WISH I HAD A TINY ISLAND
More About The Life & Times Of William Shepherd Dana
This page has been brewing on my back burner for sometime. It had taken on a second wind and a focus with my accidental discovery of "Dana Island" this past summer. Then I had held up on it, because there was another discovery of some new material about the Dana family that has yet to materialise. I can only hope it still does. Perhaps if I'm a good boy, Santa may bring it yet.
A few weeks ago I asked another historian from a nearby Mastic town if he knew anything about Dana's island. His reply "Why are you so focused on Dana? Most folks around here never heard of him and even fewer remember him". I replied " I'm not focused on anything but the truth and the truth is the name Dana is a big part of Mastic history. I also said that perhaps because W. S. Dana has been gone for 66 years this New Years 2005, most folks only know about Dana Ave. in Mastic, like they do Knapp Road in Mastic Beach.
But if you asked any of the 24 Mastic and Moriches old time family members like Ross or Penney that put food on their table because of the Dana's you might get a different answer. Or those lucky folks who were remembered in his will or given property in the 1950's and '60's from his widow Ella in what is now known as the quite exclusive "Old Mastic." The photo above on this page was taken in August of 2004 from aboard Marty Van Lith's "Manatee". You are in the middle of Forge River and the property you are looking at was once known as "Moss Lots" or the Dana Estate.
Now lets take a look at some of the other things William S. Dana left behind beside his good name.
Ross & Penney and Their Sand Sucker
The Ross & Penney referred to in the 1926 article, are most like Clarence Ross & Clarence Penney. Both men were actively involved with maintenance and contracting on all the area estates.
Clarence Ross worked at both the Floyd & Dana places and was in W. S. Dana's will. Clarence Penney's father Merritt was the superintendant of the Dana Estate in the 19th and early 20th century for William B. Dana. Clarence Penney also worked for Tangier Smiths and the Knapps. They were busy guys changing the face of the area by building docks, golf courses, roads, and dredging.
A sand sucker is a type of dredge. It took 35 Days to build up enough sand to make the island that is still there.
"Wish I Had A Tiny Island"
W.S. Dana was 11 years old and still W.D. Shepherd when this map was made in 1903
HOW IT LOOKED IN 1941
FORGE RIVER NOVEMBER 2004 ...........TALK ABOUT TIMING.....
I woke up this morning with this page in mind and I open my e mail and there were a bunch of photos taken this week by Marty Van Lith as he headed south out of MacArthur. There it is at the green arrow!
WELL NOW......THIS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO PAUSE AND REFLECT FOR A MINUTE...OR THREE MINUTES ....TREAT YOURSELF TO A TUNE FROM MY FIRST & OLDEST FRIEND FROM THE GREAT STATE OF MINNESOTA, MR. LEO KOTTKE. HE IS A WORLD REKNOWNED GUITARIST. HERE HE IS SINGING & PLAYING HIS 1972 CAPITOL RECORDS RECORDING OF "TINY ISLAND" FROM HIS ALBUM
More Stuff On The Danas Coming Soon