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

Gwynne [Nehemiah Hulse] house

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

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Inventory Code: Br28
Prepared Date: 8/16/1982
Last modified: 2/12/2015
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 Brookhaven
3-Street Location:   255 Beaver Dam Road corner Fireplace Neck Road

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

   4a-Public     4b-Private
5a-Owner  (at original survey date):    5b-Address:   

6a-Original:    residence

6b-Present:    residence (weekend)

 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
8-Other:   asphalt 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?  
11c-Alterations:  [While the date of alternations are not know, it is likely that there have been changes, especially if parts of the house was originally constructed in the late 18th century, as presently suspected.]  
Photo & Map
12-Photo Photos and images
View Larger Map
  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:   
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:   This house is located on Beaver Dam Road in Brookhaven, which was opened in 1735.  
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
18-Notable Features: This house was owned in 1873 by W. W. Nicoll; in 1902 by S. Rhode (sp?) who was Editor of the Brooklyn Eagle. [See Supplemental Material]      
19-Initial Const Date:   between 1858 and 1873, c. 1870. [Recent research suggests that the origin of this house may have been as early as 1790-1800.]
19-Builder:  [Perhaps Nehemiah Hulse.]  
Historic and Architectural Importance
20-Importance:   1 1/2 story, 3 bay, side entrance plan, gable roof house with 1 story, 3 bay, gable roof wing on east. Original porch with turned posts and on wing sawn decoration. 3 very small windows under the eaves.,

[ In the 18th century, various members of the Hulse family are known to have owned property and meadow lots in Fire Place, including John Hulse (Sr. & Jr.), Richard Hulse, and Thomas Hulse. From the 1751 will of John Hulse Jr., we know that properties he owned in Fire Place were distributed abong his sons. In the18th century records of the Town of Brookhaven, Hulses have several mentions relative to their properties, including especially land along Beaver Dam creek. From the 1800 census, we know that Nehemiah Hulse, John Jr.'s son, was then living in Fire Place, probably on the site of this house. A Hulse family cemetery was located on this site. 19th century maps show the site to include the parcel that contains they cemetery. The earliest death date clearly recorded in the cemetery is 1849. The newest death date is 1914. George Perley Morse (1940-50s) indicates in his "scrapbook" that this house was built by Nehemiah Hulse. This evidence suggests that the origin of this house may have been late 18th century. ]

21-Sources:      Atlas of L.I. N.Y. by F. W. Beers, New York: Beers, Comstock & Cline, 1873, inset, p. 171

[While this house does not show on the 1858 Chace Map, this is not proof that it did not exist. Other dwelling houses known to have existed in 1858 are not show.]  

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

[A "S. Rhode" editorship of the Brooklyn Eagle has not been confirmed. Through much of the 20th century, the house was owned by the Rohde/Gwynne family. "S. Rhode" could be a reference to Sophia Rohde, grandmother to Florence Rohde Gwynne. See Hamlet People database.]

["Mrs. J. M. Hodges" is shown on the 1888 Wendelken map.]

[W. W. Nicoll shown on the 1873 Beers map was also found in the 1870 census of Fire Place. He was not found in Brookhaven Hamlet 1n 1880. See the Hamlet People database.]

[The following undated clipping (microfilmed in 1972) is from the Patchogue, L.I. Advance.
"Seamen's" House Belonged to Rohde, Not John Seamen
BROOKHAVEN – Mrs. Florence Gwynne's home on the corner of Beaver Dam road and Fire Place Neck road never was John Seamen's house, as was stated in a story on the Union Dime club in last week's Advance.
The house was bought by Mrs. Gwynne's father, Freeman J. Rohde, from the Riverhead bank in 1901, and it is thought to have served as the parish house for St. James Episcopal church before that.

Mr. Rohde had ridden out from New York city on his bicycle and spent the night at Starke's hotel on Bay road. He was so favorably impressed with Brookhaven village that, before he left, he bought the house and property from Sydney Hawkins. He did not occupy it but rented it for several years to the Misses Jessie and Emma Robinson. John Seamen, who drove a stage-coach, made his home with them and hence the property was often referred to as "John Seamen's place."]

An article in the Suffolk County News (Sayville), 15 Nov, 1901, suggests that the property was purchased from William Sidney Hawkins and his wife in 1901 for a consideration of $1,500 , not from the Riverhead Bank. William Sidney (Sid) Hawkins was a real estate dealer whose residence and office was on South Country road, Brookhaven hamlet, NY.