About 10 years before Walter T. Shirley would be introduced to all that acerage surrounding the barracks he shared with his future boss, songwriter Irving "White Christmas" Berlin at Camp Upton during WWI, a guy named Frederick J. Quinby, aka Quimby was putting the finishing touches on a land development deal that was almost identical to the one Shirley would carry through some 50 years later. Like the Smadbeck Brothers of the Home Guardian Company, who were still 15 years down the road from appearing just to the east in the Mastic area, Qui_by had enough sense not to name his development after himself. Instead he chose the middle name of the family that sold him 7000 acres of land *. A name that represented stability and tradition and had been known to all in Brookhaven since before the Revolution. And for a short while, Long Island had a new town called Tangier. And what a town it was ....at least on paper. For those who now or formerly resided in Shirley, Long Island the illustration above is the train station that would of sat where yours does now. When Quimby wanted to put it up, there wouldn't of been any protest from the people of Mastic, like there was in Shirley's time because both stations would of remained in service.
Not to steal any of Walter T's thunder because he did get the job done, but everything he did see through, Fred J. Quinby thought of first and on a much grander scale. Perhaps too grand. These pages will try to tell the tale of what went wrong with as much information as I could gather. Had Quimby succeeded, I have got to wonder how it would of effected my life and the lives of the kids I grew up with, that is if any of us would of grown up there? Would there of been a William Floyd School? Quimby was shooting for an entirely different "demographic" than old Walter T Shirley was. Fred was going for the Big Buck$ , land $peculator$ and that might of been his undoing. Or perhaps "development" held an entirely different meaning for him, as the only thing that seemed to develop was his bank account and his name on the court calenders that followed his disappearence.
* Quimby soon picked up another 3000 acres making it one of the largest proposed developments in Long Islands history.
First a little background ...... Smith's Point...it seems everyone wanted a piece of it back then.
At the turn of the 19th century, the last of the Tangier family living ON the Manor Of St. George, were the four unmarried children of Egbert & Annie Tangier Smith; Martha, William, Clarence and Eugenie. The Smiths never claimed to be anything but farmers, but they were really the first family of Long Island real estate and their wealth was in all that land they owned. It should be noted that when brother Clarence G. T. Smith died in 1929, he left an estate over $1,000,000.00 which if that was just his share of the Smith holdings, wasn't exactly fertilizer for the cabbage.
After Egbert died in 1889, wealthy New York City sportsmen, many who spent summers in Bellport (eg. J. P. Knapp) started leasing hunting lands and river rights from the remaining Smith "kids". Several of the super rich like the Havemeyers made offers to buy the land outright, so they could set up their own private gunning clubs permanently. This caused a lot of friction with the locals especially the baymen. The Smith brothers and sisters also started negotiations with commercial Oyster companies to lease the bay bottom that they owned all the way from Bellport to Southampton. The town of Brookhaven also wanted to buy the bay bottom from the Smith's to cash in on the lucrative fishing rights . If the bay legal troubles weren't enough, there was also a "Brooklyn Syndicate" who bought Carmen's River to divert the water to the city. Lots of division came about because of this. It wound up in the courts and also divided the brother Clarence G. T. who was a lawyer, against his brother and sisters. For the first few years of the new century there were many rumours and false reports about the Manor Of St. George being sold.