A Mastic Beach
The Smith /
Lawrence / Knapp? /Smadbeck / Garity / Dermody / Larkin / Heyer
1840, this fine home I am happy to say, is still in good hands.
Recently I had the pleasure of visiting with it's new owners (
since May of 2001 ) Jack & Janet Heyer. They had contacted
me after seeing their "new " home on the internet and
together we are hopefully going to discover the full history of
this 162 year old landmark.
I went to school and hung around some with the Dermody Kids, (Peter
and John in the early '60's) I had never set foot in their house.
That all changed when I recieved an e mail just before Christmas
2001 from one Jack Heyer. He wanted to know everything I had on
his home. When he discovered I was returning to the area in January,
he offered an invitation to drop by. Knowing that it was highly
probable the Knapp family owned it for a time, how could I refuse?
Here are a few
interior photos I took that rainy January 2002 late afternoon
along with some exterior ones I took in March of 2001, when a
very nice lady named Joan Larkin owned it.
Looking out to
the south snow covered lawn from the west wing
Wing in Spring"
Living Room &
The South Face Entrance
East Door of Living
The East Face
Did the Knapp's
once stand on this balcony and watch their home being constructed
just across the meadow?
Janet Heyer told
me that this room on the North Side
was the original
The view of the
South & East faces from Locust Drive. One thing for certain
is, none of the pine trees in this area were indigenous. Who planted
them? The Smith's , Lawrence's , or Knapp's ?
WHO HAD IT FIRST?
Later on that week, Jack
accompianied me over to the register
of deeds. I gave him a crash course in how to research his
home and he did well. However I was pre occupied with trying to
find more direct Knapp info and we both ran out of time. He did
find out that T. Malcom Garity purchased it in 1929 from the Smadbeck's
(Home Guardian) and hopefully Jack will return to Riverhead soon
and find out the rest of the story. We know that the Garity daughter,
Elizabeth married Jim Dermody and how the house was transferred
forward. Who the Smadbeck's bought it from, will tell the tale
of the past and answer a lot of questions. I know from my deed
to the Knapp Property I found, that the surrounding land with
buildings passed through these hands: Elizabeth Smith in 1839,
Charles Jeffery Smith in 1862, After that date I believe it came
into the hands of J. S. Lawrence. It is from the Lawrence family
that the Knapp's purchased the land in 1916. This is a map ( with
some modern notations made by me for reference points ) that Belcher
Hyde published in 1906.
You can see that
the future "Knapp Road" meets up with the futre Monroe
Dr. and extends southerly till it loops around the area. I believe
that this house is one of the two buildings shown on the west
side of the loop of the J. S. Lawrence Estate. The one to the
east of it , is probably either what became known as "Clark's
Barn" now a private home on Ramshorn & Jefferson or one
of the barns or homes that were on Dogwood and Jefferson. Mrs.
Sherman's full name is Hannah Lawrence Sherman.
I called Jack today
Feb 10th, to see if he had returned to Riverhead yet or if had
any new news on his old house. Nothing on the former owners yet,
but he did tell me that he has decided to do a Bed & Breakfast
with it. For further information about that you can contact him
Jack & Janet
Heyer at 104 Locust Drive, Mastic Beach, NY. 11951