Photographer and Filmmaker Gary Beeber is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Sylvester Manor’. To see Gary’s body of work, click on any image.
When living in Sag Harbor, NY one of my great pleasures was taking the 10 minute ferry ride to Shelter Island, rather sleepy and quaint compared to the glitz and glamour of the Hamptons directly to the South. There I like to explore and document the mysteries of Sylvester Manor.
Sylvester Manor is a little known but very important early-American archaeological site. It was purchased in 1651 by Nathaniel Sylvester and three partners for 1600 pounds of sugar. It was worked by enslaved Africans, indentured or paid Native Americans and European laborers.
Sylvester Manor has been in the Sylvester family for 11 generations and descendants of Nathaniel Sylvester used slaves to work the plantation until early in the 19th century when slavery was abolished in the north. At one time the family owned the entire island, but now the property consists of a little over 200 hundred acres.
The Sylvesters, of Anglo/Dutch heritage owned two large plantations in Barbados where the only thing they grew was sugar cane. To provision the farms in Barbados. The Sylvester family harvested timber, grew vegetables such as yams and raised livestock at Sylvester Manor.
People relate to this series because of Sylvester Manor’s history and mystery. I was drawn to it for those same reasons, and of course it’s sad, dark haunting beauty.
All images and text © Gary Beeber
By Gary Beeber
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