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TOWN MEETINGS AT THE LESTER DAVIS HOME




View Looking West: Town Meeting in 1880 at the Davis Home, Photo by Howard S. Conklin, Davis-Erhardt Collection




View Looking East: Town Meeting in 1880 at the Davis Home, Photo by Howard S. Conklin, Davis-Erhardt Collection


The following is a letter from Richard M. Bayles to Mrs. George West concerning town meetings at the Davis home. The letter was written in 1920:

Dear Mrs. West.
In answer to your inquiry about town meetings. The first town meetings were held is Setauket. I cannot find in the records of the town the exact date when they were changed to Coram, but should think it was about the year 1790. The first place used for town meetings was probably the old Baptist meeting house, which stood where the present Methodist Church stands. In 1792 the trustees provided for an election sermon to be preached by Rev. David Rose at the town meeting to be held there in April of that year. About the year 1800 the town meetings were held at the tavern of Goldsmith Davis, which was the house at present owned by Daniel R. Davis in Coram. It is quite clear that they were held at this house until about 1836, the house passing into possession of Daniel Davis about 1816, and from him to his son Lester H. Davis about 1840. Town meetings were held in 1841 at this house but for six years following they were held at the tavern of Richard W. Smith, which stood on the corner east of the town pump. In 1848 town meeting was again held at the Lester H. Davis house where it was continuously held until 1884, the date of the last town meeting in Brookhaven Town being April of that year. The town elections were subsequently held in election districts. This house was continued as the polling place for this election district which then comprised the entire central part of the Town from Ronkonkoma and Lake Grove on the west to the Ridge section on the east the eastern part of Middle Island. The last election in which the house was the polling place was in the spring of 1886. The election district was divided that year and the polling place was moved to the house of Miss Cynthia Hutchinson at Middle Island, the western section of the old election district being made a new district with its polling place at Lake Grove.

Click here to read story from Patchogue Advance about town meeting held on April 10, 1880

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