enter name and hit return
A WONDERFUL ROCK AND ANCIENT FAMILY CEMETERY IN A LONG ISLAND VILLAGE
Brooklyn Standard Union
5 February 1905
Those who have long known and loved Long Island watch with interest the changes
in the fortunes of different localities as all advance along the line of development.
Only sixty miles from Flatbush avnue railroad station one may step out to a
landscape so quiet and solitary that only the swifty departing train leaves
a reminder that the scene is not that of early colonial days of pioneer settlement.
Yet here, a scarce two generations ago, the now silent woodlands rang to
the blows of a hundred axes; two-score stout sloops rode in the sheltered bays
along the Sound, and streaming down the well-worn highways the woodman's teams
passed thriving farms in the highest state of cultivation.
Even more recently the pasture coverts along the egdges of the woods were alive
with quail, which tempted the gun of the city sportsman, while now one might
walk an afternoons journey without disturbing a single living wild creature.
With the passing of extensive grain cultivations the birds have lost their
food supply and two or three severe winters in succession have almost
completed the destruction. At Rock Point near the end of the Wading River
branch of the railroad, one may see all these changes from days not very
long past. The wave of urban life which has swept from Fulton ferry to
the middle of Queens county...
Fine farms sold to land speculators lie fallow, industries decline
and young men move away. At Rocky Point there remain many residents
in comfortable circumstances, one farm which challenges comparison
with any on Long Island, andone house which has sheltered seven
generations of owners born under it's roof, down to the present occupant.
On a shady hill within hearing of the voice of the surf is a
little family cemetery, where rests the dust of many a HALLOCK,
even to some who lived before the year 1700. The last headstone
to be raised records the death of Amos HALLOCK in 1901. Not far
away is the ancient homestead, a fine well-kept house wherein
lives Merritt HALLOCK, the last of the race remaining in Rocky Point.
And close by the house is a remarkable rock, a huge boulder, whose
shadow sweeps over many rods of ground as the sun swings in it's
course, a source of astonishment to every vistor who sees it for the first time.
Fifty feet long, fourty feet thick and rising thirty-five feet
above the ground, would be a marvel. But there is no rock formation
on Long Island, except in one small locality near Hell Gate where the
underlying foundation of the opposite shore crops out on a few feet of surface...
Venerable, indeed, as time goes in this New World, in a homestead
running back without transfer of title deeds to colonial days.
Remarkable would this house have seemed, with it's seven generations
of descent from father to son, to the English traveler who remarked
to the late Mr. James Russell LOWELL was the only American he visited
in the house in which he was born. But the colossal boulder, whose
fiery birth was in Connecticut or perhaps Vermont, looks serenely
over the changes of mere centuries...
At the time the Civil War broke out, Rocky Point was a territory
of properous farm, most of them owned by the HALLOCK'S descendants
of the early patriarchs who now sleep in the litttle cemetery.
There were Sylvester, Philip, Luther,Hendrickson and brothers Amos
and James. Amos it's whose headstone shines the newest among the
worn monuments of his ancestors. Sylvester was the father of
Merritt HALLOCK and the present owner of the homestead, and of his
twin brother Samuel, now of Miller Place. The HALLOCKS were the
employers of almost all the laboring people roundabout, and between
them owned thousands of acres of productiove woodland, as well as
carefully tilled fields. The people, then as now, were known for
their industrious habits and their sobriety. A Brooklyn man who
had visited the place for fourty years, remarkedrecently that in
that time he had never seen a person in Rocky Point showing any
sign of having taken liquor.
About fifty years ago, there came from Wading River a young man,
Sylvester TUTHILL, who settled on a farm of thirty acres, bought
for him by his father from one of the HALLOCKS. The house he
built still stand, but his little farm grew to be one of the
finest on Long Island and is still administered by his son.
Mr. TUTHILL, however, instead of confining himself to agriculture
engaged in many kinds of industry and brought a current of new life
and activity into the village. He bought much woodland and the right
to cut wood from many more tracts, giving employment to an increasing
number of men. There seemed to be a considerate commerce between the
Sound and New York for wood, which was then used for many purposes
for which it is not used now, when coal has become the standard fuel,
and metal has so largely displaced it in construction.
Mr. TUTHILL acquired interest in vessels which carried to market
the wood he cut. A half century ago there were more then 50 sloops
plying from the ports between Port Jefferson and Wading River,
where last season there were not half a dozen. It required six
men to load a wood vessel of average steerage size and four men
for a crew. Often six sloops could be seen at one time at Rocky Point.
The wood cutting industry has languished except there are still
some groves of locust, much esteemed for shipbuilding.
In the balmy days of the Village Mr. TUTHILL, who was often associated
with the HALLOCKS in business enterprises, like them was generous
in his dealings and encouraged new residents by considerate treatment.
At the time of his death about twenty ago, while he was on his way
to the New Orleans Exposition he had increased his estate to six
hundred acres. His widow, since deceased; his son, Frank H. TUTHILL,
and his daughter thus came into possession what was then and still
is one of the most handsomely kept and most productive farms on
Long Island. Frank H. TUTHILL built and now lives in a large and
comfortable house, around which are commodious barns, stables
and other buildings. His flock of 50 Southdown sheep is greatly
admired and he has numerous and valuable farm animals of all kinds.
He is a director of the Port Jefferson Bank, a stockholder in the
Bridgeport Steamship Company and the milling company at Port Jefferson.
As trustee of the town of Brookhaven, he is the only representative
of the Democratic party upon that board.
One by one the surviving members of the ancient HALLOCK family
were gathered to their fathers and laid away to the beautiful
cemetery until all were gone but Sylvester and Amos, cousins.
These gradually disposed of the greater part of the land holdings.
Amos selling about 1000 acres to outside capitalists who purchased
for speculation. Sylvester the owner of the old homestead under
the shadow of the rock, similarly parted with the most of his
great property. The only survivor of the old family is now
Merritt HALLOCK, son of Sylvester, who still lives as a gentleman
farmer in the house of seven generations, now much enlarged and improved.
George HALLOCK, a son of Amos, is a lumber dealer and owner of the
Brooklyn House at Moriches.
With the passing of the older HALLOCKS and the sale of most of
the land in the village to speculators, with the exception of
the TUTHILLL farm, there came in end to the industrial activity
of Rocky Point. At the height of it's prosperity one could stand
at the crossing of the two principal roads, the one from
Port Jefferson to Wading River and the one leading to the Sound
and see a profession of teams drawing wood from the hillsides
down to the waiting sloops.
With the subsidence of former activity in so many ways, the
village is still a most pleasant place to live in. The church
is well attended and the school has recently made a proud
record which is gratifying alike to the master, Mr. Van LOON
and to the parents in obtaining certificates for nearly all
the pupils who competed. Mrs. Merritt HALLOCK, Mrs. Frank H.
TUTHILL and Miss Isabel TUTHILL, daughter of the late
Sylvester TUTHILL, are active in religion and charitable
interests. Mr. HALLOCK and Mr. TUTHILL are much sought for
advice and are helpful in many kindly ways to their neighbors.
Mr. HALLOCK is a staunch Prohibitionist and derives much
gratification from the facts that the evils of liquor drinking
have been kept away from the community. Although Mr. HALLOCK'S
ancestral estate has been turned into money, he is still the
owner of 1,000 greening apple trees, two of the finest growing
in the historic cemetery.
In this peaceful, sheltered spot near the hilltop, where sleep so
many of a long and locally illustrious line, are some ancient
headstones from which an antiquary could construct much of a
family history. One of the oldest, the chiseled inscription
is still clear;
Oct. 10, 1778
Not many Americans, surely, can, within the boundaries of
their own lands, look upon the resting place of an ancestor
who first saw the light when William of Orange was his sovereign.
Close by is the grave of Bethiah HALLOCK, who died Jan. 19, 1766,
at the age of 66.
As a contrast, the place where loving parents early
paused to weep is marked thus:
Memory of POLLY
Rev. Noah & Mahitable
Apr 2, 1796
AE 1 yr., 6 mos.
Where husband and wife are laid side by side, after, but a
short separation in this world are two headstones, quaintly
carved with weeping willow and urn at the top.
The one reads:
DEAC. PHILLIP HALLOCK
Nov. 1, 1841
In the 74 year of
Beneath this stone I rest my head
In slumbers sweet;
Christ blest abode
Don't weep for me, my pains o'er
We soon shall meet to part no more.
Upon the other are the lines:
IN MEMORY OF
Wife of Deac. Phillip HALLOCK
Feb 13, 1840
Aged 71 years & 3 mo
Behold the tomb, this mournful tomb
My heart chills at the sound
My wife, the partner of my youth
Lies mouldering in the ground.
The tomb of Capt. Heathcut HALLOCK who died in 1842, bears the verses:
But is he Dead; Ah no! he lives
His nobler spirit flies
To worlds of bliss, where Jesus gives
The life that never dies.
Mrs. Betsy HALLOCK is commemorated by the lines:
Dear as thou wert and justly dear
We would not weep for thee;
One thought shall check the starting tear
It is that thou art free.
The tides of the Sound, that once bore in and out a bust commerce,
await the coming of them that do business in greatwaters. The
smiling land that has taken to it's bosom so many of the pioneers
will give generously of it's bounty and it's beauty to the people
who are hereafter to inhabit it. And over all broods the great Rock,
the handiwork of Him to whom a thousand years are but as a
watch in ---light.
End of article.
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE MORICHES AREA
by Van and Mary Field
can be found in Suffolk libraries. There are photos of the
Hallock lumber yard and the Brooklyn Hotel,
both mentioned in the story.
Van Field for informing us of the book mentioned above.
Descendants of Amos HALLOCK
Descendants of Merritt HALLOCK
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