Don’t you ever wonder what’s behind the curtains? What secrets are
kept hidden by the rows of tall privets? Every house has a story. Some are
better than others. This one is pretty good.
The brick manse in that trophy spot set in the middle of New
Suffolk, has a tale to tell. Known as The Lyndon Tuthill-Floyd Houston House,
it was built in 1936, for Lyndon Tuthill. It is said that the project was
initiated to lift people’s spirits and provide much-needed jobs for the
Depression-ravaged tradesmen in the area.
After Lyndon’s early passing, it was occupied by his sister, Ruth,
and her husband Floyd D. Houston until the 1980s.
Floyd Houston worked extensively in the NYC maritime and was the director of Civil Defense inEastern Long Island during WWII. He eventually moved to New Suffolk, where, from 1945-1979, he owned and operated the Goldsmith-Tuthill Shipyard (founded in 1842). New Suffolk was quite a hopping spot in those days: dancehalls, hotels, loose women – it was also the location of the first Submarine Base in the country: The Holland Torpedo Boat Station, where the nation’s first submarine, the USS Holland, had its earliest trials. This was the perfect spot for Floyd, an avid amateur historian, specializing in early submersibles. He was a gifted craftsman, building models for the Navy and Naval Museums across the country, including the USS Holland. Floyd passed on in 1984, at the age of 86, and rests at sea, in his beloved Atlantic. According to his grandson, “He was a scholar, craftsman, and an irascible old salt.” And he and Ruthie lived in high style, in that red brick mansion.
Situated on 2.7 pristine acres in the heart of the tranquil
bayside hamlet of New Suffolk, The Lyndon Tuthill-Floyd Houston House is red
brick with white trim, green shutters and a slate roof. It is a 2-and-a-half
story, 3-bay, center entrance, gable-roofed, Federal style house, with end
chimneys and attached 1-story brick garage in rear. There are quadrant windows
in the gables. The main section of the house is flanked on both sides by
1-story, flat-decked wings with Chippendale railings. There are 3 bedrooms and
2.5 baths. Both the sunroom and the large, sunny, updated kitchen open onto a
bluestone patio, surrounded by specimen trees. You can cozy-up by the
fireplaces in both living room and library. The basement, with its splendid
staircase and 12” thick walls is unique in residential construction. The
pristine, detailed woodwork and handsome arched doorways throughout the home
are graceful remnants of another time.
The residence was built entirely with bricks from the now-abandoned brick factory on Robins Island. There is an oyster shell base under the driveway’s blacktop. Every closet in the house is cedar. There is a maid’s bell on the dining room floor,
conveniently positioned at the head of the table.
The Tuthill-Houston House is newly priced at $1,395,000. Call me if you and your family would like to continue the story....or if you have additions, and/or corrections to the story.