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Former Manorville church could join trust

A 170-year-old former Methodist church in Manorville has been recommended for addition to Suffolk County’s Historic Trust, a move that would help preserve the site and could allow it to be used as a meeting hall for the county’s Pine Barrens Preserve Commission.

The county’s Council on Environmental Quality unanimously made the recommendaton last week. The county legislature is expected to vote next month on the designation, which includes the 1-acre site and the cemetery on the property.

The church was built in 1840 in Center Moriches next to the Ketcham Inn and moved to Manorville in 1869, when it was named the Manorville Methodist Protestant Church. The county took over the property because no one filed forms to keep it tax exempt after the church closed in 1996. Brookhaven Town designated it a landmark in 2004.

Richard Martin, Suffolk’s director of historic services, said the designation would make the building eligible for county preservation. He added that officials hope the building, on Eastport-Manor Road near the visitors’ center of the 70,000-acre pine barrens preserve, can eventually be restored and used as a meeting hall.

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