Meet The New Owners


Doctors Point

Henry Wysham & Josephine Stevens LANIER


As I mentioned on an earlier page Adelma Robert widow of Dr. Charles S. Robert died on the Mastic estate in December of 1912. The last Robert family I found living there was in the 1910 Federal Census. Adelma who is 61 and sons William 21 and George 31 and daughter Caroline 35 although the previous existing census from 1880 shows Caroline to be 7 years of age....she would not be the first person to shave some years off a public record.


Also of interest to me were the surrounding names enumerated in 1910 on "Mastic Road" You can almost hear the supervisor telling the census taker "Mastic is a piece of cake........ go down one road and you get them all"

Besides the usual steadfast subjects like the Smiths living at the Manor Of St had Emma Lawrence and Elizabeth Lawrence living there, and a few mainstay workers like future road builder / house mover Clarence Penney (Willis' older brother) who was farming at the time and Horace Johnson (I spoke with his grandson Ken in Center Moriches) who was the superintendent of the Lawrence Farm aka The Woodhull Farm.


Adelma Robert , Elizabeth (Mrs J. B.) & Emma Lawrence all died within a few years of each other between 1912 & the end of First World War and this is when these Mastic (Beach) family estates and farms started to get sold outside of the families that owned them since the Revolutionary War.


I'm not sure if John L. Lawrence, of Lawrence Long Island was named executor for Adelma or not but he is listed as the Mortgagee of the Robert Estate when it leaves the family on Jan 30th 1923 to Henry Wysham Lanier for the sum of $27,500.00. Taking a $5000 down payment and putting Henry on the hook for 4 years for the balance. To pay off a 4 year mortgage of $22,500 back then Henry had to be doing fairly well for himself and he was.....remember this was a summer and vacation home...... which consisted of

"ALL THAT TRACT OF LAND (with the buildings and improvements thereon erected)situated at Mastic, Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of New York bounded on the north by the Road or Highway known as Neighborhood Road; east by that part of Woodhull Farm; formerly of the estate of Mrs Sarah Lawrence deceased; south by the South Bay; and west by the land now or formerly of William S. Robert.containng 218 acres or thereabouts.

ALSO any and all right, title and interest of the mortgagor to the land in the beds of Sheeps Pen Creek and Pattersquash Creek and under water of the Great South Bay abutting the said premises and in the bed of Neighborhood Road and all lands under and water rights ........and so on


But I think Henry could afford it . He was the son of reknowned southern poet Sydney Lanier and a writer himself. An Editor at Scribners, then Doubleday, and in the future founder of Golden Book Magazine. However the down payment may of left him a little short and 3 months later on April Fools Day 1923 this ad appeared.

It is highly likely that some or all of this furniture may of come from Henry's new old place in Mastic. However how much he sold is a good question, because there would still be enough leftover for the next 5 owners of "Pattersquash"

The Laniers must of went there seperate ways soon after they aquired this place because by 1925 Josephine Stevens Lanier was living at one place in NYC and Henry at The Players Club where he stayed until he died in 1958

In early 1925 Josephine had the estate up for sale.... At first Josephine ran a few classified ads like this one, But by May of 1925 she really started marketing the place with large display ads full of photos & maps.

You can see them by clicking here

"No Modern Conveniences" Definitely Not Realtor Speak


A Victorian Age $7000 Carriage House Looked Like This By 1950



The estate did not sell until 1927 and the original 219 acres were broken up. The majority of the land without the Homestead and out buildings went to The Smadbecks at Home Guardian Co. and Sections 4 & 5 of Mastic Beach were created. The homestead and 12 acres around it was bought by Sydney Raphael of Brooklyn who may of worked for Home Guardian. Sydney soon turned it over in to Ludwig Freudenthal who did a lot of "horse trading" of property with The Smadbecks. Both men were primarily speculating here.

The next owner who would actually use the place for something more than to sell also came from the literary world , but before we move on to him, I want to leave you with a bit more about Henry W. Lanier. Here is a profile done on him in 1947 as another of his books was about to be released.



I have noticed an inordinate amount of early landowners in this Mastic story had strong literary and artistic connections and I am planning seperate pages devoted to that, W.B. Kitty , Doris , and Leora Dana, Nell Kay, The Knapps (as publishers) and our next character from both Broadway & Hollywood