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

Robinson-Miller House

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

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Inventory Code: SH05
Prepared Date: 7/14/1982
Last modified: 7/6/2012
Original Submitter
Submitter Name: Town of Brookhaven/SPLIA
Submitter Address: Town Hall
205 S. Ocean Ave.
Organization: Brookhaven Community Development Agency
1-Building/Site Name:  
2a-County:   Suffolk 2b-Town:  Brookhaven 2c-Village:  Hamlet of Southaven
3-Street Location:   Montauk Highway

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

   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    Robert Robinson 5b-Address:    Montauk Hwy, south side, 2nd west of Carmans River


6b-Present:    residence (rental)

 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
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:   Robinson's Duck Farm
15j-Other:  farm  
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:   Located in the Hamlet of Southaven, which was first settled in the eighteenth century.  
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features: House owned by [Gilbert B.] Miller in 1858. [Chace map records name as G. Miller]      
19-Initial Const Date:   before 1858
Historic and Architectural Importance

1 1/2 story, 2 bays on second floor, 3 bays first floor, side entrance hall, gable roof house with gable end to street with one story wing on west. 6/6 windows. Brick foundation.

This house was likely the homestead of Sineus Miller, and indeed he probably built it.  The property was a small farmstead and seems also to have included a hotel.   From 1820 through 1860, first Sineus, then his wife Polly, and finally his son Gilbert are all listed in the census record once removed from Samuel Carman, who was known to reside adjacent to the property. The 1858 Chace Map identifies this house with G. Miller (there is an ambiguity, however, in that the Chace map records the Carman House next to the South Haven Church, with the Miller house next to the west. Other evidence suggests that Chace has reversed them). Sineus Miller is buried in the Carman/Miller Private Cemetery (Site ID SH02.1-S), which was at the southeast corner of the original Miller farm (and adjacent to the Carman family cemetery on land owned by them—they are now maintained as a single burying ground.)

On 1 June 1870, Deming (Denning) Duer purchased at auction the late Sineus Miller farmstead and buildings (Libor 170, p. 129, $2024.).  This farm, consisting of about 25 acres, was across Montauk highway from the then existing Suffolk Club properties;  from the deed description  it appears to be essentially the present Ron Bush farmstead.  Immediately after acquiring the property, on 16 June 1870, Duer transferred title of the former Miller farm to the Suffolk Club (Libor 170, p. 133, $10).  Deming Duer was a prominent New York City banker, and was likely to have been a member of the Suffolk Club. 

This "sale" of the Miller farm to the Suffolk Club is also reported in the New York Times, 13 June 1870.  See "Sources" below.  (The handsome barn on the site — now housing Ron Bush's extensive private farm equipment collection — is not of 19th century vintage.  It was erected by Anson Hard after he acquired the Suffolk Club property  (see Suffolk Club).  The Hards established a dairy farm on the site.)

The Robinson family eventually purchased the site and it became part of the extensive Robinson duck farmstead.  It was later separated from the Robinson farm and sold to Ron Bush, the current owner.


Map of Suffolk County, Long Island, by James Chace, New York: 1858.

Suffolk County Deeds Deeds, Libor 170, p. 129 (1 June 1870) and p. 133 (16 June 1870): These deeds record the transfer of the old Sineus Miller farm in South Haven, Brookhaven, Suffolk, NY to the Suffolk Club.  The property was sold at auction by a referee appointed by the New York State Supreme Court in Kings County.  While not specifically mentioned in the indentures, the court order likely was the result  of Gilbert B. Miller's death earlier that year.  While the plaintiff was recorded as Sineus Miller (Gilbert's father), he had died long before, in 1828.  Listed as defendants were:  *Mariette Miller (Margaret), *Emma (Miller) Thurston & John Thurston, her husband, *Gilbert Miller, *Nathaniel Miller, *Ann Amelia Miller, *Robert S. Miller, *Ella May Miller (Eleanor M.), *Emmeline Miller (Emeline), Ann Eliza Hawkins, Phebe Maria Goodale and William C. Barrette.  Those marked with a * are known to have been children of Gilbert B. Miller and Emeline Carman, his wife (d. 1861); while Emeline was the daughter of a Samuel Carman; this Samuel was not the prominent South Haven land-owner and neighbor, from whom much of the Suffolk Club property derived.

 Gilbert Estate Sale of Property to Suffolk Club, New York Times, New York, NY, 13 Jun 1870, p. 8.: The homestead of the late Gilbert B. Miller, of South Haven, together with the hotel and farm, have been sold to the Suffolk Club, whose lands lay immediately adjoining. They intend to erect new buildings, lay out new drives, and otherwise beautify the grounds.

22-Theme:   residential and farm   
Prepared By:
  Ellen Williams, research assistant
Supplemental Material: 

In a book written in 1822 ("Travels in New England and New York," by Timothy Dwight, "late president of Yale College), another hotel is described;  it is difficult to see how this inn could have been the Miller hotel:

"The next morning, the 22d, we left West-hampton; and rode to Douglas's in Islip through the remaining part of Southampton, a part of Brookhaven, and a part of Islip, thirty-six miles [I take this to mean they rode the entire distance that day].  We dined at Carman's [mid-day?] in what is called the Fire-Place, in Brookhaven; and fared comfortably; but were obliged to lodge [at Islip?] at a miserable house, half in ruins, kept by very poor, and very ignorant, people:  the inn, at which we intended to lodge [at Islip?], having been preoccupied by some sportsmen from New-York, who had come hither to catch trout."

 The next paragraph describes the Connecticut river at Carman's and the fine fishing there.  But then describes staying at Douglas' where a thunderstorm caused the roof and walls to leak and some of the traveling companions got wet.   I think that the "miserable house" was at Islip. 

Sineus Miller was not poor or ignorant—he was a lawyer as well as a farmer, and a a judge of the Court of Common Pleas (county court).  Gilbert Miller was his son, born in 1817, and a "merchant."