August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900

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Archeological Site Inventory Form

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Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form.  Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made.  Corrections to factual errors, updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or will be clearly indicated as updated material.  Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, much of the information reflects that time period.  Included in this category are sites for which some documentation may exist but are no longer extant often with little or no modern evidence at the site.

Sites which have a suffix of "S" are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys. 

Archeological Site Inventory Form

Burnett Farm South (including old Barn now destroyed)

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not in the original surveys.

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Inventory Code:  Br18B.4-S  
  Prepared Date:  7/26/2011
  Revised Date:  5/4/2012
Submitter
 
Submitter Name:  John Deitz
Submitter Address: 7 Locust Rd.

Brookhaven, NY 11719
631-286-3178
Organization:
Identification
1-Site Name:    Burnett Farm South (including old Barn now destroyed)
2a-County:  Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village: Hamlet of Brookhaven  
3-Location:  Beaver Dam Rd. and Burnett lane
Ownership
   4a-Public Site    4b-Private Site
4-Present Owner:  Brookhaven Town, The Post-Morrow Foundation and the Thorofare Foundation   5a-Address: 
Historic and Architectural Importance
The Burnett farm was typical of the many moderately sized farms that characterized Brookhaven hamlet into the early twentyth century.  
6- Description, Condition, Evidence of Site
  This data sheet is for the sourthern portion of the old Burnett farm.

 6a-Standing Ruins

 6b-Cellar Hole with Walls  

 6c-Surface Traces Visible  6d-Walls Without Cellar Hole
 6e-Under Cultivation  6f-Erosion
 6g-Underwater  6h-No Visible Evidence
 6i-Other  
7- Collection of Material from Site
 7a- Surface Hunting By Whom:    Date:  
 7b-Testing By Whom:  Date:  
 7c-Excavation By Whom:  Date: 
 7d-None
7e-Present Repository of Materials  
8- Prehistoric Cultural Affiliation or Date
   
9-Historical Documentation of Site

This site (Site ID Br18B.4-S) is the southern section of the old Burnett farm property in Brookhaven Hamlet, Suffolk County, NY.  It is about 330 Beaver Dam road, and along both the east and west sides of Burnett lane.

Across Beaver Dam road was the original Burnett family homestead (yellow house, Site ID Br18B) and the northerly portion of the farm.  Both parcels originally contained about fifty acres each, for a total farmstead of about 100 acres.  In addition to the residence, the farm originally had at least two barns and other out buildings.  On this south site, there was a barn at the southeast corner of Beaver Dam road and Burnett lane; it was torn down in 1934.  On the northern site, there was a barn called the “red barn” near the western farm boundary (Site ID Br19.1-S) which was destroyed by fire in 2010.

In 1664, the early proprietors of the settlement at Setauket purchased from the Sachem Tobaccus a large tract of land, now known as the Old Purchase at South. This tract extended from the Carman’s river and Yaphank creek westward to just west of the modern Village of Bellport, and from the Great South Bay northward to the middle of the island.  Of particular value to the north shore proprietors was the meadow lands, and salt hay they contained, along the bay.  Almost immediately, the meadows along the bay were divided into 49 roughly equal meadow shares allocated by lot to the Setauket proprietors.  In 1676, fifteen-acre upland plots were added at the north end of each meadow share.  It was not until 1737 that a formal town road was laid out along the northern boundary of these lots, modern Beaver Dam road.  Prior to that time, access to these lots was provided by a road at the southerly end.

These colonial-era land transactions, now know as the Long Lots, can be seen to this day in the boundaries of property south of Beaver Dam road.  Modern Burnett Lane is a boundary between two of these Long Lots and likely was originally a farm road; the original Burnett farm included cultivated fields on both sides of Burnett lane, and the corresponding meadows down to the bay. 

The colonial era land records are ambiguous and it has not been determined which proprietors originally owned these long lots.  These lots changed ownership many times during the colonial period.  They were joined and split into different configurations, while still fundamentally maintaining the original outlines of the Long Lots.  In 1833 Nathan Post, a shipbuilder in Bellport sold the property to Thomas Bell of Bellport [Suffolk County Deeds, Book 30, Page 44].  By this time the farm property included the joined Long Lots and land north of Beaver Dam road.  Elisabeth Post, founder of the Post-Morrow Foundation was distantly related to Nathan Post–they were second cousins, three times removed. Thomas Bell, along with his brother John, is of the Bells who named the Village of Bellport.  Thomas sold the property to Henry W. Titus of Bellport in 1835 [Book 30, page 66].  Henry sold the property to George Burnett in 1854 [Book 75, page 197].  The property remained in the Burnett family until 1942* when it was acquired by C. Oliver Wellington.

George Burnett was from Southampton.  In 1849, he sailed on the ship Sabrina to the gold fields of California with a group of east end whaling captains.  He is reported to have acquired a “fortune” selling provisions, but no gold.  On his return, he purchased the farm in Fire Place.  He died in 1893.  George and his wife Frances Jagger had six children.  Three sons, George, Isaac, and Henry remained unmarried and continued to live on and work the farm until their deaths–George being the last in 1940. 

In 1967, Mrs. Lucile Pierce Wellington (C. Oliver Wellington’s second wife) conveyed 180 acres of meadows and salt marsh along the Carman’s river and Great South Bay, including the meadow lots of the Burnett farm, to the Federal government, which was then added to the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.

In _?__, C. Oliver Wellington heirs sold most of the upland property to a partnership between the Post-Morrow Foundation and the Town of Brookhaven.** The Post-Morrow foundation maintains a walking trail through this site.  This trail takes you from the northern end of one of the Long Lots southward to a horse corral, then crosses Burnett lane to the adjacent Long Lot and trails leading south to the original meadow lands near to the bay.

The earliest aerial view so far found of the south Barnett farm fields is 1930.  This picture clearly shows the fields in cultivation.  The Suffolk County land use maps indicate that in 1984 they were still being cultivated.  The next available aerial is 2001, and they appear to be fallow then, with small trees/brush scattered about.  And thereafter growth continues until today.  It is therefore interesting to note that the current growth (2012), especially on the west side of Burnett Lane is basically only in the last ten years, and is an example/lesson in how fast a previously cultivated field returns to wild vegetation.

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* Quick Claim, in default on taxes.  Final purchase from Burnett heirs in 1943.

** Present site appears to be less extensive than property originally included in Burnett farm, suggesting that the Burnett family sold off some building lots during their tenancy.

 
10- Possibility of Site Destruction or Disturbance
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11-Remarks
12- Map Location
    [If an original form, the source map images were not reproducible.]
12a- 7 1/2 Minute Quad. Name: 
12b- 15 Minute Quad. Name:   
12c- U.S.G.S Coordinates:   
12d- D.O.T. Coordinates:  (if known):   
Other Maps:   
13- Photographs
  No Link Available  
Supplemental Material

Burnett Farm Deeds

Nathan Post to Thomas Bell, 9 April 1833.  Suffolk County Deeds.  Book 30, Page 44.  Excerpt.

... The first tract [south of Beaver Dam road] beginning at a certain white oak standing on the south side of the road crossing Fire place neck [modern Beaver Dam road] at the north west corner of the land of Barnabas Rider then running southardly by and with the lands of said Barnabas Rider and John Swezey to the Bay then westardly by the bay to the meadow of Robt. Hawkins then northardly by the said Robt. Hawkins to the northeast corner of the meadow & upland belonging to the sd Robt. Hawkins then westardly & southardly by the said Robt Hawkins to the Bay the westardly by the bay to the tract of meadow belonging to Paul & Amos Hulse then southwardly [sic. meant to be northwardly.  Changed in 1835 deed] & westardly by the said Paul & Amos Hulse to the the land of Selah Hawkins then northardly by the said Selah Hawkins to the road crossing Fireplace Neck then eastardly by said road to the first mentioned bounds by estimation fifty acres reserving for Robt. Hawkins his heirs and assigns & Paul & Amos Hulse their heirs & assigns the privilege of passing there the same to and from their respective shares of meadow according to their rights of access also one other tract of land [north of Beaver Dam road] lying on the front side of the road crossing Fireplace Neck opposite the first tract & bounded as follows beginning at the south west corner of the land belonging to the heirs of Zephaniah Conklin and then running northwardly by & with the lands of the said heirs and Richard Corwin Jr. then eastardly by the sd. Richard Corwin Jr. & Joseph Rose to little neck run then northardly by little neck run to the land of Nathl. Miller than eastardly & southardly by the land of the said Nathl. Miller to the land of Selah Hawkins then eastardly and southardly by the said Selah Hawkins to the road crossing Fireplace Neck then eastardly by said road to the first mentioned bound by estimation fifty five acres To have and to hold all and singular the above described premises with the appurtenances (excepting the reservations as aforesaid) ....

Thomas Bell and wife Amelia V[ictoria] A[gnes] [Huleu]  Bell to Henry W. Titus (of the City of New York), 27 July 1835.  Suffolk County Deeds, Book 30, Page 66.  Description is essentially as above.

Henry W. Titus and Susan his wife (of Town of Brookhaven) to George H. Burnett (of Town of Southampton), 27 February 1854.  Suffolk County Deeds, Book 75, Page 197.  Description is essentially as above.

Henry G. Hand, Frances W. Hand, Alfred B. Hand, Laura Hand Becker, kin & heirs of Inez I. Burnett Hand, daughter of George H. Burnett and Frances M. Burnett, to C. Oliver Wellington, 20 December 1943.  Suffolk County Deeds  book 2333, Page 188.  Excerpts:

... COMMENCING at the northwest corner adjoining the lands of Nathaniel C. Miller [deceased] and running easterly by and with the lands of said Nathaniel C. Miller to the center of Hawkins Creek [Little Neck Run]; thence southerly by and with said Creek and [then westerly & southerly with] the lands of Smith Rose [deceased], Brewster Rose [deceased], Richard Corwin, Egbert Swezey [deceased] and across Fire Place Neck Road [Beaver Dam road] and thence [southerly] by and with the lands of Mrs. Wells, Robert Albin, Chas. Booth, and Gordon Booth to the mowing meadow;  thence westerly by the edge of said meadow to the lands of Robert Hawkins;  thence north by said Hawkins and thence west again by Hawkins' lands and thence southerly by and with said Hawkins' land to the Bay;  thence westerly by and with the edge of said Bay to the lands of Samuel Randall;  thence northerly by and with the said lands of Samuel Randall to a certain ditch;  then west by said ditch to the lands of Hermon Hawkins [deceased];  thence northerly by and with the lands of said Hermon Hawkins, Mrs. Wells and Lewis Hawkins [deceased] to the lands of Elbert Albin [deceased];  thence east and north by the fence as it now stands to Fire Place Neck Road [Beaver Dam road];  thence west by the Fire Place Road to the land of Hermon Hawkins;  thence north by and with the lands of Hermon Hawkins and Nathaniel C. Miller to the place of beginning, containing about 100 acres.

Two addition parcels, each of about two acres each, are also described in the deed.  Based on the names identified as the bounding lots, they appear to be nearby, but it is ambiguous as to whether they are contiguous.

Being and intended to be all the right, title and interest of the Grantors herein in and to the premises described in deeds recorded in the office of the Clerk of the County of Suffolk in Liber 231 of Deeds at page 727, Liber 398 of Deeds at page 66, Liber 398 of Deeds at page 65 and Liber 2127 of Deeds at page 522.  [Not examined.]

Inez I. Hand, being the last surviving child of the late George H. Burnett and Frances M. Burnett, his wife, late of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, died June 29, 1942 leaving as her sole next of kin and heirs at law the Grantors herein, consisting of Henry G. Hand, husband, Alfred B. Hand, son, and Frances W. Hand, and Laura Hand Becker, daughters, and it is intended to herein convey all the right, title and interest of the said Inez I. Hand in and to the premises herein described, which said interest was acquired by the said Inez I. Hand by inheritance from her father, George H. Burnett who died intestate April 4, 1893, her mother Frances M. Burnett who died intestate April 15, 1924, her brother George H. Burnett who died intestate and unmarried November 9, 1940, her brother Isaac C. Burnett who died intestate and unmarried May 28, 1932, her brother Henry T. Burnett who died intestate and unmarried August 13, 1935, and her sister Annie F. Burnett who died intestate and unmarried September 19, 1899....

 

 

 

Patchogue Advance, 23 Mar 1934, p. 16, by Helen M. Ewing.

One of the oldest landmarks of Brookhaven is no more.  The old barn on the Burnett property (which is said to have been farmed ever since this village was first settled) was torn down last week.  It had been in a dilapidated condition for some time and was in danger of collapsing.  No one seems to know just how old the structure was, but it was there over 80 years ago when George Burnett came here from Southampton, and it is thought to have stood about 120 years.  This Mr. Burnett was a "forty-niner" and intended to return to the Western gold fields but was prevented by illness.  The property he bought in Brookhaven had been by the Post family—one of whom was Edwin Post, a ship-builder of Bellport.  There is a story that two other barns had previously stood on the property and that both had been struck by lightning.  The man who built this one (possibly Nathan Post) declared that he would build a barn which would be stronger than thunder and lightning.  The beams he used were hand-hewn of oak, and the shingles were the long three-foot ones, as was customary years ago.  It is said that the barn used to stand close to the road (this past winter has shown us why this was customary) and was moved back in George Burnett's time.  It was threatened by fire a few years ago when sparks blew across the road from the George Bishop house which burned to the ground.

 

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Prepared By
  John Deitz