Across Dock Road to the west of the Three Village Inn, along side Stony Brook Harbor, the Hercules Pavilion houses the figurehead and anchor from the U.S.S. Ohio, the first ship launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1820. The figurehead was carved from a single piece of cedar at a cost of $1,500.
Following the ship’s retirement, it was first sold at a military surplus auction for $10 to the Aldrich family of Aquebogue; then to Miles Carpenter, owner of the Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays for $15. Hercules remained at that site for decades. Subsequently the figurehead was acquired by Mr. Melville who deeded it to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
Sharing the Hercules Pavilion is the Polaris whaleboat, thought to be the only surviving artifact from the Charles Hall expedition to the Arctic in 1870. Commander Robert Peary recovered the Polaris during his 1905 Arctic expedition and subsequently placed it with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Some forty years later, naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy who was then a curator at the museum, was instrumental in transferring the Polaris to Ward Melville. It is now a property of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
*Covid-19 update: Hercules Pavilion is open year-round and is outdoors. Please act courteously and practice social distancing and wear masks when near others. Thank you.