For those who enjoy vintage architecture — and a pretty good story — this restored historic home in Port Jefferson Village doesn’t disappoint.
While the covered front porch with decorative rails lends curb appeal, the original double door is as attractive as it is unusual. It retains the original inlaid doorbell, which “is very loud and very cool,” says Maureen Fitzgibbon of Coach Realtors of Port Jefferson, the agent for the home, which had been listed for $609,900 and is now in contract.
Other original features include the staircase, moldings, window trim, some blown-glass windows and the parquet floor in the front hallway. There’s a second staircase in the updated kitchen and a fireplace, as well as three bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths. The heating and plumbing are new.
The house was built by Captain Charles A. Conk and his wife, Louisa K. Hulse, around 1890, after they bought the property from P.T. Barnum. (It’s said that Barnum purchased property with the idea of using it as a base for his traveling circus. After residents put an end to that idea, the land was subdivided and sold.)
Captain Conk had a storied career that included skippering one of the largest steamships built in Port Jefferson. The Osiris, a 335-foot, 5,000-ton vessel, launched in 1920 from the site of what is now Harborfront Park.
The seasoned captain also had a reputation for embracing the new technologies of the 20th century. It’s believed this house was the first in the village to have central heating and electricity, notes Fitzgibbon.