Church circa 1787. Near border of Broome #newyork. #history
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Long Island Footprints
News feed and stories about Long Island and its history
Send me your query!
Starting this week, I will answer one genealogical query a week on my blog. Answers will be published each Friday.
- Query must be on a Long Island or NY Metro person/family
- Query must contain one detailed question
- Query must include a public handle where I can respond with an additional question, if necessary
- Query must be in a message to my Twitter handle @LIgenealogist or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Island-Genealogist-LLC
- Answer to query will be published on this blog and through the medium which the query was asked (i.e. Twitter or Facebook)
- There is no charge associated with this query :-)
Dear LIgenealogist: Mary Foote Johnson had 3 children. She was born in 1858 in Oswego, NY and died in 1913 in the same county. Her husband was Harold Johnson. What were the names of their children?
Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to your queries!
The Gardiner Family and Gardiner's Island
There have been Gardiners on Long Island well before there were Whitney’s, Vanderbilts or Astors.
You may be familiar with Sagtikos Manor. I have had the pleasure of touring Sagtikos Manor in Bay Shore, Long Island, with my DAR chapter last year. it is quite beautiful and well-preserved. Many visitors to this historic site have become familiar with the historic home, but not as many know much about the Gardiner family that doubled the size of the original Van Cortlandt house on the property that dates back to 1692. The home fell into the Gardiner family when Mary Gardiner of East Hampton married Jonathan Thompson of Setauket in 1772. The Gardiners continued to own the home through its last owner, Robert David Lion Gardiner who with his childless death, deeded the property to his foundation. Later and still today, the house and property are maintained by the Sagtikos Manor Historical Society.
Although Robert Gardiner would call himself the 16th Lord of the Manor, his heart was on Gardiner’s Island, just 12 miles east of Greenport, L.I. Until 1894 it had a beautiful light house, but eventually was discarded by the government. At one time, the island was a known hiding place of the infamous pirate, William Kidd and it was occupied by the British during the American Revolution.
In a 1976 newspaper article, it was written that “The Gardiners always made good marriages. One of them married a Deering, the family that owned Shelter Island, thereby neating things up so that one could stand on Gardiner’s island and yet view more family land.” I’m sorry, this family owned islands? So, how did the Gardiner family come upon owning this island? Well, according to writer Edward Rowe Snow, “there is a tradition that the island was sold to Lion Gardiner by the Sachem of Wyandanch in gratitude for his attempt to rescue Wyandanch’s daughter from the Ningret during the Indian warfare on Long Island.” Well, what would Lion have gotten if he actually rescued her? Perhaps I would be living in Gardiner county?
Bestill my heart, but the late Robert Gardiner actually hired a genealogist to help him find the direct descendents to Lion Gardiner so that he could find the right heir to his properties, particularly Gardiner’s Island. Keeping the Gardiner properties in the family was critical. In 1989, he approached George Gardiner Green, Jr. with an attempt to adopt him so that he could be such an heir. Mr. Green considered it, but did he buy it? No, he didn’t and Robert Gardiner’s neice, Alexandra, ended up with total ownership of the island. Alexandra’s family placed a conservation easement on the island in 2004 which will be in effect through 2025. The island, therefore, has been abandoned and what will happen in 2025 could be scary. Will it be developed? Ignored? My DAR chapter needs a home, maybe we could pitch for it?
So sad, that an island with such rich historic long island history has been let go and even sadder that the Gardiner family has lost it. As the last generation of my line on my father’s side with two daughters, I feel I can relate - even if my ownership on this beautiful island is more or less a car.
What happened to 87 Lakeland Ave?
I often go through Sayville and almost always pass by 87 Lakeland Ave. An old house that seems untouched since it’s hay day. The worn house, built in 1860 is so beautiful with ornate wood work and wrap around porch. It was for sale in 2012 but it doesn’t look like anyone bought it or if they did, they have neither touched it or moved into it. Regardless, the for sale sign is no longer there. I do hope that if there was/is a buyer that they aren’t going to tear this old gem down. It may be on busy Lakeland Ave, but it is on a street lined with similar homes and is just a short bike ride from beautiful downtown Sayville. And, hello, it is on almost a half an acre!
So what happened to this home? Who lived there? It is listed on Foreclosure.com so who let it go?
This is what I found out:
1918: William Arthur Wachlin, an enlisted Ranger during WWI, resided in the home
1924-1928: Losee A. Wachlin, an avid reader of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, was residing here
1941: Mrs. August Wachlin died in the home, the mother of Losee who by this time had removed to Bay Shore
1956: William A. Wachlin resided in the home, another son of Mrs. August Wachlin
1971: The McMorris family resided in the house
2003: Edward J Mihalik was running a business out of this location
Were the Wachlin’s the first owners of the house? Who built it? I’m going to look into this some more, but in the mean time…
Dear current owner, if you are looking for a tenant, I’m in! P.S. Please paint it first :-)
NYC Farm Colony: View showing offices and various wooden buildings resembling private houses in a small town, 1904. Department of Public Charities
The Steinway Mansion
The Steinway Mansion, built in 1858 by Benjamin Pike, Jr., and former home of the founder of Steinway & Sons, has a special place in my heart as a former Astoria resident. It is such a beautiful home. It is in dire need of funding for repairs and restoration. Is is a beauty that really reminds us of old Astoria, how it was before Steinway St. was caked with debris.
The mansion was initially part of a 440 acres estate and holds the current address of 18-33 41st Street.
Most people are familiar with the Steinways, but who was Pike? Why did he build this beautiful mansion before it became the Steinway home after Pike’s death in 1864 and how did he have the means?
Benjamin Pike, Jr. was born in 1809 to Benjamin Senior and his wife, Sarah. Ten years before building his home in Astoria, he was living in Manhattan with his wife, the former Francis Matilda Hope and 3 daughters- Catherine, Mary and Harriet.
Benjamin, like his father, was a successful Optician and manufacturer of optical instruments. They were so successful, for many years operating under Benjamin Pike & Sons. Their office was located at 294 Broadway in New York City.
Benjamin died on a Saturday in the spring of 1864, just a year after his father. It is sad for me to think he only lived in his beautiful mansion for short 6 years. Both Benjamin Junior and Senior are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery of Brooklyn.
I do hope the mansion is restored and if they are looking for a tenant, I’m in!