'Welcome to the site for my historical mysteries. My name is Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves research and digging around in her roots, genealogically speaking. Some of you might know me under my pseudonym, Andrea Matthews, which I use for my historical and paranormal romance novels. You can find out about those books at www.andrea-matthews.com
Right now, let's explore the South Shore of Long Island, 19th century style. Check below for some real history and acknowledgements to those who helped in my research, then check out the rest of the website for contest, sales, and a plethora of interesting tidbits. Just click on the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner. I'll be adding new sections from time to time, so don't forget to stop by often.
Where do I begin? A lot of people helped me with the research for this book, and I would be remiss if I didn't give them a huge thank you.
Babylon Town Historian, Mary Cascone, along with Brookhaven Town Historican, Barbara Russell, and Huntington Town Historian, Antonia Mattheou, gave me the encouragement I needed to follow through on the project. They were all as excited as I was about the book and pointed me toward some great resources, as well as sharing their wealth of knowledge with me. I would never have found the jail if not for Mary's suggestion I search for lockup.
While mentioning those who helped me with my research, I have to give an enormous thank you to Local History Librarian, Gary Lutz, and the Patchogue-Medford Library for all their help, with everything from newspaper articles and where the library was in 1904 to village directories, maps, and photographs. Though my work may be fiction, as a librarian and historian, writing a historical mystery, I wanted to get the time period as accurate as possible, and I couldn't have done it without the help of these wonderful people.
I'm sure I must have forgotten someone. If I did, don't be shy, please remind me, so I can thank you as well. I reached out, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you all so much. I hope I've done you proud, and that you enjoy the story and see it as a tribute to Long Island.
One last note, while there are going to be a lot of murders in the series - after all, it is a murder mystery - I just have to state that there were few murders in the area during the period. So far, I think I've only located three from 1900 to 1908.
While the novel is completely fiction, I did include some actual places and people in very minor, minor roles. Newins Restaurant was owned by Mrs. Emma Newins and located at #27 Ocean Avenue in 1904. Sweezy and Newins Department Store stood on the corner of North Ocean Ave. and West Main St. as recently as 2003, when it was closed, Bailey and Sons Lumber had their Hardware store on on Ocean Ave. and their mill on West Ave. and Division St., with branch yards in Islip and Sayville. until 1939. Murdocks Family Restaurant was located at #8 West Main St. and McBride's Pharmacy was on the corner of North Ocean Ave. and East Main Street, and claimed to have the best soda fountain in all the county. Roe's Hotel was on East Main St. It was open all year round and had electric lighting and steam heat. The lockup, as it was called in 1904, was a two cell brick building located on Havens Ave. and was demolished long ago. A newer lock built behind the Fire House on Lake Street was also demolished in 1964.
Monsignor James Cronin was the pastor at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, which was on East Main Street and Conklin Avenue until it was moved closer to the village around 1907. C. W. Ruland was an undertaker. Though no longer in a home at #75 North Ocean Avenue, nor owned by the Ruland family, the Ruland Funeral Home continues to be operated by the Romero family. Livingston Smith was a District Attorney for Suffolk County, though Sam Tennyson wasn't a coroner. Sam is one of my fictional characters. And Dr. Gustav Scholer was a New York City coroner in 1904.
There's so much history in Patchogue, I can't fit it all in here, but I will try to update with new photos and interesting tidbits from time to time, so keep an eye on the drop down menu.