"CLAIREDALE" AT RED CEDAR POINT
Hampton Bays, NY
Found & Lost
Way back in January of 2002, Kenny Vitellaro & I took a drive out to Red Cedar Point and Hampton Bays to see if we could find the last two homes that Joseph F. Knapp and his sister Claire Knapp Penney Dixon lived in. We found Joe's on Hampton Harbor Rd. without too much difficulty, and we found Clairedale Drive in Red Cedar Point but could not see what was described as a large "Southern Style Mansion" she reportedly built on the old Barrett Estate. Little did I know then as we drove around on Clairedale Drive that we went right past it. But it was way back in the woods and not visible from the road.
This past fall when I was on my way from the Southampton to Riverhead, I found myself on Rt 24 and decided to take one more look. Much of Red Cedar Point is county park land and much of it is private. All of it is beautiful and as I drove around I still had to wonder what it must of been like in the 1930's when Claire built her last version of Clairedale there. Then as I drove along Red Cedar Pond I thought I might of discovered the main house itself. It certainly fit the description of what the Penneys built in the 1930's and as I drove up the long driveway, it was even landscaped much like Claire's home in Greenlawn back in 1914. I got permission to take photos and naturally took a bunch. I sent some off to people who would know and last month heard directly from the horses mouth that I was barking up the wrong tree. I had the wrong house. The house I thought might of been Claire's turned out to be one that was owned by a Senator Wainwright. Nonetheless it was a very nice home. Not dismayed because at this point it is not critical to my research, just a curiosity if you will, I said to myself Oh Well That's That.
But it seems everytime I say "That's That" where it concerns the Knapps... something seems to happen....this time was no exception. Probably within a week or so I got an e mail from a Jeff Schultz who said he was surprised to see his family home on my websight.
In the 1960's his grandfather bought a piece of the Clairedale Estate from Jerry Tuccio. Jerry Tuccio was the developer who purchased all of it in 1961 from Claire's executors.
Jeff grew up in the home that Claire's private nurse lived in, his the family also took posession of part of the kennels and the potters shed. In the 1980's they built the yellow house on Clairedale Dr. that I took a photo of and appears on the Hampton Bays pages
I naturally asked Jeff about the main house. He pointed it out to me on Google's satelite pics. It truly was magnificent looking, I say was because he tells me that after the last owner a Mrs. DeAngelis passed away a few years ago, developers bought the "Penney- Dixon" house as it was known and tore it down in 2005. So here it is.... take a birds eye look at the last Clairedale.... another Knapp Residence that has been FOUND and LOST,,,,
Thats the beach on Peconic Bay on the top of the photo and part of Red Cedar Pond on the bottom. At one time all of what you see and more was the property of Claire & Willis Penney
The circular drive that was described to me by several folks who were there when Claire lived there.
This is basically what Claire saw from her backyard. The Peconic Bay. Jeff took this pic in 2004
20 Clairedale Drive
This was Claire's nurses residence and where Jeff Schultz grew up. It was a Sears Kit Home erected in the1930's. In 1998 the original wiring caught on fire and it burned down.