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Main Title:
Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Collection

Type of Material: Business records
Personal Name:
Collection ID: Collection 282
Creator: Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road
Extent: 1.35 cubic ft.
Span Dates: 1852-1888

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Title
Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Collection
Collection 282

Description
Financial records, 1852-1888. 
1.35 cubic ft. (ca. 1000 items) 
Organization: Series. 
A toll road that operated 1852-ca. 1888 between Merrick and Jamaica, N.Y. 
Chiefly bills, receipts, and toll gate receipts; together with correspondence, agreements, financial statements, land purchases, maps, notices, orders, petitions, proposals, specifications, stock dividend payment schedules, stockholder proceedings, and a workbook. Many of the bills are for road construction. 

Introduction

The records in this collection are what are believed to be the only remaining business records of the Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road Company, which existed from 1852-ca.1888. The largest series of papers are bills and receipts for construction, labor, and maintenance; also stock related documents, financial and real estate transactions, as well as miscellaneous letters. This company operated under a Board of Directors which consisted of a Director, a Finance Committee and a Treasurer. They were as follows:

Directors: 
1852-1867 John Alsop King 
1867-1888? Abraham B. Hendrickson 
Finance Committee: 
1852-1853 Samuel H. DeMott, Elisha B. Baldwin, Abraham B. Hendrickson 
1853-1857 Abraham B. Hendrickson, Thomas Seaman 
1857-1888?, Julius Auerbeck, Elisha B. Baldwin, Henry Pearsall 

Treasurers: 
1852-1854 James Rider 
1854-1862 Elisha B. Baldwin 
1862-1888? John W. DeMott 

Most of these individuals were the prominent members of their community. John Alsop King, the founding Director, was Governor of New York State from 1857-1859. James Rider was a state senator from 1856-1857, and John W. DeMott was one of the more active lawyers of the area.

Many of the stockholders, salaried gatekeepers (toll collectors) and repairmen were property owners along the road. The initial construction, maintenance and subsequent rebuilding of this road was most of the time also executed by these same individuals. Although this corporation was organized during the zenith of plank road construction in New York State, it operated until 1888, after most other plank road companies went out of business. In 1857 there were 352 plank road companies chartered in New York State, while eleven years later in 1868 there were only seventeen companies in this state.

The effect of the plank road helped to develop both city and farmer. Since travel time was almost cut in half, road surfaces were passable in any weather condition, the farmer became quite independent. The cities, on the other hand, provided a depot for the farmer, where cheaper commercial transportation could take his produce outside the immediate geographic area.

The Merrick and Jamaica Plank Road went from Jamaica (Queens County) easterly for about 13 miles to Merrick (formerly Queens County, now Nassau County) where what is today Route 27A.

References:

Beers, Frederick W. Atlas of Long Island, New York, From Recent and Actual Surveys and Records. N.Y. Beers, 1873. 
Durrenberger, Joseph Austin. Turnpikes. Cos Cob, Conn.: J.E. Edwards, Publisher, 1968. 
Geddes, George. Observations Upon Plank Roads. Syracuse, N.Y., 1850. 
Owen, Robert D. A Brief Practical Treatise on the Construction and Maintenance of Plank Roads. N. Albany, Ind.: Kent and Norman, 1850. 

Related Collection: 

Jamaica & Merrick Plank Road Company. The records in this collection consist of toll gate receipts dated 1866-1967; and receipted bills for repair work, wages, and similar items, all dated 1852-1853 and 1866-1867. There are about 80 documents in this collection. At the Queensborough Library, Jamaica Queens, Location: Doc.Case No.104H. 

Series Description

Series I. 
Financial Records. n.d., 1852-1888. The contents of these containers consists of agreements, bills, drafts, financial statements, land purchases, letters, maps, notices, orders, petitions, proposals, receipts, stock dividend payment schedules, and stockholder proceedings. 

Series II. 
Toll Gate Receipts. n.d., 1854-1881. 

Series Note: Oversize Business Records dating from 1852-1875 that were originally contained within Series I & II have been removed and placed in Box 3, folder # 30. The contents of folder # 30 are: bills, receipts, specifications, stock purchases, and a work log. For a detailed list, please see Box 3, folder # 30.

Rights and Permissions 

Stony Brook University Libraries' consent as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication. 

INVENTORY

Series I - Financial Records

Box 1 

f.1 undated - Agreements 
f.2 undated - Bills and Receipts 
f.3 undated - Financial Statements 
f.4 undated - Land Purchases 
f.5 undated - Letters 
f.6 undated - Maps 
f.7 undated  - Notice - To: Ellis, John 
f.8 undated - Petition - Town of Hempstead, tax waiver 
f.9 undated - Proposals - Construction (also see Oversize) 
f.10 undated - Stock Dividend Payment Schedule 
f.11 1852 - Agreement - Land Purchase w/Ellis, John 
f.12 1852 - Agreement - Town of Hempstead, 30-year lease 
f.13 1852 - Agreement - Town of Jamaica, 30-year lease 
f.14 1852 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize) 
f.15 1852 - Drafts - Miscellaneous 
f.16 1852 - Proposals - Construction 
f.17 1852 - Stock Certificates 
f.18 1853 - Bills and Receipts 
f.19 1853 - Orders - Tickets 
f.20 1853 - Receipts - Toll House Constructions 
f.21 1853 - Stock Transfer 
f.22 1854 - Bills and Receipts 
f.23 1854 - Notice - Resignation of Rider, James, Treasurer 
f.24 1855 - Bills and Receipts 
f.25 1855 - Letters 
f.26 1856 - Bills and Receipts 
f.27 1856 - Loans 
f.28 1857 - Bills and Receipts 
f.29 1858 - Bills and Receipts 
f.30 1858 - Letters 
f.31 1858 - Loans 
f.32 1859 - Bills and Receipts 
f.33 1859 - Letters 
f.34 1859 - Proceedings - Stockholders 
f.35 1860 - Bills and Receipts 
f.36 1861 - Bills and Receipts 
f.37 1862 - Bills and Receipts 

Box 2

f.1 1863 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.2 1864 - Bills and Receipts
f.3 1864 - Receipts - Internal Revenue Service
f.4 1865 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.5 1865 - Letters - County of Queens: Isaac Wright, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.6 1865 - Receipts - Internal Revenue Service
f.7 1866 - Bills and Receipts
f.8 1867 - Bills and Receipts
f.9 1868 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.10 1869 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.11 1869 - Letters - Sage, C.S.
f.12 1870 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.13 1871 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.14 1872 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.15 1872 - Letters - Sage; C.S.
f.16 1873 - Bills and Receipts
f.17 1874 - Bills and Receipts
f.18 1875 - Bills and Receipts (also see Oversize)
f.19 1875 - Petition - to Benjamin W. Downing, District Attorney, County of Queens
f.20 1876 - Bills and Receipts
f.21 1877 - Bills and Receipts
f.22 1878 - Bills and Receipts
f.23 1878 - Letters - Complaint, Smith, B.F.
f.24 1879 - Bills and Receipts
f.25 1879 - Letters - County of Queens: Edward F. Titus, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.26 1880 - Bills and Receipts
f.27 1881 - Bills and Receipts
f.28 1882 - Bills and Receipts
f.29 1882 - Letters - County of Queens: Edward F. Titus, Inspector of Turnpikes and Plank Roads
f.30 1886 - Bills and Receipts
f.31 1887 - Bills and Receipts
f.32 1888 - Bills and Receipts

Series II. Toll Gate Receipts

Box 3


f.1 1854 - December
f.2 1855 - January - October, December
f.3 1856 - January - December
f.4 1857 - January - December
f.5 1858 - January, March - December
f.6 1859 - January - December
f.7 1860 - January - December
f.8 1861 - January - September, November - December
f.9 1862 - January - December
f.10 1863 - January - December
f.11 1864 - January - December (also some labor receipts)
f.12 1865 - January - December
f.13 1866 - January
f.14 1867 - February - December
f.15 1868 - January - December
f.16 1869 - January - December
f.17 1870 - January - December
f.18 1871 - January - December
f.19 1872 - January - December
f.20 1873 - January - December; also January1874
f.21 1874 - February - December; see f.20 for January 1874
f.22 1875 - January - December
f.23 1876 - March
f.24 1877 - January - December
f.25 1878 - January - December
f.26 1879 - January - December
f.27 1880 - January - December
f.28 1881 - January - December; also January 1882
f.29 n.d. - February, May, June, and personnel
f.30 Oversize Folder
- n.d. Specification and Work Log
- 1852 Receipts - Printing; Benjamin H. Willis
- 1852 Stock Purchase - John G. Brown
- 1863 Stock Dividend Payment
- 1865 Bill - Construction: W.H. Jones, July - October
- 1868 Bill - Construction: William E. Smart, March - April
- 1868 Bill - Construction: William E. Smart, July
- 1869 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, August - September
- 1869 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, September - October
- 1870 Bill - Construction: William E. Smith, November 1869 - December 1869, January 1870 - July 1870
- 1871 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, December 1870, January - May
- 1872 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, May - September
- 1875 Bill - Construction: Henry Conklin, September - October


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