Southampton Trails Preservation Society
SOUTHAMPTON TRAILS PRESERVATION SOCIETY
We Are A 501(C)(3) Not For Profit
P.O. Box 1171
Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Story Generously Contributed by Tony Garro
The history of Trout Pond and Noyac have always been intertwined. Since the first English settlement, Trout Pond has been the economic
center of Noyac. Two native encampments, the English called Weecatucks and Noyacs, inhabited the area. They lived near a stream that
came to be called the Noyac River. This stream arose from the moraine and flowed to the bay barely a mile away.
Noyac and Weecatuck were Algonquin words indicating the place, not people; Noyac meaning “a point of land”, Weecatuck “edge of
woods”. These people were Manhansets, one of the thirteen tribes of Long Island. The Manhanset’s tribal lands were Shelter, Ram,
Gardiner, and Robins Islands.
English settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts, founded Southampton in 1640. They did not spread into the land they called Noyac until 1679.
John Jessup was one of the first land owners in the area. On the first hill of Morton’s Wildlife Refuge (Jessup’s Neck) is a tombstone
bearing the inscription, “Here lies the body of Abigail Jessup….who deceased in November 1724, aged 11 years”. While this is the only
grave visible today, undoubtedly others are nearby. A well from the Jessup house can still be seen not far from the grave.
In 1690 John Parker built the first mill on the Noyac River. For the next 200 years there were mills on the site. The mill dam is still used as
part of the trail system at Trout Pond Park. Many of the local historically prominent family names: Rogers, Budd, Jessup, Osbourn, and
Rugg, to name a few, live on in local place names.
In the 19th century the mill was owned by a Thomas Eldridge. He built a large house for his family of 10 children, its foundation can still be
seen off Rugg’s Path. The family also ran a boarding house to supplement their income. Henry Chadwick, a sports writer from Brooklyn,
and a frequent guest, bought the mill and property from Eldridge in 1875. His daughter married an Eldridge son who continued to operate
Chadwick was no ordinary sports writer. He is one of the few members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who never played or coached the
game. The National League called him the Father of Baseball. He was the “inventor” of the box score which has allowed consistent
statistical analysis of baseball.
Taking advantage of the expansion of the Long Island Railroad to Sag Harbor, G.W.Thompson built a large rooming house just south of the
Mill Pond, catering to the carriage trade from the city. He raised trout to stock the Pond, which forever changed its name to Trout Pond.
Hiking trails, fishing and other family recreation were provided. This “resort” was called the Oak Grove Inn.
Today the land surrounding the old Mill Pond is a 50 acre town park. Since the great fire of 1944, a beautiful forest has grown around the
pond. Hiking trails, maintained and blazed by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, provide a serene respite from the hustle and
bustle of the summer. Click here to see the trail map.
A blue blazed trail circumnavigates the pond. A brown blazed trail starts from the parking lot and winds its way through a wooded highland.
Branching out from the blue trail is a yellow trail that provides access to the Paumanok Path. Join us on one of our organized hikes or
explore on your own. Enjoy!.
|A painting of Bobby Graham, the hermit of Trout Pond. It was painted by Bobby's good friend Fred Ulrich who visited
Bobby the night before Bob died. The painting shows Bob inside his shack that he fashioned himself.
Note the newspapers and cigar, both of which Bob was devoted to.
The painting is owned by Rocco Liccardi, who also knew Bobby.
From the collection of Rocco Liccardi, courtesy of the Sag Harbor Historical Society
The Mill at Trout Pond - 1893
PHOTO CREDIT ABOVE : Sag Harbor Historical Society's 2008 exhibit
of Trout Pond. It was taken by Annie Cooper Boyd in 1893 and is the only
photographic image of the mill and it is owned by the Historical Society.