A Mastic Beach Landmark

The Smith / Lawrence / Knapp? /Smadbeck / Garity / Dermody / Larkin / Heyer /




Built circa 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.


Even though 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

"The West Wing in Spring"


Living Room & The South Face Entrance

East Door of Living Room

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 kitchen.


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 ?



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 at:

Jack & Janet Heyer at 104 Locust Drive, Mastic Beach, NY. 11951

or e mail