1807-17, and the youngest governor in New York state history. He was the Vice-President of the United States during the two terms of the James Monroe administration from 04 Mar 1817 to 03 Mar 1825. He died three months and eight days after the end of his term on 11 Jun 1825 on Staten Island. He was said to be exceptionally handsome and to have "a face of singular masculine beauty."
Tompkinsville on Staten Island, Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan, and Tompkins County are named for him.
His son, Daniel H. Tompkins, was born 17 Mar 1810 in White Plains (some say Somers), New York, and died 2 Sep 1875. He had a residence at 331 E. 14th St. in NYC.
Daniel H. Tompkins married Elizabeth Wright, the sister of Isaac M. Wright, above.
He was involved in a legal dispute with Alexander Bell over the ownership of a lot of land in New York City that had been owned by William Wright (father of Isaac M. and Elizabeth Wright). In that dispute, his name appears as "Thompkins" instead of "Tompkins."
He was a representative of New York and a speaker at the first Republican National Convention in 1856 (also spelled "Thompkins" here).
His second wife was Tamar Oakley.
In 1866, Daniel H. Tompkins served on the board of managers of the New York Institution for the Blind, on the Committee on Finance. Joseph Grafton also served on the board of managers of this institution in 1866.
He was appointed Deputy Collector of the New York Custom-House in November 1869.
Of the incorporators, only the name of Jones Rogers is known to have purchased property at South Haven, but searches have not been made on the other names above.
None of those above are listed as members of The Suffolk Club in articles in the New York Times.

The Suffolk Club, the act of incorporation, 11 Apr 1860

The Suffolk Club was incorporated by an act of the New York State legislature on 11 April 1860. This email contains notes by researcher Dr. Richard Thomas on its incorporation. Included is a link to the actual act of incorporation.

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 5:30 PM
To: Van Lith, Marty; Deitz, John
Subject: The Suffolk Club, the act of incorporation, 11 Apr 1860

Attachments: SuffolkClubIncorporation.pdf

Even though I found the act of incorporation of The Suffolk Club in an index of laws passed by the State of New York last month, I didn't realize I had found it, so I didn't look up the act indicated by the item in the index.

Today I searched for it in a different way.

Ever since you sent me the copy of the renewal of the lease I have been trying to find out who Jones Rogers was.

I knew Joseph Grafton (husband of Elizabeth Remsen) had been the President of the Suffolk Club for much of its life, but I had never heard of Jones Rogers.

The 04 November 1872 Lease Renewal between the Suffolk Club and Henry W. Carman, states that the 15-year renewal is being done under the "covenants and agreements" contained in the lease of 01 Jan 1858 between Samuel Carman and Jones Rogers.

That implied Jones Rogers had been an important person in The Suffolk Club before it was incorporated, perhaps a president or treasure or secretary of the association.

I have come to the conclusion that Google Search learns from your searches and which results you click on which results you are most likely to be interested in and moves those closer to the top.

Last week I googled "Jones Rogers" and came up with very little.

So I decided to go to Riverhead.

184645154 Charles Cook and othersJones RogersSuffolk Clubdeed has not been examined, may not be for Suffolk Club
Dec 185810256 Samuel Carman and wifeJones RogersSuffolk Club
15 Nov 1864129122 Charles V. B. Homan and wifeJoseph GraftonSuffolk Clubbetween Carman's River on north and River Road on south
15 Nov 1864129126 Charles V. B. Homan and wifeJoseph GraftonSuffolk Club
Jun 1865131518 John Shirley, SheriffJoseph GraftonSuffolk Club
Jun 1865131520 Jones RogersJoseph GraftonSuffolk Clubappears to be an exchange of properties, deed not yet examined
Jun 1865131522 Joseph GraftonJones RogersSuffolk Clubappears to be an exchange of properties, deed not yet examined
Feb 1866135522 Sarah NicollJones RogersSuffolk Clubdeed has not been examined, may not be for Suffolk Club
Jun 1866138418 Samuel CarmanJones RogersSuffolk Club
Jun 1866138420 Samuel CarmanJones RogersSuffolk Club15-year lease
Jun 1866138425 Joseph GraftonSuffolk Club and assorted othersSuffolk Club
Jun 1866138488 James B. Johnston and wifeJones Rogers and othersSuffolk Club
Nov 186815486 Sylvester Homan and wifeJoseph GraftonSuffolk ClubThis may be a private purchase rather than one for the Suffolk Club
Jun 1870170133 Denning DuerSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
01 Jan 1875214121 Joseph Grafton and wifeSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club$10, between Carman's River on north and River Road on south
01 Jan 1875214122 Henry W. Carman and wifeSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club$20,000, 305 acres - descriptive of dam and plume
25 Jun 1875216472 James N. PlattSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club$10, farm formerly occupied by Gilbert B. Miller, ~4.25 acres, south of South Country Rd
May 1877228243 John M. Bowers and Susan B. D., his wifeFrederick Schuchardt and the Suffolk ClubSuffolk Clubnorth South Country, east of Gerard
May 1888310480 James N. PlattSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Oct 1888313327 James N. PlattSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Oct 18934021 Nathaniel Miller and another, executorsSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Jan 1896431558 Wm. E. T. Smith and othersSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Aug 190151061 Frederick A. SchermerhornSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Nov 1901511575 Frederick A. SchermerhornSuffolk ClubSuffolk Club
Sep 1908657576 Wm. H. Eagleson and wifeSuffolk ClubSuffolk ClubGuardian of Charles Gerard sold property to W. H. Eagleson
Nov 1910745520 Charles E. GerardSuffolk ClubSuffolk ClubSame as Eagleson property, to insure title, Charles Gerard now of age

When I googled on "Jones Rogers" today, Google must have been ruminating on the results I preferred from my searches of last week and produced exactly what I had been looking for, the law that incorporated The Suffolk Club.

However, it wasn't incorporated as the Suffolk Club!

It was incorporated as the Suffolk County Society. (This is really a very unfortunate name, since articles about the Suffolk County Agricultural Society often leave out "agricultural" when the name of the group is repeated in an article.)

They may have chosen that form of the name because of the way New York corporation law allowed another type of volunteer association, a congregation, to incorporate. A congregation in New York incorporated as "a religious society."

The "Suffolk County Society" was incorporated by an act of the New York State legislature on 11 Apr 1860.

(Eight days after a horseback rider started off from St. Joseph, Missouri, on the first mail delivery of the Pony Express and three days before the mail arrived in Sacramento, California; and one year and one day before South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter.)

The act states that the corporation is to have five directors, and the first five directors are to be:
Jones Rogers,
Isaac M. Wright,
Henry A. Coit,
J. Anthony Constant, and
Daniel H. Tompkins.

The only name I recognize is Jones Rogers.


August Belmont and his relationship to The Suffolk Club, a member?, an organizer?, an incorporator?

This email, by researcher Dr. Richard Thomas, are notes on the subject of August Belmont and his relationship to the 19th century Suffolk Club of South Haven, L.I., New York.

Although several secondary sources name August Belmont as an organizer, incorporator, and a member, Richard found little contemporary evidence in support, although on at least one occasion he visited the club, perhaps as a guest.

This is the first of several follow-on emails.

From: Richard Thomas
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:44 PM
To: Van Lith, Marty; Deitz, John
Subject: August Belmont and his relationship to The Suffolk Club, a member?, an organizer?, an incorporator?

Several different secondary sources say that August Belmont organized the Suffolk Club. The authors of Long Island Country Houses and their Architects, 1860-1940, (published 1997), say that the Suffolk Club was organized in New York City on April 6, 1858, by August Belmont "in concert with Walt Sherman, W. Butler Duncan, and others," [p. 1823].
One secondary source, the New York Times of 24 Feb 2001,, says August Belmont organized a Suffolk Club in Wyandanch, New York.
The various editions of Nick Karas's book, Brook Trout mention August Belmont in connection with the Suffolk Club. (The first edition was published in 1997.)
In the latest edition, Brook Trout, Revised and Updated, published in 2003, he states,
These men were forerunners of the club organized by August Belmont in New York City in 1858. This group included John Van Buren, the president's son, Peleg Hall, W. Butler Duncan, Walter Sherman, and Joseph Grafton. Webster was never a member of the club; he died in 1852. The Suffolk Club, as they were called, bought piecemeal, from 20 owners, a total of 1500 acres around the pond and the old mill. [p. 172]
There is no footnote that reveals where Karas got his list of names.
Nick Karas's book is filled with errors, and, as is usually the case, many sentences combine a statement which is true with one that is false.
(For example, he says the South Haven Presbyterian Church was moved to Brookhaven hamlet "to make way for the highway." The South Haven Presbyterian Church was moved to Brookhaven hamlet in December 1960, but the four-lane Sunrise Highway extension had nothing to do with why it was moved. The sentence is, at least, an improvement over the reason Karas gave for moving the church in his Sports Illustrated article on Webster and the Big Fish that was published prior to 1967: "Over the years the congregation dwindled to the point where the church was of little use.")
[The comment that "Webster was never a member of the club" is also misleading. The Suffolk Club surely existed informally, and with that name, long before it was incorporated. This is supported by the Club's purchase of a pew in the South Haven Presbyterian Church. In 1840, the congregation decided to purchase back pews and make them freely available to anyone who wished to worship in the meeting house, so the Suffolk Club almost certainly purchased its pew before that date.]
In Suffolk County, Long Island, in Early Photographs, 1867-1951, [Dover, 1984, p. 102], the authors write, "Groups of monied anglers bought up large blocs of land and built luxurious clubs, such as the Great South Bay Angler's Club, the South Shore Rod and Reel Club, the East End Surf Club and August Belmont's exclusive Suffolk Club in Bellport."
Oddly, one of the most well-known clubs for "monied anglers," the South Side Sportsmen's Club, Oakdale, does not appear on the list. Surely Mr. William Vanderbilt and Bayard Cutting would qualify as "monied anglers."
In 1889, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac lists these clubs (p. 38) as the largest and most prominent on Long Island: 1) Suffolk Club, Brookhaven; 2) Amagansett Club, 3) North Side Sportsmen's Club; 4) Robin's Island Club, Peconic Bay; 5) Rod and Reel Society; 6) Suffolk Sporting Club; 7) South Side Sportsmen's Club, Oakdale; 8) Olympic Club, Bay Shore; 9) Hampton Club, Southampton; 10) Meadow Brook Hounds, Hempstead; and 11) Rockaway Hunt Club, Far Rockaway.
The Suffolk Club was certainly not one of the largest clubs on Long Island, since membership in the Club was limited to 15. So it must have been listed first because of its prominence.
An earlier secondary reference that links August Belmont with the Suffolk Club is in one of Helen Morrow Ewing's "Brookhaven" columns published in the Long Island Advance on 22 Sep 1933. She writes:
Among the members [of the Suffolk Club], over a period of years, were August Belmont, George W. Wickersham, Frances [sic.] Augustus Schermerhorn, Commodore Robert Bourne, Joseph Grafton, William Meyer, Thomas Meyer, John Cadwalder [sic.], Charles Strong, Fred D. Tappan, John Campbell, Daniel B. Fearing, John Schuyler, Anson W. Hard, A. J. Smith, Henry Von L. Meyer, George Von L. Meyer, Dr. George Wheelock, and Evelyn Roosevelt.
Of course, in 1933, the Suffolk Club no longer existed.
August Belmont had his own trout fishing pond, so it seems odd that he would need to go somewhere else to fish. His "great stock farm" of 900 acres was located near Babylon. He called it "The Nursery."
New York Times, 06 Jun 1878
Many of the guests paid a visit to the splendid private trout pond which stretches in front of the house. It covers 50 acres, and has two island in it. It is fed by a brook four miles long. An attempt was recently made to clean the pond, and in transferring the fish the majority of them died; so that it will have to be restocked.
Nineteenth century newspaper articles and books sometimes list a few of the members of the Suffolk Club. The total number of members was quite small, fourteen or so.
August Belmont does appears in two early articles or lists of people who visited the Suffolk Club or who were members of it.
The first is this cryptic article that appeared in an article entitled "Long Island's Trout Ponds" in the New York Times on 28 Jul 1872:
At Fire Place there is the long-famous pond known as Mr. Samuel Carman's. It covers about forty acres, and is valued at $20,000. There is, in conjunction with this pond, a very fine clubhouse, which is used by the New-York Associations, and occasionally by Mr. August Belmont.
At Bellport there is a pond, known as Osborne's, covering fifteen acres, and valued at $15,000.
At Islip there is a well-known pond, which is used by the South-side Club, and a second pond has only lately been finished. The main pond covers thirty acres, and the other about four acres. Both are very find, and are valued at $100,000.
. . . At Patchogue is what has long been known as Swan Creek Pond--a large and very beautiful body of water, which covers twenty acres, and is valued at $20,000. The water is excellent, and the privileged sportsmen who have thrown their fly in it, consider it the "handsomest stream on the South-side."
. . . Babylon is noted for its several private ponds, which are owned by men of presumed extraordinary wealth. Here, in connection with his residence and somewhat famous stables, Mr. August Belmont, the banker, has a very fine small pond, valued at $9,000. Mr. Royal Phelps of New-York, has one on his place, which is valued at $8,000. Both gentlemen have find lodges on their grounds, and also notably attractive improvements.
Contemporaneous sources include these individuals:
Suffolk Club Members (or who fished there)
June 1875
1. Joseph Grafton
2. James N. Platt, partner in the law firm of Platt & Bowers, died 16 Jun 1894
May 1877
1. John M. Bowers, partner in the law firm of Platt & Bowers, died Mar 1918
April 1, 1880 (the following had gone to Yaphank to be present at the opening of the Suffolk Club [for the season])
1. August Belmont
2. Fred Schuchardt
3. Henry Fearing
4. George Fearing
5. Henry Meyer
6. Thomas Meyer
7. Peter Townsend
April 2, 1882. Fourteen total members.
1. Capt. Joseph Grafton, President
2. Henry Fearing
3. James Platt
4. John Campbell
5. Peleg Hall
6. J. L. Cadwalader
7. Thomas Meyer (Suffolk Club also mentioned in letter from nephew in April 1905)
8. Peter Townsend.
March 31, 1894 (The NYTimes confuses the location of the Suffolk Club with the baseball club of the same name in Huntington.)
1. C. H. Horsman
2. Charles E. Strong
3. John Cadwalader
4. H. Fearing
Aug and Nov 1901.
1. Frederick Augustus Schermerhorn, died 20 March 1919. ("He never married although his tastes were distinctly domestic.")
April 1905
1. Thomas Meyer (in George von Lengerke Meyer: His Life and Public Service, p. 145.)
Also, in 1908, Augustus Haviland was the attorney for the Suffolk Club. (The Suffolk Club was one of the "objectors" to New York City's application to take water from Suffolk County.)
There was a very exclusive Wyandanch Club on the Nissequoque (the Willow ponds) near Smithtown. However, it seems to have adopted that name after 1892.
The New York Times reported on the opening of the trout fishing season on 02 Apr 1882. About halfway through, the article reports on the Suffolk Club, saying:
The Suffolk Club, a very exclusive association, which has a membership of 14, owns a charming sylvan retreat at South Haven near Yaphank. The club-house is snugness itself, and the cellars and cuisine are praised by those who have been so fortunate as to be entertained as guests. It has two tree-embowered lakes in which the trout grow very large. The water is exceedingly pure and so full of nourishment for the Fontinalis that they are, to all intents wild trout as they are never fed. The current through the lake to the east is Carman's River. It takes its source at Virgin Springs, on the pine forest plain, and after crossing the highway below the lakes broadens into a wide, lively, pleasant brook terminating in the Great South Bay two miles from the club-house. Recently the Suffolk Club obtained control of Carman's River, and grand fashioning for estuary trout is looked for. The river will be improved and stocked, and will be in the near future the main attraction of the club. It is navigable from the Great South Bay for a long distance, partly under a thick growth of timber, and where the trees are it is cool in the hottest weather. The country is sparsely settled in the neighborhood and only one house is seen from the club-house to the mouth of Carman's River. Capt. Joseph Grafton is President of the club, but be is now in Europe. The opening day was observed by Messrs. Henry Fearing, James Platt, John Campbell, Peleg Hall, J. L. Cadwallader, Thomas Meyer, and Peter Townsend. The members are not limited to any number of trout to be caught in one day. The amount of their "catch" is regulated by their consciences and their skill.
That same article then goes on to report on an estate at Sayville, then says about Mr. Belmont:
Mr. August Belmont will probably fish on his preserve near Islip. Some of his friends have been invited to go there.
An article published in the New York Times, 31 Mar 1894, mentions the South Side Club at Oakdale, the Wyandank Club, at Smithtown, (a Brooklyn organization, formerly, the Brooklyn Gun Club), and the Suffolk Club. It then mentions August Belmont, whom the reporter supposes will be fishing at his famous private preserve on his estate.
August Belmont Sr. was never a member of the South Side Sportsman's Club either. His son, August Belmont Jr., was admitted as a member of the Southside Sportsman's Club in May 1900.
The Southside Sportsman's Club developed out of the property of Eliphalet 'Litt' Snedecor on the banks of the Connetquot River. He ran a tavern and inn there. George Lorillard (tobacco magnate), William K. Vanderbilt, and William Bayard Cutting fished at Snedecors and decided they wanted it for themselves. They purchased his property in 1866 and created the South Side Sportsman's Club.

Over the years, they continued to purchase land along the river, eventually totaling 3,473 acres. Their main interest was hunting and fishing so they maintained the land and water for the protection and propagation of game, birds and fish. The Club established a trout hatchery in 1870. Although it has had two prior locations, its present location has been propagating fish successfully since 1890.

In 1963, the Club sold the property to
New York State for $6.2 million. The Club leased back the property for an additional ten years. In August of 1973, the facility officially became a New York State Park

Frederick G. Bourne joined the South Side Sportsman's Club in September 1890. See:

Next, I checked the New York State laws, hoping to find a charter for the Suffolk Club. I found that the New York State legislature had chartered many clubs and companies, including:
Suffolk Co. Steamboat Company - c. 90, 1839.
Suffolk Co. Society - c. 272, 1860.
Clever Fellows' Club - c. 383, 1864.
Izaak Walton Fishing Club, De Ruyter, c. 184, 1864.
Southside Sportsman's Club, Long Island, c. 346, 1866.
Cortland Co. Sportman's Club - c. 675, 1866.
Sportsman's Club, Kinderhook - c. 811, 1866.
Long Island Club - c. 156, 1871.
None of these appeared to be The Suffolk Club, but that was not the case. See next e-mail.
Note on Peter Townsend: Peter Townsend was born on the Sterling Iron tract, a huge iron deposit in Orange and Rockland Counties that runs down into New Jersey. The tract was owned by the Sterling Iron Works that had been founded by his grandfather. He was born on 13 May 1803 and later lived at 32 E. 23rd St. in Manhattan where he died on 26 Sep 1885. "Mr. Townsend had a striking figure. He was tall and powerful and weighed over 240 pounds." according to the New York Sun, 27 Sep 1885.