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DAN'S PAPERS, February 22, 2008 Page 22


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Photo by Diane Hill

times, then settled with a slight list to port nearly broadside to shore. Big seas broke over the deck and the schooner plunged with every wave that swept over her.” Captain Squires ordered his seven crewmembers to dress in layers and drink whiskey to keep warm. He then instructed them to climb up the rigging of the vessel’s three masts. “It was death to stay on deck and be swept away, while it was a more lingering death to go aloft, but we chose the latter,” said Stuvens, according to Wrecks and Rescues on Long Island by the late Van R. Field of Center Moriches. The crewmembers tied themselves to the rigging so they could stay above the icy waves that smashed the deck. Escaping the cold was impossible. Mists from waves froze to ice on the sailors’ clothing and faces, making it difficult for them to even move their mouths. The Life Saving Service wrote that the schooner sat helplessly for 40 hours before survivors could be reached. During that time heroic rescuers from the USLSS station at Lone Hill on Fire Island worked tirelessly to bring the men to safety. Pounded by the merciless winds and bone chilling cold, and suffering from hunger and lack of sleep, the crewmembers of the Louis V. Place were unable to assist in their own rescues. Six of the eight sailors froze to death by the


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time a rescue boat reached them. Four of the dead, including the Captain, had fallen into the sea. Two men hung in the ship’s rigging frozen to death. “We had been hanging for several hours when I saw Captain Squires fall with a rattling sound down the shrouds, and his body was swept out to sea by a big wave,” wrote Stuvens.


Stuvens and Soren Nelson survived the ordeal by crawling into the furled topsail where they were protected from the brittle winds. Nelson died of tetanus in a hospital on Staten Island within a month of being rescued. According to James Squires, 57, of Hampton Bays, Captain Squires was a descendant of Ellis Squires, the first white settler of the Hampton Bays area. James, a seventh generation descendant, said all the Squires of Hampton Bays can be traced back to Ellis Squires, who arrived in the Hampton Bays area 1773. He navigated a whaleboat from Maine with his wife and nine children aboard. “Many of the Squires were adventurous and took on challenges,” said James, who owns a rare book by Tiger Gardiner that traces the lineage of the Squires family of Long Island’s south fork. Clearly, Captain William Squires inherited Ellis’ adventurous spirit. In addition to being the captain of a cargo vessel, he also commanded ships in the West Indies. Did the captain’s spirit guide his body home so his family could lay him to rest in their burial plot in Good Ground Cemetery? If his final journey home was not a paranormal event then it was certainly an unlikely coincidence. Against all odds, Captain William H. Squires found his way home to Hampton Bays where he belonged. The sailor came home from the sea.

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on Nassau Point on the North Fork for decades. He inherited the North Haven property from his Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Orin Anderson five years ago. He believes they paid $200,000 for it in 1950. Concerning the property, Rust said, “If and when I sell it won’t be a distress sale. The taxes are paid up to date.” When asked if he would entertain offers, Rust paused, laughed and said, “Only if I get an offer I can’t refuse. Then I might even throw in my 1990 Mustang convertible.” But as of now it is off the market. Rust doesn’t foresee donating the land to North Haven or selling it below value to the Village. There would be no tax advantage for him and he has no problem paying the taxes. He now admits that perhaps one of the main reasons he put the property up for sale in the first place was because he was angry when the Town and Village officials denied him the permits to bring water and electricity to two of the three homes. But now those projects are all complete as well as the addition of new accommodations above the two-car garage. “I am still trying to figure out where I am going to put everybody,” he said. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Rust worked for three summers in Montauk during his late teens, crewing on the charter boat “Early Bird.” Three years ago he paid another visit to Montauk and couldn’t believe the changes. “Back then there were only two docks

— Gosman’s and The Montauk Yacht Club,” he said. “Now only God knows how many there are.” Rust still thinks back to his days catching tuna as the best years of his life. In fact, he hopes to re-create that experience for his children. He plans to have his 35-foot fishing boat, The Nimbus, brought up from Miami. “I am going to take the grandchildren out 60 to 80 miles and catch yellow fin tuna. I am going to finally have my family together.” When asked if he will put the property on the market again after the summer, he replied, “Who knows?”

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

Dan;s Papers Feb. 22, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...