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Petty House gains Brookhaven Town landmark title

The Petty House in Shirley, which dates back

The Petty House in Shirley, which dates back to the 1830s, was owned by family members of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who lived in Mastic Beach. The last Floyds to own the property were brothers John Gelfton Floyd, Jr. and Augustus Floyd, who sold it in 1881 to an Ann Murray. According to Brookhaven Town historian Barbara Russell, records show that Murray’s father, Charles, lived in the house prior to the sale and likely worked for the Floyds as a farmer. The house subsequently has a series of owners before it was sold in to Michael Gross, the owner of the Southport Shopping Center. The house is located in front of the center. (June 6, 2012) Credit: Carl Corry

The effort to designate the Petty House on Montauk Highway in Shirley a historic landmark has been decades in the making. Last week, the Brookhaven Town Board voted unanimously to make it so.

Known officially as the William Floyd Estates Floyd-Murray Home, the original structure at the site in the 1830s was home to Charles and Charity Petty Havens Murray.

Charles Murray worked for the William Floyd Estate, and the house passed down through six generations of family heirs until it was sold to Ann Murray, the daughter of Charles and Charity Murray.

When Anne Murray died in 1923, the house was sold by the county at auction, and it went on to different owners until the Lerner-Heidenberg development company, the current owner, bought it, according to former Mastic Beach Village historian Jamie Reason.

Lerner-Heidenberg owns the neighboring Southport Shopping Center.

The current 1 1/2-story structure on the original Petty House site contains about 60 percent of the original timber framing of the original house.

The remainder of the structure is an approximate re-creation of the exterior of the former home.

“As a student of history, I have a great appreciation for our past and for such a significant piece of local history,” said town Councilman Dan Panico, who sponsored the resolution to make the house a town landmark.

Above: The Petty House in Shirley, which dates back to the 1830s, was owned by family members of William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who lived in Mastic Beach. (June 6, 2012)