Historic and Natural Districts Inventory Form

Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form. Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made. Corrections to factual errors, updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or will be clearly indicated as updated material. Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970ā€™s and early 1980ā€™s, much of the information reflects that time period.

Sites with an Inventory Code suffix of ā€œSā€ are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.

Historic and Natural Districts Inventory Form

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not in the original surveys.

Inventory Code:   SH01A 
Prepared Date:   1982-07-14 
Last Modified:   2010-10-08 
Submitter Name:   Town of Brookhaven/SPLIA
Submitter Address:   Town Hall
205 S. Ocean Ave.
Patchogue, NY 11772  
Organization:   Brookhaven Community Development Agency
1-Site Name:   Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge 
2a-County:   Suffolk    2b-Town:   Brookhaven    2c-Village:   Hamlet of Southaven

The Wertheim Refuge is owned byy the Federal government and managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Service. It is comprised of 2400 acres of wooded uplands and wetlands. This includes several miles bordering the Great South Bay, and the Carman River from Montauk Highway south to the Bay. There are four creeks which feed the Carman's River (see map). Approximately 1800 acres were donated by Maurice Wertheim, and other parcels were acquired from private owners. Most recently, approximately twenty-five acres with a house and out-buildings were donated by Mrs. Lucille Wellington upon her death. These are situated on the west side of Carman's River, below Squassux Landing.

Also within the Refuge are the remains of a house built in 1801/1838 (see BH03) and the gunning lodge of Maurice Wertheim (see below)



United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. Compiled in the Office of Realty from surveys by U.S.G.S., and USF&WS.

7-Threats to Area
 By Zoning    By Roads
 By Developers  By Deterioration
 Other None known  
8-Local Attitudes Toward the Area
Great local concern for area, and support for refuge is very high. Very positive.
  Photos and images  
Prepared By:
  Ellen Williams, research assistant
Supplemental Material

The deed from Maurice Wertheim to the Federal government which established the core of the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge was made on 7 June 1947 (Suffolk County Deeds Liber 2714 p. 336). There were 38 separate parcels in this conveyance. Maurice Wertheim and his wife had a "life estate" in the property for and during the remainder of their natural lives. Maurice Wertheim died 27 May 1950; his wife Cecile Berlage died 3 Dec 1974. Therefore, it was not until after 1974 that the Federal government began active and exclusive management of the Refuge.

While it is true that Wertheim acquired the land "piecemeal," many of the pieces had already been assembled for him by the Carman River Corporation. For a brief history of this organization and its principals, see the memorandum prepared by Dr. Richard A. Thomas in the "other documents" section.