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Town names caretakers for historic homestead and park

Town officials named caretakers for the The Max

Town officials named caretakers for the The Max and Rosie Teich Homestead in Huntington Station, seen here on April 28, 2016. Credit: Gabby Recny

One of the last components to make a town-owned 1940s house in Huntington Station into a home again is in place.

The Max and Rosie Teich Homestead at 12 Academy Place in Gateway Park now has residents. The Huntington Town Board has approved a license agreement to rent caretakers’ quarters at the newly restored facility to Landon Waugh and Kelly Wilbur for one year.

The restored farmhouse, named for the family that lived there, sits on an acre within Gateway Park and houses public amenities, including a handicapped-accessible restroom for parkgoers. It hosts a permanent exhibit of the office of Samuel Teich, Max and Rosie’s son, a doctor who served the community for decades.

The facility will also have exhibits on community history and cooking demonstrations linked to produce grown at the adjacent community garden, town officials said.

Waugh and Wilbur are to provide services that include visual inspections of the premises and surrounding park, reporting when necessary to the town public safety department, town park rangers or police. The rental fee is $1,400 a month, with Waugh and Wilbur paying for electricity.

Town board member Joan Cergol, who led the restoration efforts while in her former role as director of the Huntington Community Development Agency, said having a caretaker at the house was part of the plan when the town applied to New York State for grants.

“I would consider Gateway Park one of our urban parks because it sits in a downtown near the train station,” Cergol said. “It’s a busy area, so a caretaker is always a good idea to help the town keep eyes on the park, look out for the property.”

“It’s a special house, has a special exhibit, so a caretaker can only be a help in making sure that the town’s and the state’s investment is being taken care of,” she said. The board appointed Waugh and Wilbur at its December meeting.

The caretaker quarters are on the second floor of the house.

The structure and property were acquired by the town with open-space park funds in 2013 for $270,000, doubling the size of adjacent Gateway Park.

The homestead is the fourth town-owned property that has a caretaker. The others are the Ezra Carll Homestead in Huntington Station, and Kirschbaum House and Fuchs Pond Preserve, both in Northport, town officials said.

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