03/17/19 11:00am

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO

They were the poorest of the poor, starving, whole families running for their lives, crossing an ocean, trying to escape a catastrophe that eventually killed more than a million souls. Two million made it out alive to waiting ships, but then many died on the journey to a find a safe harbor.

Overall, they were reviled when they landed as not quite human, described by one observer as “brutal, base … creatures that crawl and eat dirt and poison every community they infest.” (more…)

02/22/19 8:00am

MARTIN BURKE PHOTO

I get up early.

I mean early. Early enough to hear roosters announcing the morning as I unlock the back door of the Reporter’s office, with Orion striding across the black sky above me. Sometimes there’s moonlight so bright you can read by it, and other times I’m cursing in the dark, fumbling to find the right key. (more…)

02/20/19 2:00pm

COURTESY SYLVESTER MANOR
Julia Dyd Havens Johnson, ca. 1884, Manor housekeeper for over 40 years and the last known person to be buried in the Burying Ground.

In 1652, an Englishman named Nathaniel Sylvester sailed with his wife Grizzell from his family’s sugar plantation in Barbados and landed on Shelter Island. He, along with his brother and two other investors, had purchased the Island from an English aristocrat to create an 8,000-acre estate as a “provisioning plantation,” servicing the sugar plantations of the West Indies.

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