Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meeting 1.30.2008 of the Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Assoc.

The Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association held a bimonthly meeting on January 30, 2008, in Room 152 of the Wantagh High School. The meeting, with an attendance of about eighteen, ran from 7:22 to 8:43 p.m. Following the Pledge, the slate of the nomination committee was presented and elected without challenge. I am sure the list of officers will soon appear on the Association's website here.
An attempt to summarize the meeting follows:
Assemblyman David McDonough explained the topic of Trump on the Ocean. Regarding PILOTS or payments in lieu of taxes, he pointed out that each assemblyman around the state would demand the same treatment if we succeeded in getting such payments for the Wantagh School District. As far as the Fire District is concerned, it may be possible to chart the added number of calls regarding events at the new restaurant and arrange some increased payment.
Floyd Earle, new president of the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce, spoke.
Richard and Lisa Shary spoke about park or environmental issues: the marine playground at Wantagh Park; security patrols at Wantagh and Cedar Creek; the rejection by Nassau County for the proposed Cedar Creek Park; windmills in the Atlantic; an artificial industrial island in the Atlantic; the Nassau Hub.
They distributed a map from the South Shore Bikeways Connection Study, which proposed connecting the Jones Beach Bikeway with the bike path in Massapequa Preserve. It would depart Cedar Creek on the east side, travel north on Cedar Street and Willoughby Avenue, east on Waverly Avenue, through Tackapausha Preserve, then east on Maple Street. Mr. Shary is president of the Friends of Masssapequa Preserve. He warned of 6,000 bikers daily on that route. He urged a route from Cedar Creek east to some unused paving on NY 135, then along the south side of the railroad to Massapequa.
As this blog concerns Seaford, I note that Waverly Avenue is a rather bumpy road for wheeled vehicles, bicycles, sedans or any other size. I am not certain, but I think Waverly Avenue was open by 1908 from Washington Avenue two blocks or so at least to the fire house. Perhaps in the 1920's, I understand it was lengthened west to Willoughby Avenue. Is the name "Waverly" Scottish in origin?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meeting 1.3.2008 of the Seaford Historical Society

Each time I attend a meeting of the Seaford Historical Society, I am impressed how the individuals who lead this organization show cordiality and competence. They welcome newcomers and strangers. They know the order and timing of the program, and they run the meetings well.
Harrison Hunt, historian and author of books on our Civil War, presented an excellent slide show, with narration, on Long Island's participation in that sad conflict (1861-1865). I have several pages of notes, but I will present items in my own order, attempting to begin with Seaford and move outwards.
1) The Seaford men who served in that war tended to be farmers and baymen, as these were the principal occupations. [Recall that the place name "Seaford" comes almost twenty years after the war.] We were part of the Town of Hempstead [town hall being in Hempstead], but the county was Queens and the draft board of 1863 met in Jamaica.
2) Apparently, the individual names of men from hereabouts who served in the war might be found in an 1890 census of Civil War veterans. Most seemed to have joined Company H of the New York 119 Volunteers. As Mr. Hunt addressed the Civil War from a Long Island viewpoint, instead of Seaford only, he did not provide individual names.
3) Moving a half-mile west of Seaford: The Wantagh Fire Department displays a bell from a Civil War warship outside its building on Park Avenue.
4) In North Bellmore, African Americans who served in the Civil War are buried in the Oakfield Road cemetery.
5) In North Wantagh, the cemetery on Wantagh Avenue (now adjacent to the church of St. Frances de Chantal) contains the grave of a doctor who served in the war and died there by disease, as many participants died.
6) Mr. Harrison displayed a photo of David Allen from Jerusalem (North Wantagh) in the Zuave uniform some regiments used. One must remember that the U.S. Army numbered fewer men than the volunteer regiments.
7) Delancey Floyd Jones served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War. A biography is in Wikipedia. A description of the Floyd-Jones of Massapequa (South Oyster Bay) is here.
8) In the early 1830's, having graduated from West Point, George Meade did survey work for the Long Island Rail Road, probably in Brooklyn or Queens, as the railroad began expansion eastward from Jamaica in April, 1836.
9) Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee were both stationed at Fort Hamilton sometime.
I may edit this post further. Corrections are welcome.