Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Residence of Mrs. Sarah Lewis

In January of 1888 Mrs. Sarah Lewis purchased property at 134 Wyandanch Lane from Mr. & Mrs. James A. Hildreth and had a fine home built which still exists today. It is a beautiful two-and-a-half story Shingle style home painted white with cedar shingle siding and a Colonial style entry with paired Tuscan columns and an elliptical gabled arch. The fanlight (transom) over the entry door mimics this elliptical curve nicely. The house has a gambrel roof with gorgeous proportions, first and second floor bay windows, and marching attic levle gabled dormers with half-round windows. Glancing down its axial driveway, it is a lovely sight. The home and grounds are well-maintained and command a nice view of Old Town Pond to the rear/east.

Mrs. Sarah Holmes (Edwards) Lewis (1810-1895) was the widow of Reverend John Nitchie Lewis, but more importantly, the great-great-grand-daughter of Dr. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), a reverend, theologian, and noted missionary to Native American Indians. His portrait is above. According to Wikipedia, "Edwards is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian, and one of America's greatest intellectuals. Edward's theological work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theoloical determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thorougly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset." He was also the author of several books, including The Life of David Branerd. Shortly after becoming president of Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey) he died, supposedly from small pox. And, oh yeah, he was also Aaron Burr's grandfather (3rd Vice-President of America).

Rev. & Mrs. John Lewis had seven children, one of which was Sarah Edwards Lewis (1843-1928). She was also the subsequent owner of the home. Naturally, given her paternal and maternal backgrounds so rooted in religious missionary work, she became a noted member of the First Presbyterian Church here in the Village as well as a Shinnecock Indian aide. She never married.

You have to wonder if given the families association with the Indians, there is some connection with how the street got its name? Or Lewis Street for that matter?

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