Monday, August 26, 2013

Gardiner's Bay and a map of Orient, Long Island

As a rule I reserve the month of August for relaxation with the family, so it was with no expectations that I visited a small New England flea market, only eight or nine dealers set up, and while wandering around spotted the words "Gardiner's Bay" on a framed print hanging from a hook on an old oak coat rack. It turned out to be a lithograph map of Orient, New York, the town at the easternmost tip of Long Island's North Fork.

Click to enlarge

Signed in the plate, H.H. Hale, in the box at the lower right the design was dated 1935, the artist was identified as Herbert H. Hale, Orient, L.I.

Still in its original simple frame, 13-5/8" x 20-5/8", I think it's a very attractive example of tourist maps in similarly delightful styles being made in this period. This one, focusing as it does on the names of the early (17th Century) settlers of the tip of the fork, especially mirrors the interest sparked by the Colonial Revival of a decade earlier. Although printed in the depths of the Depression, people who could were interested in exploring, close to home if necessary, and experiencing the areas within reach. Nowadays the North Fork is the heart of Long Island wine country, but Orient, way out east, is still another country altogether.

It turns out the Southold (NY) Historical Society sells reprints of this map, but in a larger format than this one, which I have every reason to believe is a period print. Elsewhere on the site it is also noted that Herbert Hale was born in 1892 and died in 1968, but thus far I've been unable to learn anything more about the artist.

And yes, I will be set up at Brimfield next month, on Wednesday, September 4th, at Heart-O-the-Mart. Stop by.