Thursday, January 13, 2011

330 Captain's Neck Lane; Another Home of Edward C. Reeves

Once again, here is a house built by Edward C. Reeves. I’ve written about at least three other beautiful homes built by Edward and his brother Albert. The Reeves date back to the settling of Long Island’s East End. “The Southold tradition has it that two brothers, Thomas and James Reeves, came to this country about 1660 [from Wales] and took up a residence in Southold. About 1667 Thomas moved to Southampton.”[1] Edward and his brother Albert Reeves, the sons of Henry and Emily Reeves, who owned “Kirby House” on the northwest corner of First Neck and Ox Pasture, bought this property from Walter F. Clayton in 1899 building the house sometime before 1902. They also owned many other properties in Southampton Village and enjoyed being landowners and building houses. They sure built nice ones!

This two-and-a-half story shingle style home, with hipped roof, Queen Anne style windows, and prominent original turreted corner tower has an incredibly long list of owners and I don’t think I quite reached the earliest. Just look at the dates below; there was a constant turn over until Edward Reeves obtained it. He must have then either then lived in it with his wife and four children or rented it out until 1916 when it was sold to Rose M. O’Brien.

Rose was the wife of Morgan Joseph O’Brien, an Irish-American Supreme Court Judge who was the son of a merchant and was described by the Manhattan club as “everybody’s friend.” They were married in 1880 and upon their 50th wedding anniversary the Pope sent them a blessing. Prior to his death in 1937 at the age of 85, where his estate was divided equally among his nine children, he had set up a trust for his wife consisting of his household and personal effects as well as 2,000 shares of the Chase National Bank, 480 shares of the Guaranty Trust Co., 2,800 shares of Manhattan Co., 100 shares of William Bradley & Sons, 50 shares of the American Tank Car Co., 200 shares of Drug Inc., 200 shares of the Underwood Elliot Fisher Co., 200 shares of the Whiterock Mineral Springs Co., 100 shares of the Bethlehem Steel Co., 175 shares of the Lawyers Title and Guaranty Co., 347 shares of the International Business Machines Co. (IBM), 100 shares of the Borden Co., and bonds from many other companies. In 1914 the O’Briens owned a country home in Hampton Bays (known then as Good Ground), in 1926 they owned the highly notable and extravagant “Villa Mille Fiore” on the southwest corner of Great Plains and Coopers Neck, and in 1929 they owned “The Corner” across the street to the east. In 1917, after only owning #330 Captains Neck Lane for about a year, they sold it to their daughter, Genevieve Fox, who went on to own it, along with her daughter, for 67 years, except for a five years span right in the middle when the house was owned by her brother-in-law. Of all the ownerships, hers was the longest, and it stands out among so many who owned it for such a slight length. I find, more and more, that owners of fine historic homes really value and cherish them, and hang onto them as long as possible.

A later owner was David C. Walentas. “Mr. Walentas is the founder and principal of the Two Trees Management Company and is credited with establishing the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn.”[1] (Read an interesting interview with him here:

The current owners are in the financial industry. Ms. Rockafellow works or worked for Credit Suisse, and Mr. Lopez-Balboa works or worked for Merrill Lynch. His father is or was “a senior managing director and the chief financial officer of the International Capital Corporation, a subsidiary in New York of the American Express Bank.”[2]
Property Owners (from present to past):
Francisco Javier Lopez-Balboa & Carolynn H. Rockafellow, 1998 – present
David C. Walentas, 1988-1998
Vincent Brett, 1987-1988
Thomas H. Clyde, 1984-1987
Genevieve Fox, 1943-1984
Dr. Henry & Rosalie James, 1938-1943
Genevieve Fox, 1917-1938
Judge Morgan J. and Rose M. O’Brien, 1916-1917
Edward C. Reeves, Nov. 1899-1916
Walter F. Clayton, Oct. 1899
Wesley C. Bush, 1898-1899
Ensign O. Beale, 1898

[1] New York Times, 1/24/2010
[2] New York Times, 12/3/1989

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