Thursday, September 18, 2008

Topo map of Seaford, 1903

A discussion on concerning LIRR grade crossings along Sunrise Highway led me to this find at the University of New Hampshire's digital collection. They have made available what seems to be a 1903-based 7 1/2 minute quarter of the Babylon Quadrangle, showing downtown Seaford: here. Note that there is no Sunrise Highway and only Washington Avenue and Seaman's Neck Road cross the tracks. The west border of this map seems to lie near the present Seaford post office at 73 degrees, 30 minutes.
The site also offers the northeast quarter of the Hempstead quadrangle here. Much to my surprise, Seaford Avenue is shown running north from Merrick Road, jogging where Waverly now is, and continuing north-west to Wantagh station. Parts of Oakland Avenue and Woodward Avenue are both shown (where I walked this morning), but I suspect the streets may have had other names.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meeting topic Sept. 4: the carving of decoys

One of the arts for which Seaford is famous is the making of decoys for duck hunting in the bay. It is the subject of the meeting September 4 of the Seaford Historical Society 7:30 p.m. at the Seaford firehouse, Southard and Waverly Avenues.
The following is from the Society:
In the mid-1800's the Great South Bay became a mecca for hunting ducks, shorebirds, and other waterfowl. They were hunted for sport, food, and to be sold to a large market in New York City, eager for game for the table.
Seaford was known up and down the east coast for having some of the finest waterfowl hunting and guides. It became the destination for many wishing to hunt waterfowl. Famous sports figures as Babe Ruth came to hunt our shores.
These hunters were called "sports" or "yorkers." Over the years, several hotels were built to accommodate their needs, the most famous being Powell's Hotel at the corner of Merrick Road and Jackson Avenue.
During the meeting (see top paragraph), Frank Murphy and Bill Powell will tell you about these gunners and decoy makers from Seaford. The evening's presentation will include many old photos and a display of Seaford decoys dating back to the 1870's. The meeting is open to all.