August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900


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Suffolk Club Purchases Hunting Reserve from Henry W. Carman

Carman Homestead Not Included in Purchase

In 1875, the exclusive Suffolk Club purchased the core of their hunting reserve from Henry Carman.  Prior to that time they and their predecessor organizations had leased the lands and hunting rights from the Carman family.  The Club also leased and owned other parcels along the Carman's river as far south as the Great South Bay.

The "Carman homestead" dwelling was apparently not included in this sale to the Suffolk Club..  If it had been it would surely have been mentioned in the deed.

The deed contains the following clause:

(Reserving however to the said parties of the first part [Henry W. and Isabel B. Carman], their heirs and assigns the right to use the West bank of said streams from the going over place or bridge to the first locust stake above mentioned for milk house, wash house, watering cattle and other domestic purposes but such reservations shall in no way be construed to allow him or them to diverge the water or stream from its present course, nor to interfere with the exclusive rights of fishing and reserving also the same view on the North side of the dwelling house he now has up the pond, so that no erection shall be made to substantially interfere with it, ....)

which states, that in their conveyance of the property to "The Suffolk Club," Henry and Isabel are reserving their view to the north from their dwelling house up to the pond. 

So even though the land is conveyed, this reservation prohibits "The Suffolk Club" from erecting any buildings or doing anything whatsoever that would interfere "substantially" with their view to the north "up to the pond," or their access to the river.

South Haven Mill
Looking north.  Planning mill to left; flume in center; main mill structure to the right.  The man standing in the center is said to be Henry Carman; however this has not been verified.
The description of the property says the southern boundary of the property being conveyed starts at the north side of the bridge at the old "goin' over," then goes north along the west bank of the river to the south side of the dam then goes again northwardly to a point two feet north of the planning mill and 18 feet west of the mill flume, then south-westerly to the north side of South Country Road (then west along the north side of South Country Road to where it intersects Gerard Rd).

The "planing mill" and the mill flume were structures attached to the dam.  The planning mill was a small structure at at the westerly edge of the mill dam, and the flume immediately to its east (next east was the main grist mill structure).  The point "two feet north of the planing mill" was likely a somewhat arbitrary point on the mill dam, and the line south-westerly from that point to South Country road would seem to be a bearing that would run north of the old Carman homestead.  If all the Carman property on the north side of South Country road were intended to have been included in the purchase, there would have been no need to have described a boundary from the point of beginning that went north along the westerly side of the river to a point two feet north of the planning mill, then south-westerly back to South Country road.

On Henry Carman's death in in 1919, the Henry Carman farm was purchased by Charles Robinson and developed as a duck farm.  While the main farm site was south of Montauk highway, the old Carman homestead was unambiguously owned by Robinson, was their first residence, and eventually razed by him in 1936.

Much of this material was researched by Richard A. Thomas