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

Howard Robinson Store

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

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Inventory Code: SH04.1-S
Prepared Date: 4/17/2009
Last modified: 10/20/2010
Original Submitter
Submitter Name: John Deitz
Submitter Address: 7 Locust Rd.

1-Building/Site Name:  
2a-County:   Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village:  Hamlet of Southaven
3-Street Location:   Montauk Hwy

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

   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    Town of Brookhaven 5b-Address:    Montauk Highway

6a-Original:    Store

6b-Present:    Vacant

 7a-Visible From Road

 7b-Interior Accessible:
7b-Interior Comment:   by Appointment  
Building Materials 
   8a-Clapboard    8b-Stone    8c-Brick
   8d-Board & Batten    8e-Cobblestone    8f-Shingles
Structural System
   9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints    9b-Wood Frame Light Members:    9c-Masonry:
9d-Metal Comment:     
9e-Other Comment:     
    10a-Excellent   10b-Good   10c-Fair     10d-Deteriorated
   11a-Original Site  11b-Moved   If so, when?  
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
  14a-None Known:    14b-Zoning   14c-Roads
  14d-Developers :   14e-Deterioration
14f-Other:   The property has been purchased by the Town of Brookhaven. Its future is uncertain.  
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:   
15-Comment:   Adjoing the Carman's River.  
Surroundings of the Building
  16a-Open Land   16b-Woodland   16c-Scattered Bldgs.
  16d-Densely Built-up   16e-Commercial  16f-Industrial
  16g-Residential 16h-Other:   Nestled between Montauk Highway, Sunrise Highway, and the Carman's River.
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features:       
19-Initial Const Date:   About July 1927
19-Builder:  Howard Robinson  
Historic and Architectural Importance

This structure is all that remains of the commercial district of the South Haven hamlet. In the 17th, 18th, and much of the 19th century it contained mills, stores, an inn, a church, blacksmith, wheelwright, and other enterprises. Throughout the late 19th and 20th century, the commercial nature of the community declined, and the properties were purchased by the Suffolk Club and the Robinson Duck Farm. The construction of Sunrise Highway provided the death knell – the old mill was destroyed, and all other structures on the north side of Montauk Highway were either razed or moved. Until the site was sold by Swezey Fuel Oil, a large fuel oil tank dominated the site.

(From Marty Van Lith) Howard Robinson started the business, died shortly after. His widow, Audrey, remarried Delbert Wesche, who ran the business for many years keeping the name Robinson Fuel Oil. I don't know exactly when, but I think sometime in the 1950s Wesche sold the business to Swezey Oil. Swezey came under pressure during the 1970s and 80s to clean up the site, being on the banks of Carmans River, and decided that they didn't need the place and sold. The next owner was the first to use it as a canoe rental calling it Carmans River Canoe. I don't know how many times it changed hands after that but it ended with Glacial Bay Canoe.

From the Patchogue Advance, 1 July 1927: "Howard Robinson of Southaven is building a new refreshment store with living rooms above, next [to] his refreshment stand in Southaven opposite the Presbyterian Church."   

21-Sources:      Marty Van Lith. Personal knowledge.
Patchogue Advance, 1 July 1927.
22-Theme:   Commercial site   
Prepared By:
  John Deitz
Supplemental Material: