August Hawkins and his sister Prudence around 1900

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Building Inventory Form

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Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form.   Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, much of the information reflects that time period. 

Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made.  Corrections to factual errors in the original surveys, and updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or are clearly indicated as updated material from the context of the comments. 

Sites which have a suffix of "S" are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.


Building-Structure Inventory Form

Leszkowicz Duck Farm

 If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not included in the original surveys.

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Inventory Code: Br36.105-S
Prepared Date: 5/18/2011
Last modified: 5/23/2011
Original Submitter
Submitter Name: John Deitz
Submitter Address: 7 Locust Rd.

631-286-3178
Organization:
Identification
1-Building/Site Name:  
2a-County:   Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village:  Hamlet of Brookhaven
3-Street Location:   About 105 Old Stump Road

 If checked, this site is within the Fire Place (Brookhaven Hamlet) Historic District

Ownership
   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    In part, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge), and several individual private owners of residences. 5b-Address:    About 105 Old Stump road
Use

6a-Original:    Duck Farm

6b-Present:    Residence & Wildlife Refuge

Accessibility
 7a-Visible From Road

 7b-Interior Accessible:
7b-Interior Comment:   Access to the Wildlife Refuge requires a permit.  
Building Materials 
   8a-Clapboard    8b-Stone    8c-Brick
   8d-Board & Batten    8e-Cobblestone    8f-Shingles
   8g-Stucco
8-Other:     
Structural System
   9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints    9b-Wood Frame Light Members:    9c-Masonry:
    9d-Metal
9d-Metal Comment:     
   9e-Other
9e-Other Comment:     
Condition
    10a-Excellent   10b-Good   10c-Fair     10d-Deteriorated
Integrity
   11a-Original Site  11b-Moved   If so, when?  
11c-Alterations:  Except for residences and one barn associated with the remaining residences, all other farm structures have been razed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service  
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
13-Map
Threats
  14a-None Known:    14b-Zoning   14c-Roads
  14d-Developers :   14e-Deterioration
14f-Other:   The original duck ranch barns, sheds and other outbuildings have mostly been razed, and the farm land-holdings are now incorporated within the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge. The remaining privately owned residences and buildings south of the Long Island Rail Road right-of-way are within the Fire Place Historic District and therefore are required to meet the review standards applicable to Town of Brookhaven historic districts.  
14-Comment:     
Related Outbuildings
and Property

  15a-Barn   15b-Carriage House  15c-Garage
  15d-Privy   15e-Shed   15f-Greenhouse
  15g-Shop   15h-Gardens   15i-Landscape Features
15i-Landscape Features:   
15j-Other:   
15-Comment:     
Surroundings of the Building
  16a-Open Land   16b-Woodland   16c-Scattered Bldgs.
  16d-Densely Built-up   16e-Commercial  16f-Industrial
  16g-Residential 16h-Other:   
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
17-Interrelationships:    
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features:       
Significance
19-Initial Const Date:   Early 20th century
19-Architect:    
19-Builder:    
Historic and Architectural Importance
20-Importance:   The Leszkowicz duck farm extended along much of the east side of Yaphank avenue/Old Stump road from Montauk highway south, along the west bank of the creek known as Little Neck run.. Originally there were three separate family farms–Kuzmech, Leszkowicz, and Savage (see related table links for information on these families). These were eventually consolidated into a single Leszkowicz farm. Except for the residences and their associated outbuildings, the site was eventually purchased by the Federal government and placed under the management of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wertheim National Wildlife Service.)   
Sources
21-Sources:       
Theme
22-Theme:   Farmland   
Prepared By:
  John Deitz
Supplemental Material: 
 

Long Island Advance, 24 May 1945

Judge Steinbrink Finds Duck Ranch Is Not Nuisance
Turns Down Michelsen Move Against Leskowiczs
Agrees Proximity To Summer Home, Brookhaven, May Be Annoying—Cites Zone Rule, Known Conditions

A decision handed down by Supreme Court Justice Meier Steinbrink in special term, Riverhead, last week in the action of Michelsen vs. Leskowicz, holds that a duck ranch is not a legal nuisance, even though its sounds or smell may annoy some neighbor and reduce the value of neighboring property for residential purposes.

The judge dismissed the injunction and damage action brought by Rolf T. Michelsen and City Bank-Farmers Trust company, trustees under the will of the late Rasmus Michelsen, and Mrs. Bernadine Michelsen, the widow, against John Leskowicz and Egnats Leskowicz, operators of a large duck farm at Brookhaven.

The Michelsen summer home occupies a site on lower Little Neck creek and Carman's or Connecticut river, above the foot of Beaver Dam road. The duck farm lies nearby to the northwest, along Little Neck run, east of Railroad avenue. The decision emphasizes the fact that the area has been zoned for such purposes since 1937. The Michelsen and Leskowicz families have both been residents of Brookhaven for a long time.

The plaintiffs had sought a permanent injunction against the operation of the duck farm, and $100,000 damages. It was argued by the plaintiffs that the duck farmers had polluted and diverted Little Neck run, and had trespassed on the Michelsen property by erecting of posts and wire fences.

Some excerpts from the decision follow:
"On the evidence and a view of the property, it is quite convincing that for residence purposes plaintiffs properties have no great value. The local authorities of the Town of Brookhaven in 1937 zoned the property along Little Neck Creek so that the business of duck farms might lawfully be conducted there. This business, conducted as it is, is a lawful one, lawfully and reasonably carried on ....
"To destroy the defendants' business would not only inflict great loss upon them, but would neither add to the value of plaintiffs' property nor make the building and property at the southerly end of the creek more desirable for residential purposes. Equity will not aid doubtful rights.
"When the plaintiff selected her home or her property, which is not claimed to be occupied the year around, she might well expect the incidents of country life. She might not expect that the circumambient air would be altogether free from either the quacking of ducks or the occasional odors therefrom. She had to recognize that she could quiet the occasional duck sounds, or purify the air or the stream by holding defendants' business within the radius of her absolute comfort.
"When, as in this case, she came to this quarter of the Town of Brookhaven where duck business had long been maintained, she was bound to recognize the conditions and the incidents thereof, for there is a recognized distinction between that which annoys and that that which injures. The unreasonable use that constitutes, a nuisance cannot be declared as by a hard and fast rule. What would be a nuisance in one place might afford no just ground for complaint in another."