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The 2012 Holiday Historic House Tour

Each year in December the Huntington Historical Society arranges tours of five local residences that date from Colonial times.  The owners of these houses, open their homes as a service to the community and the Society, to demonstrate life styles throughout our country's history. 
The contributions to this year's unique tour are described below.


The Drift


The area of Huntington Bay known as “Bay Crest” was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  It continued the practice of building large summer homes for wealthy urban residents that over looked the bay and the harbor.  “The Drift” was constructed by a local builder Paul Williamson in 1902 for Thomas E. Jevons who enlarged an existing house. The residence is a massive, rambling two and one-half story gable-roofed structure with a shingled first floor and a stucco and half timbered second floor.  Isabel Seton, the wife of Thomas Jevons was the granddaughter of Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first native born American saint.  Elizabeth married and had two children.  After the death of her husband she converted to Catholicism. She was canonized in 1975 and Seton Hall University is named after her family. Her son William Seton married Emily Prime, the sister of Rufus Prime of Huntington.  Isabel Seton Jevons and Cornelia Prime, the benefactor of Huntington Hospital and the Huntington Trade School were first cousins. Ferdinand Jevons who died in 1967 was the last Jevons to live at “The Drift” and the last descendant of Saint Elizabeth.

Bay Turrets

Julius Lehrenkrauss, a partner in the banking firm of Lehrenkrauss & Sons started by his father in 1878, began purchasing property in Huntington Bay in 1911.  He constructed his Mediterranean style summer home in 1912 on property that had grown to almost 10 acres. “Bay Turrets” was built for his son Lester and his family in 1928 just north of the original house. The landscape design was done in 1919 by Roland von Waldburg, the designer of Huntington’s Heckscher Park including the ponds, streams and stone bridges.  “Bay Turrets” is a three story 22 room residence of medieval German architecture. Although presently being restored, the original lighting, oak woodwork, leaded glass windows, and fireplace mantels are evident throughout the house.  Although not on the tour, the two below ground levels include secret rooms and tunnels believed to have been used during prohibition.  The Lehrenkrauss family lost the property in the early 1930’s after the stock market crash of 1929.  The father Julius was convicted of bank fraud in 1934 and spent time in prison.
Today the property has been divided up and the two houses are owned separately.

St. Andrews on the Sea


In the annals of St. John’s Episcopal Church of Huntington in 1888 it is noted that Mission Services had been held at Huntington Harbor continuously since St. Andrews Day, 1887.  St Andrews is the patron saint of Scotland. In a February 1889 issue of the Long Islander the following appeared: The congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church, have completed arrangements for the building of a chapel on the beautiful premises of Capt. R.L. Meade, at Huntington Harbor.  The Captain has kindly granted the use of the ground for that purpose.The 1889 annals report note that improvement had been made on a building at the harbor, being a barn on the Meade property that had been given for a chapel and adapted to its new use at a cost of $200.  An altar, lectern and belfry were added and it became known as “St. Andrews by the Sea..” In 1899, the Long Islander reported that the chapel had been closed due to unfortunate circumstances at the church. It remained closed until 1910 when the congregation voted to re-open the building after a member of the vestry, William Thurston, offered to restore the chapel. Services continued there until 1918.  The property was returned to the Meade family and the building was later converted to a private home.


Fleet/Jarvis Barn

Capt. Thomas Fleet, an English sea captain, settled the area known as Fleet’s Cove in 1653.  His descendants married into the Jarvis family, another early Huntington family and continued to live in that part of the town throughout the next two centuries.  One of the early houses associated with the Fleet/Jarvis families still stands on Cove Road, a short distance from this building which was constructed in the late 18th century as a barn for that property.  The current homeowners have painstakingly restored this converted barn into the comfortable and very livable house you see today.  The barn was built into a hill which would have allowed ground access at two levels.  The stone wall, built into the bank is still visible from the inside at the bottom of the stairs.  The roof rafters and other structural beams have been left exposed illustrating a second use for the building.

1840 Rogers Farmhouse


This deceivingly small farmhouse was built in the first half of the 19th century by S. Rogers on what was then called Roger’s Lane. The Rogers family was the earliest and largest land owners in this valley. There still exist several other houses that had belonged to the Rogers family on this road that runs south of Cold Spring Harbor Village to Lawrence Hill Road.   This house is really two 19th century structures that were joined sometime after 1917. The left side, a 3 bay 1 1/2 story side hall entrance house was probably built on this site about 1840.  It is a fine example of the period and almost entirely unaltered.  The slightly lower right side of the present  house, is a series of additions to the original structure.  The two rooms on the ground floor are said to be a reconstruction of a building that had been moved from the property across the road.  That building had also been owned by the Rogers family.  The half story above this section was added later in the 1950’s.  The first floor extension to the south and the large eastern facing sun room were added by the current owners.  The owners have lived in the house for almost 40 years and have decorated their house with a combination of period furniture and family heirlooms including paintings done by the owner’s Norwegian father.

Plus Ticket sales and Refreshments at the Conklin Barn
And then there was the Gratitude Gala
A big thank you party for all the wonderful volunteers, home owners and sponsors who made this tour possible.

 You can view scenes from previous tours by following these links. 
2006 House Tour was "Holidays with the Conklins and Friends."  
2007  was "Five Centuries of Huntington Homes"  
 2008 was "Art of the House." 
2009 was "From Farm Houses to Country Living."  
2010  was "Houses with a View to History"  
2011 was "Stepping back in Huntington's History"


Our Major Tour Sponsors and Supporters




Nathan Hale Garden Club

Park Avenue Deli

Starbucks of Huntington