Buying and selling real estate in the communities of Long Island
Lionel Barrymore said to have slept at this St. James house
It’s said that Lionel Barrymore slept here -- in the summer, anyway.
That’s what the sellers of this circa-1880 home on Three Sisters Lane in St. James, now on the market for $799,000, have been told.
Previous owners discovered artifacts in the house that might have belonged to Barrymore, actress Drew Barrymore’s granduncle. They included makeup and face powders. Whether he rented, owned or once stayed at the home is unclear, say local historians, although it is documented that he and his famous brother and sister, John and Ethel, vacationed and performed in the area. A prior owner told the sellers that Barrymore is believed to have lived in the house.
His name appears in vintage ledgers from the nearby historic St. James General Store. Other names there include architect Stanford White and New York City Mayor William Gaynor.
This section of St. James, often referred to as The Actors’ Colony, was a summer haven to other actors and playwrights as well.
Barrymore, whose career spanned 61 years, won the Academy Award for best performance in the 1931 film “Free Soul.” However, he is best known for his role as the villainous Henry F. Potter in the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
It’s easy to see why Barrymore was attracted to the house, though he did miss out on its newer amenities, such as central air conditioning and a central vacuum system. “The house has been impeccably preserved and updated,” says listing agent Louise Tudisco of RE/MAX Beyond, noting it has three separate entry vestibules.
Features include exotic woods from various countries as well as a fireplace with a custom-made mantle. The layout includes an eat-in kitchen with Viking appliances, a dining room with a built-in hutch, parlor and family room with an open stairway that descends to a finished basement. There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
As for the .59-acre parcel, it has a heated in-ground pool.