5. Place Called Prospect

When Squire Chase returned permanently to Shelter Island in late Summer 1836, he had a mission: his City of Sobrie at the “place called Prospect near Deering’s Harbor,” as all the deeds describe the location. He had already laid out his streets, with the blocks bounded by the streets, 9 rods by 9 rods square, and early in 1836, while still working at Little Gull Island, he had sold some lots. He was busy, indeed, in 1836. (Click on the map to see the place called Prospect.)
    On May 9, 1836, he and Rebecca sold for $216 to Ezekiel E. D. Skinner of Greenport two parcels near Dering’s Harbor. The first was an 81 square rods block, which included lots numbered 41, 42, 43, and 44, bounded on the North by Washington Street, on the East by Eagle Street, and the South by Adams Street, and on the West by Fair Street. The second was a 90 square rods block directly across Washington Street. It was bounded by Washington Street to the South, West by the land of Albert S. Chase (presumably land he had given or sold to his son), North by the high water mark of Greenport Harbor, and East by land of Israel Fanning and Nathan Wiggins.
    On June 29, 1836, he and Rebecca sold to Nathan Tuthill Hallock and Pease M. Case both of Shelter Island and former mariners, for $120 two parcels. One was 81 square rods, lots numbered 37, 38, 39, and 40, bounded North by Washington Street, East by Carbon Street, South by Adams Street, and West by Eagle Street. The second lot was directly across Washington Street but was only half a block, or two lots equalling 45 square rods, bounded South by Washington Street 4 1/2 rods, West by land of Israel Fanning and Nathaniel Wiggins 10 rods, North by high water mark 4 1/2 rods, East by land of Joseph Congdon 10 rods.
    On September 5, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold for $76.50 a 90 square rod lot to Salem G. Prince of Greenport, a carpenter, bounded on the South by Washington Street, West by Cedar Street, North by the high water mark, and East by the land of Albert S. Chase.
    On the same day, they sold to William S. Beebe, also a carpenter in Greenport, for $40.50, lots 31 and 32, 40.5 square rods, bounded North by Adams Street 4.5 rods, East by Eagle Street 9 rods, South by Jefferson Street 4.5 rods, and West by land of Joshua Payne, 9 rods.
    On September 12, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold to Justus E. Horton, also a carpenter in Greenport, for $46.50, lots 21 and 22, 40.5 square rods, bounded North on Jefferson Street 4.5 rods, East by land of Sherbeim A. Beckwith, South on Madison Street 4.5 rods, and West on Cedar Street.
    On October 21, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold to Israel Young of Franklinville (now Mt. Laurel) in Southold for $63 a 31.5 square rod lot bounded 3 rods on Washington Street, West 10.5 rods by land of Harden Ryder, North 3 rods by the high water mark, and East by land of Frederick Chase.
    On October 24, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold to Benjamin W. Young, also of Franklinville, identifed as Yeoman, for $96 a 48 square rod plot, bounded West on Carbon Street 3 rods, North by land of Frederick Chase 16 rods, East by waters of Dering Harbor 3 rods, and South by land of John Wells 16 rods.
    On October 26, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold to J. Hubbard Reeve, farmer of Greenport, for $208 a lot containing 84 square rods, bounded South by the head of High Street and land of Frederick Chase 16 rods, West by the common high water mark of the Ferry 6 rods, “on a due South line from the northwest corner of the within described lot” due North on land of Frederick Chase 12 rods, and East on land of Frederick Chase 6 rods. Clearly, this lot does not fit within the grid. Where is High Street?  Does “the Ferry” suggest the wharf?
    On December 5, 1836, Frederick and Rebecca sold to Joshua Payne, carpenter from Greenport, for $40.50 a 40.5 square rod plot, lots 29 and 30, bounded North on Adams Street 4.5 rods, East by land of William S. Beebe, South on Jefferson Street 4.5 rods, and West by Fair Street.
    While no deeds dated in 1837 were recorded, apparently there were othr transferred before 1838, such as the lot of daughter Rebecca Chase Beebe, noted in the first 1838 deed.
    On January 1, 1838, Frederick and Rebecca sold to their daughter Lydia Caroline Chase Boardman for $40 a 40.5 square rod plot of land. It was bounded North by land of daughter Rebecca Beebe  9 rods, East on Fair Street 4.5 rods, South on Adams Street 9 rods, West on Cedar Street 4.5 rods, being the south half of the block identified on the place called Prospect map as 45, 46, 47, and 48.
    Also, on January 1, 1838, Frederick and Rebecca sold a lot on the Southeast corner of Washington and Cedar streets to Joseph H. Skillman of Shelter Island, a merchant, for $50. He was the husband of their daughter Emeline. It was an estimated 40.5 square rods. It is three rods directly West of the block that contained lots 45, 46, 47, and 48, which suggests that the streets in the place called Prospect were three rods wide, or approximately 50 feet. Duvall states that Joseph Skillman ran a store at the place called Prospect for many years. On October 17, 1839, Skillman and his wife Emeline sold the same lot back to Frederick for $965.
    On May 10, 1838, Frederick and Rebecca sold two lots to Joseph Penny of Greenport for $432.68. The first was a 81 square rods block and was bounded South by Monroe Street, West by Fair Street, North by Madison Street, and East by Eagle Street, the intersection of the highway to the City which was under construction. The second was 51.25 square rods, bounded South on Washington Street 5 rods, West on land of Frederick Chase 10.25 rods, North by the high water mark 5 rods, East by land of Israel Young 10.25 rods.
    On March 27, 1839, the highway commissioners reported that they had laid out the road “from the Village of Prospect to what is called the city and we have consulted with the owners and the occupants of the land through which the said road was required to be laid out [and] have obtained their consent on the following conditions (viz) that they consent there shall be laid out a road through their land provided the town will be to the expense of erecting and keeping in repair three gates (to wit) one in the line between B. B. Wiggins and F. Chase, one between B. B. Wiggins and Esther Sarah Dering and one when the road enters the public highway near the city, this to continue as long as the said town complying with the said requisitions and shall use it as a public highway and no longer and we accordingly have laid out the said road beginning at where the road joins with the south end of Eagle Street in the Village of Prospect at the point where it intersects Monroe Street at the southwest corner of block 5, 6, 7, 8, as per map of said village, and from that point have run due south on the land of Frederick Chase to the line fence between the said Chase and land of B. B. Wiggins fourteen chains and fifty links [0.18 miles] from thence on the land of the said Wiggins to the north cherry tree near by and south of this line that leads to his watering place, from thence as the fence runs by and between his pasture and Creek lot to the line fence between the said Wiggins and Esther Sarah Dering, the first course bearing southwesterly and from said cherry tree to the gate southwesterly the whole distance being twenty-four chains ninety four links [0.31 miles] and from thence through the land of the said Esther Sarah Dering southwesterly to the public highway fourteen chains and twenty one links [about 0.2 miles] the said road as we have laid it out is three rods wide and two hundred and fourteen rods and fifteen links in length all of which is subscribed to be recorded.”
    (To travel the route, turn off West Neck Road (was City Road) north onto New York Avenue, travel over the land of Esther Sarah Dering to the sign which reads “1872 Shelter Island Heights Historic District.” This is the beginning of the land of B. B. Wiggins. At the fire bell, you pass onto the Chase Homestead land. And, you meet the intersection of Eagle and Monroe where Grand Avenue becomes one-way going south.) (To see the map of the gates imposed on the 2003 tax map click on the map.)
    With a village, a store, and a wharf in place, it is obvious why the Town fathers would want to link the City Road with what was called the Shelter Island Wharf by 1837.
    On May 16, 1840, having come upon financial reversal, Joseph H. Skillman, who appeared to have owned a store situated on the lot West of Cedar Street, handed all of his assets, including “one horse and harness, two waggons, one boat, one share in the Shelter Island wharf,” “dwelling house,” “merchandise, sundry articles”,and two lots in the place called Prospect to Brinson B. Wiggins of Shelter Island and Ezekial S. D. Skinner of Southold in receivership. A review of the above deeds, however, suggest that neither lot described in the Indenture, recorded on May 19, 1840 seemed to have belonged to him. The first was the bay side lot acquired by Mr. Skinner in 1836 and the second was the lot Skillman had sold back to Frederick and Rebecca the year before. What was going on? 
    The place called Prospect would become a web of complications for developers when they sought to consolidate the land of Frederick Chase to create another place called The Prospect 30 years later.
    Squire Chase served as Justice of the Peace in 1837 and again in 1856, but he held no other pubic offices in the Town after he returned from Gull Island. It is assumed that he continued to farm.
    On June 30, 1853 he purchased the Wiggins farm directly south of his homestead farm from B. B. Wiggins’ estate, and on May 12, 1856 he purchased the 90 acre Esther Sarah Dering farm, between the Wiggins farm and the City Road.

Lands of Frederick Chase at his Death

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