Hait Long Island Stories

Barbara Scarborough
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I found these articles on line and it was wonderful to see in print the stories as I've heard bits and pieces when I was younger about my grandfather Chester Hait. Now we really know how he got shot in the ear.


Articles From Great-grandmother's Scrapbook
Submitted by BJ Anderson, Alexandria, VA
(researching Smith, Woolley, Benjamin, Hait, who came from CT sometime early 1800's, and Finlayson, who came from Scotland in 1836.)

Even if you don't connect with any names in the articles I hope you enjoy a humerous look at life on Long Island around 1893 and maybe a little later. I don't know the dates of these articles or which LI newspaper they would have been from. Unfortunately great-grandma from Patchogue didn't leave the newspaper's name or dates on the clippings. Myron Hait was born in Patchogue in 1863 and died in 1900. I would assume the articles would be between 1883 (he would have been 20) to 1900. He died at 38 in Kings Park Hospital of "acute mania" whatever that is. Family stories say it was a brain tumor or he was bit by a rabid animal.
"Two boys, Chester Hait and Raymond Gerard, while fishing on Friday afternoon at Swan Lake, narrowly escaped drowning. They had anchored in deep water, a small cranky canoe, requiring only a slight movement to capsize. The canoe overturned and spilled them in the water. Chester Hait could swim and with great presence of mind he caught hold of Gerard the second time he came up, supporting him till help arrived. The rescuing party consisted of Mrs. Benjamin Ackerly, Mrs. Charles Terel and Herbert Woodhull who happened to be near them in a substantial craft. It is time the canoe craze was suppressed, and parents should forbid their sons venturing into these death traps that are so fascinating to boys."


A LAD WITH A TEMPER (news from Patchogue around 1893)

HOWARD DOW FIRES A REVOLVER AT HIS YOUNG CONQUEROR

Patchogue, Jan. 19 - Chester Hait, a nine-year-old lad, was shot and slightly wounded by Howard Dow here Wednesday. Young Dow is eight years old. The boys attend school here. Hait is big for his age, and is the champion "scrapper" of the school. On Tuesday he administered a sound thrashing to young Dow. While he was returning from school the next day, in company with Willie Gordon, Dow rushed upon them, flourishing an axe. "I'll smash your head!" he shouted to Hait.
The two boys sprang upon the angry lad and took the axe away from him. Then Dow ran into a woodshed and came back with a revolver. He pointed the weapon at Hait and Gordon, and both the lads fled. As Hait ran, Dow discharged the pistol. The bullet just grazed Hait's ear. The latter ran to his home where the wound was dressed. Young Dow received a scolding for his share of the fracas. (End of article.)

Chester Hait was my great uncle. Anyone related to his friend Willie Gordon? Will anyone admit to being related to Howard Dow?

Newspaper clipping 1:

"The executive committee of the Lincoln Republican Club met on Thursday evening last and endorsed applicants for the several governmental positions in the vicinity, which plums will be distributed by the incoming Republican administration. W.B. Hedges of East Patchogue was endorsed for deputy internal revenue collector; E. A. Cowles for postmaster at Patchogue; Augustus F. Smith for postmaster at East Patchogue; M.G. Hait for coast inspector and Sidney O. Weeks for surveyor of the port. These candidates will now go before the County Committee for their endorsement. After the meeting the successful candidates treated the committee to an oyster supper at Terry's restaurant."

Newspaper Clipping 2:

"The English barkentine Brazil, Captain McMamara, bound from Jamaica, West Indies, to New York City went ashore about two miles west of the Moriches Life Saving Station, on Saturday last. Coast Inspector Myron G. Hait went to the vessel on Sunday last and was obliged to remain there nearly the whole week. The Brazil was loaded with logwood, and was about 19 years old. She is now breaking up. Mr. Hait stayed with the crew of the Moriches Life Saving Station during his stop...... " (the rest of the article is missing)



Patchogue, 1898

SOME HEAVY CATCHES OF STRIPED BASS REPORTED BY PATCHOGUE

Myron G. Hait and his 15 year old son, Chester made an extraordinary haul of striped bass this week. They caught 1200 fish that weighed from two to four pounds each. The entire catch was taken to the New York market and sold for from eighteen to twenty-eight cents a pound in the market. Mr. Hait, a barber, is an expert bayman. He says he made enough off the haul to build him a house.

Last week David Cocheran, of Blue Point, caught a ton of striped bass which, he says, netted him over $800.

The fishing grounds are alive with boats now on the lookout for bass, but no further large catches have been reported.

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