Oct. 10, 1963
Town Meeting in 1878 Brought Many to Coram
By Thomas R. Bayles
The Advance for April 6, 1878 carries the following account of the annual town meeting held at Coram.
“On Tuesday last, Brookhaven held her annual town meeting at Coram. The attendance and the interest shown in the election of officers for the coming year were both important and significant of the increasing population, as from early dawn until the sun had sunk below the western horizon, wagons of every description came pouring in, filled with occupants eager to play a part in the election of good and true men for the government of the town. Besides this, machinery, cattle, poultry etc. were on exhibition.
“For more than a week past the party horn has sounded along the Bald Hills and even from sound to bay, calling on the clans to rally round their chieftains on the day, and true to that patriotic principle uppermost in the hearts of true American citizens, they rallied in even greater numbers than was ever dreamt of in the history of Brookhaven, and there were 1,699 votes cast. For the office of Supervisor, Mr. John S. Havens was the accepted candidate on the Democratic ticket, while on the Republican ticket was the name of George F. Carmen of Patchogue. In spite of every effort made by the Republicans, Mr. John S. Havens was declared elected supervisor of Brookhaven town by 16 majority. The counting of the vote was an important and arduous undertaking, but by six o’clock Wednesday morning the count was completed.
“During the day fights and baseball games were in order but in no case was any severe damage done, and by dark the town capitol at Coram was deserted save by those interested in counting the vote.
“A number of the boys undertook to relieve Mr. Lester H. Davis’ hen house of some eggs, and having filled their pockets with the desired articles fled to distant fields, and there practiced with them at each others' heads.”
The diary of my father, Richard M. Bayles, carries the following item for Tuesday April 2, 1878: “Went to town meeting at Coram this afternoon. Very large turnout. There were 1,699 votes cast. Several candidates of the Republican ticket are elected. It took the board all night to canvass the votes.”