Celebrate Huntington’s 170th birthday with an enjoyable and challenging night of local trivia. This coming Sunday night, join us for a celebration of the Old First Purchase, signed on April 2, 1653. These contests are always educational as well as fun. And, you can win some wonderful prizes from Huntington’s heritage organizations. Hope you can join! Registration link is below.

To register, visit https://cshwhalingmuseum.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/cshwhalingmuseum/eventRegistration.jsp?event=3220&

Generations of the Funnell family lived and worked on what they called Strawberry Hill.  Today their homestead is best known as the home of Main Street Nursery. 

In 1853, Henry Funnell placed a notice in The Long-Islander newspaper announcing that he was moving his candle manufacturing business to a location half way between Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor.  In addition to making candles, he also sold strawberry plants and called his new home Strawberry Hill.

Henry and his wife Mary had immigrated from England in the 1840s.  They had thirteen children.  When they moved to Strawberry Hill, they occupied the George C. Wood property.  The family later acquired land on the north side of West Main Street near what is today the entrance to Huntington Country Club.  George Wood ran a livery stable in Brooklyn, but returned to Huntington after the Civil War.  The widowed Wood later married Henry Funnell’s daughter Anna Maria, who was 25 years younger than he was.

Henry’s son Henry T. Funnell trained as a schoolteacher and taught in Binghamton.  He later became Superintendent of Schools there and also taught at Oswego.  He returned to Huntington shortly after the Civil war to take over his father-in-law’s drug store in Huntington.  He continued to be involved with education as a member of the Huntington Board of Education.

Around 1892, he turned active management of the drug store over to his son Harry and went into the florist and nursery business with his son Archibald.  Their first greenhouses were located north of Main Street behind what is now Rosa’s Pizza.  Henry T. died in 1912.  Archibald continued the business.  In 1927, he opened a florist shop next to the family pharmacy at 306 Main Street in Huntington.  Later he built greenhouses at the family property on West Main Street.  In 1950 he moved the florist shop there as well.  It was located in the small building at 477 West Main Street that is now home to DeLuca Designs.  Archibald continued to operate the business until the early 1950s.

Henry T’s sister Esther lived in the house that is now Main Street Nursery.  The house was built in 1876 for Esther and her husband George W. Barrett, who had been a whaler.  Over the course of 12 years before the Civil War, he shipped out on three whaling voyages.  It is said that he along with five other men formed “the heaviest boat crew ever lowered in pursuit of a whale.”  None of the six weighed less than 225 pounds.  Barrett commanded a steamship for the Navy during the Civil War and later was a captain on coasting vessels.   He spent 50 years on the sea. 

Henry T. Funnell lived in the house next to the entrance to the country club. That house was designated a Huntington Historic landmark in 1993. The next house was owned by Henry T’s brother John George Overton Funnell, who was a carpenter in Brooklyn. On the bottom right is the house of George and Esther Barrett. Photo courtesy of the Huntington Historical Society.

George Barrett died in 1908.  Esther continued to live at the house until her death in 1924.  Their son Frank later sold the house and it changed hands several times.  According to an account written by Henry T.’s granddaughter, the Barrett house eventually ended up in the hands of “an unsavory character,” whom she did not identify. 

That “unsavory character” was Nicholas Radano.

Radano turned the Barrett house into Nick’s Inn, which became the site of various nefarious doings over the years, including selling liquor in violation of Prohibition and operating a disorderly house.  Nick’s Inn attracted many visitors, including the police, who raided the place on several occasions.

In June 1931, Radano was acquitted on a charge of selling liquor in violation of Prohibition laws.  Radano had previously been convicted of “manufacturing alcohol, maintaining a nuisance and possession of a still.”

The month after his acquittal, the Inn was raided, and Radano was taken to Brooklyn to be questioned by the police as a material witness in connection with the murder of gangster Anthony Capato, an associate of Al Capone.  During a search of the house, the police found several guns, two night sticks, and a slot machine.    A revolver found at the Inn was taken to Brooklyn to see if it matched the bullets in the body of the murdered gangster.  Radano paid a $50 fine for possession of the slot machine.  The gun charge was dismissed for lack of evidence.  Apparently, the bullets from the revolver found at Nick’s didn’t match those used in the murder.

Nick’s was raided again in September 1932 and Radano was charged with maintaining a disorderly house, which could mean operating a brothel, and violating New York’s gun law.  Liquor was also found on the premises.  Radano was again charged with maintaining a disorderly house in March 1934.  He pled guilty to that charge and was fined $200 and given a one year suspended sentence.

Nick’s attracted unwanted guests other than the police.  In September 1934, four men entered the Inn shortly after midnight and announced a stick-up.  The thieves took cash from the bar’s patrons as well as the cash register.  Then the thieves led the male patrons to an upstairs bedroom and told them to remove their pants.  They were then tied to the bed.  The thieves escaped before the police could be called.

Later that year, 42-year-old Radano married 28-year-old Dorita Armstrong, who had also been taken to Brooklyn for questioning after the 1931 raid.  It was Radano’s second marriage.  His first wife divorced him in 1932, at which time he was already living with Armstrong on Carley Avenue, around the corner from the Inn.

Married life didn’t mean the end of Radano’s run-ins with the law.  In 1936, the restaurant, now called the New Garden Inn, was raided at 1:00 in the morning.  Radano and a woman named Betty Fritz of Manhattan were arrested.  Radano was charged with violating the Mann Act, which made it a felony to transport a woman over state lines “for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.”  Radano pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail and a fine of $2,000.

Radano was back in Huntington by the beginning of 1939, when he was arrested again.  This time the charge was brought by his wife, who alleged that he struck her in the face with his fist.  A few months later, he ran afoul of the town zoning code by building an addition to a stand on his property without a permit.

In 1947, Dorita applied for permission to construct an addition to the house for use as a restaurant.  Neighbors objected arguing that the non-conforming restaurant use had lapsed during the war.  The application was denied.  The Radanos operated a refreshment or vegetable stand on the property for a few years.

By 1956, Gerry and Addie Raynor acquired the property as well as the Funnell greenhouses.  They operated a successful nursery until they retired in 1974.  As Bertha Funnell wrote, “Trees, nursery stock and flowers once more graced the neighborhood.  Respectability and dignity returned to the Barrett property.  The nursery business has continued under various owners to this day.

The two other Funnell houses remain private residences.

In 2012, I wrote a piece about one of Huntington’s most famous characters—Tom the Swan.  The original article is reposted below. 

At the time, Tom’s whereabouts were unknown.  Originally given to the Huntington Library, he was transferred to the Huntington Historical Society in 1914, where he was apparently on view until as late as 1938.  His current location was unknown.  Until now.

Tom is now at the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association’s office in the Harborfields Library. Last month, a Greenlawn resident asked Deanne Rathke, the executive director of the association, if she knew about Old Tom.  She did.  The gentleman returned the next day with Tom himself.  He explained that he purchased the taxidermied swan some time between 1969 and 1971 at an auction held by the Huntington Historical Society.

Karen Martin, archivist at the Huntington Historical Society then found the minutes of the Society’s April 22, 1969 Board meeting.  The last item of business at that meeting was approving a list of items to be removed from the collection to be sold at an auction on May 24.  The first item on the list was “Swan.”  Unless the historical society had more than one stuffed swan in its collection, this was undoubtedly Tom. Earlier accounts report that out of the water, Tom stood four feet tall. Perhaps he was stretching his neck–the stuffed Tom stands three feet tall.

On May 15, The Long-Islander printed an announcement about a Country Auction to be held at the Kissam House on May 24.  “Among the items to be auctioned off are ruby glass, Empire lamps and sofa, old and new china, a picnic table set, and antiques.”  No mention of a swan!

One of Huntington’s Most Famous Characters

He was described by The New York Times as “one of Huntington’s most famous characters and dearly beloved friends.”[1]  He was “known to every man, woman and child living within a radius of several miles.”[2]  His death in 1906 was mourned by many and plans were soon underway to memorialize him.  His name was Tom.  He was a swan.

The story of Tom the Swan is one of those interesting tidbits of local history that are often forgotten after the last person with a memory of it passes away.  But Tom was so well loved that post cards bearing his image were printed; and these photographic memorials can still be found.  The descendant of one of Tom’s “owners” also remembers being told about Tom and was curious about his current whereabouts, but more on that later.

Tom was originally owned by P.T. Barnum, who had imported a pair of swans presumably for his Happy Family circus exhibit.  The exhibit of various animals living in harmony in the same cage was supposed to inspire humans to live in peace with their fellow man.  Apparently, the animals’ complacency was drug induced.[3]   This Civil War-era exhibit may have been the inspiration for Animal Crackers, which are still sold at circuses.

According to one account, Tom did not follow the script for the Happy Family exhibit.  He became agitated and attacked and killed other animals in the cage. [4] According to another account, one of the pair of swans imported by Barnum soon died and the survivor was given to Dr. John Rhinelander, who had retired to Huntington in the 1830s (his house still stands on Kane Lane in Huntington Bay).[5]  In the second account, there were in fact two pairs of swans.  One of each pair dying shortly after being imported and each of the survivors given to Dr. Rhinelander.

Dr. Rhinelander died before 1864.[6]  If Tom were indeed one of the swans given to Dr. Rhinelander by P.T. Barnum, he would have been at least 43 years old when he died (the story announcing his death conceded that his age was a mystery, but reports that “good authorities state that he was probably between 75 and 100 years of age”).  Swans typically live no more than 20 years, so it is more likely that Tom was the offspring of the pair given to Dr. Rhinelander.

In any event, Tom was well known around Huntington.  He—or his parents—decided that the waters of Huntington Harbor were more inviting than the fresh water ponds on Dr. Rhinelander’s estate.  He and a mate soon built a nest in Thurston’s Cove, the area we now know as Wincoma.  In light of the swans’ preference for that location, Dr. Rhinelander gave the swans to Lewis M. Thurston.  It should be noted that a third account credits Thurston with introducing the swans to Huntington’s waters.[7]

The swans reportedly hatched four to six cygnets each spring, which were sold by Thurston’s sons for as much as $60.  But once the nest was discovered local boys would steal the eggs and the flock dwindled to just the pair.  Tom may have had as many as three mates.  One was reportedly killed on her nest by a dog; another was shot by a group on a steamboat and the third abandoned poor Tom.

By the time Thurston died in 1895, just shy of his 91st birthday, the swans had not been seen since the year before.  It was assumed they had been shot.  But on that day in October 1895, the pair returned to the harbor and resumed their residency in Thurston’s Cove.  Tom’s mate—presumably his third—disappeared soon thereafter.

When Thurston’s property was auctioned off, Tom was purchased by Gustav deKay Townsend.  Although Tom was allowed to remain free, it was thought if he had an owner, his life would not be in danger.  In his old age, Tom did not appreciate the advent of motor boats.  He would fly straight at them flapping his large wings in an attempt to scare them off.

Tom wandered the waters of Long Island alone.  He spent the winter of 1899-1900 in Northport and had been seen as far east as Port Jefferson.  By November 1900, he was back in Huntington Harbor where Warren S. Sammis and Silas Ott made sure to feed him during the cold winter months.

Tom was found dead on the shore of the millpond in February 1906.  The original report did not indicate the cause of death.  Writing nine years later, The New York Times reported that he had been hit by a car.  Whatever the cause of his death, it was immediately suggested that he should be stuffed and placed on display in the library at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building.  Mrs. John Caire was retained to do the work at a cost of $25.  Contributions to defray the expense were accepted at local drug stores.  Within a month $20 had been raised.[8]  Over the summer, the children of the village held a fair on the lawn of Charles N. White’s house on Carver Street.  They raised $5.76.

Two weeks before Christmas, Tom had been stuffed and was on display in a glass case in the library.  Since he stood fully four feet high when out of the water,[9] the library soon found that he took up too much room.  In July 1914, the library gave Tom to the Huntington Historical Society to display in the newly acquired Conklin House Museum.[10]

Even in death Tom remained a popular attraction.  A lengthy New York Times article about visiting Huntington to see sites associated with Nathan Hale thought the trip to Huntington would not complete without a stop to see Tom.[11]

Recently, a descendant of Lewis Thurston wrote to find out whatever happened to Tom.  He remembered his mother telling him about Tom and how he had been stuffed and put on display in the library, but that he had eventually found his way to the basement of either the library or the Conklin House.  He is in neither place today.  The Huntington Historical Society’s accession records do not include a listing for a stuffed swan.  As popular and well loved as he was, over the years his story was forgotten and some time in the last several decades, it was decided that there was no room for a stuffed swan in the Historical Society’s collection.

Today, Tom’s story lives on through the surviving post card images of a magnificent bird.


[1] The New York Times, August 22, 1915.

[2] The Long-Islander, February 9, 1906

[3] The New York Times, September 21, 1924

[4] The Long-Islander, February 16, 1906

[5] The Long-Islander, February 9, 1906

[6] The New York Times obituary for his wife in the March 16, 1864 refers to the late Dr. Rhinelander.

[7] The Long-Islander, November 16, 1900

[8] The Long-Islander, March 9, 1906

[9] The Long-Islander, November 17, 1938

[10] The Long-Islander, April 9, 1964

[11] The New York Times, August 22, 1915.

            On the first anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, the members of the Dix Hills Fire Department dedicated a bell in his memory.  The bell now sits in front of the department’s first firehouse on the east side of Deer Park Road, south of the Expressway.  The bell was a gift from the Brothers of St. Francis, who had recently relocated from Dix Hills to Oyster Bay, and who were active in the fire department since shortly after its creation in 1947.

            The Brothers of St. Francis were teachers.  Locally, they taught at St. Anthony’s High School in the San Remo section of Smithtown (from 1933 to 1984 when the school moved to the former Holy Family Diocesan high school in South Huntington) and operated Camp Alvernia in Centerport.  To accommodate a growing number of young men entering the order, the Franciscans opened the St. Francis Novitiate on November 21, 1949 on a 30-acre property on the southeast side of Straight Path about a third of a mile from Deer Park Road.  The property had been left by Mrs. Elizabeth A. Collins to the Diocese of Brooklyn when she died.  The Brothers converted the house for school use and built several additional structures, doing all the work themselves except plumbing and heating.  The Brothers also grew vegetables and raised poultry and pigs on the property.

            When volunteers from the newly formed fire department began building their first firehouse on Deer Park Road, the Brothers stored one of the department’s trucks in their garage.  The Brothers provided a more lasting service to the fire department as dispatchers.  Originally, calls to the fire department were routed to the fire chief’s house.  The chief’s wife would then initiate a call tree by calling the homes of other firefighters alerting them to the emergency.  The calls would be relayed from one volunteer’s house to the next. This was not an ideal system, especially if no one was home to answer the call.  What was needed was a telephone that would be answered at all hours.  Since the Brothers were always on campus, they would always be available to answer the call. 

            When a call came into the Novitiate, the brother answering the call would note the type of fire and its location and then activate the siren at the firehouse.  The first volunteer to arrive at the fire house would get the information about the fire from the Novitiate and write the information on the blackboard for the firemen who came later.  The Brothers provided the service free of charge throughout the 1950s.  Their role was unknown to most residents of the community.

            Brother Bernard, who was in charge of the Novitiate, often gave the invocation at fire department dinners and was made an honorary member of the department.

            The close association between the Brothers and the fire department came to end after the Brothers purchased a 24-acre property in Upper Brookville in 1961.  The new site offered more room to house the increasing enrollment at the Novitiate.  Before the Brothers left, the fire department invited the community to a full dress review at the Novitiate on July 4, 1961.

            The property on Straight Path was subdivided in 1963.  Over a hundred houses now sit on Longworth Avenue, Ascot Court, Kent Place, Hastings Street, and Wentworth Drive.  No trace of the area’s former use as a training site for young Franciscans can be found.

            After they left, the Brothers had one more contribution to make to the fire department.  On November 22, 1964, the fire department dedicated a one-ton bell donated by the Brothers in memory of the assassinated president.  The bell, which was cast in 1872, is proudly displayed in front of the firehouse.

A more complete account of the early history of the Dix Hills Fire Department by ex-Chief Perry D. Hatch can be found here.

In 1956, archeologists from Fordham University conducted digs at 187 Park Avenue where several Indian artifacts were found leading the archeologists to conclude that the property was the site of a Matinecock village.  The Town Historian at the time speculated that this may have been the place where the First Purchase was signed.  But there was no evidence to support that claim.

The house at 187 Park Avenue is said to have been built around 1740.  Some accounts assert it was built as a wedding gift for Amelia Lloyd, but she wasn’t born until 1760.  It is unclear what support there is for the 1740 construction date.  The first deed for the property is dated 1811 when Amelia Lloyd sold the eight-acre property to Mary Long.

Amelia Lloyd married John Lloyd II in April 1783.  John was 39, Amelia was a month shy of her 23rdbirthday.  John had grown up on Lloyd Neck; Amelia in Danbury, CT.  In September 1783, five months after their wedding, John wrote from Stamford to Amelia in Danbury.  He advised of his plans to visit Long Island before “returning to the arms of my Amelia.”  He said their separation must be “born with patience especially as it is to prepare a residence for the enjoyment of our mutual affections and esteem.”  It has been supposed he was referring to the house on Park Avenue.  However, it seems more likely that he was referring to the Manor House on Lloyd’s Neck, which he had inherited from his uncle, Joseph Lloyd.  John Lloyd II died in 1792.  Amelia may have purchased the Park Avenue house after his death.  Indeed, a letter to her dated 1794 is addressed to her at the Manor of Queens Village, i.e. Lloyd’s Neck.  A year later she received a letter addressed to her at Huntington, NY.

John, who had supported Independence, inherited much of the land on Lloyd Neck from his father and uncle, Joseph.  That inheritance included Jupiter Hammon, the first published writer of African descent in the country, who had been enslaved by the Lloyd family since his birth in 1711.  

As noted above, Amelia sold the Park Avenue property to Mary Long in 1811.  She died seven years later in Danbury.  The eight-acre parcel more or less ran from Park Avenue to the creek and from Creek Road south to Mill Lane.

Mary Long was the wife of cabinet maker Richard Long, who died in 1818.  Mary Long sold the eight-acre parcel to William Coburn, who was also a cabinet maker.  Coburn was one of the earliest members of the Methodist Church in Huntington.  When a church was built in 1829 on Main Street, Methodists who lived near the harbor and didn’t wish to travel to the village for services, worshiped in the loft of Coburn’s cabinet shop, which was reportedly in the eastern most room of the house. 

In 1833, Coburn sold the property to Elbert Walters, who was yet another cabinet maker.  Walters was also one of the founders of the Huntington Mutual Fire Insurance Company and served as Overseer of the Poor and Town Trustee as well as school district trustee.  In 1838, he raised a company of light infantry and was granted a Captain’s commission by the Governor, later promoted to Major.  In addition to his wife and six children, two apprentices and two Black servants (one of whom was an 11-year-old girl) lived in the house.

Waters also acquired land on the west side of the Creek.  From that property he sold small lots to Nelson Smith and Peter Crippen in 1854 and 1864 respectively.  Smith and Crippen were founders of Bethel A.M.E. Church

According to William A. Rushmore, who lived in the house for almost 90 years, the original house is the four-bay east section.  A small addition to the west proved too small and was replaced by the current west wing in the 1860s or 70s.  The original west wing was moved to Creek Road where it was used by a Black family.  This may have been used by one of the three Black families listed on the 1870 census on Creek Road–Peter Crippen, Nelson Smith and George Smith.

In 1865, Walters moved his shop to Wall Street and sold the Park Avenue property to Daniel K. Youngs of Oyster Bay.  Youngs was a descendant of an old Long Island family–his ancestor hosted George Washington during the president’s 1790 tour of Long Island.  Youngs was an expert agriculturalist.  He was one of the founders of the Queens County Agricultural Society.  In 1875, The Long-Islander pointed to Youngs’ gardens on Park Avenue as an example of the value of a good kitchen garden.  According to his obituary in The Long-Islander, Youngs “was a thoroughly practical market gardener and his fields of onions, rhubarb and asparagus opened the eyes of many of the farmers in this vicinity of the possibilities and profits of market gardening.”

Youngs’ father died in 1874 and he seems to have then moved back to Oyster Bay.  In 1877, Captain Meade, Commandant of the Marine barracks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, leased the premises.  Charles Kohlman leased the barn and gardens.

Youngs sold the house to William H. Rushmore on March 1, 1884 for $3,000 (Suffolk County Deed Liber 280, page 505).  Thirty days later Rushmore sold the property to his cousin Rebecca J. Sutton for the same price (Suffolk County Deed Liber 280, page 507). 

The cousins moved to Huntington from Brooklyn in 1880 following the death of Rushmore’s wife and Sutton’s husband.  In the 1880 census, Rushmore and his two sons, William A. (age 12) and Henry (age 10) and Rebecca Sutton and her three children (ages 8 to 16) are listed as boarders in the household of Rebecca Sutton’s mother, Cornelia Sands.  

Rushmore was in the brick business and later a stock broker.  His son, William A. Rushmore, recalled an incident in 1888 when his father needed an operation for acute appendicitis.  William, Sr.’s brother, who was a well-known surgeon in Brooklyn, performed in operation in the living room of the Lloyd House.  William, Jr. reported that the doctors in Huntington were eager to watch the operation.  William, Sr. died in 1918.

William A. continued to live in the house.  He was born in 1867.  He started work at the City Savings Bank in 1903 and stayed there until he retired in 1932 after he had a slight heart attack.  As early 1899, William A. Rushmore was playing violin with the Huntington Orchestral Society.  By 1907 he was hosting meetings of the Chess Club at his house. He joined the Huntington Yacht Club in 1925.

When a sewer plant was proposed for Huntington in 1914, he objected to the proposed location on Creek Road.  In 1932 he was appointed to a committee to investigate problems at the sewer plant and possible expansion of the sewer district to include Halesite.

William A. didn’t acquire title to the house until 1947.  Two years later he sold it to his cousin Marian Statesir Smith.

After President Kennedy was shot, William flew in front of his house an American flag with a black border that his grandmother had added when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

Rushmore with the Blac- Banded Flag

William A. died in 1968.  The house was sold in 1973 to attorney Jordan Iserman, who converted it to office use.  The Daniel Gale Real Estate Agency moved its offices there in November 1973.  Kent Gale purchased the property less than a decade later.  Although the Daniel Gale agency moved its offices to 263 Main Street in the summer of 2022, the Gale family continues to own the Amelia Lloyd House.

he House in 1973

Two hundred and forty-six years ago, the Huntington Liberty flag was proudly carried into battle by members of the Huntington Militia.  The Liberty flag, which is now the official flag of the Town of Huntington, was created just a month earlier when Huntingtonians first received news that the Continental Congress had adopted the Declaration of Independence.  The Huntington Militia as part of the First Regiment of the Suffolk County Militia marched to Brooklyn to fight to make the words of declaration real.  Although the Battle of Long Island was a defeat for the Americans, many militia members continued the fight.

Today members of the Huntington Militia commemorated the battle with a wreath laying ceremony at the Sons of the American Revolution memorial in front of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building.

The Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia was formed in 1653 by the Town of Huntington to provide an effective defense against the hostile Dutch settlements of New Netherlands.  The militia held regular, public training exercises on the Town Common. Huntington was made part of the Colony of New York in 1664 and the Huntington Militia became part of the New York Provincial forces in 1666.  Over the years, trained volunteers from Huntington served honorably in the French and Indian Wars. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Huntington Militia formed the nucleus of the first Suffolk County Regiment of Militia and raised several companies, which later fought in the Battles of Long Island, Harlem Heights and White Plains.

After the Battle of White Plains, the Militia as a unit did not follow the Continental Army into New Jersey, however some militiamen as individuals enlisted in various mainland regiments. The unit then dispersed. The militiamen not returning to Huntington formed a shadow organization of guerrilla fighters in Connecticut to raid occupied Long Island.

The militiamen who returned to their homes in Huntington during the British Occupation (1776-1783) were pressed into a forced labor company. When the Revolutionary War ended, Huntington reestablished the Militia. The Huntington Militia continued to be active under the New Republic and was called out for active service during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. In modern times, however, it was eclipsed as a military force by the National Guard System. Thereafter, it continued only as a social group whose members marched in annual parades until the 1920s.

The Huntington Militia was reactivated by The Town of Huntington in 1974, to serve in a ceremonial capacity as its official Colonial Guard and to continue as a permanent, living link with our proud heritage. The militia became a Revolutionary War reenacting unit in 1976 and continues to this day to preserve its heritage and recreate life as it was on Long Island in Colonial America. 

As we look forward to the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, it is important that we commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by our forebearers.  

Starting in the 1960s, as rail lines were being abandoned, efforts were made to convert those lines into hiking and biking paths. The movement has grown over the decades thanks to federal legislation enacted in 1983. Today, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy reports there are over 2,000 rail trails, covering over 24,000 miles in the United States. But that total does not include two former rail rights of way that are now trails in (or near) the Town of Huntington.

The first of these trails is not actually in the Town of Huntington. It is just over the County line in the Town of Oyster Bay. And trains never rolled down tracks there. That right of way traces its origin to the 1850s. If things had gone according to plan, Cold Spring Harbor would have its own train station.  As it is, the station called “Cold Spring Harbor” is actually in West Hills.

When originally built in the 1840s, the Long Island Rail Road provided a link between Brooklyn and Boston.  Trains would leave Brooklyn every day, except Sunday, and about four hours later arrive in Greenport on the North Fork where passengers and freight would transfer to steamboats to take them to Connecticut to continue their journey to Boston by train.

This arrangement bypassed the villages along the north shore.  It soon became apparent that the rail road’s financial success depended on providing service to those towns.   In 1853, at the height of Cold Spring Harbor’s whaling activities and under the leadership of the Jones family, the Hicksville and Cold Spring Branch Railroad was incorporated to provide train service to our village.  The separately owned line would be leased to the Long Island Rail Road.  The new branch line reached Syosset the following year.  

Before the Civil War, a right of way was cleared and graded along the west side of the valley south of St. John’s church.  Grading was completed as far south as Stillwell Lane when the outbreak of war interrupted the work.  

After the war, The Long Island Rail Road decided to extend the line to Huntington.  Disputes over the purchase price for land in Huntington led the Rail Road to locate the line a mile and a half south of Huntington—and also Cold Spring Harbor.

The “Cold Spring Harbor” station was originally west of Avery Road in Woodbury; in 1903 it was moved to its current location.

While no trains run to the head of the harbor, hikers can walk the right of way that was cleared almost 170 years ago.  The Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail, which starts next to the Cold Spring Harbor Library, crosses over Harbor Road about 1500 yards south of Lawrence Hill Road.  After running along the stream, the trail leads uphill to the unused rail road right of way.  Hikers walk through a narrow ravine dug out through the hillside and then over a narrow plateau created with the dug-out dirt.  The quiet beauty of the valley is never interrupted by the sound of a rumbling train.

The second rail trail did see active train use. When the Long Island Rail Road by-passed Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington villages in 1867, it also by passed Centerport. Like Huntington Station, the Centerport station was located well south of its namesake hamlet. Both stations grew to become independent and vibrant communities–Huntington Station and Greenlawn.

Further east, the rail line terminated at the intersection of Route 25A and Church Street, a mile from Northport’s Main Street, which is closer than the stations for Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington, and Greenlawn are from their respective downtowns. When the railroad was extended further east to Port Jefferson, a second Northport station was built at Larkfield Road in 1873 The line to the old Northport station became a spur. Passengers used both stations until 1899 when passenger service on the spur was discontinued. The spur continued to be used for freight until 1978. The rails were dismantled in 1985.

The abandoned line remained unused until the Town of Huntington entered into a ten year license agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2008. In 2017, that agreement was extended on a month to month basis.

The Northport Rail Trail runs 0.65 miles from Laurel Hill Road to a point on the west side of Elwood Road 250 yards south of Route 25A. The old rail line east of Elwood Road is now a car wash with a very long driveway.

It is not surprising that one can stumble across pieces of Huntington history in any number of places throughout town.  But in Nashville, Tennessee?  A friend recently visited Belle Meade Plantation there and found a carriage made right here on Wall Street in Huntington village in 1884. 

The park drag or private coach, also known as a Tally Ho was the work of one of Huntington’s many nineteenth century carriage manufacturers.  William T. Downs, who had displayed a knack for building things as a school boy, learned carriage making at his uncle Frederick G. Sammis’ factory on Green Street.  During his apprenticeship, he developed the ability to build any type of carriage.  After a brief stint in Western New York, Downs returned to Huntington and opened his own carriage manufacturing business.  He soon developed a reputation for excellent workmanship. 

His success led to the need for a larger factory, which he built on the east side of Wall Street, half a block north of Main Street.  When the factory was completed in the Spring of 1884, he was also in the process of securing a contract to manufacture a large number of cabs for the New York Cab Company.  Unfortunately, at the same time, he became seriously ill and was not able to finalize the contract.

However, in August 1884, he was well enough to witness the delivery of his masterpiece—a Tally Ho for Francis T. Underhill of Oyster Bay (see postscript below).  A Tally Ho, also known as a Park Drag, was the conveyance for the wealthy set.  Coaching was a popular sport in England developed as a social and leisure activity based on the mail runs of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Apparently, the English aristocracy thought the mail carriers were having a lot of fun running their mail coaches through the countryside.  Of course, the aristocrats’ carriages were more luxurious than the mail carriages on which they were based.  Eager to emulate their English cousins, the American upper class took up coaching in the post-Civil War period.

A Tally Ho could seat up to ten passengers, who would sit on the outside of the carriage.  The carriage provided space to store equipment as well as food and drinks for picnics.  The high seats also provided a good viewing platform to watch horse races.  In New York City, an annual parade of these coaches down Fifth Avenue served to close the New York social season.

Underhill took delivery of his carriage on a summer Thursday morning accompanied by a party of eight.  A large number of residents gathered on Main Street to witness the state-of-the-art carriage led by four horses.  After showing off his new carriage in the village, Underhill and his party rode to Comac where two additional horses from the Carll Burr stables were added.  From there, they rode to Port Jefferson and then on to Bridgeport by ferry.  Their final destination was the White Mountains.

Three months later, Downs was dead at the age of 35.

The fate of the Underhill coach is uncertain, but it is unlikely that Downs had the chance to produce more than one Tally Ho.  The coach at display in the carriage house at Belle Meade Plantation was acquired by Edmund E. Richardson in 1888. It was used until 1896.  It was then stored in Mrs. Richardson’s carriage house at her St. Charles Avenue house in New Orleans. The donor purchased the coach in 1937. In 1966, it was donated to Belle Meade.

Downs’ Wall Street carriage factory continued in business under different ownership.  In 1905, it was purchased by Joseph Cantrell who developed his wood sided auto body to be placed on an automobile chassis.  Cantrell’s Deport Wagon was the forerunner of the suburban staple, the station wagon.

A 1949 Cantrell Station Wagon

Postscript: After this piece was posted, I received a comment from Steve Russell Boerner, archivist for the Underhill Society of America. It turns out The Long-Islander had the wrong name for the purchaser of the coach. It was purchased by 21-year-old Francis T. Underhill, not Frank A. Underhill as reported in the newspaper (no such name appears in the Underhill genealogy records).

Francis T. Underhill was a wealthy young man who was an avid horseman and yachtsman (he competed in the America’s Cup races). In 1896, he published Driving for Pleasure, or, The Harness Stable and its Appointments. Underhill, who served in the Spanish American War, was also an architect. He purchased a ranch in California and split his time between the coasts until 1900 when he moved to California permanently.

It turns out that carriage maker William T. Downs’ wife was an Underhill, perhaps explaining how he secured the order for Underhill’s park drag.

Published 1896

On a wet and cold Saturday afternoon in May 2022, the Long Island Chapter, National Society Colonial Dames, XVII Century recognized the Powell Cemetery where Thomas Powell, the founder of Bethpage, may have been interred three hundred years ago.

Powell was entrusted with delicate negotiations on behalf of the Town of Huntington with both the native population and the new governor of New York at a time of change for the young town.  Yet, almost immediately after completing that work, he left Huntington. 

Powell, whose father’s name was also Thomas, is thought to have been born in New Haven in 1641.  His father was part of the group of Puritans that travelled with the Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton first to Massachusetts, then to Connecticut where they established the colony of New Haven.  Thomas, the son, may have been born in New Haven shortly after the colony was established in 1638.

Thomas Powell, Jr. apparently came to Huntington as an apprentice.  Previous writings contend that he was apprenticed to Jonas Wood of Halifax.  However, the existing records seem, to me at least, to point to Thomas Mathews as his master.  In his annotations to the Huntington Town Records, Charles R. Street writes that “it appears by the Court records that he [Powell] had, when younger, lived with Jonas Wood nine years.” (HTR Vol. I, page 56 footnote).

The court records to which Street referred seems to be a 1662 lawsuit between Thomas Mathews and Joanna Wood, widow of Jonas Wood to collect a debt of £54 2s 2d.  The case involved a dispute about rum and wine.  Mathews, Wood, and Edward Higbee were involved in the rum and wine trade.  In an earlier deposition, Mark Megs testified that he had helped Mathews load rum and wine onto a boat.  Megs testified that he understood that Wood and Higbee had purchased the rum and wine from Mathews and that there was no partnership among the three men, that is Wood, Higbee and Mathews.  The truth of the matter is not important for our purposes.  It only goes to show that the existence or non-existence of a partnership among the three men was in question.  (HTR Vol. I, page 13). 

In the 1662 case, Powell testified that the writing in his master’s book was read to Wood or Higbee or both at Daniel Whitehead’s house in Oyster Bay and one of them (Wood or Higbee) agreed that the record was accurate.  He further testified that he had lived with his master for nine years and that his master’s records had never been questioned.  Mathews then testified that the entry in his book was a true entry and that the wines there mentioned were delivered on board a boat on account of “Edward higbe Jonas wood and him selff.” (HTR Vol. I, page 42). 

Street seems to have been confused by a line (underlined below) in the records which lacks punctuation and also seems to be missing the word “of.” 

Thomas powell deposed sayth, yt the writings yts in his masters books was redd to good higbe or good wood one or boeth of them he cannot tell which : viz : that particular accountes his master good wood and good higbe : touching the 6 pipes of wine and the pipe of rum. [a pipe is approximately 108 gallons]

Street appears to read “his master good wood and good higbe” as identifying wood as Powell’s master.  However, in light of Mathews’ testimony that that liquor was delivered “upon account for Edward higbe[,] Jonas wood[,] and him selff” that line should be understood to mean that Powell’s master read the particular account of three men: Powell’s master, Wood, and Higbee.  In other words, the word “master” must refer to Mathews, not Wood.

Further support for the supposition that Powell was indentured to Mathews, not Wood, is a transaction in 1665 in which Powell sold land as an agent for Mathews (HTR Vol. I, page 64).  Powell also acted as an agent for Mathews for a land transaction in Oyster Bay in 1669 (OBTR Vol. I, page 56).  If he had once worked and lived with Mathews, it would make sense that Mathews would appoint him to act on his behalf.  Mathews would have been less likely to do so if Powell had worked for his adversary in the earlier court case.

In 1663, Powell purchased a home lot on Park Avenue near the Town Common.  This is now the property on which the Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House sits at 434 Park Avenue.  (HTR Vol. I, page 56).  Incidentally, Powell was also the recorder at the time.  He eventually owned several other parcels of land on both the north shore and south shore of Huntington (HTR Vol. I, page 128), including as part owner of one of the Ten Farms laid out in 1672 to counter claims to the Eastern Purchase asserted by Smithtown (HTR Vol. I, page 188).

Powell married Abigail Wood, daughter of Jonas Wood of Halifax, in 1664.  They had eight children.  Abigail died in 1688.  Powell’s second wife was Elizabeth Phillips, and they had seven children.  Over the years, Powell was entrusted with several public offices, such as layer out of land, overseer, and recorder.   

Powell may have converted to Quakerism in 1672 when George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, visited Long Island.  There had been Friends in Oyster Bay prior to Fox’s visit.  In fact, Fox timed his arrival to be at Oyster Bay for the half year meeting, which lasted four days.  After the meeting Fox stayed on Long Island for a few days and “had meetings in several parts thereof.”  (George Fox’s Journal, Abridged by Percy Livingston Parker, Isbister and Company, London, 1903, page 433).  Fox returned to Oyster Bay after a visit to Rhode Island and “had a very large meeting

Prior to this time, Powell had been chosen in 1667 to serve as Constable (HTR Vol. I, page 110).  But when selected to serve as Constable fifteen years later he refused to serve “having scruples of swearing as the law directs” (HTR Vol. I, page 334).  He also refused to take the oath required by law when he was chosen to serve as Commissioner in 1684 (HTR Vol. I, page 390).

Likewise, Powell refused to pay the minister’s rate.  Huntington’s first minister, William Leverich, left town around 1670.  Eliphalet Jones then occasionally preached in Huntington until 1676 when he became Huntington’s second resident minister.  In addition to being given 20 acres of land, Jones received a stipend from the Town paid by the residents—except for Thomas Powell, whose refusal to pay the minister’s rate from 1676 through 1681 was noted in the Town records. (HTR Vol. I, page 308).  As a Quaker, he did not wish to support the Congregationalist minister.

Despite his refusal to pay his share for support of the minister, Powell was called upon to represent Huntington’s interests before the new Royal Governor.

When Thomas Dongan, the new governor of New York, requested that the Town surrender the patent issued in 1666 and be given a new one—at a higher quit-rent, Powell was appointed to handle the negotiations.  Dongan had been appointed governor by the Duke of York in September 1682.  In March 1686, the new governor notified the towns on Long Island that he would auction to the highest bidder their excess lands, i.e., lands granted to them under their colonial patents, but not yet purchased from the Indians.  The governor also advised the towns that would have to renegotiate their annual quit rents.  (HTR Vol. I, page 436). 

At the annual Town meeting in April 1686, it was unanimously voted to not surrender the Nichols Patent, but to give the governor a copy.  The Town, of course, did not wish to pay for a new patent at a higher quit rent.  The fact that the governor was Catholic probably added to the Puritan townsmen’s refusal.

The townsmen voted to appoint Powell and three other men to negotiate with the Indians to settle the boundaries between the Town’s land and the Indian lands and to purchase more land from the Indians.  (HTR Vol. I, page 440).  Two years earlier, Powell and three others were appointed at a Town meeting to negotiate with Indians who settled on the Town’s lands to pay rent or leave (never mind the fact that it was the Indians’ land to begin with). (HTR Vol. I, page 393).  Powell had also been one of three Huntington men appointed to meet with the Chickenoe of the Massapauge Indians to confirm the line between Huntington and Oyster Bay on the south side of the Island (HTR Vol. I, page 90).

In October 1686, Powell was chosen, along with Isaac Platt, “to ackt to ye best of their discretion in our behalf” in discussions with the representatives appointed by the Governor to determine which lands had already been purchased from the Indians.  (HTR Vol. I, page 468).

On November 4, 1686, Powell was elected to represent Huntington in Southampton.  Two weeks later he was selected to represent the Town in New York—that would be quite a task to travel from one end of the Island to the other.  (HTR Vol. I, page 470).  By the end of November, the Town offered to pay £20 for a new patent with a quit rent of 20 shillings.

The new patent wasn’t issued until August 2, 1688.  In that patent, Governor Dongan appointed Powell as one of the nine trustees of the “Freeholders and Comonality of ye Towne of Huntington” to manage the Town’s common lands. (HTR Vol. I, page 533).  Less than two weeks later, Edmond Andros replaced Dongan as governor and Powell was sent back to New York to negotiate with the new governor.  It is unknown what the negotiations would be about, and Andros did not issue a patent to Huntington to replace the Dongan Patent.

When all the negotiations were done, Powell submitted his expense report, which detailed his trip to New York, his meetings with the Indians (which were accompanied by quantities of rum), and his work marking the boundaries.  (HTR Vol. II, page 7).

After two years representing the interests of the Town, travelling back and forth to New York, meeting with the Indian sachem Swanamee, and marking boundaries, Powell left Huntington.  A deed dated April 18, 1689, identifies him as “latte of Huntington.”  (HTR Vol II, page 38). 

Where had he gone?

In 1695, Powell received a deed, known as the Bethpage Purchase, from the Indian proprietors of Massapege for a 15 square mile tract of land straddling the county border and encompassing the present-day communities of Bethpage, Farmingdale, Plainedge, Plainview, and parts of Melville.  The deed notes that “part of above bounded lands having been in ye possession of ye sd Thomas Powell above seven years before the signing and dellevry hereof.”  In other words, Powell was living there since 1688, immediately after he submitted his itemization of his expenses for representing the Town of Huntington in connection with the Dongan Patent.  The following year, he secured permission from the Huntington Trustees to purchase that portion of the land located on the east side of the county line.  (HTR Vol. II, page 188).

It is possible that the death of his first wife in 1688 had something to do with his decision to relocate.

Powell lived out his life in Bethpage.  In 1698, he helped organize the Bethpage Preparative Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.  He died in 1722.

Painters and photographers who recorded our community in years past allow us to see the community as they saw it.  Often the view is very different today: some houses no long stand, roads have been widened and paved, whaling ships no longer lie at anchor in the harbor, vistas are now obscured.  It is with these images created long ago that we can get a better understanding of the past.

For a view of late nineteenth century Long Island, one painter is indispensable—Edward Lange.  The artist was an immigrant from Germany who lived in Elwood from 1871 to 1889.  During those two decades, he painted at least fifty locales in Huntington alone; he produced dozens more across Long Island.  Often proud farmers would commission Lange to paint their tidy farmsteads.  Sometimes, local entrepreneurs would hire him to paint their businesses to serve as advertising and help attract customers.  Lange also painted vignettes of town scenes.  He would then photograph the painting and offer to sell prints to the public.

Preservation Long Island has almost thirty of his works in its collection, representing about one sixth of Lange’s known oeuvre on Long Island.  PLI is currently conducting an in-depth investigation into Lange and his work.  Once completed, there will be an exhibit at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook and a new book about the artist and his work.

Lange’s paintings are a treasured part of many local historical society and museum collections.  An untold number of others are in private hands, including a Cold Spring Harbor scene that was recently discovered in South Carolina.  The 1881 painting depicts a mansard roofed house on Shore Road that disappeared decades ago and had not been known to local historians.  It is an exciting and confounding discovery.

Edward Lange, Residence of William Neale, Cold Spring Harbor, 1881, Watercolor and gouache on paper, 17.625 x 24.125 (unframed), Collection of Rebecca and Charles Wadsworth. Image courtesy of Preservation Long Island.

The painting was discovered thanks to an internet request for Lange paintings posted by Preservation Long Island.  The owner had purchased the painting at a tag sale in South Carolina.  The painting does not identify the house or location, presenting local historians with a mystery to solve.

Peter Fedoryk, who is the Edward Lange Curatorial Fellow at Preservation Long Island, surmised the painting may be of a house on Shore Road in Cold Spring Harbor.  However, there are no mansard roof houses on Shore Road and local historians were not aware of any such house ever existing on Shore Road.  Not wanting to let a good mystery go unsolved, Toby Kissam and I spent the next month obsessing over this painting.

To start the hunt, Toby searched the term mansard roof in the online archives of The Long-Islander newspaper, which produced an intriguing clue from the August 11, 1876 edition.  The item reported that a worker installing a mansard roof for Mr. Neale had fallen from the roof.  He was not expected to live.  This sad news was our first clue.

The following month the paper reported that Mr. Neale was soon to move into his new house, “one of the handsomest houses on Ocean avenue.”  Roads usually did not have official names in the nineteenth century; and it is conceivable that Shore Road could have been called Ocean Avenue.  The only other item found referring to the elusive Mr. Neale was a probate notice posted by his wife on April 13, 1883.

While researching the photograph collection at the Huntington Historical Society on another topic, I found apanoramic photograph of the outer cove of Cold Spring Harbor taken from what is now the driveway to Eagle Dock Community Beach.  Partially hidden behind trees is a glimpse of a mansard roof house along Shore Road.  The supposition that the house was in Cold Spring Harbor appeared to be correct.

A search of deeds on file with the Suffolk County Clerk revealed that William Neale purchased a three-quarter acre lot on the east side of Cold Spring Harbor from Susan Titus in 1872.  Without tracing deeds for the neighboring properties, it was unclear exactly where on the east side of the harbor this land was.  It was thought that it was perhaps the property identified as the Titus estate on an 1873 atlas.  

 Tracing the deeds for this property as well as neighboring properties confirmed that Neale had purchased the “Titus Est.” property.  But where exactly was that house.  Perhaps it was on the property now occupied by a house built in 1941—the only “modern” house along Shore Road (that house was built by Johnston de Forest as a wedding gift for his daughter Priscilla and her husband Doug Williams).  What happened to the house?  It was assumed that the house must have burnt down because there are no mansard roof houses on Shore Road.  Yet no article about a fire or other calamity could be found.

After a month of sleuthing, the answer suddenly became clear, especially after reading the early twentieth century deeds in Riverhead.  The house had not burnt down.  It was still standing at 72 Shore Road.  

72 Shore Road in 2022

William Neale’s widow sold the property in 1886.  Over the next five years, it changed hands five times.  Finally, in 1891, John P. Dole, who lived three doors down on Shore Road, purchased the property.  Dole died in 1902 and the next year his widow sold the property to their son Edward Everett Dole.  He in turn sold the property in 1916 to William A.W. Stewart, whose wife was the daughter of Robert W. de Forest.  Everett Dole continued to live on Shore Road; presumably he moved back to his parents’ house at 48 Shore Road, which he called Tide Crest (his mother died in 1925).

According to a historic structure inventory for the Titus House completed in 1979, for which Priscilla de Forest Williams (Robert de Forest’s granddaughter) is listed as the source, “The house was remodelled by Mrs. W.A.W. Stewart, Jr. about 1920, to more closely resemble a Southern plantation house.”  The date of the remodeling must be off by a few years because William A. W. Stewart, Jr. didn’t marry until 1933.  The family of his wife, Margaret Wetmore, was from New York City and Santiago, Cuba, which may or may not explain the decision to remodel the house as a southern plantation.

The inventory also cited a survey dated September 9, 1871 made for George Mowbray, who at that time owned 60 acres along Shore Road.  The survey included a sketch of the Titus House showing it to have been “a 3-bay 1 ½ story house with small eaves windows, sidehall entrance, and an interior end chimney on the north.”

 It seems that William Neale remodeled the Titus House in 1876 by adding a mansard roof and that half a century later Mrs. Stewart had it removed.  Mystery solved.  

The research also shed light on the other two nineteenth century houses at this end of Shore Road.  The one and half acre property immediately to the north (at 76 Shore Road) was purchased in 1828 by Eliphalet Rogers from the estate of John Lefferts.  The property stayed in the Rogers family for the next 80 years.  There had been two houses on the property into the twentieth century.   The first house built on the property was southwest of the existing house.  The panoramic photograph of the cove shows it to have been a modest house.  It was demolished some time after 1916.  The surviving house may have been added after Eliphalet Rogers died in 1862–or Eliphalet could have built it.  

The last Rogers family members to live there were Eliphalet’s son Charles and daughter Catharine.  But they didn’t own the house, their brother Henry did.  

Henry Rogers lived in Brooklyn and was well-off, although it is unclear what he did for a living.  In an obituary, Henry is identified as a manufacturer.  Later articles say he was a sea captain.  The 1880 census lists him living on Shore Road in Cold Spring Harbor, and gives his occupation as an architect/house builder.  In 1900, he is identified as a carpenter.  In any event, Henry Rogers seems to have been well off–his estate was valued at $65,650, which is equivalent of $1.8 million today.  His brother and sister, neither of whom ever married, were not so well off.  They were described as indigent and relied on their brother for financial support.

When Henry died in 1906, there was a dispute about his will, which had been drawn up shortly before he died.  The will left everything to his wife, leaving nothing to Charles and Catharine, who had been dependent on Henry’s support.  The will was disallowed.  During the administration of the estate, the property was auctioned off.   Edward Everett Dole, who had grown up down the street and whose summer house was next door in the Titus-Neale House (he also lived in Brooklyn), purchased the property from the estate.  He sold it a few months after Catharine Rogers died in 1916.  I suspect Dole let Charles, who died in 1914, and Catharine live out their lives in the homestead.  In the same deed, Dole also sold the Titus-Neale House to the south to Stewart.

The house to the north of the Rogers’ house was at one time a hotel.  Robert H. Bold, who appears to have immigrated from England in 1834, purchased the southern half of that property in two transactions in 1838.  He was identified on one of the deeds as a merchant.  On the 1850 census, he is identified as a Hotel Keeper.  Bold must have died sometime between 1850 and 1856 because by 1860, his wife Sarah had married a Portuguese immigrant, with whom she had a three-year-old daughter.  The two younger daughters of Robert Bold are listed in the household.  The oldest daughter would have been 18 by this time. 

Sarah Bold’s new husband’s name was given as Joseph Prayer on the 1860 census; Joseph Prairie on the 1870 census; and Joseph Perry on the 1880 census.  No telling how his name was really spelled.  He is identified in the census records as a boatman in 1860 and 1880 and as a watchman in a shipyard in 1870.  The Abrams boatyard was located across the street.

In 1884, the three daughters of Robert Bold sold the property to Elwood Abrams, who operated the shipyard across the street.  One could assume that their mother had probably died shortly before the land was sold.  According to the book Clamtown, written by Leslie Peckham, who lived nearby, Elwood Abrams operated an ice cream, soda, candy and tobacco store as well as a boarding house in the home.  After he died in 1917, his daughter Ella and her husband William Wright continued to run the boarding house.  William White also worked as a painter at his brother-in-law’s shipyard and Ella White was also a dressmaker. 

According to Maggie Norton, who was born in 1910 and grew up on Shore Road (and was the granddaughter of John & Jane Dole), the house was known as “Dirty Dick’s boarding house” and it was run by a widow and her son Raymond, whose erratic behavior the children of the neighborhood found scary—he would “spent the day walking back and forth on the porch tearing up tin cans.”  In the census records, no occupation is ever listed for Raymond, who died at age 42 in 1925.  Raymond’s father also died in 1925, so the boarding house was not operated by a widow.   William White must have stayed out of sight. 

Ella White died in 1930.  She spent the last year or so of her life with her daughter in Glen Cove.  In 1929, her brother Walter Abrams sold the house to Julia Fairchild, who added an addition to the north.