Libaire Family Album
Center Moriches & Oakdale LI
1900 - 1950's
On The Senekes Creek in Center Moriches circa 1920's. Johnny is the dark haired one
Several years ago when I was interviewing Cut Redin, one of the sons of a Moriches estate caretaker , he told me I should probably talk to Johnny Libaire, if I wanted to know what Mastic estate owners William S. Dana and Joseph F. Knapp were really like. He said Johnny would know because although he was obviously much younger than Dana and Knapp, (John was born in 1913) he spent time with them as a kid and teenager. John's Dad Henry was one of their sailing and sporting buddies. He also mentioned that Johnny once owned two of Dana's boats. But his caveat to me was the factor that Johnny was now close to 90 years old and in very frail health. I didn't pursue it because of the health issue but finally wrote to Johnny's son Jack Libaire last February to ask him if he could ask his father a few questions for me. I probably wasn't a minute too soon because although Johnny couldn't remember too much, he did confirm the picture I had of J. F. Knapp was indeed "Dodi". His son Jack went through the family photo album and loaned me what I think are some great glimpses of life in the mostly Moriches bay and Oakdale area from around 1900 - 1940's. I was especially taken with the shots from the "Summer Side Of Life" (apologies to Gordon Lightfoot) that show Johnny and his friends and relatives as kids being kids. They remind me that it really wasn't much different at all when my brother Butchie , me and the all the neighborhood gang in Mastic Beach just enjoyed the heck out of ourselves swimming, fishing, and exploring all summer long in the 1950's.
Special kudos to Marty Van Lith for being the "go to guy" on this project and doing the original scanning of the photos and negatives.
A Grand Old Flag .......There are 45 Stars On this one
John's grandfather Adolphe Libaire 1840-1920 was a Civil War veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor reciptant for his heroism at the Battle Of Antietam in September of 1862. Adolphe passed away when Johnny was seven.
As kids the cars we played in were not that much newer
But we sure didn't have any of these
Libaire home on Union Ave. Center Moriches
Lets Go Boating In The Backyard & On Moriches Bay