Did you know there used to be a house in the middle of Bowden Square? The image above is a detail of the 1902 map showing this little bit of land fully developed.
Who were the occupants of this home? I would love to know but my research proved quasi-fruitless. The names associated with the property on all the available historic maps are Mrs. Sayre (1873), M. C. Hallock (1894), Richard A. Dawson (1902), and Ralph A. Dawson (1916). The Dawsons were from England arriving in the U.S. in 1878. Ralph Dawson was the proprietor of a Hay, Feed & Grain Store (see image of store and home below) which he built circa 1900. “In 1903, he also branched out as a manufacturer of carbonated beverages and has equipped his plant with the latest improved apparatus for the manufacture and bottling of soda, ginger ale, sarsaparilla and the various kinds of mineral waters……Mr. Dawson has been a resident of Southampton for the past 20 years and is one of the best known and reputable business men today in the village…..Since buying the property, he has remodeled the house, built the warehouse and made a lot of improvements to a third building in the rear, so arranging it that his stable is in the basement.” In 1910 Ralph was married to Marion who was 28 years his junior and had 4 children. In 1920 he was married to Celia who was 35 years his junior. Good grief Ralph!
Bowden Square got its name from the Bowden family of course. In 1817 George Stephen Bowden (1792-1843) “came here from England after a tempestuous voyage of one hundred and ten days duration.” He first married Hannah Jagger, with whom he had two children, Edward and Lewis, the former of whom moved to Brooklyn. Lewis, a real estate, insurance agent and notary public – who specialized in renting cottages - married Helen Davidson of Ann Arbor, Michigan. They had two children, daughter Harriet and son Livingston. George Bowden married his second wife, Hannah Ruland in 1830. Livingston E. Bowden was the superintendant, general manager, and treasurer of the Southampton Ice Co., and a wealthy one at that. He married Myra Terry, 35 years his junior. “Mr. Bowden is a director of the new First National Bank and has always been classed among the most active and progressive men of the village.” Myra was Cicero Terry’s grand-daughter, and L. Emory Terry’s daughter, both of whom lived on or near Bowden Square. In 1875, when Livingston was a young boy, he was written about in The South Side Signal for having swallowed a balloon at a Riverhead Fair without consequence.
By 1926, the triangle spit of land and any trace of structures were gone. The little triangle green is now there again, but void of structures.