Thursday, February 24, 2011

135 Little Plains Road

This adorable little pink cottage with gingerbread trim detailing and decorative shingle patterns seems to have been built about 1895 by and for Mr. & Mrs. Edward H. Tooker. It has always caught my eye when passing by because of its quaintness of scale and character in comparison to the larger structures on Little Plains. It is refreshing to have smaller structures retain their usefulness and relevance in an area which has seen some significant ‘super-sizing’ over the last several decades.

The Tooker’s got the property from Harvey & Mary Hallock who didn’t own it for long. The Hallock’s got the property from James & Sarah Jennings. At that time it was part of an acre rather than a quarter acre. The Jennings got the property from Susan R. Herrick, who inherited it from Cornelia Huntting.

Sarah Phebe [Barto] Tooker (1859-1943) married Edward Henry Tooker (1858-1929) in October of 1880. She was from Islip, the daughter of a carpenter; he was from Mastic. I wonder how they met and what brought them to our village? Edward Tooker was a house carpenter, leading me to believe he built the house. I’m not sure about the garage though. While the old maps always show an accessory structure in the same location, it looks more recent, especially as the trim details and roof pitch don’t match the house. Of their 10 children, their eldest son, Herbert Cyril Tooker, was the second owner. According to the 1920 census, at the age of 36 he was still living with his Mom & Dad and two sisters at 135 Little Plains Road and was working in a Sporting Goods Store.

Today the property is owned by David and Kathryn Hausman Smith, owners of a fashion accessories company named Medusa’s Heirlooms, in New York.

Prior to the Smiths, Norman & Joyce Keifetz owned this home. Ms. Keifetz was a well known author and editor who just passed away a few months ago. A graduate of Smith College, she was the youngest ever to be Editor-in-Chief at Abelard Shuman, and the first female writer for Playboy magazine, among many other extraordinary accomplishments.
Property Owners (present to past; incomplete):
David Smith, 1995-present
Kathy Hausman Smith, 1984-1995
Eleanor Billet & Barbara Oberlin, 1981-1984
Norman & Joyce Keifetz, 1971-1981
Richard O. & Anna H. Luke, 1959-1971
Thorwald I. & Helen Swensen, 1949-1959
Herbert C. Tooker, 1943-1949
Sarah P. Tooker, 1894-1943
Harvey C. & Mary E. Hallock, 1893-1894 (1/4 acre; vacant)
James E. & Sarah E. Jennings, 1892-1893 (1 acre)
Susan R. Herrick
Cornelia H. Huntting

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