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The Fordhams, my family in Sag Harbor since the 1700s

Kidsday reporter Cali Wilson, of Pierson Middle School,

Kidsday reporter Cali Wilson, of Pierson Middle School, Sag Harbor, at the sign noting the history of the Long Wharf, which was built by her ancestor Nathan Fordham. Credit: Wilson family

Sag Harbor is one of the oldest villages in New York State, and my family has been here since it was founded by Nathan Fordham in the 1700s. I am the 16th generation of Fordhams in Sag Harbor. My mother, Heidi Fordham Wilson, is the proud child of Eileen and Robert Fordham. The Fordham name can be found all over Sag Harbor which, in the early days, was sometimes called Fordhamville.

Are you wondering what it is like to be from a family that actually settled Sag Harbor? It is kind of crazy because so many things are named after my family. There are historical plaques around town that have my family name on them. For example, the sign for Duke Fordham's Inn from 1745 is at the end of Main Street. Then there is the famous "Crowning of Mercy" painting that was found in someone’s attic. That was painted by Hubbard Latham Fordham in 1869. Also on Main Street there is the Long Wharf, where ships have been docking for centuries. My ancestor Nathan Fordham built the Long Wharf back in 1771.

Sag Harbor is also known for fishing. People enjoy fishing in Ryder’s Pond, Round Pond, Fresh Pond and Otter Pond. But Otter Pond was not always a fishing pond until Nathan Fordham was granted the right to make it a fishing pond. Today people fish there all the time. My mother grew up in a house overlooking Otter Pond, which our ancestor farmed and fished 300 years ago.

Also, if you visit the old cemeteries you will see many markers with the Fordham name. And if you come to Sag Harbor you will see roads named after my family, too.

Sag Harbor is a great place to visit, so come and see what I’m talking about. And look for the Fordham name.

Eileen Caulfield and Tara O'Malley's sixth-grade class, Pierson Middle School, Sag Harbor

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