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Mill Neck house comes with historic surprises

This 307-year-old Mill Neck Colonial sits on 7.6

This 307-year-old Mill Neck Colonial sits on 7.6 acres in Mill Neck. Credit: Kevin J. Wohlers

While the splendor of this restored 1706 Mill Neck Colonial is nearly spilling out of its windows, it’s the playhouse in the backyard that will make you smile.

Originally housing for the well, a wood stove and a root cellar, the 18-by-18-foot semi-sublevel stone structure is now the delight of 6-year-old Micaela. “It was already a room, so we renovated it and made Micaela a playhouse for her fourth birthday,” says homeowner Melissa Meister, Micaela’s mother.

On to the centerpiece of this 7.6-acre estate: Built in 1706 and added to until about 1730, the three-story cedar shake house has six bedrooms and 6.5 baths. “Thank God my husband loves me,” says Meister, an architect. “We love historic preservation. It was such a gem to find, but it needed a lot of love. Historic preservation is my passion.”

The house was not structurally sound in the beginning. Taking about a year, the detail of restoration went deep. The floorboards were in bad shape, with as much as 10 coats of paint on them and the height difference in some areas as much as 12 inches.

Every floorboard was lifted and sent out to be replaned. The entire electrical system was replaced, central air conditioning added and lead paint removed. But some of the original plumbing was restored. A cracked toilet 150 years old was sent  to a boatyard to have the inside fiberglassed and reglazed. Now 158 years old, it’s completely serviceable.

The house is built with unmilled timbers and the foundation is stone. A copper sink near the kitchen has the original Long Island Rail Road delivery ticket hanging off the back. And an ironing board built into a cabinet, much like a Murphy bed, has Murphy printed on the back.

While lifting the floorboards, a pre-Revolutionary War girl's shoe was found. An old superstition has it that a worn shoe in the floorboards or an attic of a home serves as representation of the owner and will ward off evil spirits.

Melissa was going to preserve the shoe in a shadowbox but realized that guests loved to touch the shoe, so she decided to keep it in a small wooden box.

The house is listed for $3.275 million with Kathryn Maxwell Pournaras of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

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