Mastic Beach held it's first memorial parade and services Sunday morning for Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull, Revolutionary War hero whose body lies in the little old cemetery in Section 1.
There were services at Paul Schulte's Tavern previous to marching. The procession started at the 5 Corners, section 4 at 10:45 AM then proceeded to the cemetery by way of Neighborhood Road, Locust Drive, Aspen Road, and Birch Road (around the west, north and east borders of Knapp's estate) Services were held at the grave the Rev George Fort of Center Moriches in charge.
The parade was led by a police escort comprised of Sargent George Oakley and Officer Milton Smith, followed by the General Nathaniel Woodhull post Drum and Bugle Corps. Commander William Starr of the Moriches American Legion post, the firing squad, Commander William T. Goyer of the Victory Post veterans of Foreign Wars. Commander Charles Mayer of the Nathaniel Woodhull post V.F.W. past commander M. F Healy of Queens county, chairman John Watrous senior vice commander of Queens county, and past commander of Woodhull Post. Mrs L. Mayer president of the ladies auxiliary of General N. Woodhull post. A delegation of sons and daughters of of Gen N Woodhull post, the Moriches American Legion post, Mrs Mary Watrous, Queens county chaplain of the Ladies Auxiliary. Past commanders A. W. Link and George Oakley, the Mastic Beach Fire Department led by Chief Frank Rink and Captain Anthony Bonjovi and the West End Fire Company led by assistant chief Frank Haughan and 50 cars decorated for the occasion.
Honored on Sunday...humbled on Monday...... the fact that this short item appeared in that issue of the paper too has always amused me. The poor General never seemed to get the respect he was due.
MASTIC - The police were called Monday morning by someone who reported the old Woodhull mansion was being robbed of lumber. Officers Oakley and Waldron found a truck being loaded at the place , but learned that the lumber had been bought and would be used for an antique style house in Southampton.
Note: I have recently learned that the individual who tore down the Woodhull mansion, that no one including the D.A.R. seemed to want or recognize for it's historic value was none other than Willie Schluder ...caretaker of Knapp's estate and future custodian of the Mastic Beach Fire House.
Both Departments did a lot more than fight fires.....they fought with each other a whole lot. Frankie Campbell told me a lot of times both would show up at a fire and sparks would fly along with the brooms and Indian canteens! I recall my own experiences in the early '50's of going to meetings with my Mom and Dad both who were members and hearing all sorts of yelling. When that would start Mom would tell us to go down stairs and play on the trucks. She didn't have to say that twice. Willy Schluder was usually downstairs too. This article from 1949 gives a little insight into the political infighting that I hear still goes on, but mainly it supports my theory that Knapp's estate was the reason this little old town needed two departments. They consolidated them in the 1940's. The name West End disappeared , but the main fire house was built in section 4.