The history of Trout Pond and Noyac have always been intertwined. Since the first English settlement, Trout Pond has been the economic
center of Noyac. Two native encampments, the English called Weecatucks and Noyacs, inhabited the area. They lived near a stream that
came to be called the Noyac River. This stream arose from the moraine and flowed to the bay barely a mile away.
Noyac and Weecatuck were Algonquin words indicating the place, not people; Noyac meaning “a point of land”, Weecatuck “edge of
woods”. These people were Manhansets, one of the thirteen tribes of Long Island. The Manhanset’s tribal lands were Shelter, Ram,
Gardiner, and Robins Islands.
English settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts, founded Southampton in 1640. They did not spread into the land they called Noyac until 1679.
John Jessup was one of the first land owners in the area. On the first hill of Morton’s Wildlife Refuge (Jessup’s Neck) is a tombstone
bearing the inscription, “Here lies the body of Abigail Jessup….who deceased in November 1724, aged 11 years”. While this is the only
grave visible today, undoubtedly others are nearby. A well from the Jessup house can still be seen not far from the grave.
In 1690 John Parker built the first mill on the Noyac River. For the next 200 years there were mills on the site. The mill dam is still used as
part of the trail system at Trout Pond Park. Many of the local historically prominent family names: Rogers, Budd, Jessup, Osbourn, and
Rugg, to name a few, live on in local place names.
In the 19th century the mill was owned by a Thomas Eldridge. He built a large house for his family of 10 children, its foundation can still be
seen off Rugg’s Path. The family also ran a boarding house to supplement their income. Henry Chadwick, a sports writer from Brooklyn,
and a frequent guest, bought the mill and property from Eldridge in 1875. His daughter married an Eldridge son who continued to operate
October 1st, 2016
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