Tour Pleases Many
About a hundred
people from various sections of Huntington gathered near the Commack Dinner last
Saturday to begin a tour of Commack. The planes were drawn and supervised by
Miss Marion Carll and Joseph Watterson to view 53 old sites and houses which had
been distinctly marked. A bulletin containing a map to scale and descriptions
and histories had been prepared for each tourist. Among the sites of interest
was the old Toll Gate House on the Smithtown Huntington turnpike. The site of a
store on Whitmanís Hollow conducted by fore bares of Walt Whitman. The drill
grounds for the western regiment of Suffolk County during revolutionary times.
The site of the first annual Fair and Cattle show of western Suffolk. The site
of the home of David Bryant owner and trainer of Lady Suffolk, a famous old time
racing horse. Site of the Smith Burr home and Hotel, and the Burr Stables and
race track. And the home of Edward Lang who was one of Long Islands famous
This Marion Carll, whoís family were among the early
settlers of the region, and who at one time owned most of the Winnecomac land
south of the turnpike, drew on her extensive knowledge of Commack history and
entertained her audience with facts and reminiscences as she stood on the stomp
of an old tree on land of her ancestral estate.
Mrs. E. C. Hoyt who lives in the John Wicks house most
gracefully admitted the party to see some of things of interest, as well as the
gorgeous double flowering pink cherry trees. Paintings of old ships and race
horses, Currier and Ivies prints.
R.L. Simpson town historian, who was present pronounced
it one of the most enjoyable events yet promoted by a village in the township of
Church in the state.
The reverend Randy Robertís pasture of the Commack Methodist Church invited the
group to view the interior of the church, claiming there was very little change
since its erection in 1789. In a brief talk Mr. Robertís said the church will
soon have to have a parish house for the church school if its growth
continues. There are seventy children enrolled now, and attendance is close to
fifty five every Sunday with classes meeting in groups about the body of the
church an in the balconies.
In 1783 a hundred and seventy years ago at the close of
the revolutionary war a group of British soldiers in Huntington had a John
Philips as a tailor. Philips was a Methodist Preacher and once when he was
Preaching in Cow Harbor Northport James Hubbs invited him to preach to Commack,
and a group formed a society and this went along for six years with meetings
probably held in the homes. Then this building was put up. The Fist change was
made forty seven years later when the center door was replaces by two and two
stairways were erected up to the gallery which was lowered to feet at that time.
The pulpit was high so those in the gallery could see the preacher. The pulpit
was lowered again in 1869 and then in 1889 it was brought to its present level
do to those down stairs complaining of the strain on there neck. The pews were
put in 1886, but thirty of forty years ago someone pulled out the pews from the
center, replacing them with chair benches. There was no stove or heating in the
early days. Someone remarked that the gallery was built for the slaves to
occupy. Mrs. John Shea of the Sunday School told Mr. Roberts that she remembers
in 1897 that the men and women were separated in the church. He said the custom
goes back to the Jews, Jesus sat in the synagogue with his mother until he was
twelve and then he joined the men.
The three pulpit chairs were given by a group of
Stillwellite when they discontinued there church. They were a group under John
Stillwellite who broke away from the Methodist church and started a new group at
Centerport and then brought there church to Commack from Centerport. Later they
adopted the congregation form, but when they couldnít get a congregational
Minister they got a Presbyterian one and worshipped in there own church a short
distance down the road.
Commack contains one of the land marks Methodism, the
oldest Methodist church building in its original condition in New York state..
Antiques show and
ended at the Commack Fire House were the Ladies Auxiliary of the church had
sandwiches, cakes, pies and coffee to refresh the group. Arranged around the
hall were exhibits of heirlooms from the old families of Commack. Every one
found these very fascinating . There were cradles, a baby carriage, a youths
sleigh, chairs, exquisite needle work, wedding dresses, albums, glass, brass,
silver, pewter, a desk from the first school, maps, newspapers, books, and house