If you have visited LongHouse, there's a good chance you traveled along Stephen Hand's Path to reach us. Stephen Hand was an actual person and this week back in 1668 his name, and the road, appear in the Records of the Town of East Hampton. The East Hampton Star printed a wonderful account of the life of Stephen Hand some years ago, pasted here:

"Stephen Hand was about 14 years old when he came to East Hampton with his parents, John Hand and the former Alice Gransden, both of whom were born in the County of Kent, England.

Stephen was born in 1635, likely in Lynn, Mass. His name first appears in town records on an Aug. 1, 1660, sachem deed to lands at Montauk. During his lifetime he also acquired parcels at Two Mile Hollow, Accabonac, Napeague, and East Hollow, in addition to his home lot and other property in Wainscott.

He married Sarah Bancroft Stratton about 1660, and they moved about 10 years later to the head of Stephen's Creek (today known as Duck Creek) on the west side of Georgica Pond in Wainscott. They had eight children.

Stephen Hand's Path, among several roads laid early on, leads from Wainscott to Northwest. On Nov. 3, 1668, its namesake granted the town permission to put a 12-foot-wide highway through his woodland, but "only to drive carts and oxen in yoake & to ride & to lead a horse through; not to drive cattle through out of yoake."

Stephen Hand was clearly held in high regard, serving as town constable in 1674 and again in 1680. In 1683, he was one of four East Hamptoners chosen to join men from Southampton and Southold in selecting representatives for the first Colonial Assembly under Gov. Thomas Dongan. Stephen Hand was named in the Dongan confirmatory patent of Dec. 9, 1686.

After his wife's death in 1684 he is believed to have married her sister, Rebecca Stratton Bushnell. He died on April 15, 1693.

Other reminders in the town of the illustrious Hand family (which included the Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand) are Hand Lane in Amagansett, Hand's Creek in Northwest, and Hand's Creek Road. In England in the Middle Ages, the name meant handy or handsome."

Fascinating isn't it? See the entry below, recorded on November 3, 1668, some 351 years ago...something to think about as you travel along Stephen Hands Path or Hands Creek Road...just don't try to drive "cattle through out of yoake" 😃