BUSINESS: SAYVILLE -  MAIN STREET, SOUTH SIDE

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 2 - 6

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

harry hildebrandt

Hilldebrandt., "The Hair Cutter", 1905

Thornhill's, 2011

 

 

# 2, Thornhill Building:   Sewell Thornhill moved to Town and bought a drug store on South Main Street in 1896.  Twenty years later he had a building designed by local architect I.H. Green, Jr. built at this new location, former site of the Wilson J. Terry Homestead which was also Sayville's first Post Office.  Sometime before 1873, ithe Homestead was acquired by the Woglum family and known as Woglum House, although the actual residents may have been Howells and/or Brushes.  In June 1911, it was purchased for about $ 10,000 by Sewell Thornhill and William Mantha  and, apparently soon after, bought by Mrs. Alice Theiss, who had it moved to the north corner of Foster Avenue and Pine Street.  In 1940, the John J. Hart's acquired it from Mrs. Jennie Vanderbilt and had it remodeled and restored by Ralph Berger. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged by fire in January 1943.  (For more History on Sewell Thornhill, see South Main Street.)

 

# 6 , Hildebrandt , "The Hair Cutter":  Harry F. Hildebrandt arrived in town in 1881 and worked for Gilbert Smith (who later was selling vegetables) for a year before opening his own "tonsorial parlor". Apparently, he moved frequently, going from his first shop (about 60) across from the Post Office  where he had started in 1889 to Candee Avenue, then into the Wood Building in 1898 and then his own building  in about 1905. He died at age 66 in April 1927, having been the local barber for 46 years.  

 

 

Photo left from collection of Sayville Library and right from The Suffolk County News

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 6 - 16

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Arata & Mantha Buildings, 1915

Arata & Mantha Buildings, 1936

 

  # 6, Arata Building:   Joseph Arata, son of a prosperous Italian farmer, came to Sayville in October 1899 and bought the fruit store of Joseph DeBarberi in the Smith Block  on South Main Street.  He immediately not only expanded the stock available but also significantly improved the store appearance. In 1913, he built a new building at 6 Main Street  to which  he moved his business in April; the family had living quarters on the second floor.  He also had a farm on Lincoln Avenue where he raised horses, cows and vegetables.  His health was damaged in an auto accident and eventually he sold the store and shifted his business to the farm in 1933. The National 5-10-25 Department Store moved in September 1, 1934.  The Sayville Chocolatier is there now.

 

# 10-12  Mantha Building: William L. Mantha, who had an agency for Reo cars in Bayport, built a new building as a second location for his business at 10-12 Main Street; the ground floor was a garage and showroom when it opened in April 1913. However, in November 1916, the first floor was split in two; the larger garage half was remodeled and opened in December by Henry Bahrs and John Klingener, "Dealers in and Manufacturers of Confectionery and  Ice Cream".  Bahrs left after a court conviction and Klingener sold the business to Henry Betjeman in 1927, who in May 1933 sold it Fred Beers.  In 1936, Fred Oelschlager and his wife, who had immigrated to the U.S. in 1924 and had had a confectionery and ice cream shop in Brooklyn, purchased the very popular venue. In 1954, Fred sold it to his brother-in-law, George Argondizza.  However, the name Beers was maintained well into the late 1960s. Most recently Runaway Bay Books and  Buried Treasures have occupied the ex-Beers store and A Basketfull has been in 12.

 

Photo left from collection of Sayville Library and right from that of Tony Brinkmann

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 16 - 22

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

F. Stadtmuller Jewelers, 1954

Wood Building, about 1913

 

# 16-22, Wood Building:   Joseph Wood - son of John Wood, Sayville's first schoolteacher who went on to partner with Captain Wilson J. Terry to open the first general store in 1849 - was a prominent attorney who had offices in both New York, opened 1886, and also in his home in Sayville in 1892.  Later, he decided to have his own building and the Wood Block was completed and opened on December 31, 1897.  Almost all of the quarters were rented.  On the first floor, Harry Hildebrandt, the barber, who moved across the street, was in 16; Wilmot Overton Shoe in 18; and Captain John T. Green's restaurant and billiard room on the corner.  Upstairs, Mr. Wood had the corner suite, Phoenix Mutual Life had the two other offices fronting on Main Street, and Doctor A.P. Van Diense had his office and bachelor apartment facing Candee Avenue; among their comforts and conveniences, Mr. Wood and the Doctor also had open fireplaces.  The above postcard, showing the Candee side of the building was probably taken around 1912-14; the Opera  House is pictured to the right.

 

# 16-18,  F. Stadtmuller, Jewelers:  The firm was founded by Jacob Stadtmuller, a watchmaker, in 1860 in Brooklyn.  It passed down through the family and in 1954, Fred Stadtmuller moved it from Brooklyn to Sayville.  In April 1970, Vincent Cangro and Renzo Morandina, jewelry designers and diamond setters, formed a corporation with Mr. Stadtmuller which added jewelry repair and design to the services.  Vincent had grown up in New York City where he came in contact with noted jeweler Charles Liberti and, after WWII, was associated with him.  Renzo emigrated from Italy after WWII and became a partner of Liberti.  Fred Stadtmuller passed on, Renzo Morandina retired, and Vincent Cangro closed the shop in 2013.  

 

The corner store has almost always been occupied by a food store (e.g., Thomas Roulston) or a restaurant and/or coffee shop (e.g., Priscilla Sweet Shop).  However, the current occupant is Rumpelstiltskin Yarns.

 

Photo courtesy of  F. Stadtmuller

Postcard undated from collection of Tony Brinkmann

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 44

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Oystermen's National Bank, 1900

 

# 44, Oysterman's National Bank:   On March 14, 1899, the Bank was organized with a capital of  $ 50,000.  Isaac H. Green, Jr. was elected President and Dow Clock, for many years the LIRR station-agent, was appointed Cashier.  The Bank opened for business in the east end of the Aldrich Block (48, right, above) in May while Charles N. Aldrich, who owned the property, moved the old Village Hall (seen far left, more recently referred to as the Red Cross building) around the corner and the new brick structure was put up.  In February 1900, the Bank moved in to its new 17 X 40 foot quarters on the west side claiming deposits of $100,000 and Frank E. Walters shoes and men's furnishings opened in the corner store.  As the Bank continued to grow, it required more space; at the end of 1918, Walters moved a block down to the east corner of Main and Gillette, permitting Bank expansion.  In 1935, when the Bank and the Community Trust Company merged, it temporarily moved into the Community Trust building across the street while its own was enlarged and remodeled to accommodate the new joint operation.  In 1946, the Oystermen's purchased the lot at 131 Main and almost a decade later constructed and moved into a new building there. Key Bank acquired the Oystermen's in 1976 but didn't change the name until September 1982 when it formed Key Bank of Long Island.  Later changes included acquisition by Dime Savings Bank in 1988 followed by Washington Mutual in 2001 and Chase/JP Morgan in 2005. (Please see Main Street , North Side for more details)  The original building above was sold in 1955 and after housing the Sayville Travel Agency for some years has most recently been the home of the Sayville General Store.

 

Photo from collection of George E. Spruce

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 48 - 60

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Aldrich Block, 48 - 56 Main Street, 1894

Window lettering on left unit reads "Henry E. Asmus, Real Estate, Fire & Insurance"

Sign across alley on left directs clients to "Aldrich's Coal & Wood Office"

Steps in front provide easy access for those arriving by horse & carriage

 

# 48 - 56, Aldrich Block:   Captain Charles N. Aldrich was Sayville born.  During his youth, he "followed the water" and was engaged in the coastal sea trade.  In 1879, he came ashore and entered the coal and wood business.  In 1887 he built the three-story Aldrich Block in the center of town. It was occupied in February 1888; first floor tenants were R.E. & I.C. Albin jewelers in the west store, Mrs. F.J. Gerard milliner in the center, and Henry E. Asmus real estate in the east. Upstairs, Dr. A.E. Hoffman, dentist, had the west half and the Gerard Family lived in the east. The Asmus business proved to be the longest tenant...In 1865, Wilson J. Terry, who was connected to the Edwards family, became an agent of the Home Insurance Company and conducted business from his home. The business passed through Reuben Terry to Henry Asmus who, in 1893, partnered with George R. Avery, who also was a part of the Edwards family.  In 1894, the partnership was dissolved with Avery retaining the business and Asmus returning to his main office in Brooklyn.   In 1899, Postmaster J.S. Edwards bought Avery out and, in 1908 he turned it over to his son, A.C. Edwards.  The Edwards firm maintained offices there until late 1985 when it moved temporarily to 153 Main, awaiting completion of its new building at 140 Greene Avenue; it occupied the latter on November 1st, 1987....On January 8, 1951, a fire which began in the neighboring Mademoiselle Beauty Shop destroyed the western segment of the Aldrich Block.; damage to the A.C. Edwards end was slight and the office re-opened the following day.  Mr. Edwards bought that segment several weeks later.  In February 1954, Jacob Strasser, proprietor of the National 5 & 10-cent Store, bought the western end of the property and constructed  a new three-store block, replacing the former burned Aldrich units with Georges Radio & TV, Lad & Lassie children's clothes and William Collins Liquors.   

 

# 48, Kay Cameron, Jewelers:   Upon Edward's vacation of the property in 1985, the building was acquired by Kay Cameron who expanded her established business to include not only fine jewelry but also repairs and appraisals and who invites customers to come in and view some of her "not so ordinary" items.     

Photo from collection of the Sayville Library

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 98 - 116

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Stenger & Rohm, 1908

Pearl House, 1979

 

# 98-116,  Stenger & Rohm:  Julius Stenger and Charles Rohm, both from Sag Harbor, opened a repair shop on lower Railroad Avenue  April 1, 1896; they advertised it as a "Machine shop for repairing bicycles, sewing machines, guns, and light machinery of all kinds".  Eight years later, autos and lawn mowers as well as the sale of new and used wheels had been added.  In its first ten years, the business twice outgrew its quarters. Consequently, on January 31, 1907 Stenger & Rohm purchased the Pearl House, a year-round boarding house that been run by the Skinner Family for about 25 years, and its property for $7,000.  The Pearl House, set well back from the south side of Main Street, had a frontage of 150 feet and a depth of 320 feet, affording them room to build a large machine shop and garage for their auto repair and supply business, at and behind 98 as shown above.  The Pearl House itself was moved forward to the street line and remodeled to accommodate four retail stores on the ground floor and two floors of apartments above, as it stands today, 110-116.  In 1902, E. Bailey & Sons had acquired the lumber yard and saw mill, facing Green Avenue, which bordered the property in the rear on the west; their yard and retail store were later moved to upper Greeley Avenue (see Main Street to the Tracks).  One of their first retail tenants was Arthur Cambern, an ex-Bailey employee, who opened a hardware store in the renovated Pearl building; later that year Bailey bought him out, took over his business in number 116, and Cambern re-entered Bailey's employ.  Other tenants included A. Dagetts Florist and Guldi Electrical Supply.  In October 1928, the Stenger & Rohm decided to move again, sold the Pearl House premises to the Long Island Lighting Company, and purchased the west corner at Main and Garfield Avenue.  Soon after, Julius Stenger dropped out and went into the employ of Arthur Lynch Co. financial services. Rohm proceeded with the plans for new quarters; because the Company had now also become a Ford and DeSoto dealer, in addition to updated repair facilities, it had a spacious show room and gas pumps for service. However, in August 1930, he sold them to William Kost (please see North Main Street)  and went on to a new gas station in Brightwaters, The Milestone and the Village Gas Station back in Sayville.

 

Postcard from collection of Sayville Library; photo from Town of Islip Archives

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 98 - 100

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

LILCO, 1948 (& Pearl House, right)

Heinlein's Hardware, 1959

Heinlein's Hardware, about 1983

 

# 98-100, Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO):   Local lighting companies combined in 1911 to form LILCO (See North of the Tracks, Sayville Electric Company).  Over its first two decades, the Company experienced many environmental, financial and dependability problems (not unlike today).  However, in late 1928, it purchased the old Stenger & Rohm garage, just west of the free-standing office it had had for years in the Aldrich Block just to the east.  After substantial renovations, in January 1930 the Company moved into its more commodious quarters where it not only had room for its daily business transactions but also to display its growing line of electrical appliances and equipment for which it had an increasing demand.  In the early 1940s, LILCO moved its business across the street to 95 and abandon the salesroom but continued to use the southside building for storage. Photo left above shows LILCO building with renovated front about 1948.

 

# 100, Heinlein's Hardware:   Joseph Heinlein, an industrial designer and production manager from Brooklyn, opened his store in 1948 in the western half of the old Stenger & Rohm/later LILCO building. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire November 27, 1961 but the Heinleins rebuilt it quickly and it reopened in August 1962.  In the early years, they shared their buildings, including starting in June 1956 with the Sayville Laundromat and later in October 1967 with Reid's Flower Store. Son Jack took over the business in 1968 and in 1978  the shop began seven-day openings.  After 45 years, Jack closed Heinlein's Hardware on May 1, 1993 and it later became part of Cricket's Restaurant.

 

Photos courtesy of Jack Heinlein

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 136

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Modern Diner, 1933

Sayville Modern Diner, 1968

Sayville Modern Diner, 1971

 

# 136, Sayville Modern Diner:  George Devlopoulos and Tom Pitsanoites were co-partners inaugurating  Sayville's first "lunchwagon" as they were known in those days; the White Grill did not arrive until 1936. The Modern Diner, when it opened on March 8, 1930, sat on an empty strip of Batson's Corner property, adjacent to Batson's most eastern tenant; due to space limitations, it was placed perpendicular to Main Street ( in a north-south direction). In February 1932, it was enlarged to provide table space.  On February 15, 1935, it was moved across to the south side of the street next to the old Fire House where it could be placed parallel to the road and "better for business" and its name extended to "Sayville Modern Diner".  For some years George had partners in the business but later he was the sole proprietor and the Diner became affectionately know as "The Greek's". On March 23, 1949, the old Diner (including everything from beer taps to sugar bowls) was towed away to a site in Oakdale and the following week a new "super-colossal" diner replaced it.  In April 1961, a new dining room, available for small parties up to 40 people was added.  Shortly thereafter, the Town took over a part of the Diner property to develop "Over South", its parking lot, and its Main Street entrance/exit alongside the Diner.  The Diner is still operated by members of its original family.

 

Top photos courtesy of the Sayville Modern Diner; bottom from collection of Christopher Bodkin

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 160 - 162

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Hook & Ladder #1, Jedlicka, Methodist Church

Jedlicka Brothers

Jedlicka Display Window

 

# 160 -162, Jedlicka Brothers:   Joseph Jedlicka Sr. founded his plumbing and tinsman business about 1866 on South Main Street, apparently a haven for such trades; he was joined by son Joseph, Jr in 1886. In the spring of  1888, they began construction of a significant new building, designed by Isaac H. Green, Jr, on the southeast corner of Main Street and Green Avenue. It was completed later that year, providing them with much more space for their stock of stoves, ranges, heaters, tinware, plumbing appliances and steam and gas fitters supplies. Upon his father's death in 1896, Theodore, who had had a business in Southold, joined his brother, completing the partnership. In turn, Arthur Jedlicka, Joseph's

son assumed management in the 1930s.  He died on August 4, 1947 and the business closed soon after.

 

In September 1948, Frederick Tuck, Jr., Vice-President and Counsel at Eastern Federal Savings & Loan, bought the Jedlicka Building from Jacob Strasser.  The Sayville Pet & Garden Shop moved in November 5, 1948 and remained for over five years. Demolition of the Jedlicka building began on October 15, 1954. Construction of a new Eastern Federal Savings & Loan followed and it moved next door from 150 Main into its new quarters on June 4, 1955. (Please see following page for more on Eastern Federal Savings.)

 

Postcard and top photo from collection of Sayville Library ;

bottom photo from collection of Neil Spare, Jr.

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 150 - 162 & 176

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

# 160-162

# 176

 

# 160 - 162, Sayville Federal Savings and Loan:   In August 1935, a group of local business men headed by Paul O. Mercer and also including Judge Daniel D. White, Charles H. Huntoon, and Frederick W. Tuck, Jr,  all identified with the Oystermen's Bank, applied for a charter for the new Sayville Federal Savings and Loan.  After interim offices in the Wood Building, the organization opened for business in the Aldrich Block at number 50.  In November 1940, it moved to a new brick building owned by Mr. Tuck (and where he had his office) on the site of the of the old Hook & Ladder Company. In July 1954, SFSL opened a Patchogue branch and also took over title to its main office from Mr. Tuck.

After 19 years in business, the Association had grown substantially and needed more space; originally chartered with a capital of $ 25,000, it had achieved assets of more than $ 11,000,000. Consequently, it also had begun construction of an adjacent (joined) building, replacing Jedlicka Brothers at 160-162. In early June 1955, it relocated.  On March 1, 1960, shareholders voted to change the name to Eastern Federal Savings & Loan.  Since then, it has been acquired by Bayside Federal Savings & Loan, later by North Fork Bank, and lastly by Capitol 1 Bank, a former Federal Savings and Loan organization itself.  It is still Capital 1 today.

 

# 176, Philip N. Westerbeke Building:   Philip Westerbeke, who started his real estate and insurance business about 1923, was also a building contractor.  He built 176 for his office in the late 1920s but the sold it  to Lewis W. Raynor and built a second building in the same Tudor style next door at 180 and moved his business there. One real estate area of special  interest to him because it tied in with  both of his businesses was the selling houses on the "rental purchase plan" .He was killed in a motor accident in November 1934 and his insurance business at the same address was taken over by Percy Hoek which  remains there today...Raynor Funeral Chapel moved from 73 Main to 176 in July 1931 and remained there until the January 1971.  Lewis Raynor believed that the building had "quiet dignity and architectural qualities...so readily adaptable to his purpose".  However, their operation continued to require more space and, at that point, they relocated to another new building at 245 Montauk Highway, West Sayville.  Jo-Art Photography  is now the long-time tenant at 176.

    

Postcards from: Collection of Sayville Library (left) and of George E. Spruce (right)

 

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Main Street, South Side, # 184-186

 

(buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

Fendall/St. Lawrence Building, July 1979

 

# 184-186, Fendall / St. Lawrence Building:   Richard K. Fendall, a popular auto painter, who had begun his business on Candee Avenue in 1900, bought the Lyman Rogers Homestead  and  broke ground for his new building on September 20, 1910.  It was to be 38 x 100 feet in size, allowing him much needed space for his expanded operations which included  not only auto and carriage painting but also a harness shop and, later, auto sales.  On April 14, 1922, he sold out to Charles Duryea and a new arrival in Sayville, Robert McIntyre.  Apparently, they were not happy with their acquisition and less than two years later, it was taken over by John St. Lawrence, an Irish immigrant who had come to the United States in 1896 and Sayville about ten years later.  He had been a long-time chauffeur for Frank Jones, the grocery magnate who had a summer estate at the foot of Handsome Avenue.  St. Lawrence established his own garage and auto paint shop and also sold Pierce Arrows, Apperson Touring Cars and some Fords.  !n 1936, possibly because of an ill son, he re-located to Maryland where he worked as a technician for the U.S. Navy for about 15 years. He died in November 1968. His two sons, John and William, from 1938 through 1941 operated Sayville Motors, a Pontiac dealership in the former Rohm building at Main Street and Garfield Avenue. Fendall  later opened a paint store in West Sayville that his wife closed after he died in 1944.

 

Jean DePaye:   In February 1925, John St. Lawrence, Jean DePaye and Fred Meyer had formed a "partnership" buying and selling property, notably the 60-acre Slater Farm which they had acquired earlier on speculation  and was later named  Sunrise Heights; it was located  on Montauk Highway northeast of town.  In 1937 he moved across the street from the Bohack  to the St. Lawrence Building where his and his later associate Henry Pannenbacker's  real estate business remained until the 1970s.  The St. Lawrence Building has recently been completely renovated and restored by T. M. Kenny (Garage Doors) and has multiple businesses, including a Subway sandwich shop.

 

Photo from Town of Islip Archives

 

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West on Main Street, South Side

 (buildings numbered by today's numbers; may not agree with original)

 

Pine Grove Inn, 1947

 

Charlie's, West Sayville, 1947

Charlies, Sayville, 1954

 

# 212, Gregory's Pine Grove Inn:   In 1947, James Sempepos purchased the former Royal Theiss home from James Willis and he and Peter Gregory redecorated it.  It opened as a restaurant "with a few rooms to rent" on August 15 and was the venue for many social events. In August 1954 it changed hands and became the Trouville Inn, an affiliate of Tony's Trouville of Manhattan (apparently, a rejuvenated speak-easy that had been a favorite of New York City's "Cafe Society"). Unfortunately, times were not good, the restaurant closed and  all of its fittings and equipment were sold at public auction on May 9, 1955.  In April 1956, when the Pine Grove property was being leased as a used-car lot, Sayville businessmen received circulars notifying them of a proposed shopping center for the site. This was strongly opposed and, although demolition began in July 1957, it was not pursued rapidly; the property became an eyesore and the Town of Islip had  to get a Court order to get it  completed. In April 1958, St. Lawrence Church purchased the land for use as a school playground and parking lot but after destruction of the original Church by fire on April 25, 1957, it ultimately became the site for a new Church.

 

# 296, Charlies:  William Fecica  had operated Modern Delicatessen in a former telephone exchange building on Railroad Avenue. In December 1940, he opened Charlie's Bar and Grill just east of the West Sayville Fire House. About March 1954 he moved to a new location at 296 West Main Street, about 80 feet east of Sunset Drive, in Sayville. In recent years it was the site of Georges Restaurant.  

 

Sayville postcard and photo from collection of George E. Spruce

West Sayville photo from collection of Tony Brinkmann

 

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