Did you know that Wyandanch Lane got its name from an Indian? Naturally, as the Indians were here first, there are many Indian names on Long Island and all over the East End. Wyandanch was the chief – or sachem - of the Montauks. The Montauks (Montauk means “uncertain”) were the largest tribe on the eastern end of Long Island, but because of constant attack by the Pequots, a much larger tribe from Rhode Island, Wyandanch befriended the colonists in 1637 to help conquer them.
Once, Wyandanch brought an Indian from the Pequot tribe to the settlers and turned him in for murdering a member of our colony. That man was promptly taken to Hartford to stand trial.
Unfortunately, Wyandanch’s ties to the settlers weakened his reputation among other Indians. Coupled with the selling of all of their land (rather than preserving an area like the Shinnecocks), Wyandanch and the Montauks eventually ceased to exist.
The great Wyandanch died in 1659. Today Wyandanch Lane, here in Southampton is just another fully developed street of houses. Not really a fitting tribute to this friendly ancestral father.
The image above is Stephen 'Talkhouse' Pharaoh, a descendant of Wyandanch.