Monday, February 18, 2008

Duck Project Symposium at SUNY Southampton


I once accompanied archaeologist Edward Johanneman and Laurie Schroeder as an assistant to look at the Black Duck Lodge site. They had a contract to write and research the archaeological significance of a number of properties to then have been considered or in the future to become public parks in Suffolk County. Their office and lab was in the Graduate Chemistry Building at Stony Brook University, as was the Anthropology Department before it moved to the newly opened Social Sciences Building. They worked also for the State Museums of New York on downstate DOT projects that required archaeological research and testing.

What I recall about our one day reconnaissance of the now Hubbard Park in Flanders, NY (which might get a post office) was that the Black Duck Lodge, now known to have been an E. F. Hutton holding, also has a very old "cellar hole" of the Hubbard's a descendant of whom taught in the Wood Road elementary school, where I attended his fourth and fifth grade classes, a Mr. Hubbard, a Notre Dame graduate from the Hubbard duck farms family of Riverhead. Peking ducks they were, I once had a pair as pets, and later six mallards from Brooklyn, who never learned to fly.

The records of the Black Duck Lodge were interesting. They contained a weather description and temperature recording, for everyday I think in the 19th century, for the location for a stretch of time, something not found generally. The lodge I was told, as shown in the records, replaced the ducks hunted there, to keep a balance of wildlife. I recall two dogs headstones near the marsh, trusty canine retrievers who swam out to retrieve the ducks no doubt. I suppose these were once "sea ducks" hence the name "black duck" which to my knowledge were hunted also on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy, a decoy of which I have. I also eventually worked on the archaeology survey of the property that once held the Big White Duck store, the proposed development of which caused it to be moved, which I hear recently, it might be moved back from the county park it was moved to.

You might be interested in knowing that Mr. Johanneman, since departed, of Baiting Hollow, who earned a Masters degree at Stony Brook, once related that he had those jobs of working in Suffolk County Parks after addressing the county legislature, which he said allows, the citizenry a time to speak at the end of its meetings, to enter into the public record, what might otherwise not be brought up in procedure and politics. He had asked that they consider the archaeology of Suffolk County. Later he would find a grave robber of the Montaukett, it seems. My cousin and husband are members of the Montauk Club in Brooklyn, which in Venetian architecture commemorates the meetings between Europeans and the Montaukett in its frieze.

Thanks for the interesting article, and I hope others will read it.

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