St James, Long Island

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St James, Long Island

St James is a hamlet in the township of Smithtown. Villages in Smithtown include Head of the Harbor, Nissequogue and the Village of the Branch.

The hamlet of St James was named for the Episcopal church of St James founded there in the mid 1800s. A US postal service was later established with the some name. The area was primarily farmland until the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road.

The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road in St James in 1873 allowed for easy access to and from New York City. Many rich New Yorkers bought "farms" and build mansions on the North Shore of Long Island. St James became a popular vacation spot for the stars of New York stage and screen. In the days before air conditioning the theaters closed for the summer and actors went on vacation. Summer residents included Irving Berlin, Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore, George M. Cohan, William Collier, Buster Keaton, Myrna Loy, Ruth Roman, Lillian Russell, and others. Many local people were employed for services, construction, and as domestic and other help.

The Land family arrived in the area circa 1900 when Law Land and his sons worked as carpenters and later construction contractors.

The Goehles, on the other hand, emulated the wealthy and came to St James to escape the summer heat of the city. After WWII the family moved permanently to St. James and Frank Goehle commuted to the city.

Percy Land and Meta Petermann

Percy lived in Hauppauge and later in Smithtown Branch. He bought a triangular parcel of land between Lake Avenue, the railroad track, and Moriches Road, in St James in 1924. He owned two business on this property: a lumber yard and a hardware store. Bud (Edgar) Land worked in the hardware store from about 1939 to his marriage to Agnes Goehle in 1942. See Percy Land and Meta Petermann for more general information on Percy and Meta and/or Pictures and Maps of where Percy and Meta lived and worked in Hauppauge and Smithtown

Minnie Goehle and her daughter, Winifred Goehle Manion

Winifred Goehle Manion and her husband, James Manion, were listed in the 1930 census on 6th Avenue in Saint James.

Minnie Lindemann Goehle lived at or near the corner of 2nd Street and 6th Avenue, Saint James at her death in 1944.

See Peter Goehle and Minnie Lindemann Goehle for more information.

Frank Goehle and Isabelle Walsh

In the early 1930s Frank and Isabelle Goehle started taking their family to St James for the summers. At first they had a "cabin" off Lake Avenue. Around 1943 they moved year-round from Manhattan to Highland Avenue. See Frank Goehle and Isabelle Walsh for more general information on Frank and Isabell and/or Pictures and Maps of where Frank and Isabelle lived and worked in St James

Bud Land and Agnes Goehle

The Goehle Family came to St James for the weekends in the summer. Bud Land, who was working in his father's hardware store just across from the Saint James Train Station, was smitten by pretty young Agnes Goehle who he saw getting off the train with her family on Friday evenings. As the train was due to arrive he would find some work that needed to be done outside the store so he could watch and hope for an excuse to talk to the family and Agnes in particular.

Agnes thought him very conscientious as he was always out washing the widows or sweeping the sidewalk. Eventually she came into the store to buy some grass seed for the lawn of the cabin. Bud offered free delivery so that he could find out where she lived. Several weeks later he went by the cabin to make sure the grass was growing satisfactorily. He found some stiff competition for Agnes' affections as there were multiple of young men hanging around the Goehle porch flirting with "the Gorgeous Goehle Girls": Agnes, Isabelle, Peggie and Eileen.

For the first few years after their marriage, Bud and Agnes lived in Smithtown. Circa 1950 they moved to St James where they lived over Percy Land's hardware store on Lake Avenue. See Bud Land and Agnes Goehle for more general information on Bud and Agnes and/or Pictures and Maps of where Bud Land and Agnes Goehle lived in Smithtown and St James .

In the early spring of 1951 the family moved to New Jersey, where Bud and Agnes remained until their deaths.


Lake Avenue, St James, L. I.

Date unknown

After 1900 the center of the St James' small commercial district moved from Moriches Road to Lake Avenue. The post office, train station, elementary school and most of the business in town were on Lake Avenue.

Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Percy Land's Hardware Store

Percy Land owned the hardware store and lumberyard on Lake Avenue from 1924 to ??. The lumberyard was behind and to the north of the store.

David Bauer says Pop Noffsinger bought the hardware store from Percy. The Noffsingers ran the hardware store until about 1996. It was then an antique store for a number of years.


Post Office, St James, L.I., 1915

This building on Lake Avenue (and the property around it) was bought by Percy Land in 1924. It was the "Hardware Store".

See Percy Land now or at the bottom of the page

Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The St James post office moved from Moriches Road to Lake Avenue in August 1913. It occupied the north side of the building.


The hardware store once owned by Percy Land

Photo by Joan Land Davi, date unknown, from the collection of Helen Land

"The Hardware Store" August 2005

Photo Maggie Land Blanck

Lake Avenue From the Train Station 1953

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1953

"Lake Ave Looking North from RR Oct 1953"

To the right can be seen a small bit of the Harware store. To the left is the lawn of the Elementary School.


The Train Station

According to an article in the local paper called the "Times" and displayed in the newly renovated St James train station, the train ran from Newport to Port Jefferson starting in 1873.

The Goehles took the train from Manhattan to St. James in the summer time.

The Lands must have been moving back and forth from Hoboken to Smithtown (Hauppaugue) on the Ronkonkoma line. The Central Islip train station is just a few miles from their known address in 1900.

The House and Home Company and the Long Island Railroad promoted the area of St James south of the railroad tracks which was known as "boomer" town. A grid pattern of lots was started in this section that includes the numbered streets and avenues where the Goehles lived. House sold at $300, $400 and $500 dollars. The Goehles bought a lot and built a log cabin from a kit.

The growing population in this area after the turn of the century caused businesses to spring up near the railroad station and thus the hamlet of St James was formed.

A number of Germans, Norwegians and Swedes bought lots in "boomertown".


The L. I. R. R. Depot, St James, L. I.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The card sent in 1909 (? Stamp is very light) was addressed to Mrs M Conklin at 4815 Osgood S, E. 242 St 243 St, N. Y. C. and reads

"Dear Mother,

This train is drawing near to L. I. C. to bring papa and you to St. James.

Ella"

The Conklins were a large clan in the area and I have not determined who Ella or her parents were.


Postcard collection Thomas Muratore, 2009

R. R. Depot St James L I


R. R. Depot St James L I


The L. I. R. R. Depot, St James, L. I.

August 2005

Photo Maggie Land Blanck

Postcard collection Thomas Muratore, 2009

The Nissequogue Hotel, St. Jamse L I

Loated on the corner of Lake Avenue and Railroad Avenue the Nissequogue Hotel was completed in 1905.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Riis Building, St James, L.I.

328 Lake Ave

1920 Census: Emil Riis, age 45, single, immigrated 1898 PA, born Switzerland, barber, own shop

1930 Census: Lake Avenue St James, Emiel Riis, age 55, own $16,000, born Switzerland, immigrated 1896, proprietor, ice cream parlor

Notes:

  • No one else in the building.
  • No one else from Switzerland in the immediate area and only a hand full in Smithtown in General.
  • I could not find any other information on Emil Riis. There were no other Riis in the area. He was not listed in the WWIDR or Ellis Island.


Suffolk County, Ten Great Townships of Long Island, circa 1939, book collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

St James, Fire House

The St. James fire volunteer department organized in 1909 as the Eagle Hook and Ladder Co. The fire house was on Woodlawn Ave.

In 1922 a new fire house was built at the intersection of Rt 25A and Lake Avenue at 533 North Country Road, St. James. Honorary Fire Chief Charles S Butler donated the land and fire house in the memory of his parents. The fire equipments consisted of one ford Model "T combination pump and ladder with 1,000 feet of hose . Over the years the fire department raised funds from a variety of fairs, dances and other entertainments. The fire house was enlarged in 1953.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

The Cross Roads, St. James, L. I.

The intersection of Lake Avenue, North Country Road(Route 25A) and Moriches Road.

The card is postmarked 1907.

At the turn of the last century the St James Hotel stood at the corner of Route 25A and Lake Avenue. It burned in December 1962.


Episcopal Church, St James, L.I.

Episcopal Church, St James, L.I., 1915

St. James Episcopal Church, 490 Old Country Rd., St James.

Built in 1853 the church contains stained-glass window by Tiffany, John LaFarge, and Stanford White.

The Stanford White window is dedicated to Charles Nicoll Clinch a cousin of Stanford's wife, Bessie Smith.

Stanford White is buried in the cemetery.

"Not long after the erection of the church a post office was established to serve the communtiy. The post office was called St James and the name soon spread to the locality"

Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936

Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Episcopal Church, St James, L.I., Posted 1910

Another view

Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Episcopal Church, St James, L.I., Posted 1910

Another view

Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936 collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Episcopal Church, St James, L.I.

Courtesy of Carol Bauby, January 2011

Interior Episcopal Church, St James, L.I.

Courtesy of Carol Bauby, January 2011

Carol wrote:

"My Irish came to NYC in the 1850s and ended up in Smithtown and St James by 1860. They left there for CT before 1899. They attended St James Episcopal Church and my great-great grandfather, John Gallagher, is buried in that cemetery. The family plot is right next to Stanford White's. I thought that kind of ironic.....someone as famous as White next to an Irish immigrant from the potato famine. There's a message there for sure."

Sts Philip and James Roman Catholic Church, St James, L.I.

St James Roman Catholic Church, 1915

St Philip and James was dedicated on September 5, 1909.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

St James Roman Catholic Church, 1910

Courtesy of Smithtown Library

Old Church circa 1910

From, St Philip and James Parish Celebrates 75 years


St James Roman Catholic Church, Interior

Wedding of Frank and Flo Goehle


St Philip and James School, St James, L.I.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

St Philip and James School, St James, Long Island, N.Y.

Sts Philip and James Catholic School was built in 1922.


General Store, St James, L.I.

St James General Store "A National Historic Landmark", Long Island, N.Y.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Printed on back;
St James General Store
Moriches Road
St James, Long Island, N.Y. 11780

This National Historic Landmark has been in continuous operation
since it was built in 1857 by Ebenezer Smith. Never modernized, it is
considered to be the most authentic general store in the United
States. It held St James' first post office. Open year round and still
offering for sale a line of baked goods, unusual dolls, handcrafts,
antiques and general merchandise


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
St James General Store, Moriches & Harbor Hill Rds.


Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Not posted

St James General Store, Moriches & Harbor Hill Rds.


Moriches Road heading West from General Store 1953

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1953

"Moriches Road heading West from General Store Oct 1953"


Photo courtesy of the Smithtown Library

Kaiser House, St James

This house, located on the corner of Highland Avenue and Moriches Road, was bought by Isabelle and Frank Goehle in the early 1940s.


Highland Avenue and Moriches Road, former home of Frank and Isabelle Goehle, 2005

Photo Maggie Land Blanck

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
The Spring on the Road to the Harbor, St James


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
The Harbor Road, St James, L. I.

Posted 1912


Suffolk County, Ten Great Townships of Long Island, circa 1939, book collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

St James, Shore Road and Bay


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
St James, View of the Harbor


Sulfolk County, Ten Great Townships of Long Island, circa 1939, book collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

St James, View of the Harbor


Photo collection of Joan Donovan
St James, View of the Harbor


St James Harbor, St James, Long Island, N.Y.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Short Beach, St James


Photo collection of Joan Donovan
St James, Farm circa 1923


Country Homes of The New York Theater Crowd


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of Wm Collier, St James, L.I.

William Collier's home was on Moriches Road

William Collier, known as Willie was a theater actor, silent film actor and playwright who "discovered" St James and introduced it to many of his actor friends including the likes of John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore.

William Collier born in New York City November 12, 1867 married actress Louise Allen. After her sudden death in 1909 he married actress Paula Marr on May 10, 1910.

Death certificate of Luise A collier age 38, November 8, 1909 M # 32457

William Collier died in Beverly Hills, California January 13, 1944 age 79. He was the step father of the actor William Collier Jr.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Shore Inn (Tony Farrel, Prop), St James

Over looking the St James Harbor, the Shore Inn was build about 1901 on the west side of Harbor Road just north of Thompsons' Landing.

The Shore Inn was owned by retired vaudevillians, Anthony and Sophie Farrell. Anthony Farrell, born in Canada was listed as an actor in Philadelphia in the 1880 census. In 1910 Anthony, hotelman, age 53, and his wife, Sophie, age 46, were listed on ---- Hollow Road in St James, with an adopted son, John Vanderhave, age 17. Anthony Farrell died in 1926. Sophie was listed in 1930 in Patchogue, Brookhaven Township, owning a home valued at $3,500.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Shore Inn, St. James


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Sunshine Lodge Hobson Avenue, St. James


North county road toward Stony Brook October 1953

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1953

"North county road toward Stony Brook Oct 1953 Oct 1953"


Heading down Corwood Path October 1953

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1953

"Heading down cordwood Path October 1953"

Cordwood Path runs from Moriches Road to the Stoney Brook Harbor.


Entrance to Box Hill from Corwood intersection October 1953

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1953

"Entrance to Box Hill from Corwood intersection October 1953"

Box Hill was the estate of Bessie Smith and Stanford White.


Country Homes of Wealthy New Yorkers

Most of the large country estates of wealthy New Yorkers who came to the North Shore of Long Island for the summer were built or expanded in the late 1880s to 1929.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of Mayor Gaynor, St James, L.I.

Posted 1915

This house, now known as Deepwells Farm Historic Park, is on North Country Road near the intersection of Moriches Road. Originaly built in 1845 by Joel L. G. Smith around 1905 it became the summer home of Supreme Court Justice, William J Gaynor, and his wife, Augusta. William Gaynor was elected mayor of New York in 1909.

Mayor William Gaynor was shot in the throat by a disgruntled ex-city employee named James Gallagher. In response to the incident, New York State passes the Sullivan Law in 1911, requiring gun owners to get permits from the police department. The bullet remained lodged in Gaynor's throat because it was deemed safer than trying to remove it.

In 1913, three years after he was shot, William Jay Gaynor, age 65, who was a day out at sea aboard the ocean liner Baltic, collapsed and died when a coughing fit brought on by the bullet which was still lodged in his throat caused him to have a heart attack.

On August 9, 1901 Mayor Gaynor was about to embark on the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse bound from Hoboken, New Jersey to Europe for a four week vacation. As the mayor stood chatting with friends and associates a man approached from behind and fired three shots. One shot went "wild", one crazed the arm of William Edwards, the Commissioner of Street Cleaning and the other entered the back of the mayors throat and lodged directly behind his tonsils. Gaynor had only been in office for 7 months.
Magazine collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Mayor Gaynor moments before being shot, Review September 1910.


Post card collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Reboul's from the harbor, St James, L. I.

Not posted

Woodcrest, the Homer Reboul Estate, Moriches Rd., Nissequogue (289 acres, 2 buildings, 2 structures) - built 1875 (?). Now on the National Register of Historic Places

Homer Reboul born circa 1851 in Astoria, Queens was the son of John B Reboul and Almira ___.

For more information on the Reboul Family go to Reboul


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of J. W. Lane, St James, L.I., 1950

According to the 1950 tax map, James W Lane's estate was on the water at the end of Boney Lane overlooking Short Beach, Smithtown Park.

This mansion was originally build for William J Matherson (1857-1930). Dr. Matherson was a chemist who made his fortunes in the manufacture of synthetic dyes. He sold the property to Albert A Stewart a part owner of Barnum and Bailey and a friend of Mayor Gaynor. Albert Stewart died in the Titanic disaster of 1912. The property then went to James Warren Lane and his wife Eva Metcaff Bliss.

For more information on the Lane Family and the Lane House go to Lane


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of Lathrop Brown, St James, L.I.

541 Long Beach Road, St James New York

Land of Clover - Also known as Lathrop Brown Estate Long Beach Rd., S side, Nissequogue (567 acres, 6 buildings, 1 structure) Architect - Brown, Archibald Architectural Style: Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Period of Significance: 1900-1924, Current Sub-function: School

Lathrop Brown (1883-1959) was a Harvard educated politician and real estate developer. The first records in St James for Lathrop Brown date to 1914.

Lathrop Brown and his family moved to California in 1946 where he became a cattle rancher and was elected to the sheriff's posse in 1947. His property in St James was not listed on the 1950 tax map of the area. The picture indicates that it was on the beach.

He died in Florida in 1959.

To see a picture of Lathrop Brown go to Find a Grave

The property is now the home of The Knox Boarding School who moved to that location in 1954.

For more information on the Brown Family go to Brown


Residence of R. H. Smith, St James, L.I. Later the home of WilliamH. Dixon - Beachbend, Nissequogue

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936, collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Photo by R. S. Feather

"House built between 1712 and 1747 by Richard Smith, 2nd, for his son, Ebenezer. Now the residence of Mr. William H. Dixon"

Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936

National Register of Historical Places, NEW YORK — Suffolk County &mdash Beachbend — Also known as William H. Dixon Estate Smith Ln., Nissequogue

The house located n smith Lane Nissequogue was was remolded in 1920 (or 1927) A new Kitchen, bathrooms and a large service wing was added. The old porch was removed and a new one a created. It was the residence of William H Dixon circa 1927 to at least 1936.

Renovated House of William H. Dixon Esq., St James, Peabody, Wilson & Brown, The Architectural Forum,October 1927

The Specs included: wood frame, exterior shingles, roof singles, widows wood double hung, floors maple, heating, low pressure steam one pipe system, Interior walls, living room finish hand plastered, oak ceiling beams, study, white pine book cases, dining room wood paneling to dado. Approximate cubic footage: 52,780

First and Second Floor Plan, House of William H. Dixon Esq., St James, Peabody, Wilson & Brown, The Architectural Forum,October 1927

Living room, House of William H. Dixon Esq., St James, Peabody, Wilson & Brown, The Architectural Forum,October 1927

Garden Fount House of William H. Dixon Esq., St James, Peabody, Wilson & Brown, The Architectural Forum,October 1927

End of Living Room

William H.Dixon

William H Dixon born 16 august 1877 Graduated Columbia 1900. William H. Dixon married Josephine Theodora Williams at Grace Church in NYC in January 1900. They divorced in 1905. She married Cicil A. Campell. He married Harriett Hall Hazard in Providence in June 1914.

William H Dixon and Josephine had two children: Barbara and W. Palmer born 1902, graduated Harvard 1925.

The 1930 census listed William H and Harriet Dixon with seven servants on on a private road in the Nissequogue. Value of the house $40,000. William H Dixon died at his home in St. James in July 1936. At his death age 66 in 1868 W. Palmer Dixon maintained a house in St. James.


In March 2009 Fred Eichhorn wrote:
" Archibald Graham House built in 1910. Archibald Graham was a famous golfer, won the 1900, 1903, 1906 opens, and built that house with the winning money. It is concrete block construction.

I own that home since 1993. In 1924, it was remodeled when sold to Alice McLean, of the English Family.

The white garage in the back ground was previously the horse stable in the 1910 picture.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of Mrs Huntington, St James, L.I.

The 1950 tax maps lists Prescott B. Huntington on the west side of the Harbor.

"The house attributed to Mrs. Huntington, who was Prescott Huntington's mother, sits atop the hill overlooking the pond on Moriches Road, across from Cordwood Path. The landscape is now fully overgrown with second growth."

Richard Smith, January 2006

The Huntingtons and Smiths are related as Mrs. Huntington's mother was a daughter of Judge John Lawrence Smith who was the younger brother of my great great grandfather Edward Henry Smith.

Richard Smith, January 2006

Susan Butler was the daughter of Prescott Butler and Cornelia Smith, see previous entry.

Rassapeague Also known as Francis C. Huntington and Susan Butler Huntington Estate Long Beach Rd., S side, Nissequogue, Architect, builder, or engineer: Ford, Butler, and Oliver, Unknown, Architectural Style: Italianate, Late Victorian, Colonial Revival, Area of Significance: Architecture, Social History, Entertainment/Recreation, Period of Significance: 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924

For more information on the Huntington family go to Huntington


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of S Bacon, St James, L.I.

"S" Bacon appears to be another error. The property belonged to George Wood Bacon an industrialist.

The 1950 tax maps lists F. M. Bacon and George W. Bacon, both on the harbor in Head of the Harbor. Who was F. M. Bacon?

July 2007 Warren C. Hubbs emailed:

"From what I know of it, Sidney Bacon lived in this house in the 50s... and could be earlier AND later. The exact dates he lived there are not known by me."
Thatch Meadow Farm, estate of George W. Bacon, Harbor Rd., W side, opposite Bacon Rd., Head of the Harbor (227 acres, 4 buildings), Architect, builder, or engineer: Peabody, Wilson,and Brown, Architectural Style: Colonial Revival, 1750-1799, 1800-1824, 1825-1849, 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924

George W Bacon was the son of Josiah Bacon and Caroline Wood Bacon, born in Greenwich, Cumberland, Co New Jersey May 6, 1869.

For more information on the Bacon family go to Bacon


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

"The photo must be close to a hundred years ago. It was built by a member of the Smith family, Capt. Obadiah Smith, who at one point sold off some of the land to the Demato family who build a house on it."

Doug Dahlgard, January 2006

For more information on the Glickman family go to Glickman


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Square House, Rassapeaque, St James, Long Island

Not posted

Originally the the Thomas S. Seabury estate. In 1879 it was bought by John Ruszits. Later it was owned by Francis Cleveland Huntington (1865-1916).

In 1923 and 1924 Camp Rassapeaque was run on this property. The Outlook, vol 137, 1924 contained an ad for a school at Square House, St. James, Long Island

"SQUARE HOUSE SAINT JAMES. LONG ISLAND Fifty miles from New York North Shore Sound. One-hundred acres field and woodland. All year normal, happy outdoor life for boys under 17. Expert individual teaching."

Unfortunately, this lovely old house was destroyed by fire in December 2011.

Nissequogue history, up in flames

.......

A fire on Friday, Dec. 30, burned the 22-room, Victorian-style house to the ground.

......

The Rassapeague property, an estate off Long Beach Road in Nissequogue, was built in 1865, registered a historical landmark in 1993 and had been occupied by generations of Smithtown families.

.......

The property's history starts with a letter. Thomas Shepard Seabury, the nephew of famous Setauket painter William Sydney Mount, wrote to his uncle in the mid 1800s, informing him he would cease taking painting lessons from him in order to start a plantation business. He built a house on the Rassapeague property and maintained a vineyard there.

According to a document from the Smithtown Historical Society, John Ruszits bought the estate in 1881 and improved the vineyard by creating a winery, noted for its Rassapeague claret, a type of wine.

In 1906 Huntington's great-grandmother, Cornelia Butler, bought the 96-acre property when it was back on the market. Her son, Lawrence Butler, Huntington's great-uncle, was the architect who built a wing to the house in 1915, according to documents.

(Frank) Huntington's father, Prescott, took over the property in 1930, and lived there with his wife and five children.

See Nissequogue history, up in flames for the full story.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

No Wallen listed in St James in 1920 or 1930 Census


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of Lawrence Butler St James, L.I.

"Buller" is a misprinted on the card. The name should be "Butler". Other printings of the same image show the spelling as BUTLER.

Lawrence Butler was the son of Prescott Butler.

For more information on the Butler family go to Butler

As pointed out to me by Peter Alsen in June 2011 this was not the property known as Bytharbor (the home of Prescott Butler)


Stanford White in St James

The famous architect, Stanford White, of the firm McKim and White, married Bessie Smith, of Smithtown.

Bessie was the daughter of Judge J Lawrence Smith of Smithtown. Her siblings included, Carnelia (Mrs. Prescott Butler), Ella (Mrs. Devereau Emmet) and a brother, James Clinch Smith. James Clinch Smith was a principle heir to A. T. Stewart and inherited $3,000,000 from that estate. A T Stewart was a department store magnate who had an estate called Garden City in Hampstead Plains. Bessie and Stanford bought Box Hill in St James in 1892 across the road from Bessie's sister, Cornelia (Nellie) Smith, and her husband Prescott Hall Butler.

Nellie and Prescott Butler had started to build Bytharbor on a property overlooking the Long Island Harbor in Head of the Harbor in 1878. Over the years McKim and White enlarged Bytharbor and built numerous out buildings.

Devereux Emmet (1862-1934) was married to another Smith sister, Ella. The Emmets owned Sherrewogue, the 1688 homestead of Adam Smith, located a few miles away across the St James Harbor from the Butlers and Whites. In 1895 Stanford White remodeled and enlarged the Emmet home with great respect to the original architecture. Devereux Emmet was also and architect and designed some of Long Island most classic golf courses.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Stanford White's Residence, St James, L.I.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Residence of D. Emmet, St James, L.I.

Sherrewogue, the former estate of Devereux Emmet and Ella B Smith Emmet, is located on Harbor Rd. It was originally a farmhouse built about 1689. Additions were made in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. The house was expanded by Stanford White in 1895 for Ella Smith Emmet and her husband, Devereux Emmet. Ella Smith Emmet was the sister of Stanford White's wife.

Devereux Emmet (1863-1934) was a golf course designer who designed, among other courses, the Green course at Bethpage.

According to Tish Goehle, the estate passed into the hands of New York socialite, Francis Bacon and his wife, Toni Frissill. Toni (Antoinette) Frissill Bacon (1907-1988) a fashion photographer (known for posing her ball gown clad models in outdoor settings) married Francis M Bacon 3rd. Toni Frissell died in the St James Nursing Home April 20, 1988.

Tish Goehle's mother worked as a cook on the Bacon Estate

"At the time my mother worked for Bacon my brother and I briefly resided at Sherrewogue before moving to my mother's home on Maple Ave in Smithtown in 1946. I always remember the pond in front of the house."
Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936 collection of Maggie Land Blanck.

Sherrewogue

"Residence of Francis McNeil Bacon, 3rd. Built in 1689 by Adam Smith, second son of Richard Smith, the Patentee.

This old colonial homestead remained continously in the Smith family until 1935. From 1890 until 1934 it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Devereux Emmet, Mrs. Emmet being a descendant of the "Bull Rider".

The photograph was taken in 1927 by E. H. Hoppe of London England and was published in his book "Romantic America". "

Smithtown Souvenir Program 1936


House & garden, Volume 3, 1903

The House and Garden Sherrewogue


House & garden, Volume 3, 1903

The New End of the House, Sherrewogue


House & garden, Volume 3, 1903

The New Living-Room, Sherrewogue


House & garden, Volume 3, 1903

The Chimney-Piece in the Living-Room, Sherrewogue


The first floor of the house included:

  • Dining Room 19' by 21'
  • Library 20' x 20'
  • Billard Room 18'x 20'
  • Living Room 31'x 23'
  • Kitchen, pantry, scullery, storerooms
"At the end of the living room terminating the house is a broad window, and then the large piazza facing the bay and, a quarter of a mile beyond, the wooded shore of Long Island sound."

"The billiard-room, library, hall and dining room, and the service parts, make up the old house. The living-room and porch are entirely new. The second floor of the house has bedrooms, baths, and dressing room; the service wing and attic are reserved for the servants. Throughout, the wood work is painted white, the cornice, the trim and them mouldings, most especially the mantel in the living room, are most refined in feeling of their detail. The library bookcases, with their cupboards below and heavy munitioned glass doors above, running all the way to the cornice, are copied from the Mount Vernon library."

House & Garden, Volume 3, 1903

For more information on the Emmet family go to Emmet


St James Home of Francis L Steeken

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Old Field, the home of Francis L Steeken was featured in HOUSE AND GARDEN of January 1923. The house was build in 1920 (Long Island country houses and their architects, 1860-1940 By Robert B. MacKay, Anthony K. Baker, Carol A. Traynor) The property was later owned by Fred W. Gurney. Located on Dodge Lane in Setauket, the house is currently the home of Maryville Convent.

"The home of Francis L Steken, St. James, Long Island, is a rare example of authentic Italian Architecture placed in an American setting. In every detail—the roof, the disposition of the widows, the character of the walls—its origin is evident. Henry Corse Jr of Butler & Corse was the architect."
Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The living room, which is as authentic as the exterior, is finished in an austere Italian manner. A gallery runs along one end, with steps leading down to the level of the floor. Rich color is found in this floor of rough textured orange-brown tiles."
The living room mantel was an Italian antique as were many of the furnishings.

I cannot find much on Francis L Steeken. He was on the honor roll at Poly Prep in Brooklyn in 1903.

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Court Yard


David Bauer Remembers St James

There used to be a Polo Field and horse race track on the corner of Fifty Acre Road and Edgewood Avenue.

It was part of a country club that included and mansion with stables in a horse shoe shape to the left and a caretakers house that was adjacent to a farm and then the Smithtown Schools old administration building access drive (now Nessaquake Middle School). The caretaker's house was called "The Hudson House". The Mansion burned in the early 1960's and was finally burned down completely by the St. James Fire Department in about 1964. It had been owned by Mrs. Wood who was the mother of Charles and Bruce Edgar. The stables were torn down in the late 1990's (I believe it was) for a housing development.

Getting back to the Polo fields and race track.....When the club was running as a club there would be events including horse shows. Below is a clip of an article on this from the early part of last century:

SMITHTOWN HORSE SHOW.; Fine Day Brings Out Society to St. James's Polo Field.

September 12, 1915, Page 14,

ST. JAMES, L.I., Sept. 11. -- Society was well represented today at the annual Smithtown Horse Show held on the St. James polo field. It was an excellent day for the show, and only one slight accident marred the exhibition when Harvey S. Ladow was thrown. A feature of the show was the commissary wagon shown by Lawrence Smith, who buys horses in this country for the Allies.

The last horse show was in 1950 and my dad was there. He took the attached and "over exposed" picture. President Kennedy's wife (not yet then) was an entrant.

When there were events at the club, Mrs. Wood would have her son and his friends act as hat check boys or valets. The high society folks showed up with exotic cars that sometimes the boys did not know how to drive. As I'm told, they would take the keys and wait for the people to go inside. Then they would limp and lurch the cars around back where they would practice driving them on the polo field and track until they were good at it so when they had to bring the cars up to the people it was nice and smooth.

I also heard stories of some "racing" that went on with the faster cars on the horse track. Mrs. Wood was never told about this of course. My dad was checking hats and coats so would not have any knowledge of that first hand.

Photo courtesy David M Bauer March 2012, imaged taken by his father in 1950


Peggy Eichacker Goode Remembers St James, June 2012

I was born and raised on Fifty Acre Road and while reading about the "polo Grounds" remembered that when the Clubhouse burned down, my father purchased the front pillars and they now stand in front of our old home. I don't have an address, but it is in the almost exact middle of the road on the right side coming from Edgewood avenue. If you drive the road, you can see the 3 story house with 4 large pillars on the front porch.

Another bit of my history, the Lawrence Butler house was owned by Chandler and Lois Matthews when I was a child and I spent almost all of my time there. When you write about parties at the house, I remember riding my tricycle and bicycle in the ball room. There was a huge moose over the fireplace and I remember one of the "boys" hit a home run and smashed the moose in the jaw. Pretty funny, but boy did we get in trouble! I understand most of the house and the ballroom were all torn down. Bummer. Nice website! It brought back many great memories. I lived on Fifty Acre Road from 1951 until my Dad remarried in 1962 and we moved to Old Field Point. My Mom's Dad owned the Smithtown Messenger. Thanks for the memories!


Captain John Hewitt, Chief of Police Head of the Harbor

In February 2011 Dorothy Secor wrote to me about her uncle, John Hewitt (1875-1969) who headed the one man police force for Head of The Harbor.

Capt. John Hewitt retired at age 71 in 1950 after 20 years on the force. Capt. Hewitt was a former New York City detective and the first one man police force for Head of the Harbor. He lived on Highland Ave. in St James.

"Hewitt became the Head of the Harbor cops after serving 26 years as a detective in New York's Second Division. The incorporated village was founded in 1928 and hired its first policeman two years later."
In all his time a chief of police he never had to deal with a felony case.
"Hewitt has been on call seven days a week and has been required to patrol 10 miles of roadway with its 300 residents daily."
He was replaced by Edward J Maroney.

From a news clipping shared by Dorothy Secor February, 2011.

According to his WWI Draft Registration JOhn Hewitt was born March 8, 1876.

Photo courtesy Dorothy Secor, February 2011
Photo courtesy Dorothy Secor, February 2011

St James Resident, Mr James Clinch Smith, on the Titanic

Long Island Genealogy


King Pedlar

King Pedlar, a photographer and local Long Island Historian. worked as a psychiatric aide at the Kings Park mental hospital and lived on the grounds for 31 years. He wrote in November 2007 to share some information on Smithtown and Central Islip.

Kings Park Heritage Museum Pictures and More — Kings Park


Images of America

St James

by Goeffrey K Fleming

A fun collection of images of St James people and places is available for sale online


If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

Frank Goehle and Isabell Walsh
Peter Goehle and Minnie Lindemann Goehle
Percy Land and Meta Petermann
Bud Land and Agnes Goehle
Smithtown Photos
Central Islip Photos
Hauppauge Photos
Other Long Island Photos
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© Maggie Land Blanck - Page was created 2004 - Latest update, June 2011