The Hamptons Street Names Review

Written By: Charles Dyner

THE HAMPTONS STREET NAME REVIEW. (3 pages; 946 words) By Charles Dyner 201. 707-0991 10 Arbor Ct. Livingston, NJ 07039 Original, old Hamptons street names have charming but abbreviated ways of expressing their unique history. Parallel to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), for example, is “Rough Riders Road” in Montauk. Soldiers of the Spanish American War, including the Rough Riders with Officer Theodore Roosevelt, were held here in isolation to prevent the spread of Yellow Fever. However, the name “Rough Riders” sounds strikingly accurate to disgruntled LIRR riders. “Alewife Brook Road” in Easthampton was named after the Alewive fish belly, remarkably similar to bellies of women who ran ale houses: LARGE. Montauk State Park has a “False Point”. It’s true. The notorious Captain Kidd had a home filled with plunder at 119 Pearl Street in Manhattan’s soon-to-be Financial District. In addition to piracy, “Captain Kidds Path” in Montauk shows he was an early Hampton visionary. “Beach Vehicle Check Road”, also in Montauk, though not really historical, has a nice, potentially historical ring to it. Worth checking out. Unfortunately, several street names have lost or are in danger of losing their place in local history. Neighborhood residents offended by name connotations have already influenced local politicians. History has been re-written. “Pennypacker Avenue”, for instance, was re-named “Town Line Road”, a divisive name if ever there was one. Poor Morton Pennypacker, he had no idea his last name would be a source of embarrassment. “Whip-Poor-Will Street” in Amagansett was changed to “Atlantic Avenue”. Sadly, poor Will was whipped by “Monopoly” the game names. Are “Marvin Gardens” and “Ventnor Avenue” right around the corner? “Wesuck” replaced the original Indian name “Achabachawesuck” for this Southampton brook. A distinct improvement. On a different note, Easthampton Springs and Northwest have vertical street signs that charm by day, aggravate by night. About 6’ high, 4” wide, 3” high letters. Try reading… “B O N A C W O O D S L A N E” with your head bobbing up and down as you whiz by at 30 mph in pitch dark. With luck, you’ll see the “B O….” OK, slowing to 20 mph you may possibly recognize… “B O N….” But by then you will have incurred the wrath of 16 drivers behind you. Alternatively, you could completely stop your vehicle (assuming it passed inspection at “Beach Vehicle Check Road”), and angle it into the opposing lane so your headlights illuminate these nighttime-unreadable signs. Oncoming drivers, it should be pointed out, will take issue with this technique. “Deep Six Drive” in Easthampton Springs. Really? No resident objections yet?? Sounds suspicious. Call CSI, they know the depth of criminal minds. The Hamptons have an abundance of head: Head of Cove Road Head of Lots Road Head of Pond Road (sounds particularly intriguing) Head Rock Road (a personal favorite) Heady Creek Lane Masthead Lane “Aborigine Way” in Easthampton possibly commemorates an early Aussie settlement in East Hampton (though unconfirmed). It’s just outback of Three Mile Harbor. There’s an expression, “You can never get enough of a good thing”. Try telling that to people seeking the correct destination from the selection of “Bishop Avenue”, “Bishop Place”, “Bishops Court”, “Bishops Lane”, and “Bishops Lane, N”! If this visit is to attend a religious ceremony, they’d better embark early. However, that’s child’s play compared to searching through the forest of “Cedar Avenue” (about 4 of these), “Cedar Court” (about 3), “Cedar Drive” (3), “Cedar Lane” (7), “Cedar Point Lane” (only 1?), “Cedar Point Road” (2), “Cedar Road”, “Cedar Ridge Drive”, “Cedar Street” (9 of these; it’s even rumored that a poor soul rang the bell at what he thought was the correct Cedar Street address [his GPS corroborated this] and was never seen again), “Cedar Terrace”, “Cedarberry Lane”, “Cedarcrest Road”, “Cedarfield Lane”, and “Cedarfields Drive”. Occasionally, Easthampton name-makers get carried away in other ways and create the likes of “Oyster Pond Shell Fish Cove”. They shall remain nameless. “Wireless Road” – a unique way of stating the former presence of a radio station tower. Today it suggests a WiFi hub. Wireless home owners would likely be displeased with crowds gathering for free internet connections. Some homes are already on the market. Another name-change coming?? “Upper Sag Harbor Cove” is a Higher Education theme park off Long Beach Road. ”Dartmouth”; “Princeton”; “Cornell”; “Amherst”; “Yale”; and “Notre Dame” Roads are now accepting summer admission applications. A level 5 advisory has been issued for “Thistle Patch Lane” in North Haven: people have been stuck here for years. “Redcoats Lane” – British Loyalist families still here in North Haven are hereby on notice that there will be no tolerance for any attempts to regain this heathen land for “King and Queen”. Amagansett’s “Pussy Pond”, now a creek, was named for a woman searching for her pussy. After a trying search, she found it. “Rum Hill” is near Madison and Elizabeth Streets in Sag Harbor. A sailor who died at sea wished to be buried in Sag Harbor. His body was transported in a Rum barrel which hopefully wasn’t re-used. Aye, let’s drink to the lad, and all the historic names remaining and rewritten to be found on Hamptons Streets signs. Hampton names and vertical street name signs have always intrigued me. Dan’s Papers provided an impetus to learn what goes into name-calling. Thanks to Gina in the Easthampton Library research room for ferreting out appropriate volumes and documents. Particularly “South Fork Place Names” by William P. Mulvihill. His info is used in Alewife; Pennypacker; Pussy Pond; Rum Hill; and Whip-Poor-Will locations. “Wesuck” info comes from “Indian Place Names on Long Island” by William Wallace Tooker. Vertical sign dimensions were kindly supplied by Dr. Martin Tindel.