Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Williston House," 107 Ox Pasture Road

The photo above is of the “Williston House,” a house built for Judge Horace Russell on Ox Pasture Road, then known as Captains Neck Lane. The house still exists and seems to be in gleemingly gorgeous condition; it’s a bit difficult to photograph however because of the landscaping and gates. The photo above is taken from Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects.

This grand home, with classical detailing and a Beaux Art plan, was designed by Bruce Price and built circa 1893 for Judge Russell. It is painted all white now giving it an even more formal – even federal – character. It has a giant semi-circular front porch (which may have been on the east side originally) with fluted ionic columns and a porte cochere on the east side. Outbuildings such as a stable and guest house still exist, among others.
Horace Russell (1844-1913) was born in Franklin County, New York in June of 1843. He attended Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1866 and came to New York City in 1869. He was Republican, and after much success as a criminal prosecutor acted as Assistant District Attorney for seven years, then Judge Advocate General and subsequently Judge of the Superior Court of New York. Much of his notoriety is due to his counsel to the A.T. Stewart estate. Alexander Turney Stewart was a successful Irish American merchant who opened his first store selling linen and lace he bought in Belfast with an inheritance left to him by his grandfather. He eventually had a chain of stores named “A.T. Stewart & Co.” which amassed him a fortune.

In 1878 Horace Russell married Josephine Hilton (1856-1933). She was the youngest daughter of Judge Henry H. Hilton of Saratoga Springs, the original adviser to A.T. Stewart. They had three daughters. Judge Russell was also a member of the Union League, University, Metropolitan, Garden City Golf, and Shinnecock Hills Golf Clubs.

Upon the deaths of Horace and Josephine, the house was left to their children. They sold it to Rose M O’Brien, the wife of an Irish American Judge who was the son of a merchant. They went on to own “The Corner” on Great Plains Road in 1929.

The next owners were William R. and Henrietta Simonds who enlisted Annette Hoyt Flanders to design beautiful gardens on the property in the 1930s. The next owners were their children who sold the estate to Lawrence R. Condon in 1943, another lawyer.

After the Simonds were the Monells. Edmund Monell was the head of the Ambrose Monell Foundation, a philanthropic organization and died in 1980.

Property Owners (incomplete):
Michael Palin, Liber 12584 of deeds, page 574, 4/2/09
Michael & Caryl Palin, Liber 9573 of deeds, page 453, 6/1/1984
Mary Kennedy Monell, Liber 9553 of deeds, page 282, 4/30/1984
Edmund C. Monell, Liber 6044 of deeds, page 305, 10/4/1966
Lawrence R. Condon, Liber 2311 of deeds, page 409, 9/20/1943
Robinson Simonds & Marjorie S. Pearson (formerly Duryea), Liber 1968 of deeds, page 300, 2/14/1938
Henrietta J. Simonds, Liber 1382 of deeds, page 498, 9/27/1928
Rose M. O’Brien, Liber 1382 of deeds, page 495
Marie L. Russell, Liber 1091 of deeds, page 277, 1/23/1924
Josephine H. Russell, Liber 881 of deeds, page 540, 1914
Horace Russell, Liber 378 of deeds, page 443, 11/28/1892
Emily C. Reeves

1 comment:

  1. A deadly virus continues to infect some village
    residents and some spec builders: It's called
    Irrational Exuberance!
    These folks still think that their small ranch
    on half-acres is a pot of gold! Those days are gone. That's 2006 thinking. Here's the proof:

    1. Corcoran has at least a 5-year supply of
    McMansions on the East End. They're not moving. T for taste is part of the demand
    curve, and T has changed completely in most of
    the United States. Out with the Thorstein
    Veblein conspicuous consumption. In with the
    more modest and reasonable to maintain residence which respects the need for open spaces and a private "outdoor" space.

    2 The Rosko Place subdivision story tells the entire price history and dim prospect for
    McMansions that the Village Administration
    shoved down the neighborhood despite the futile
    a. Chris Burnside built one of the early
    McMansions at 52 So. Rosko Drive. He had
    planned and hoped to get over $3.5 mil. for it,
    but actually broke even with $2.7 mil.
    (That's when he sold the ranch he
    had bought across the street on the illegal
    Village promise to all the Rosko spec builders
    that they would get automatic approval for the
    second McMansion.)
    The new owner put the same house on the
    market at about $3.7 mil. a year ago, lowered
    his price to $2.7 mil. this Spring, and it still isn't moving. Isn't that a hint? If
    that's not enough, check out Kevin Maple's
    story on Johnny Lane in the Rosko Place development:
    b. Like the other spec builders, but
    concealing the same ownership, Maple and his
    partner bought 42 Johnny Lasne and 24 Johnny
    Lane. Neighbors protested the hotel-sized
    mega-bombs he put on these shy half-acres, but
    greed prevailed.
    Maple and his partner expected to sell
    the huge house at 42 Johnny Lane for $4.6
    million. What did they get after some 2 years
    of additional finance charges? $2.8 mil. That
    is a 40% drop in price, and it will depress
    the original and well-maintained ranches and
    small colonials by an equal amount.

    Still think you're sitting on a pot of gold?
    Think again. It's more like a bottomless pit,
    if you build your own McMansion on it. At
    this very moment, there are four otheer huge
    spec houses for sale in the Rosko subdivision,
    and they ain't moving!

    Some of the spec builders, besides Chris Burnside, figured it out: Sonya Seroy and her
    husband Frank, who built their fourth spec
    house in the Village at 37 Leo's Lane over
    overwhelming neighborhood protest, sold the
    ranch they bought on Anne's Lane at an estimated $100,000 loss, just to get out of
    here. Ernie Cervi, whose partner's name is
    on his extra ranch, and who owns 55 Anne's
    Lane, is on sale on Old Field Lane, and no
    takers yet.

    So how come there are still applications for
    big spec houses in this raided and abused

    Maybe people take stupid pills when they turn
    down into this 104-lot subdivision from Hill
    Street. What else can explain this irrational
    exuberance in view of all the evidence to the

    Evelyn Konrad
    Attorney at law
    18 So. Rosko Drive
    Southampton, NY 11968