|9. John E. Searles Starts Buying
By late 1869, the Searles’ had scoped out the issues involved in the desired site, talked to people on the ground, done title searches in Riverhead, the County Seat, figured out what was recorded and what was not but known by tradition, and had plotted their course of action. Between January 1870 and May 1872, the Searles’ purchased at least twenty-four parcels of land.
On January 10, 1870, John E. Searles of New Haven purchased four lots from Margaret A. Webb of Shelter Island for $2,575: 1.) 7/8ths of an acre, bounded by Washington Street, 13 rods, by the lands of Israel Fanning and Nathaniel Wiggins, 12 rods, and North by the Bay, deeded by the Sag Habor Savings Bank to John deWitt, September 1865 and by deWitt to Margaret Webb in July 1866; 2.) a 38 1/4 square rod lot, bounded northerly by the Bay, Easterly by the lands of Margaret A. Webb, Southerly by Washington Street, and Westerly by Cedar Street, this being the same land conveyed by William Ross and his wife to Margaret A. Webb; 3.) a lot bounded North by Washington, East by Eagle, South by Adams, and West by lands of Margaret A. Webb, conveyed by William H. Wells in 1864 to Christiana S. Itatin, possibly lots 41 and 43; and 4.) a lot bounded North by Washington Street, East by land formerly belonging to E. D. Skinner, South by Adams Street, and West by Fair Street, being lots 41 and 42.
On November 25, 1871, John E. Searles of New Haven, purchased from Davis C. Osborn and Josephine his wife for $3,000, 65 acres, beginning at the Beach at the Northwest corner of the land belonging to the late Esther Sarah Dering at the dividing point between such land and the lands of Daniel Wells, thence running Southerly about 1/4 mile along the beach to the City highway, then running East along the highway 1/4 mile to the lands of George Offer, then North about 1/8th mile to the lands of Lorenzo Walters, then to the lands of Daniel Wells, to the place of beginning.
On December 8, 1871 John E. Searles of New Haven purchased from Justus H. Horton and Sophia his wife for $50 the west side of the block bounded by Cedar, Adams, Fair and Jefferson streets, lots numbered 22 and 22.
On December 9, 1871 John E. Searles of New Haven purchased an 81 square rod block for $1,400 from Robert McGeghey and his wife Margaret bounded North by Washington, East by Fair, South by Adams, and West by Cedar.
On the same day Searles purchased from George Offer and Elizabeth his wife the same 18 acres that they had purchased from Albert and Nancy Chase on February 14. This time the price was $1,750. The sale was subject to a mortgage of $950 which Searles agreed to pay.
On December 12, 1871 John E. Searles of New Haven purchased the Homestead, about 50 acres for $7,500 from Rebecca Chase Beebe.
On the same day he purchased from Lydia C. Boardman for $1,900 two plots: the first was bounded North by Jefferson, East by Eagle, South by Madison, and West by Fair, numbering lots 17, 18, 19, and 20; the second was the entire block, bounded North by Adams and East by Fair, South by Jefferson and West by Cedar.
Also on December 12, Searles purchased from Michael McCall and his wife Margaret two lots for $1,300: the first was 81.75 square rods, “bounded from a post or stake on the Southeast corner of said lot marked A, thence 8 rods West on Washington Street to Southwest corner of said lot to a post marked B, thence as a fence now stands and along the lands of the heirs of Frederick Chase deceased 10 1/4 rods, North by the Bay to the common high water mark, thence East 8 rods to the East line of the lands of the heirs of said Frederick Chase, dec’d and thence South 10 1/4 rods to the place of beginning;” the second a lot which he had purchased from Albert and Nancy Chase on January 29, 1871 (and unrecorded) which was bounded North by the high water mark of Peconic Bay 4 1/2 rods, East by lands of said Michael McCall 10 rods, South by Washington Street, 4 1/2 rods, and West by land of Joseph H. Parish, 10 rods.
In addition, on that same day, Searles purchased from Elias W. Payne and Louisa his wife, for $50 the west side of the block bounded by Adams, Fair, Jefferson, and Eagle streets, lots numbered 29 and 30.
On December 13, 1871, Searles purchased from John B. Reeve and Mary Anna his wife, Anne E. Youngs and Sallie E. Reeve, sole heirs of J. H. Reeve late of Greenport for $2,000, an 81 square rod lot, bounded South by High Street, West by the high water mark of Dering Harbor, North and East by land of Frederick Chase, conveyed by deed dated October 26, 1836.
On December 20, 1871, Searles purchased from William S. Beebe for $100 the east half of the block bounded North by Adams, East by Eagle, South by Jefferson, and West by land of Joshua and Elias Payne, being the east half of the square numbered on the map of the Village of Prospect 29, 30, 31. and 32.
Finishing the Job