Photo of the Week
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Edward Thompson Fishing from
Daniel Webster’s Bridge, Smithtown
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
Edward Thompson Fishing from Daniel Webster’s Bridge, Smithtown, May 1903, by Hal B. Fullerton. (Image from the Harry T. Tuthill Fullerton Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.) [To view the Fullerton photo, please visit the SCHS website — ED.]
Today Webster Pond is part of Caleb Smith State Park, but for many years in the nineteenth century, Aaron Vail (1801-1881) kept the house and Webster Pond as entertainment for trout fishermen, including Daniel Webster (1782-1852), long-time U.S. senator and a presidential contender.
Edward Thompson (b. 1845), pictured here in 1903 fishing at Webster Pond, went to work at the St. Johnland Home in the town of Smithtown in 1867 and eventually rose to Outdoor Superintendent there. In 1882, the ambitious Thompson left St. Johnland to found Edward Thompson Publishing Company in Northport, which became one of the world’s leading law book publishers. He retained close ties with Smithtown, however, where he established hatcheries and fish ponds. He was also a member of the Wyandanch Club and the Rasapeague Club, sportmen’s clubs located several miles apart on the Nissequogue River. Thompson’s interest in and knowledge of fishing and fisheries also led to his 1895 appointment as a New York State Fisheries, Game, and Forest Commissioner.
Join us on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for a “Night at the Museum”- Costume Party ~ Reception ~ Fundraiser – in celebration of our newly installed Gory Gallery Exhibit! $20 per guest. Reserve in advance: (631) 727-2881 x100. Costumes (and masks) highly recommended! Ages 16 and older. Light refreshments will be served.
In the Heart of Historic Southampton Village