Early Suffolk Cub Documents:

♦ Jones Rogers Fifteen-Year Lease with Samuel Carman for the “Suffolk Association;”
♦ The Suffolk Club Incorporated Twice—11 Apr 1860, as “Suffolk County Society,” and 27 Mar 1866, as “The Suffolk Club;”
♦ “The Suffolk Club” is Conveyed Property, 19 Apr 1866

The following are notes by Richard A. Thomas on the incorporation and founding of the Suffolk Club, an exclusive fishing and hunting club of the nineteenth century in South Haven, Suffolk County, NY. It is based on an email written 2 July 2011 to members f the Fire Place History Club of Brookhaven and South Haven hamlet.

Lease from Samuel Carman to Jones Rogers and Other Members of the Suffolk Association of the City and County of New York, 01 January 1858
Prepared by Richard A. Thomas, July 02, 2011

For $300 per year, “Jones Rogers and other members of the Suffolk Association of the City and County of New York” got a 15-year lease from Sam Carman (beginning 01 January 1858) with:

The following rights and privileges Viz. The exclusive right of the said party of the first part to the trout fishing in the pond and Stream at South Haven town aforesaid from the Mill dam Northerly to the rail road. [That is, the party of the second part, the Suffolk Association, got the exclusive right of the party of the first part, Samuel Carman, to the trout fishing.] Also as long as the said parties of the second part lease or leases And have the exclusive right of the said pond and stream for trout fishing and the right of any preserving and prosecuting any person or persons taking or claiming the said Trout in the pond or stream. They also have the privilege of trout fishing in any waters south of the Mill dam belonging to the said party of the first part. Also the privilege of turning out increasing preserving hunting and Shooting game without doing unnessary [sic.] damage to the said property On all lands now in possession of the said party of the first part on the same while in the possession of his heirs executors or administrators during the period of the said lease or leases. It being understood that should the said party of the first part his heirs executors or administrators sell any of the above premises except the Pond and Stream the above privilege ceases on the same conveyed 1View original document 2View original document 3View original document.

The lease wasn’t recorded until eight and a half years later. Samuel Carman appeared before David T. Hawkins, Justice of the Peace of Suffolk County on 10 May 1866 and stated that he did indeed sign the lease, then it was recorded on 01 Jun 1866.

Jones Rogers had transferred the lease “for and during the residual of the term thereby granted” to Joseph Grafton of the City of New York (for one dollar) on 29 April 1864.

Joseph Grafton, almost two years later, also for one dollar, transferred the lease to “The Suffolk Club” its successors and assigns on the 19 Apr 1866.

The Suffolk Club Incorporated Twice, 11 Apr 1860, as “Suffolk County Society,”
and 27 Mar 1866, as “The Suffolk Club”

The Suffolk Club had been incorporated by a special act of the New York State Legislature on 11 April 1860 with the name the “Suffolk County Society.” Jones Rogers and Isaac M. Right were two of the five original incorporators. It was incorporated “for a period not exceeding fifty years.”

There were five directors listed in the Act.

In 1865, the New York State legislature passed a new law that made it possible for recreational societies and clubs to incorporate more easily, so it was no longer necessary to have a special act passed by the legislature for each incorporation or renewal of incorporation.

You can read the details here:

Here is the first part of the 1865 law:
CHAP. 368.

AN ACT for the incorporation of societies or clubs for certain social and recreative purposes.

Passed April 11, 1865.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

Certificate to be filed. 1. Any five or more persons of full age, citizens of the United States, a majority of whom shall be also citizens of this state, who shall desire to associate themselves for social, gymnastic, esthetic, musical, yachting, hunting, fishing, batting, or lawful sporting purposes, may make, sign and acknowledge before any officer authorized to take the acknowledgment of deeds in this state, and file in the office of the secretary of state, and also in the office of the clerk of the county in which the office of such society shall be situated, a certificate in writing, in which shall he stated the name or title by which such society shall be known in law, the particular business and object of such society, the number of trustees, directors or managers to manage the same, and the names of the trustees, directors or managers for the first year of its existence ; but such certificate shall not be filed, unless by the written consent and approbation of one of the justices of the supreme court of the district in which the principal office of such company or association shall be located, to be indorsed on such certificate; but nothing in this act contained shall authorize the incorporation of any society or club for any purpose repugnant to any statute of this state or prohibited thereby.

On June 10, 1873, the law was amended to establish the method and filing requirements for increasing the number of trustees to not more than thirteen or diminishing the number to not less than three.

“The Suffolk Club,” although already incorporated elected to re-incorporate under the 1865 Act and to incorporate under a different name, “The Suffolk Club.”

It did so on 27 Mar 1866. This second incorporation is recorded in the Liber “B” of the Certificates of Incorporation of Suffolk County, copied on Friday, 01 Jul 2011 View original document.

The incorporation reveals some new names:

Peter H. Vandervoort
Victor Delannay (or Delaunay), and
J. Gurley Grafton

“The Suffolk Club” is Conveyed Property, 19 Apr 1866

On the same day Joseph Grafton conveyed the lease to “The Suffolk Club,” he also conveyed a large property he owned to “The Suffolk Club.” [The size isn’t stated, but there is enough information in the deed to plot the parcel and compute the acreage.]

The Suffolk Club paid him $16,000 for the property.

I expect the property, or parts of it, had been in the hands of members of The Suffolk Club for a long period, since Isaac M. Wright had already erected a house upon it. The deed below indicates that one acre of the land within the boundary described, on which Isaac M. Wright had erected his house, was not being conveyed to The Suffolk Club by Joseph Grafton.

Isaac Wright may have already owned his one acre. That is, it may have been entirely surrounded by the Grafton property but not a part of it, and the property was excluded for that reason. Or Joseph and Elizabeth Grafton may have conveyed the one acre to Isaac Wright later. I can check that at Riverhead.
Liber 138 Page 427
Joseph Grafton and Elizabeth (Remsen) Grafton, his wife, to “The Suffolk Club”
19 Apr 1866

This Indenture
Made the nineteenth day of April in the year one thousand eight hundred and Sixty Six
Joseph Grafton of the city of New York and Elizabeth his wife
parties of the first part
“The Suffolk Club: an association duly inoperated [sic.] under the act of the Legislature of the State of New York passed April 11th 1865 Entitled an Act for the incorporation of societies or clubs for certain social and recreative purposes” and the amendment thereto passed May 1st 1865
of the second part.

Witnesseth That
the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the
Sum of Sixteen Thousand Dollars
lawful Money of the United States of America to them in hand paid by the said parties of the second part, at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged
have granted , bargained, sold, aliened remised, released, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do grant, bargain sell alien remise, release, convey and confirm
unto the said parties of the second part and to their successors and assigns for ever.

All that certain piece and parcel of land lying and being in the town of Brookhaven in the County of Suffolk and State of New York and bounded and described as follows viz.

Beginning at a point on the Northerly side of the Girrard road running from South Haven to Yaphank station adjoining apiece of land lately belonging to Zophas Tooker deceased at a stone and recently purchased by Samuel Carman:
from thence running North eighty three degrees and thirty Minutes West, Three hundred and eighty feet nine inches
thence north seventy three degrees and forty minutes West one hundred and forty feet,
thence north sixty four degrees and forty minutes West four hundred and seventy one feet and two inches;
thence north sixty-eight degrees and fifty five minutes West two hundred and ninety feet, two inches,
thence north seventy two degrees and thirty minutes west one hundred and sixty feet and nine inches;
thence north fifty degrees five degrees and thirty minutes West One hundred and fifty nine feet two inches,
thence north sixty six degrees West one hundred and seventy-nine feet, ten inches;
thence north nine degrees East, two hundred and twenty four feet,
thence north nineteen degrees and thirty minutes East, one hundred and ninety seven feet seven inches;
Thence north twenty-six degreed and ten minutes East two hundred and ninety nine feet six inches,
thence north nineteen degrees and ten minutes East, six hundred and fifty nine feet six inches;

etc., etc.
thence south six degrees West, five hundred feet to the place of Beginning

Excepting and reserving from said described premises a parcel of said premises containing about one acre, and on which Isaac M Wright has erected an house and outhouses.

Together with all and singular the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining, and the reversion and reversers ions, remainder and remainders, rents issues and profits thereof.

And also all the Estate right, title, interest, dower rights of dower property possession claim and demand whatsoever as well in law as in equity, of the said parties of the first part, of, in, or to the above described premises and every part, o, in or to the above described premises and every part and parcel thereof, with, with the appurtenances.

To Have and To Hold all and singular the above mentioned and described premises, together with the appurtenances unto the said parties of the second part their successors or assigns, for ever