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FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
Chace Map of Suffolk County: Peconic Bay Region
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
Chace Map of Suffolk County: Peconic Bay Region. (Image from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives.)
The 1858 Chace Map is one of the finest maps of Suffolk County ever made.The surveys for the map were the work of J. Chace Jr., and the map was published by Robert Pearsall Smith (the cartographer) and John Douglass in 1858.
This monumental map covers Long Island from Huntington to Montauk and Orient Point. Divided into two main sections, upper and lower, the upper section focuses on Huntington, Smithtown, Islip, and Brookhaven (including most of Fire Island and Oak Island). The lower section covers the eastern end of Long Island, including Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southampton, Southold, East Hampton, Gardiner’s Island, and Shelter Island. The map also includes detailed sections for parts of Amityville, East Setauket, Commack, West Huntington, and many other areas.
The extraordinary detail throughout the entire map is especially noteworthy, with Chace’s survey work being the most accurate and in-depth study of the region undertaken in the first half of the nineteenth century. Chace specified roads, farms, bridges, and the individual family names of various properties. In addition to noting property owners and important households, the map includes business directories for the largest and most important towns, as well as engraved views of the Riverhead Courthouse and of prominent homes in Greenport, Scuttle Hole, Good Ground, and Aquebogue. The wall-sized map measures approximately 5 feet wide x 4 feet high.
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
The 2020 issue of Journal of the Suffolk County Historical Society will be published in November. The popular annual publication is available to members only. Supply is limited, so be sure to send in your membership request before the end of the current year to receive your copy of our latest JSCHS! Topics to be explored include ritual magic in Southold, the battle of Northville, a biplane landing on a Greenport farm, and the exploitation of migrant farm workers in 1960s Riverhead. Visit our website to become a member today!