Posted on | January 29, 2010 | 2 Comments
The story begins when the Randall family moved to “the Ridge” of eastern Long Island from Stonington, CT in 1738. There they purchased several thousand acres of wild land with fertile soils. From this beginning, the Randall family spread thoughout this area of Long Island. In 1839, Sylvester Gilmore Randall established his home in Miller Place, where he and his wife Fanny Davis started their family and raised four boys. In 1849, he purchased an additional quarter acre of “raw ground” on North Country Road, and in 1850 had a very large two-story home built.
Children of Sylvester and Fanny:
- Sanford, born 1840, was a sea captain and died in Cuba in 1876
- John, born 1841 (more on him later)
- Theron, born 1844, died 1849
- Stephen, born 1849. He apparently was never quite able to go out on his own, so stayed at the home farm under his family’s care and died at a care facility in CT in 1919.
By 1860 Sylvester and young John left Miller Place to go to the gold fields in Placer County, CA. They left New York City for Panama, crossed by land to the Pacific coast and boarded a vessel to sail to San Fransisco. Apparently Sylvester bought and sold many pieces of land before finally settling on a claim in Bath that later proved to be quite successful. According to some family accounts, because of poor health John was unable to work in the mines and so worked as a shopkeeper there for a time. Sylvester and John returned home to Miller Place sometime prior to 1867, but within a short time Sylvester headed west again, alone. According to family legend, it was Sylvester’s wife Fanny’s “sharp tongue” that inspired Sylvester to return to his claim and remain there until his death in 1871.