Farmingdale’s First Class: The Lost Generation of 1919

Authored by Robert Voyles

Commencement schedule

The remnants of the first commencement program for the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island Class of 1919.

Farmingdale State College was not always named as such and had a narrower purpose than what it has become today. It began as an agricultural school, then called the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island, with class sizes not much larger than a dozen students (Farmingdale State College 2018b). The college will be celebrating its centennial graduation in the spring of 2019 and there is a desire to reminisce about the first graduating class 100 years ago in 1919. Outside of a few documents that detail the day-to-day of school administration and the 1919 class yearbook, little information has been retained in the school archives of the first class. The commencement program normally is a booklet filled with information on the activities that take place for graduation. The program for the Class of 1919, however, had little to show except for a schedule. Continue reading

Selah Hulse Land Deed

Authored by Nicole Castellano

Selah Hulse Land Deed to Benjamin Flyde. Two page deed written in 1775.

Selah Hulse Land Deed (April 28, 1775), Brookhaven Land Transaction Between Selah Hulse and Benjamin Flyde, Courtesy Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries

Selah Hulse (abt. 1715-1775 or abt. 1757-date unknown) is the owner of the piece of land in Brookhaven, Suffolk County that is being signed away in this land deed, which was written on April 28, 1775. This land was originally owned by Ebenezer Hulse (Hoff 2001, 10), who may be directly related to Selah Hulse, possibly being his father or his uncle (Deitz and Lythgoe 2011). Selah Hulse is giving this land to a man named Benjamin Flyde, who, during the time of the Revolutionary War, was a loyalist (Hull, Hoffer, and Allen 2018). While Selah Hulse himself is not mentioned to be involved with the American Revolution in any way, what is interesting about this land deed is that, while Benjamin Flyde is a loyalist, it is signed by two people who are related to the Culper Spy Ring, which is George Washington’s group of spies that would inform on the British (Bigelow 2018, 2). Continue reading

The Founding of the Ninety-Nines (Organization of Female Pilots) at Curtiss Field

Authored by Gabriella Trinchetta

Aerial photograph of Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, New York

Aerial photograph of Curtiss Field in Valley Stream, New York, taken on July 30, 1935. Courtesy of the Valley Stream Historical Society Archives.

In the 1920s and 1930s, female pilots famously made strides in aviation through participating in air races, holding positions in the commercial sector, and completing lengthy solo flights, all while facing discrimination. Many people believed that a woman’s stereotypical delicate nature prevented her from successfully flying a plane because of weakness (Corn 1979, 560). Unfortunately, women pilots also faced difficulty in finding careers even after acquiring their licenses, so they often regrettably held positions in airplane sales. Famous professional female pilots, such as Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, Blanche Noyes, and Ruth Nichols worked in airplane sales before finally given the chance to prove their strength in flight (Corn 1979, 560). Even when airlines hired female pilots, they hesitated to allow them to fly in all conditions. For example, some airlines prohibited their female pilots from flying in less than perfect weather conditions (Corn 1979, 562-563). Continue reading

The Northport March

Authored by Julia Sukhu

Illustration of a Grand March

The “Pleading and Practice Grand March” sheet music cover image from the Stony Brook University Archives.

The oddest things can bring a community together. In the case of Northport, a Long Island community, a piece of music made to advertise law books has a special place in the community’s history and brought them together in 2015. This bright and well-maintained illustration is the cover page for the “Pleading and Practice Grand March” sheet music created by George H. Bishop to sell law textbooks in the 1800’s.  Continue reading

Memorial Oak Tree at Farmingdale State College: A Living Tribute

Authored by Jaimie A. Albanese

An image of a pile of parcels on the ground, each with an attached paper tag stating the parcel's place of origin. The pile is surrounded by small flags from different countries stuck into the ground.

Taken during the Memorial Tree Planting Ceremony on June 4, 1921, this photograph shows the soil used in the planting of the Memorial Oak. The soil was gathered from each state in the United States, including the territory of Alaska, and countries who were members of the Allied Powers during WWI.

During the post-WWI era, the planting of memorial trees served as a popular tribute (Robbins 2003). Unfortunately, many have fallen or the plaques that once showed their dedication have been destroyed or lost (Gangloff 2003, 5). At the Farmingdale State College campus, one such “memorial that lives” (Gangloff 2003, 5) still stands strong almost a century later. Continue reading

The Great South Bay Scooter Club: A Prestigious Social Venue

Authored by Samantha Duffy

cover page of racing rules (1963) for the Great South Bay Scooter Club

Title page of a 6-page set of Racing Rules, approved in 1963. This is from the Great South Bay Scooter Club collection, currently located at the Brookhaven Free Library

When the temperature drops, and sleeves get longer, most people retreat to the comfort and warmth of their homes, to hibernate for the cold winter. But if you are one of the many ice boat racers out here on eastern Long Island, the freezing temperatures bring more than the holiday spirit. In fact, it can only mean one thing; another season at the Bellport Bay Yacht Club[1]. Meeting every first and third Tuesday of the months November-March[2], giddy ice boat enthusiasts gather to race, on the Great South Bay, located at the end of Bellport Lane in Bellport. Although the evolution of how ice boats came about is not well documented, the rich history of the Great South Bay Scooter Club is making its way into being digitally accessible for all to see. As early as 1900, ice boats and scooters were used, though at that point in time almost strictly for hunting and sport[3]. The very first organized scooter race took place in Patchogue in February of 1903. In 1904, the Bellport Scooter Club was organized and later oversaw the organization of other scooter clubs across Long Island[4]. From there, the Bellport Bay Yacht Club offered their building to the Scooter Club for the winter months. Since then, the club, and what seems like the entire village of Bellport, have enjoyed that space from 1922, on[5].

Continue reading

Handdrawn Map of Patchogue, 1869 [-1881]

Authored by Colleen Hutchens


Hand drawn map of Patchogue showing its three creeks (Little Patchogue, Patchogue and Swan), the bases of the damed lakes, Great South Bay, extant and proposed roads, the South Side Rail Road line and its proposed continuation, railroad buildings, bridges, breakwaters, public buildings and private houses (many named), religious institutions, cemeteries, hotels, mills, livery stables, shipyards, and shops.


The village of Patchogue is located on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. The town got its original name from a Native American tribe in the area, Pochaug. With Long Island surrounded by water, Patchogue has direct access to the Great South Bay, which has contributed to the growth and expansion within the town. In 1750, three families moved and settled Patchogue as the first people to live in the area. Since then the town has grown into a popular area for many to live and work. Continue reading