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History of the Long Lots

THE LONG LOTS
by
Mr. Donald Bayles

1995


In 1655 a party of six men met with the representatives of the Setalcott Indian tribe near the present community of Setauket and negotiated the purchase of the first tract of land in the Town of Brookhaven. The settlement commenced in Setauket was the principal settlement of Brookhaven Town for many years. The area in the middle of the island was referred to as "the plains" and remained unsettled for three quarters of a century. Finally in 1720 action was taken to begin dividing up large tracts of this land among the 54 or 55 proprietors of the Town.

On Jan. 16, 1720 land on the east side of the Connecticut River from Yaphank north was divided into 54 lots. On April 17, 1728 the land north of Middle Country Road and east of Miller's South Path was divided into 54 lots beginning at the eastern boundary of the Town. This was called the Wading River Division of Great Lots.

On May 4, 1731 fifty five lots were laid out on the south side of Middle Country Road beginning at the Smithtown Town line and running eastward to the Connecticut River. These lots were bounded on the south by land of Winthrop's Patent. On Dec. 10, 1733 the Town laid out two divisions of 55 lots each on the South Side called the East, or Great Division and the West, or Little Division. These were bounded on the east by Major Smith's land and on the west by Gov. Winthrop's land. They ran north to "the middle of the island".

On March 10. 1734 two divisions of 55 lots each called the West and East Division of Long Lots were laid out on the north side of Middle Country Road beginning at the Smithtown Town line and ending at the Wading River Division. A second division of lots between the Connecticut River and Yaphank Line was made Apr. 14, 1739. This was north of the earlier division and ran north to Middle Country Road.

The above divisions of land completed by 1739 together with Major Smith's land covered all of what over two centuries later became Middle Island Central School District # 12.

In 1738 the Town laid out 14 acres to Capt. Robert Robinson on the south side of the Country Road just east of the house of Daniel Brewster, Jr. and west of the "great Pond" (Artist Lake). This is the first record I have found of a house in Middle Island. Daniel Brewster Jr's father was Daniel Brewster who was Town Clerk from 1712 to 1737. His grandfather was Nathaniel Brewster who was minister for the Town (at Setauket).

In July of 1744 a Dr. Alexander Hamilton from Baltimore was traveling through Long Island on his way to Boston. On July 11 he spent the night in Setauket. The next day
11 after riding 10 miles thro' woods and marshes in which we were pestered
with muscettoes, we arrived att eight o'clock att night att one Brewster's
where we put up for all night ……..The people in this house seemed to
be quite savage and rude.
Thursday, July 12. We set out from this desolate place att 6 o'clock and rid 16 miles thro very barren and waste land ( to Riverhead )……….In all this way we met not one living soul nor saw any house,
but one in ruins."

In 1745 Stephen Swezey of Southold bought 150 acres in this wilderness and within 20 years had increased his holdings to 1000 acres. Over the next two centuries many of his descendants would establish homes in this area which became known as Swezeytown. It occupied the north portion of West Middle Island School District No. 16.

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