Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

Photo of the Week


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Librarian

The Road to Flanders, c. 1910. (Image from the Postcard Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives.)

How and when Flanders acquired its present-day name remain a mystery, though it may be that the hamlet adopted the name based on its wetlands and other similarities with the Flanders region of present-day Belgium in Europe. The word "Flanders" is adopted from the Flemish "Vlaanderen," which means "flooded land."

It's believed that Josiah Goodale was the earliest Englishman to permanently settle in the area that would become known as Flanders. Southampton Town records refer to his house at “Aukabog” as early as 1761, and other references indicate that it was likely built prior to 1760. Josiah is credited with clearing much of the land in the hamlet area, and his descendants continue to reside there today. Another early inhabitant was James Fanning II, a Southold native and son of Captain James Fanning, who was a hero of the French Indian War and the first of the Fannings to settle on Long Island. The oldest known surviving house in the hamlet is that of James Benjamin. His homestead, built in circa 1782 and located on Flanders Road, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To read much more about the history of Flanders, see the Flanders Hamlet Heritage Area Report (2014).

The Suffolk County Historical Society is preparing a major exhibit to commemorate the Centennial of World War I. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 1:00 pm, in our Grand Staas Gallery. All are welcome. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served. Curated by Richard F. Welch, Over Here, Over There: Long Island & the Great War will feature artifacts, maps, photographs, weaponry, posters, and more depicting Long Islanders’ experiences during the war...from the front lines to the home front, neutrality to belligerence, and mobilization to victory. We hope you can join us for this special event!


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at wannibell@schs-museum.org.

Interested in seeing more historical photos from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Library perusing our extensive archival photography collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.

To view our Photo of the Week archives, visit our website at www.SuffolkCountyHistoricalSociety.org.

If you've been enjoying our Photo of the Week, please consider becoming a member of SCHS.

From the Civil War to civil rights, revolutions to restorations, spies to Suffragettes, boatbuilders to bootleggers, and whalers to wineries, Long Island's history comes alive at the Suffolk County Historical Society!

The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history. Click here to learn about Member Benefits!


Copyright © 2017 Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved. No part of this electronic document may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Suffolk County Historical Society.