Tales From the General Store: The Legends of Long Island by Janet Emily Demarest



as Goody Garlick of East Hampton…a witch? Did Captain Kidd actually bury treasure here? Is there truly a curse on Lake Ronkonkoma? What role did a clothesline play in the American Revolution? And why on earth is there a statue of a bull in Smithtown? Much like the vast variety of goods found in a 19th century general store, this collection of entertaining and compelling stories – as told by a master storyteller- features a calico assortment of tales and characters: pirates and patriots, heroes and villains, and, yes, even a ghost or two! This unique book is written not from merely a historical perspective, but with the insight of an author who has worked nearly ten years as a storyteller in a public history museum. Because it is written in the storyteller’s voice, it is just as easy to curl up in a comfy chair to read this book alone as it is to read aloud to the family after dinner. This book tells not only the tales, lore and legends of Long Island’s past, but links the stories in each grouping together with the little bits of pragmatics – the geography, sociology, ecology, environmental science, culture, standards and livelihood of Long Islanders from 1640 through 1899 – that will allow the reader, young or old, history buff or not, to glean a greater understanding of Long Island’s surprisingly ancient history. Ranging across the Island, west to east, South Shore to North Fork, these centuries-old tales reveal Long Island’s unique, colorful (and sometimes exaggerated) past. From the brave men and women of Washington’s spy ring to sagas of lost romance, from astonishing animals to “things that went bump in the night”, these stories reveal an intriguing and often humorous legacy of a Long Island that few today ever knew existed!