East End Trivia Contest raises $1,700 for Jamesport Meeting House

Where was Camp Siegfried located? When did slavery officially end in New York State? Who was Benny Hooper?

These were some of the questions posed to an enthusiastic audience last Thursday during the East End Trivia Contest at the historic Jamesport Meeting House. Most questions were about local and regional history, some not so much, such as: How many stops are there on the Long Island Rail Road?

Answer: 124.

The event drew a large crowd and raised approximately $1,700 in team sponsorships that will go to the meeting house, which was built as a church in 1731 by early settlers and was bought in 2008 by a preservation fund.

For part of the two-hour event it looked as though the team from Peconic Landing in Greenport had all the correct answers, but when the final tally was made, it was the team of James Slezak, Linda Slezak, Jay Schondebare and Paul Hoffman that won the night.

There were plenty of laughter and loud cheers as questions were pulled from a bucket and read to the teams, which wrote their answers on slips of paper. Winning responses drew more cheers and fist pumps.

The first question was: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists eight bays in the Peconic system on nautical charts. Name five of them. Most of the teams had no problem naming the five. The next question was multiple choice: In 1902, what was the population of Riverhead? A: 1000. B: 2,500. C: 4,000, D: 5,500.

Correct answer: B.

A small controversy arose when one question asked which North Fork hamlet is home to the oldest English house. The correct answer — Cutchogue, where the house was built in 1649 — was also the wrong answer. Richard Wines, whose fundraising work saved the meeting house, pointed out that recent tree ring tests on that house showed it was built closer to 1698, technically making the Halsey House in Southampton the oldest English house on Long Island.

Answers to other questions: Benny Hooper became famous when he fell into a well in Manorville; Camp Siegfried was a German-American camp in Yaphank; slavery in New York officially ended in 1827.

These questions were all local: Who owns the trademark to Robins Island Oysters, which were famous and on New York City hotel menus? Answer: George Braun. Where did Long Islanders loyal to the British during the Revolution escape to? Answer: Connecticut. Who was Cutchogue’s most famous son who won a Pulitzer Prize for music composition?

Answer: Douglas Moore.

For Mr. Wines, the night was a great success.

“The East End Trivia Contest was a perfect use for the area’s oldest public building,” he said in an email.

Photo caption: James Slezak (from left), Linda Slezak and Jay Schondebare were the winning team last Thursday at Jamesport Meeting House’s East End Trivia Night. Not pictured: Paul Hoffman. (Courtesy photo)

[email protected]