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2015 Holiday Historic House Tour

4.  Panfield Manor House
Built 100 years ago
 Admiral Hiram Paulding, son of Revolutionary hero John Paulding of Westchester, built his family homestead on this property in the early 19th century.  His children continued to live in Huntington and made significant contributions to the community.  Paulding was the Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the Civil War
In the early 20th century, philanthropist  Elizabeth     Milbank Anderson, a first cousin to  Albert G. Milbank’s father, began buying up the Paulding Farm and much of the surrounding land.   Elizabeth  started a Memorial Fund in 1907 that today is known as the Milbank Memorial Fund. In 1915, she deeded what was the Paulding Farm to her first cousin once removed, and it became the summer home of  Albert G. and his family.
    Panfield has been the home of the Bernard Castro family for the past 48 years.  Bernadette follows in the footsteps of  previous owners as one of Huntington’s most respected community minded citizen.

     Celebrating it’s 100th anniversary, Panfield was originally built for Albert G. Milbank, a partner in the prestigious NYC law firm of     Milbank, Tweed, Hope and Hadley and his wife Marjorie. Milbank eventually lead the incorporation of the Village of Lloyd Harbor in 1926 and became its first and longest-term mayor (1926-1946).  Active in community affairs, Milbank, along with Marshall C. Fields, Henry Cannon and others formed Old Huntington Green, Inc. to preserve and acquire public land in the heart of Huntington’s Historic District.
     The Tudor Revival/Jacobean Manor House, designed by John Mead    Howells, originally stood on about 300 acres.  Although the size of the   estate was greatly reduced during the mid-20th century, the main house remains largely unchanged and displays many significant features,         including a finely crafted, masonry and stucco exterior, wood-paneled interiors and a mature, naturalistic landscape.

 
The estate is named after Panfield Hall, in Essex England built originally in the 1500s.  It is purported that this was the Milbank family home in England.
In 1968, after passing through a second owner,  Panfield was bought by Bernard Castro, who immigrated from Sicily in 1919 and started what was to become a very successful furniture company.  In the mid 1940s, Castro built an improved convertible couch, which featured a strong yet light weight metal frame and an easy to operate mechanism.
Today, Panfield remains one of the area’s most distinguished houses and is the home of Bernard’s daughter, Bernadette Castro,  former Commissioner of the New York State  Historic Preservation Office and her husband Dr. Peter M. Guida, a former surgeon at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. 

 

1.  Arnold F. Sammis House
Built in 1921-22
     This Federal Style house, built in the early 20th century, was designed by Huntington architect Alfred B. Sammis who also designed the  original Huntington Hospital  building in 1915, additions to the Old First Presbyterian Church as well as many other public buildings and private homes. 
     The property between Fairview and Dewey Avenues was developed by the Sammis family in the late 19th century and Nelson Sammis owned the pre-Civil War house on Nassau Road. (See house #2).  In 1921  Nelson subdivided his property and sold this corner lot to Arnold F. Sammis who built this house.  Although architect Sammis, Nelson and Arnold all descend from Richard Sammis, an original settler of      Huntington in the 17th century,  there does not appear to be a close  relationship between the three Sammis families.
     Arnold Sammis was born in 1882, the son of Brewster & Ida Sammis, graduated from Huntington High School, was a trustee of Old First Presbyterian Church for 30 years, a President of the Huntington Rotary Club and a treasurer of the Huntington Country Club.  He died in 1955.
     In 1904, Sammis owned the second car in town, a Model N Ford, and his love of cars led him to open the Ford dealership, Sammis &   Downer on New York Ave. in 1906.

2  Rev. H.P. Crozier House
Built before 1860
    In the 1860 map of Huntington Village, this house stood on  Nassau Road between Dewey and Fairview Streets and was owned by the Rev. H.P. Crozier, the minister of the Universalist Church.  Later, in 1924, the house was owned by Arnold Sammis (See House # 1) and moved to its   current location on Fairview.  The house would have had a ground floor that contained the kitchen that was removed during the move.
     Hiram P. Crozier was a vocal abolitionist during the Civil War and often wrote letters to the editor of the Long Islander criticizing the secessionist traitors from the south.  Crozier continued being a protagonist for African- Americans living in Huntington after the war,  particularly critical of the school board and its efforts at ‘separate but equal’ education.  In the       December 22, 1865 edition of the Long Islander, Crozier wrote: No amount of fine adjectives about “princely accommodations, elegance of structure, separate palace, negro equality...”  shall turn me or the public attention, one hair’s-breath from the great wrong this town is doing the colored   children….The district builds a corner in their school-room for the negro children, wholly inadequate to their present needs. When asked to enlarge it, or build a new room that will  accommodate 50 or 60 children, they vote overwhelmingly, NO!

3.  James Conklin House
Built in 1895
    
James H. Conklin was born in Huntington in 1845, son of  Isaac W. Conklin and Abigail Berry.  As a young boy his family moved to a farm in Dix Hills that later became the estate of Charles A. Gould and after the death of his father, his mother remarried  Benjamin  Franklin Conklin and the family relocated in Islip.  As a young man, James left Long Island and after spending time in the west, returned to New York City where he was employed as a  salesman, finishing his career with the Leggett & Co.  In 1882, he bought a farm in Deer Park which he owned for 22 years. 
     After his first wife died, he sold the farm and his Brooklyn house and returned to Huntington, buying this house on Fairview Street in 1905.  He married his second wife  Miss Agnes Rogers, who was the great-great granddaughter of  David and Sybel Conklin, the first residents of the David Conklin House Museum.
     This 2 1/2 story “neo-classical” home was one of the first houses built on the south side of Fairview Street.  The interior is of typical Victorian design with the foyer & stairwell, front parlor, back parlor and dining room surrounding a central chimney.  The stairway is in the American Arts & Crafts motif, while the Doric columns in the foyer and on the front porch give it a more 20th century look.  The front porch originally wrapped around three sides.  The west side of the porch has been enclosed and made into an office space.

5.   Cornelia Prime House
Built c. 1760/1848
    
This impressive Federal style house was built in front of an earlier pre-Revolutionary War house of Dr. Daniel Wiggins who served Huntington during the small pox epidemic of  the early 1770s. Dr. Wiggins died in 1805 and the house passed into the hands of Judge Moses Rolph II, who lived across Park Avenue.  Judge Rolph built this house in 1848 and sold it in 1855 to Rufus Prime, the son of Nathaniel Prime, a   banker who was reportedly the second richest man in New York  City. 
     Cornelia Prime (1838-1923) moved with her father to Huntington and continued to lived in the house until she died. Temple, her brother, a successful man in his own right,  moved to Huntington after his father died in 1885.  Temple joined the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial        Association, eventually becoming president and is largely responsible for the building of the Memorial Building on Main Street.  Cornelia was a most beloved figure in the village, famous for her generosity.  She was an organizer and benefactor of the 1915 Huntington Hospital, donated funds for the 1905 Huntington Trade School and was active in and supportive of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  In 1910, when the Town of Huntington erected it’s first Town Hall, Cornelia donated the tower clock in the building. 

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