Bohack and Manniello Circa 1960s
Noah Hallock Homestead, 172 Hallock Landing Rd., Rocky Point, NY.
Rocky Point Historical Society Check out our most recent newsletter! Click Here!RPHS Calendar Jan Feb March 2020 PDF (3)
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Tours & Meetings have not yet resumed, this Spring.
Natalie Aurucci Stiefel announced that her extended historical research is currently being included in an updated version of her book: “In The Shadow of the Radio Towers – Rocky Point’s History during the 20th century”. She is also completing Volume 2 – “In The Shadow Of the Rock – Rocky Point’s History during the 18th and 19th centuries”. For order and availability information, Email: email@example.com
Group Tours and information Telephone: 631-744-1776
The Rocky Point Historical Society has guided tours of the Noah Hallock Homestead April through December from 1-3 PM. Tour the 15 rooms filled with artifacts and archival photographs of Rocky Point’s unique history including the Farm Room, the one-room schoolhouse and the Radio History Room featuring the RCA Radio Central Transmitting Station and the 1902 Marconi wireless building.
Birthplace of Revolutionary War Soldiers & Patriots
Take a trip back in time with a visit to the Noah Hallock Homestead, at 172 Hallock Landing Road in Rocky Point hosted by trained docents. The house was built in 1721 when Noah Hallock and Bethia Youngs were married in November of that year and made Rocky Point their home. Three of their sons and three of their grandsons served as soldiers and patriots in the Revolutionary War. Noah and Bethia’s descendants lived in the Homestead and worked the farm for eight generations, through the next century and on to a good part of the twentieth century. At one time the Hallock family owned much of the land in Rocky Point.
The house has a gable roof wing on the west and 3 bay and the original wood shingles attest to their care through the centuries. In the mid nineteenth century Greek Revival details were added, such as the entrance containing sidelights, transom and paneled front door. The old metal roof is unique and in excellent condition for its age. The house is a showplace of original furniture, artifacts, farm equipment and archival photographs. It depicts life in Rocky Point from the early 18th century thru the 20th century with the establishment of RCA Radio Central, the world’s largest transmitting station from 1921-1978.
Introduction to “Rock Level Farm” by Natalie Aurucci Stiefel
Today the Cow Palace on Route 25A stands where the Tuthill Family once lived and farmed the land which they called The Rock Level Farm.
Samuel Miller Tuthill traced his family tree to approximately 1723 in Wading River when they owned the property later occupied by St. Joseph’s Villa on North Country Road. Their family home still stands just west of the big rock on the lower North Country Road to Wading River. His great grandfather, Sylvester Davis Tuthill, settled in Rocky Point in 1855, became its first Postmaster and established a productive farm there. Samuel Tuthill also can trace his maternal family roots to the Miller Family of Miller Place. His wife, Frances Hallock Tuthill, is the eighth generation of Rocky Point Hallocks to live in the Noah Hallock Homestead.
In 1976 a study was made of the historic barn structure by the Society of Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. They recorded: “the rhythmic, hierarchical structure of the wooden beams in the roof and walls were visible in the third level. They are an eloquent statement about construction techniques, craftsmanship and durability of an era gone by.”
Incidentally, when visiting the house of Frank Tuthill (later to be known as Dr. Rulon), the owner at that time, Jim Durso took the Samuel and Frances Tuthill and Natalie Stiefel on a tour of the building. It was of interest to note that the in the cellar the very foundation beams rested on large rocks. We all amusingly felt that this might be the source of the name “Rock Level Farm.
The February 5, 1905 issue of the Brooklyn newspaper The Standard Union made the following comments about the Tuthill’s Rock Level Farm at Rocky Point: “About 1855 there came from Wading River, a young man, Sylvester D. Tuthill, who settled on a farm of thirty acres in Rocky Point, bought for him by his father from one of the Hallocks. His little farm grew to be one of the finest properties on Long Island. His flock of fifty Southdown sheep is greatly admired, and he has numerous and valuable farm animals of all kinds. Mr. Tuthill, instead of confining himself to agriculture, engaged in many kinds of industry and brought a current of new life and activity into the village. He bought much woodland and the right to cut wood from many tracts, giving employment o an increasing number of men. There came to be a considerable commerce between the Sound ports and New York in wood, which was then used for many purposes for which it is not utilized now, when coal was to become the standard fuel and metal has so largely displaced it in construction.
“Mr. Tuthill acquired interests in vessels which carried to market the wood he cut. In 1855 there were more than fifty sloops sailing from ports between Port Jefferson and Wading River, where in 1904, there were not half a dozen. It required six men to load wood in a vessel of average size and four men for a crew. Often six sloops could be seen at one time lying at Rocky Point. The wood-cutting industry has languished, except that there are still some groves of locust, much esteemed for shipbuilding.
In the early days of the village, Mr. Tuthill, who was often associated with the Hallocks in business enterprises, was like them, generous in his dealing and encouraged new residents by considerate treatment”
On March 6, 1872 Sylvester Davis Tuthill established Rocky Point’s first post office, which he operated from his house. Ann Eliza Tuithil, his wife, was appointed Postmistress on March 17, 1885, following the death of Sylvester.
The 1905 Standard Union newspaper reported “At the time of Sylvester Tuthill’s death in 1885, while he was on his way to the New Orleans Exposition, he had increased his estate to six hundred acres. Samuel Tuthill tells the story which has been passed down in his family “On the fateful trip to New Orleans, my great grandfather, Sylvester D. Tuthill was accompanied by his daughter, Isabel H. Tuthill (my great aunt), who was 19 years old at the time. The trip was by train and, on February 24, 1885, Sylvester began to feel ill, and became steadily worse through the day and that evening. The next morning, the train arrived in New Orleans and, with the help of the two gentlemen who were on the train, Sylvester was taken to the Charity Hospital in New Orleans where he died that afternoon at about 3:30. His daughter, again with some kind assistance, had to arrange to have the body shipped home, and to get home herself – quite a burden for a girl of that age”.
Sylvester D. Tuthill, his wife, Ann Eliza and his daughter, Isabel, are buried in the Yaphank Cemetery.
Sylvester D. Tuthill’s son, Frank H. Tuthill and his daughter, Isabel, came into possession fo what was one of the most handsomely kept and most productive farms on Long Island. Frank H. Tuthill lived in a large and comfortable house, off Route 25A in Rocky Point, which later was known as the home and office of Dr. Rulon and after as the home and office of attorney Jim Durso. Grandson, Samuel M. Tuthill recalled” that house was built on a lot that projected into the cow pasture. with the same borders that it still has. In later years there was a garage at the back of the lot.”
Mr. Frank H. Tuthill served in many capacities. He was a Director of the Port Jefferson bank, a stockholder in the Bridgeport Steamboat Company and the Milling Company at Port Jefferson besides other business interests. He served as Trustee of the Town of Brookhaven. In the January 18, 1901 issue of the Suffolk County News, it was reported that Town Trustee, Frank H. Tuthill and Trustee Hall discussed the matter of the water privilege between the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown.
On August 15, 1913, Frank H. Tuthill was appointed Postmaster and operated the post office from his home. He added a small building to the east side of his front port which served as the post office. Frank H. Tuthill’s son, Henry A. S. Tuthill, took over the managing of the farm around 1912-1915. He was the third generation to run the farm. Thus, the Tuthill family continued to take an active part in community affairs.
Inquiry to the Historical Society::
Hi, my question is was there ever a snack bar or bar down at the beach on the leftside of Hallock landing???? “Lewistons” maybe ? Thanx Pete G.
By Natalie Aurucci Stiefel
The mention of “Luerssen’s Pavilion” brings back memories of a beach town filled
with summer residents heading for the shore. It was located at the west end of
Hallock Landing Road, overlooking the beach. At the Pavilion there was a full
sized restaurant with a juke box for dancing and many people danced in their
bathing suits. Luerssen also provided rowboats for rent on the beach.
It was in 1931 when widower, Frank Luerssen, brought his four sons to Rocky
Point. Francis was the oldest, Eugene the youngest and Elwin and Edward, the
twins. Elwin recalled “my father drove us out to Rocky Point to see the place on
the beach in an old Model A Ford. Three of us would ride in the back rumble
seat with a blanket over our heads.”
There was a lot of work in Rocky Point, as the North Shore Beach community
was growing. We did the electrical jobs”, Elwin said. “North Shore Beach
owners had to go to the Clubhouse with a 20 gallon milk can to get their water.
Few people had wells in those days.”
Originally, Sylvester (Ves) Hallock, leased the beach front property to Mr.
Jensen, who called his establishment the “Blue Whale”. The Blue Whale building
was moved up to the southwest corner of Route 25A and Rocky Point Road.
Later the building was called “The Kameo Inn” in the forties and then “George’s
Crossroads, which became a famous landmark in Rocky Point. The site was
later occupied by the North Fork Bank.
Ves Hallock leased the property at the end of Hallock Landing to Frank Luerssen.
Luerssen’s four sons built the pavilion. A 10’ x 10’ square wooden building,
painted with black and orange stripes, was first built in 1932. Elwin recalled “we
would open the wooden shutter to the building. As we had no refrigeration, we
would use dry ice with rock salt to keep the ice cream cold. During the winter the
building burned down and had to be rebuilt. That summer we lived in an old
army tent. To stay in Rocky Point during the winter, my father rented a bungalow
on Friendship Drive.”
“During the 1938 hurricane, a great big, brand new pier broke loose from
Connecticut and ended up on our beach. My brothers, Frannie, Ed and I spent
many days pulling them apart, floating them down and carrying them all up the
beach till we had enough for my father to put the extension on and build the
Pavilion. These were 3’ x 10’ treated wood and were twenty feet long. We had
enough lumber out of that to put the foundation on. It was all put on locust poles
at the time. We also had enough lumber left over to sell to the people at Culross
Beach to build their bungalows.”
In Deed 2219, page 225 of February 16, 1942 Sylvester H. Hallock deeded the
property at the northwest end of Hallock Landing to Elwin Luerssen who in turn
deeded it to Frank Luerssen. The property contained 2.342 acres. It contained
several wooden frame buildings which were on the premises. The property
bordered east of the lands known as “Culross”, formerly belonging to Frank
Melville, Jr. The northerly line “to be bounded now and forever, regardless of the
present above mentioned measurements, by the foot of the bank as it exists, or
may hereafter exist, on Long Island sound, said description being subject only to
the accretion and avulsion of the foot of the bank by Acts of God.” A mortgage of
$9,750. was held by Merritt S. Hallock.
Elwin Luerssen recalled there was a big storm the weekend he came home on
leave from service during World war II. “The water was coming up right to the
road. I thought we would have to get out, but fortunately, the tide went out, which
saved the Pavilion. The next morning we could walk underneath the Pavilion, as
it washed out. We had previously rebuilt it and put rooms above it. Before that,
we slept on the floor in the attic and tried to keep warm with a coal stove, as
there was no central heat. The bulkhead was taken away by the storm.
Vi Courage Person had many fond memories of the Pavilion. During the years
1942 through 1949 as a teenager from age 12 to 19, she worked at Luerssen’s
Pavilion during the summer months. She said Frank Luerssen, owner of the
Pavilion at Hallock Landing, started out with a 2 x 4 store which he and his sons
built. He had a grocery store, ice cream parlor, which also served hamburgers,
hot dogs, etc., and a restaurant. The restaurant had tables near the windows,
so you could look out at the Long Island Sound and the beach, which was usually
crowded with people. Jeanette and Josephine Archibald and lots of other young
people worked for the Luerssens.
“Mr. Luerssen also had rows of bungalows he rented out in the summer which
were located next to the Pavilion, some of which are still there at the Landing.
He was a pleasure to work for. He was very strict as far as teenagers who were
not allowed in the bar area. Frank Luerssen married Madge Edwards and
continued to run the Pavilion until he sold it to Mr. Hammond.”
Elwin Luerssen remembered the Nazi Camp Siegfried which was located in
Yaphank. “They would march down to Hallock Landing Beach wearing
swatstickas on their arms and reciting ‘Heil Hitler’. We all shouted to them to get
off the beach.”
“After we enlarged the Pavilion, we had a band every Saturday night”, said Elwin.
“Once a week we would have $5.10 roast beef sandwich, with all the beer you
can drink. We would have a crowd at the Pavilion.”
“We had a baseball team at the Rocky Point School, coached by Mr. Joseph
Edgar. He was great and put a team together. We played against St. James
who had a big wooden school. I remember singing with the students on the
auditorium stage at Rocky Point School. One of the songs was ‘Let me call you
sweetheart’. After school we would raid Sylvester Hallock’s apple orchard. I
would make lots of apple pies for the family. We had the best possible years in
Frank Luerssen sold the Pavilion in the early 1950’s. There are many Rocky
Pointers with fond memories of “Luerssen’s Pavilion”.
An inquiry was recently received regarding information and photographs of the Jampol family and their grocery store which operated on Broadway in Rocky Point during the late 1920’s and 1930’s. Information and photos may be submitted by E-mail to: nataliast@aol,com
The following is the E-mail and replies from Lynn Jampol Pickus:
My father, Lester Jampol, worked for his Uncles, Bill and Jack Jampol during the summer in the 1930’s. Many of the Jampol family members stayed at Cedar Lodge in Wading River, owned by Bill Jampol, in the 30’s and 40’s and enjoyed so many vacations there. Bill developed both sides of the avenue (Broadway in Rocky Point) in the 1920’s. On the side of the stores, a sign is visible with Bill and Jack’s name. Jack’s name is also over the grocery store photo. The photo is dated 1934. My father’s Aunt Anna married Eugene Sherk, who was the first president of the NSBPOA (North Shore Beach Property Owners Association) in Rocky Point.
My husband, brother and I stopped to see Cedar Lodge in Wading River a couple of years ago. We also drove into Wading River. For us, it was really stepping way back into our family history. My father told us the FBI situated themselves in a local house to catch Nazi collaborators transmitting information to Nazis situated on boats off the coastline.
This was all brought to mind when I saw that the NSBPOA is celebrating 90 years since it was founded.
We will keep in touch and forward anything of interest to you.
Thank you so much for sending the copy of the ad announcing the liquor license that was issued to my father and Jack. We are very interested in any other information you may find. The Jampols and extended family members spent many very happy years in Rocky Point and Wading River.
By coincidence, my husband was part of the attachment at the Nike Hercules Base in Rocky Point during 1964-70.
I would appreciate any information or photos the Society may have regarding the Jampol family or the house that was used by the FBI during WWII,
I look forward to hearing from you.
Lynn Jampol Pickus
Thanks so much for contacting me at me at my E-mail address and sharing your Jampol family’s Rocky Point history and the wonderful postcard and photo. We are requesting any information from our readers.
I am attaching copy of an ad announcing the liquor licensing to Jack and Lester Jampol, which appeared in the September 22, 1933 issue of the Patchogue Advance. There was a notice in the 1934 newspaper that “Irving Jampol operated his luncheonette on Broadway”
The Wading River house, which was used by the FBI as a double agent spy station during World War II, is known as the Benson House. Last year it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was shown in the movie: “The House On 92nd Street”. There are many websites detailing its history including Wikipedia. Search: “Benson House Wading River, NY. “ Go to the history section in Wikipeda for further story.
Natalie Aurucci Stiefel
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Christmas Ornaments Now on Sale
We are pleased to announce that our 2nd annual Christmas tree ornament is now on sale. the new ornaments feature the RCA Radio Central Transmitting Station. Ornaments featuring the Noah Hallock House are also available.