23 Jul About that house …
I hear a lot of people were blown away by our experience with the Eastport house, in which Mom picked up some amazing facts about the house’s history. But there was more.
First, here’s a recap from a Newsday blog post:
On the premiere Thursday night, Long Island psychic Mary Occhino goes with her son, Carl Corry, to see the house. Corry, who works at Newsday.com, was looking for a new place for his family at the time.
After entering the 1860 home, Occhino says she sees dead bodies, the death of a baby and “bloodshed.” Cue creepy music. She goes on to say that the house was built on an Indian burial ground, is linked to the Underground Railroad, and was the site of a car crash.
Skeptical of his mother’s readings, Corry goes to the Westhampton Historical Society for answers. His findings? There is a nearby Indian burial ground, some houses in the neighborhood were safe havens for slaves and one of the owners (whose name she picks up on) died in a car accident.
The show mentioned that Ernest was in an accident at the corner of the house (around 1916), but it didn’t mention that same Ernest, Ernest Tuttle, had owned that house, too. He sold it to Wilson Gordon in 1909, according to the house’s first deed, which I dug up at the Suffolk County clerk’s office in Riverhead, N.Y.
The Gordon House, as it’s commonly known, was a duck farm for decades. In fact, Eastport was the biggest duck farming community in the whole world for a time.
Mom also mentioned a Cherokee Indian connection. Cherokee are not from the area, but a local historian told us about a Cherokee woman who came to the area by marriage.
Ron Michne, a former Southampton Town historian who wrote a book about the history of the area including Eastport and is likely the most knowledgeable person about Eastport, told me a couple of interesting things:
The KKK was huge on the East End of Long Island in the late 1800s and early 1900s Mostly, they wanted people to be on the straight and narrow, then they became anti-Catholic when many Polish people came into the area. They settled in Riverhead.
In 1924, Ferdinand Downs, a Southampton constable and Klan member, was shot in the head and killed in a fight with rumrunners. About 2,000 Klansmen attended the officer’s funeral at church located a block away from the Gordon House, where Mom and I visited.