A Nissequogue home in the family of the founder of Smithtown is on the market for $2.495 million. The property served as a setting for a recent event celebrating the 2019 publication of “Americana: Farmhouses and Manors of Long Island,” which features the home and brought out Michael Feinstein, singer and American Songbook ambassador.
The 1687 house was originally owned by Ebenezer Smith, the grandson of Richard "Bull" Smith, the founder of Smithtown. According to the 1968 book “Colonel Rockwell’s Scrapbook: A History of Smithtown," the house had one downstairs room and two bedrooms upstairs, and was added on to between 1712 and 1742 to accommodate the growing family. The last major renovation of the house was in 1924.
The house remained in the Smith family, passed from father to son, whose names alternated between Ebenezer and Richard for five generations, and was known locally as “Dick Nezer’s Place.”
"The house has been in the Smith family for about three centuries,” says Mickey Conlon of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who is listing the house with Tom Postilio. It went out of the family's possession from 1924 to 1971, when Malcolm Smith, Jr., the former mayor of Nissequogue, bought the property back, Conlon says.
The main house, which has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, features historic details such as pine wainscoting, a paneled dining room with a fireplace and original built-in corner cabinets, as well as the two bedrooms that date back to 1687. There’s a wraparound porch overlooking Stony Brook Harbor, says Conlon.
The property, at about 19 acres, has a barn with two apartments, a smaller barn, stables, a carriage house, a garage, a pump house and a grape arbor. Annual property taxes are $42,559, according to Douglas Elliman.
“The property is preserved by a conservation easement with the Peconic Land Trust,” says Conlon. “That ensures that whoever owns it cannot subdivide the property. They can’t knock it down. They can’t turn it into a Postmodern version of itself. So, the historical integrity of the property needs to be intact.”
Feinstein, who was visiting Postilio and Conlon's nearby home in Nissequogue and attended the book event, has a great appreciation for historic things and places and was really fascinated by the antiquity of the estate, says Conlon.
The house is next door to the 125-acre Nissequogue Golf Club and is close to the St. James General Store, the oldest continuously operated store in the United States, which was founded, coincidentally, by Ebenezer Smith.