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Booth House in Yaphank added to state historic registry; considered for national list

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has added the Mary Louise Booth House to its register of historic places. Credit: Yaphank Historical Society / William P. Steele

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has added the Mary Louise Booth House in Yaphank to its registry.

Booth, who lived in Yaphank from 1831 until 1845, was considered a child prodigy and became nationally known as an author, translator, abolitionist and suffragist.

The home, built in 1829, is on East Main Street in the historic district, and considered a rare example of a Long Island one-and-a-half-story home known as a "half-house," according to the Yaphank Historical Society.

"This is very prestigious and brings prestige to Yaphank," said society president Robert Kessler.

He said the house was submitted for addition to the National Register of Historic Places and, if approved in about two weeks, would give the hamlet three homes on the list.

The house was donated to Suffolk County by the Kinney Family in 1998.

A restoration to the residence was completed in 2011 as part of a joint effort between the society and Suffolk County's Historic Services Division, society officials said.

The state board added the home to its registry last month.

By the time she was 15, Booth was teaching Latin in Brooklyn. She was secretary of the Women's Rights Convention in Saratoga in 1855, society officials said.

As the founding editor of Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1867, Booth edited the publication until her death 22 years later, according to the society's history of her life.

The exhibition at the house displays a replica of an 1862 letter from Abraham Lincoln thanking Booth for her translation work supporting the Union cause, society officials said. There is also correspondence describing her role in bringing the Statue of Liberty to New York City.

"We found out that the designer of the Statue of Liberty came to New York and visited her first," Kessler said. "She was a very influential woman, very bright."

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