SAYVILLE LIBRARY

100th ANNIVERSARY

HISTORIC TROLLEY TOUR

November 15th, 2014

 

 

(For more details on most of the properties discussed below, please go to sayvillelibrary.org/Sayville History)

Green Avenue (beginning at new Sayville Library)

L.    (#88) Sayville Library. In 1885, a two-and-one-half acre plot on Green Avenue was purchased as the site of Sayville's fourth schoolhouse.

 

L.    (#48) St. Johns Lutheran Church). The original church on this site was dedicated on August 14, 1898. It was destroyed by fire on April 19, 1955 and the replacement dedicated August 25, 1957. The Parish House and Youth Building were added in October 1967.

 

L.    (#30) Sayville High School. Property had been acquired in 1920, new fire-proof building begun in October 1926, cost of $338,000, dedicated January 21, 1928. A new High School, built at a cost of $3.5 million on Brook Street, opened in January 1958 and the old one was renovated and re-dedicated as the Sayville Junior High School on February 9, 1960. Since, these classes re-located to a new Middle School on Johnson Avenue in September 1972 and the building has been used for multiple purposes including Senior Citizen Center, Boys Club and an Adelphi/Suffolk County Community College Center, notably offering courses for Registered Nurses

 

R.    Railroad Station. The first South Side (forerunner of the Long Island) Railroad train reached Sayville on December 11, 1868. There were three trains -  two passenger and one freight - daily (no Sunday service); fare for the three-hour ride to the Brooklyn Terminal was $1.55. The first station was completed in 1870. In August 1905, the now Long Island Railroad constructed a new freight house west of the station and the following year built the present building, dedicated July 31, 1906.

 

Greeley Avenue

R.    (#102) I.H. Green Jr. Architectural Office and Drafting Room. In late 1800s, Samuel Willett Green, father of I. H. Green Jr. (I.H. Sr. was his uncle),  purchased 100 acres on the Sayville/West Sayville border, encompassing large amounts of swampland along upper  Green's Creek. About 1888, he began developing it around the headwaters, creating   lakes and islands and stocking with trout. The Gatehouse was one of first buildings I.H. Jr. designed for new estate. In its early years, it was rented to Lewis Otto. . In 1911,  it became  I.H. Green Jr.'s office; it returned to being a residence in 1919

 

Right on Brook Street

R.     (#58) Brookside County Park. After Samuel W. Green's death in January 1893, his son continued with plans and built a Tudor style home on the hill near Cherry Street where he lived until his death in 1937. The house was then sold to Roscoe and Evelyn Clock; she died when the building burned on November 28, 1970. Land was then split up among various developers. In August 1999, Suffolk County acquired what remained. and the Great South Bay Audubon Society became its steward; members cleaned up litter, cut paths, built several bridges and acquired the old servants quarters as a Club House. Tours are offered.      

 

Left on Cherry Avenue

R.     (#38) First Dutch Reformed Church.  Hollanders arrived in this area (Oakdale) about 1850; church services in Dutch were held in private homes and then Sayville School until 1876 when they built their first church at 55 Main Street, West Sayville. In 1906, they moved to a new building at 38 Cherry Street. On November 18, 1933, there was an explosion and the church was destroyed; the congregation met in the Fire Hall until new building was dedicated at this site October 24, 1934. In June 1974, members voted to change affiliation and became New Life Community Church. In March 1985, not finding appropriate land in West Sayville, they moved again to new home at 380 Lakeland Avenue. The original building had been sold to Emerson Peppard (see below). The Cherry (original Street) Avenue building is now the site of the North American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, St. Mary's.

 

Right on Main Street, West Sayville

R.    (#93) Greene House. In 1786, the Greene family acquired all of present day West Sayville land from the Nichols Estate, were the first family here and William  Greene built this house which the family occupied until 1931. In 1790, George Washington toured Long Island  and stopped for refreshment. In 1865, Samuel Terry Green built a general store on the Cherry Street corner which was operated by him and his son, Samuel Petit Green. About 1950, John P. Bates, a Green cousin who had inherited the property, had the store floated over to Fire Island. Following Bates' death in 1982, the house was converted to offices.

L.     (#100-108)  Barfoot Corner. Originally, the large store was built in 1895 at #80 (now  Fire House) as  Richard Tucker's store - tobacco, ice cream, candy - and, after his appointment as Postmaster in 1897, first Post Office; upstairs, there was a large room for meetings, concerts and, later, motion pictures. In 1901, he enlarged it to include a billiard parlor and smoking room. In early 1914, Tucker acquired this corner and the building was moved here in April 1915. Three stores on the west side were added in 1917. Tucker died in February 1919 and the buildings were purchased by Harry Barfoot  of Patchogue in August 1925. In July 1947, he retired and sold them to Albert Attanasio.

L.     (#118) P.J. Grady. Peter Grady, an Irish immigrant in 1908, purchased property at Main and West Avenue in July 1918, immediately began construction of a service garage mid-block and moved into the Edwards homestead on the corner. In August 1921, he became a Buick agent and acquired the Tyler property across the Street. In May 1927, having disposed of  the original homestead, he built a larger garage and show room on the West Avenue corner. .He died in August 1956 and his sons continued operations, eventually splitting the business into the Truck Stop on the north side and P.J. Grady De Lorean on the south side of the street. The former was  replaced by a CVS store in 2014.

 

Left on West Avenue

R.     (#200 Main) Anson Hard Estate. Commodore Frederick Bourse, President of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, first summered in the area in 1889 and, by the time of his death in 1919, had acquired about 2,000 acres in the surrounding area of Oakdale, Bohemia and Sayville. The 250-acre Hard estate, which he gave to his daughter as a wedding present in 1908, affords an idea of the many estates that existed on the South Shore at the turn of the century 1800/1900. It stretched from the Main Highway to the shore, had three gate houses, a greenhouse, a 14-room mansion (though not as elegant as others in the area), a large carriage house (now the Long Island Maritime Museum), and a boat house. The Hard property was acquired by Suffolk County in 1967 and now encompasses the West Sayville Country Club and Long Island Maritime Museum.

R.     (#88) Long Island Maritime Museum. This 14-acre segment of the Hard Estate includes the Bayman's Cottage built in 1897-98 at #45 West Avenue for Ira Beebe, said to have been a wedding gift for his son Ira, a bayman. It is a typical "Bayman's House" with some original furnishings and documents of the period, moved here in October 1982. (Note: It is NOT the cottage on West Ave right at the gate and is not visible from street)..The Museum now holds more than 20,000 artifacts distributed in the Rudolph Oyster House, Frank Penney Boat Shop, Small-Craft Exhibition Building, Main Museum (Paintings, Models, Library) as well as the re-built 1888 oyster-dredge Priscilla, available for sailing on the Bay.

L.     (Foot at Shore Road) Westerbeke Oyster Houses. The west end harborside includes the original Bourne boat House which Jacob Ockers moved here from Oakdale in 1908. Although the oyster industry dotted the coast from Bayport to Oakdale, all of the major shippers, except Ockers, had clustered around this West Basin prior to that time….Seven buildings here were also the centerpiece of a World War I Navy Station (1917-1919), designated Section Base #5.  The station had five boats (the two major craft were locally owned yachts, armed) employed for mine and submarine detection; members also assisted the U.S.S. San Diego when it was torpedoed off Point o” Woods in July 1918. The DeAngelis Family bought, renamed and upgrade most of this property in 1995.

 

Left on Shore Road, right on Atlantic Avenue

R.     (#138) Bluepoints Company. Off shoot of a Connecticut company, it was established 1888 and later absorbed many independents in area. Reportedly, it was the largest oyster company in World. Some were shipped whole, others shucked on site and shells used for paving streets or ground up for poultry feed. In 1931, the Company began to work more with clams. In 1938, it was booming until the hurricane cut through Fire Island and increased salinity in the Bay, threatening oysters. The last peak clam year was 1976; in 2002, Bluepoints closed down. In 2004, the DeAngelis Family also acquired this property and converted it to a recreational Marina, restoring and preserving the buildings. They now have about nine acres of Bay front, bounded by County Parks on both sides.

 

Left on Clyde Street

R.     Molloy College CERCOM (Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring) This marine laboratory, taken over from Dowling College in 2013, coordinates/combines college biology classses with customized studies for major governmental and other organizations.

R.     Green's Creek County Park. In the late 1800s and for a majority of the 1900s, the west side of  Green's Creek was lined with active boat yards and machine shops. Fire Island ferries departed from here until the 1920s/early 1930s. Lightners Boat Yard faced the Blue Points Company; it was destroyed by fire in February 1970. Jelle Dykstra's Boat Yard moved to the upper end of Clyde at Canal in March 1904. Hiram Seebree's Machine Shop divided them. William C. Lambdin (initially with Walter Lightner, both from Baltimore) took over Dykstra's in February 1922 and re-sold it to Sam Jorgensen in 1945. On March 25, 1978, the yard, its buildings, boats and machines burned to the ground; arson was suspected. By 1990, the Creek side was a jumble of old ruins, burned buildings, marine tracks,etc. In 2000, after multiple plans and fights, the County acquired the 3.3 acres, cleaned it up and opened the new Park.

 

Left on Canal Street, right on Atlantic Avenue

L.     (#66). Case (Cornelius) Van Wyen General Store. In 1900, on doctors orders, VanWyen quit the Bay and, adjacent to his home, built a general store that he and wife Mary operated until his death in September 1942. In 1916 he extended it on the south side and added a new front with a plate glass window. In May 1953, Mrs. Lillian Goff bought the building and it became Lillian's Bridal Shop; she retired in 1982 and sold it to neighbors who ran it until 1992 when an auto ran into the building. It was rebuilt as a residential structure which it is today.

L.     (#52) Christian Reformed Church. A group split off from the original Dutch Reformed Church on Main Street and built this church in 1878. In 1968, they abandoned it for new building on Rollstone Avenue. It is now occupied by the House of Judah, a non-denominational Christian church founded in 2001 in  East Elmhurst, NY

L.     (#38) DeGraff House - Home of Neltje DeGraff, an English teacher who became Sayville’s first librarian and then finished her career as teacher in Southampton She originally had large and beautiful gardens in rear.

R.     Chase Bank Parking Lot. Site of original fire house built 1892, bought by American Legion in September 1931 for $101 and moved to Foster Avenue in Sayville as new Meeting Hall.

 

Right on Main Street

 

R.     (#80) Fire Department acquired  property in 1928 and built a new building dedicated July 16th, 1931.

L.     (#55)  Peppard and VanEmmerik Building.  Originally First (Dutch) Reformed Church of West Sayville, built 1876. In 1908, Emerson Peppard bought the vacated building; his family lived upstairs and he had a moving business headquartered downstairs. In 1960, John Fagan bought the moving business and relocated it in Bohemia. The Peppards remodeled the lower floor as a country store and antique shop, Peppard's 1866 House, which they ran until their retirement about 1980. The building is one of Islip Town’s officially recognized landmarks.

R.    (#54) Parking Lot, site of Bud VanWyen Gas Station. A small building, constructed about 1910 for sale of gasoline and kerosene and known as the "50 mile Stop", was acquired by John Van Wyen Sr. who bought it for his son in 1947. Following a fire in March 1953, it was rebuilt and enlarged. "Bud" (John Jr) was known as the "Mayor" of West Sayville and the station as the "Village Hall". After his death in February 1987, the original small building was  moved to North Main Street, Sayville and is now Headquarters of Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce .

L.     (#33 & #49) Westerbeke Houses. Parents, John and Nellie, emigrated from Bruinesse, Holland to Wisconsin in 1849 as farmers and re-located here in 1865. Westerbeke Brothers (John, William and Edward) founded their company in Oakdale in 1883 and were probably second only to Ockers in oystering. They moved headquarters to West Sayville in 1902 and were bought out by Sealshipt (later Bluepoints) in 1910. These two houses were built for Edward (#49) and William (#33) by Nelson Strong in 1912.

R.    (#21) Goodrich House. Designed by I.H. Green for the Doctors Goodrich and built 1914. In December 1925, it was bought by P. J. Grady, local auto dealer, "for speculation"; he re-sold it to became part of the Riviera Park development and it opened as the  Colonial Inn on May 29, 1931. .It has been extended and enlarged by various owners, having been a restaurant ever since, and is now operated as "21 Steak House" by Lovin' Oven Caterers.

Riviera Park: In 1926, Russell Perrine, President of a Brooklyn lumber firm, began acquiring and clearing the "unattractive, swampy woods" on the north side of Montauk Highway along the Sayville/West Sayville border. That September, he bought 40 acres of the Frank Jones estate on the south side which extended to the present Jones Drive, bordered on the west by Green's Creek and on the east by the rear property lines along Handsome Avenue. The development was to include villas, some to be built around two lakes, and, also proposed, were a 200-room hotel, service station, auto showroom, theater, and restaurant (Goodrich House, mentioned above). The Main Drive to the Jones Residence became Benson Avenue. The development did not fare well and Riviera Park Associates went into foreclosure on May 2, 1936, followed by public auction of all assets; many of the homes there now were not constructed until the 1940s or 1950s.

 

Right on Benson Avenue, Sayville (originally "272 Main Street" and Main Driveway to Jones Estate)

R.     (#48) (with orange tile roof).  Originally, servant’s quarters in main house at Wyndemoor, home of M/M William Robinson Simons, on the Bay at foot of Handsome Avenue; he was on NYSE, she was daughter of Frank S. Jones whose home, Beechwold, adjoined on the west and had been constructed in 1903 on 75 acres at the foot of Benson Avenue. . In 1931, the Wyndemoor house, built in 1909, was sold to and divided by Elwell Palmer, a lawyer and real estate investor; the divided segments were moved to two locations at #48 and #71 Benson.

L.     (#71). Remaining 2/3rds of Wyndemoor, containing living room, oval dining room, kitchens, etc. became the home of the Elwell Palmer family. In June 1945, he acquired the balance of the Jones Estate to the Bay from Jones' daughter, Maude Shea, for $100,000 and over the following 15 years filled some of the land, opened more streets and built more houses.

R.     (#96). Beechwold Playhouse, built 1905, contained bowling alleys and billiard room.Note bowling pin on tree at end of driveway. Jones Estate also encompassed a working farm, stables, and two bathhouses on shore. Frank Jones, founder of the Grand Union Tea Company – one of pioneer supermarket chains - was the grandfather of the late Doug Westin whose boatyard still exists on Brown’s River. The Beechwold main house at the foot of Benson burned in 1957.

 

Left on Nancy Drive, (across what was original site of Wyndemoor and its sunken rose garden and left on Handsome Avenue.)

R.     Cedarshore Hotel,  Cottages and Casino.  George A. Morrison, builder and Brooklyn Alderman, purchased 4.3 acre Powell Estate, Cedarshore, in February 1913; it stretched from Elm Street to the Bay and halfway (about 300 feet) back to Greene Avenue. He immediately began construction of summer cottages and established a bathing facility on the shorefront which were expanded in 1914 to a full Casino. Seven of the nine “cottages” remain today: #s 305, 299, 277-79, and 259 Handsome Avenue and #s 12, 16, 20 Elm Street. In 1924, the five-story Hotel was constructed which became the center of summer social life in the late 1920s and the 1930s. After the deaths of both George A. Morrison in 1931 and his son George Elliott in 1938, the property passed to the Bouna Terra Corporation of New York. During World War II, the premises were bought and used by the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund a summer camp for city girls. After the War, it was re-opened as a hotel but Sayville was no longer regarded as a summer resort. Various managements were trading under various names were not successful. The Hotel burned to the ground in September 1959 following hosting of a Fireman’s banquet and while sprinkler system was down for repair. In 1963, land was turned over to the developers of Sophie Estates who then built all of the homes on Eric and Cele Courts.

L.     (#292) Beechwold Gate Lodge. Built by Robert Nunns in 1909 as a second gateway to the Frank Jones estate, Beechwold, and the new William Simonds estate, Wyndemoor, after he acquired the Geoffrey Bourke property; the roadway had originally serviced Bourke's carriage house/garage .

 

Right on Elm Street

R.     (#s 12, 16 & 20) Other Cedarshore Cottages. #20 is on Elm; #16 and #12 are behind. #12 and #20 were originally built on the shore and moved up to this location in 1916. ##16 was built where it stands. L/R   Sayville Golf/Country Club, between Eastgate Drive/ Greenway Terrace and Candee Ave).  A nine-hole golf course was laid out 1903, with north west boundary between Elm and Maple and  ninth hole (only one south of Elm Street) directly behind Club House(remodeled 1st Shoreham Restaurant) on Bay. .However, after Island Hills opened an 18-hole course in June 1927 and the financial depression of 1929, the Club encountered financial problems. In November 1935, all land north of Elm Street was sold to Fenton Brydle, a Connecticut developer, and became Country Club Estates. The Club House became the Sayville Playhouse, a summer theater, in 1941, and later an art films movie house. It burned down in March 1959 and, in September, the Town acquired the land as  a public park. Almost immediately, a portion was leased to the Sayville Musical Workshop and a house was moved from Oakdale to become its headquarters. SMS disbanded in 1985. In July 1988, Town of Islip made an agreement with the County under which it agreed to keep the beachfront property undeveloped. Candee Avenue. Named after Homer Candee, noted local educator…Beginning on July 4, 1909, a seasonal horse-drawn trolley ran from railroad station to the South Bay House at foot of Candee, stopping at the intermediate hotels, until October 10, 1919.

L.     (#141) Part of original W. H. Terry (later Moore) House, which faced  Foster Avenue, designed by I.H. Green and built 1885…House next door (on Elm Street) was originally chicken coops on estate which stretched from Foster to Colton and north to Foster property.

 

Right on Foster Avenue and left on Brown's River Road

R.     Sayville Marina Park.  Former site of Tidewater Inn, designed by I.H. Green and built 1916. In  1937, became Shoreham (number 3); it burned in March 1973 and Town established the present Sayville Marina Park, combining beaching and boating facilities, which opened on July 4, 1989.

R.     (#32) Port O' Call. In June 1896, Captain Carmine Skinner built small pavilion at foot of Foster which later became Sykes Beach and still later Lobster Grill. It was sold at bankruptcy in 1935 and, after being condemned by the Town of Islip in 1946, was re-built as Fore 'n Aft (including parts of original building). The boat basin was added in  1950 and the business divided in 1954; the marina became the Port O’ Call. The property was taken over by Town of Islip in May 1965 and is  now headquarters for Wet Pants Sailing Association.

 

In the early 1900s, the following two segments of the shore were devoted to the oyster "shanties" of Lewis Bluepoint Oyster and Beebe Brothers. Additionally, Northam Warren acquired  property near the mouth of Brown's River from the Skinner & Herring Oyster Company for his garage and boat house.

R.     (#40-42) Sunset Bay. Main building was built 1909 as home for the South Bay (Patchogue) Yacht Club which abandoned it in 1918. On May 26, 1921, it was loaded on three scows  and floated to this site where it became home of the new Sayville Yacht Club. In November 1930, the Club, having financial problems, sold it. By the early 1940s, the building had been converted into five apartments known as Glen Willows. Since,  it has expanded further to eight in the original building and four in the newer one; it is owned by its tenants and known as Sunset Bay.

R.     (#60) Sayville Public Beach. In August 1925, the land was purchased from the Bluepoints Company by  the Sayville Village Improvement Society and given to the Town of Islip as a much needed Public Beach. It suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and is currently closed.

R.     (#70) Land’s End. Built in 1923 for Northam Warren, Connecticut pharmacist who, in 1916, developed  first liquid nail polish, Cutex, and headed the Cutex Company. He sold  the property 1937. In June 1953, the new owners chose to convert it to "a year round restaurant of the highest type". As such, the original building has been expanded several times by its various owners.

 

Left on River Road

R.     (#69) Westin’s Boat Yard. Established by Doug Westin (grandson of Frank S. Jones,  owner of Beechwold) at the corner of River and Terry in 1949 and expanded to this location in 1957.

R.     (#41) Sayville Ferry Service. Originally located in West Sayville in 1894, the Company moved its operations to the Town Dock at the foot of River Street in 1931 and to this location in 1950. It has been operated for four generations by the Stein Family.

 

Left on Terry Street

R.     Captain Mark L’Hommedieu’s Boat Shop (in distance at foot of Terry Street). Very popular  particularly among the young having sailboats in the 1930s and 1940s.

L.     (#302 Foster) Greycote, Andrew Foster Home. Designed by I.H. Green, built in 1858. Foster was a Swedish immigrant who came to Sayville about 1852 and was variously engaged as a tailor, in various other retail businesses, and later built and ran the Foster House Hotel on South Main Street (1864) and the Delavan (1883), adjacent to his home.

 

Right on Foster Avenue

L.    (#264) Delavan Hotel. Designed by I.H. Green, built 1883 by Andrew Foster and burned NewYear’s Day,1933. Two existing buildings (#s 268 & 272) were its “Annex” and continued to operate, serving guests, until the 1950s.

 

Left on Edwards Avenue

R.    (#39) Edwards Homestead. Built by Matthew Edwards about 1785, it  remained in Edwards Family until death of Clarissa Edwards in 1948. .She had founded the Sayville Historical Society in 1944 and left the house, as well as money to maintain it, to that organization.

R.        (#29) Eleanor Haff House. Eleanor Haff was seventh librarian, serving from 1937 for 33 years.

 

Right on Gillette Avenue

L.     (backs of #125 & #111 Candee Ave). Roosevelt Houses. Designed by I. H. Green Jr.,  these were built in 1904 for Robert B. Roosevelt, Jr. to be used as a rental cottages, a common practice at the time. #125 was later bought by Sewell Thornhill, druggist, whose family lived there for many years.

R.     (#141, corner).  Huntoon House. Designed by I. H. Green for Charles H. Huntoon, wife Bertha Clock Huntoon, and their two children. Huntoon came from Connecticut to work in Lewis (Blue Point) oyster facility.

R.     (#103). Originally built around 1900 as The Beechwood, a boarding house, it was later       favored as The Alvin by single female teachers..

L.     Rotary Park. Created by Ida Gillette after she acquired the property in 1916 and  paid existing homeowners to re-located from those grounds. .After her death in 1936, the Town of Islip acquired it in 1944; Rotary Club later cleared and improved the land and inaugurated the  Common Ground project which, joined by other service clubs, now encompasses the Reflective Memorial Garden and a Gazebo where there are performances in summer.

R.     (#47) Gillette House/ Gillette Park. Charles Zebulon Gillette, member of a prominent Patchogue family, had a long-time maritime career after which he returned to Sayville and built Grand Central Store at Sparrow Park. His daughter, Ida, willed the property to the Church Charity Foundation (CCF) upon her death in 1936 but CCF was prohibited from using it as a home for the old and needy and donated it to the Town of Islip in 1944. . It is now used as meeting place and art gallery by BAFFA, Sayville Village Improvement Society, and others.

 

Right on South Main Street

R.     (#16) Vanity Fair Hair / Brush Block. Site of first Sayville Library, originally sponsored by Sayville Village Improvement Association in 1914. The Library was in a room above Otto’s Meat Market on west side. An  arsonist burned the eastern part of block (#s 44-62) in early 1990s; all have been replaced

R.     (#38) Victorian-era building, probably extension of Brush Block; chosen structures were joined in various ways to compete with other “block” buildings in town. In 1920s/1930s, this was Frank Suda’s tailor shop.

R.     (#40) Also Victorian-era building. In 1920s/1930s was Joe Chew’s Chinese Laundry. Chinese writing can still be found on the walls upstairs.

L.     (#89) Sayville Auto Collision. Site of Giroux (later Steigerwald) Bicycle Shop in 1920s/1930s. Sayville High School has the “bone breaker” large-wheeled bike that was displayed outside shop.

L.     (#95) Columbia Hall. Built shortly after Civil War. Businesses on ground floor; upper floor large, open room with small stage, used for theatricals until 1500 seat Opera House, designed by I.H. Green, was opened in August 1901. Today, building is all apartments

R.    (#100) Butera's. Site of Foster House Hotel, built by Andrew Foster in 1864. Initially, used as candy and ice cream store along with his tailor shop; room upstairs used as public hall and also where St. John’s Academy first met. Later, Foster enlarged to hotel and restaurant and moved tailor shop across street.

Middle Road (Laid out 1834. Name evolved because it connected various farm houses dating back to 1796 that had been erected in the middles of large farms bought from the Nicoll Family. Alternatively, name reportedly resulted because it is midway between Bay and Montauk Highway.)

L.     (#131) Congregational Church. Original built 1849; later sold, moved to Railroad Avenue, where parts still exist in building at south corner of Center Street.  Existing church designed by Robert Nunns and Isaac H. Green, built and dedicated Jan 2, 1890. Building on right built 1872; originally Rectory, now Church Office and Library.

L.     (#145) PetPort / Nelson Strong House. Strong, who had a lumber and hardware business, was “boss builder” of Meadowcroft and of other long-lasting structures, many designed by I. H. Green.

R.    (#166) Gerber House. Built 1877. Gerber was the first Jewish tradesman in Sayville, initially as a pedlar,. Later, he built his department store across from Sparrow Park.

L.     (#167) Henry Brown House. Brown was a coastal sea captain who ferried oysters to New York and New Jersey markets. A Republican, he also served as Town of Islip Highway Commissioner.

 

Option (not included in 2014 tour)

 

Continue on Middle Road to Cottages and into their parking lot

R.     (#262) Church Charity (Children's Cottages.) Property imherited by Ida Gillette from her cousin, Dr. George Brush. When she learned the Episcopal Orphanage in Brooklyn had burned, she donated this land to the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island which build two buildings in 1924, used them as boys and girls orphanages until 1940. In 1959, St. Ann's acquired them for $35,000 from a developer who had purchased them and then defaulted on payments. Over the years, they have housed it's Thrift Shop as well as the Sayville Project, a community support service program started in 1979; the latter relocated in 2014 and the Church now uses the second building for offices and meetings.

(Below, on north side of the street, observe or visit)

        (#257) St. Barnabas Mission Chapel. Extending from the right/east side of the Church is the original facade of Chapel, built in 1866; the main part was destroyed by fire in 1959. In 1874, the Church became independent (had been chapel of St. John's in Oakdale) and changed its name to St. Ann's. Name choice reportedly made by Senior Warden John R. Suydam whose wife, Ann, had died in 1870. St. Ann's Church, designed by I.H. Green, Jr., was built in 1887 at cost of $25,000. It is one of the rare stone buildings built on Long Island at that time; also noted for Tiffany Windows.

       St. Ann's Rectory & Minister's Library. Also designed by I.H. Green, Jr., built in the rear of the Church in 1878 and moved forward to its present location in 1922; at the time, it was significantly renovated, including the placement of the Minister's (Joseph Bond's) study in the middle of the house, opened to all the rooms around it.

       St. Ann's Cemetery. Cemetery established i1974. Lich Gate and 12 Stations of the Cross are recent additions to grounds. England has long had lich gates which sheltered bodies or mourners from the elements while they awaited a burial. This one was designed by William Colson, an artist who is buried here. Inside, plots include those of well-known familes such as the Roosevelts (who owned Meadowcroft next door across the marshes); historical figures such as General (Baron) Philippe de Tobriand, a French aristocrat who married into the Post family and was a hero of the American Civil War, and hat of the first pastor of St. Ann's, the Reverend John Prescott.

L.     (#292) Meadowcroft House & Barney Loughlin Winery. The main house, created 1891 by I,H. Green, Jr. for John Roosevelt, combined two 1870 farm houses on site with eight room Green addition, all in Dutch Colonial Revival style. President Theodore Roosevelt visited here in 1903. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a dedicated property of the Suffolk County Historic Trust and is operated by the Bayport Heritage Society. When the Roosevelt family finally left in 1982, Loughlin, long-time caretaker, acquired 10 acres of estate and founded the winery, located behind main structure.

 

Turn back toward Sayville

R.     (#199) Sayville Inn. The original Inn with its original bar, built about 1888 by James Nohowec, is now behind the street-side structure and is primarily used for private parties (may be better viewed around the corner from between Bistro 25 and serivce station). Nohowec family managed it until 1937 and the house to right/east of present Inn was home of original owners. During prohibition it was a speakeasy and during WWII, a gathering place for central Europeans.

 

Turn right on Foster Avenue Extension

 

Left on Foster Avenue Originally called Seaman Avenue for family who lived on southeast corner and ran coal and wood business. Northern extension dates from 1915/16.)

R.     (#23) American Legion Hall. Originally West Sayville Truck House, built 1892. Bought by the Legion for $101 and moved here when new one built in 1931.

R.     (#19) Odd Fellows Hall. Odd Fellows came to Sayville in May 1872 and disbanded in 1978. This building was built on the First Dutch Reformed Church property Cherry  Avenue, West Sayville, in 1928; referred to as the West Sayville Civic Hall, it was used principally for Boy Scout meetings. .It was taken over by the Church in 1932 and auctioned off in November 1935. Odd Fellows acquired it and had it moved to this location.

 

Option (not included in 2014 Tour)

 

Right on Montauk Highway

R.     (At Broadway Avenue) Islip Town Grange. Historic village founded in 1974 includes Tuttle-Case House, about 1850; barn and several other outbuildings from Ockers in Oakdale; 1880 Powell windmill; reproductions of First Reformed Church of West Sayville 1867, carriage shed in St. James 1870, and Sayville Hook and Ladder 1878 Truck House.

 

Return to Sayville

 

Left on North Main Street /Montauk Highway

R.     (#175) Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center. Originally, Bud Van Wyen’s (“Mayor of West Sayville”) gas station and “West Sayville Town Hall” on Montauk Highway, West Sayville. Moved here after his death in 1985.

R.     (#107) Sayville Fire House. In 1820, original first log cabin school house moved from area near the present railroad underpass west to about the northwest corner of Montauk and Lincoln.  It was replaced by a two-story building on this site before moving to “Old 88”, built in 1888 on Greene Avenue at a cost of $15,000. .Its bell tower was the highest point on Long Island during the first and second World Wars and was utilized to watch for enemy planes. “Old 88” was destroyed by fire in December 1969. …Previous school on Lincoln had become a residence, torn down in 1937 to be replaced by new Fire House. The first fire house had been built in 1879 on Railroad Avenue; the first water mains, fire hydrants were laid in 1889. Present building was opened in 1938.

R.     (#85) Masonic Temple. First Methodist Church, erected 1847 and enlarged in 1864. In 1895, after Methodists had moved to their new building in the west end of town, building was rented to new Roman Catholic parish until St. Lawrence Church was completed following year. In April 1918, member Charles R. Brown donated it to the Connetquot Lodge

R.     Carvel Shopping Center – Gerber’s (later Goodman’s) Department Store, a four story building, was located on northwest corner of North Main and Smith Street in the early 1900s. (It burned once and was re-built.) Next to it, on the northeast corner of Main Street and Railroad Avenue, was the Kensington Hotel, renovated in 1895 from the old Bedell Tavern. the first public building in Town, erected about 1830. The Tavern was the social center of the Town; about 1837, locals met here to request that the Postal Service name the Town. A tie between Edwardsville and Greenville was broken by final selection of Seaville, later misspelled as Sayvill. During WW I, Justice White discovered German radio men from Telefunken Wireless facility wining and dining U.S. Navy operators at the Kensington and put a stop to it. The Kensington was demolished in 1954 for the shopping center.

L.     Sparrow Park. Once a triangular garden planted and tended by Ida Gillette. It had large tree in center where birds nested, hence the name.  Served as “ Village Square” with the three-story Gillette & Smith Department Store (Grand Central) on the east side; the site is now occupied by an auto repair shop is today. In 1919, the Golden Eagle was placed on monument and flanked by two cannons as a memorial to men who lost their lives in WW I. The Eagle, symbol of the old New York World newspaper, had been atop the World Building on Park Row in New York; its owners, the Pulitzer Family, had given it to the R.G. Smiths who, in turn, donated it to the town.

 

Main Street, Sayville

       Main Street. 1900 was a banner year. Sayville population was 1,954. First autos began to appear in town and Street was paved with oyster shells to help minimize dust and mud. First streetlights were turned on November 13th. Oyster shells were used until 1914 when replaced by concrete.

R.     (#1) Five Points Cafe. Site of W.J. Terry general store, built 1849. About 1929, Sewell Thornhill moved it around the corner and remodeled it. Still stands as 22-24 Railroad Avenue (retail stores). 

L.     ( #2) Thornhill’s (now closed). Sewell Thornhill acquired an earlier pharmacy on South Main Street about 1895.. It was the original post office and location of Town’s first telephone switchboard having the first telephone number, #1, which it still had as 589-0001 when it closed in 2011. In 1920, it moved to this building, built in 1918. Thornhill’s soda fountain was very popular. I.H. Green designed this as well as the other three buildings below (#6-22)

L.     (#6) Arata Building. In 1913, Joseph Arata, a fruit dealer, built this building and his family lived upstairs. Currently houses Sayville Chocolatier.

L.     (#10-12) Mantha Building.  Built in 1913 for William L. Mantha, a Reo car dealer, with ground floor providing a garage and showroom. In 1916 first floor was split and the larger garage remodeled for confectionery/ice cream store. Currently houses #10 Buried Treasures and #12 A Basketful.

L.     (#18-22) Wood Building, Built 1897. Designed by I.H. Green; Wood, a lawyer and a cousin of IHG, had office in building. Currently houses #18 Irish Crossroad  and #22 Rumpelstiltskin Yarns.

L.     (#44 ) Sayville General Store. Original home of Oystermen’s Bank, designed by Isaac H. Green, Bank President, and built 1899.

L.     (#48 ) Kay Cameron Jeweler’s/Aldrich Building, built 1888. Home of A.C. Edwards Insurance from 1888 to 1988. Note original shutters with “E” on second floor.

R.     (#49) Originally Community Trust Building (opened November, 1926), which merged with Oystermen’s in 1934. Then, for many years, building occupied by National 5 & 10 Cent Store. Currently houses Sayville Running Company.

R.     (#53) Debra Canavan – Site of Bedell Homestead, moved back to Center Street when this building was built in June 1928.

R.     (#55) Bedell Block, built 1895, originally Sayville Post Office. Previously, mail had been delivered and picked up from a table in the hall of the W.J. Terry house

L.     (#100-108) Pearl House. Built about 1880 as a year-round boarding house set well back from the Highway. In 1906,  building was bought by Stenger & Rohm (auto/bike repairs), moved forward, and converted to apartments on the upper floors and four retail stores at ground level.

L.     (#136) Modern Diner. Opened in March 1930 on north side, it was moved across the street in February 1935. A new diner replaced the original one in 1949 and additional dining space was built on in April 1961. It is still run by members of the original Devlopoulos family.

R.     (#153) Optika Eyes. Site of original Green Block, built for Samuel Willett Green’s general store in 1872. Another early tenant was first public library in Sayville, managed by St. Ann’s Parish. (Preceded present Library, founded in 1914 by Sayville Village Improvement Society.). Fire destroyed the building in November 1937.

L.     (#166) Methodist Church. Built 1892 at cost of $9,975; designed by I.H. Green. Methodists moved here from their original location on North Main Street which was the first church in Town. This church originally had a steeple which was struck by lightning in 1938

L.     (#184-186) Fendall / St Lawrence Building. Broke ground for this building September 1910 to expand his operations which included auto and carriage painting as well as a harness shop and, later, auto sales. It has recently been completely refurbished. 

L.     (#200) Prince of Peace School. The building was opened on September 24, 1925 for students in grades one through six of St. Lawrence Parochial School, organized in 1921. An addition at the rear was completed in1962. Despite protests by the local families, the diocese closed the School in 2012.

L.     (#212) St Lawrence The Martyr Roman Catholic Church. First mass was held in the abandoned Methodist Church on North Main Street on June 2, 1895. A new church was dedicated on the east side of Handsome Avenue on October 11, 1896. The church was destroyed by fire on April 25, 1967 and a more modern edifice was constructed on newly acquired land across the street on the the west side; it was dedicated on October 25, 1970.

Webb N. Morrison

November 2014