Just like us humans, well-worn houses, which have been lived and loved in, remain beautiful well into advanced years. The patina of laughter, tears, birthdays, holidays, summer vacations, graduations, and many, many New Year celebrations imbues a house with a glow that new construction just cannot beat.
The Reeve-McNulty House, which we've all passed by on Route 25 in Laurel, is a perfect example. Originally constructed in 1840, this masterfully preserved and restored farmhouse is a two and a half story, five bay, gable-roof house. It features a semi wrap-around porch with turned posts, sawn spandrels, and original railing. The house has 6/6 windows and original front door with sidelights. Among the upgrades completed by the current owners are a freshly painted interior, all windows restored, storm windows replaced, new electric and water distribution systems, new heating system including new piping and radiators. Additionally, the second floor of the garage has been finished and transformed into an entertainment center.
The residence sits on 1.3 treed acres in the heart of the hamlet of Laurel, just
across the road from one of the smallest Post Offices in the country.
Historically, the house is considered to be an important component in the Route 25 streetscape.
Early maps of the area, dating to 1873, show the property, originally stretching from Route 25 all the way south to the Great Peconic Bay, to be owned by D.W.
Reeve, a local farmer of the large Reeve clan.
Later maps, dated 1902, show the property as being owned by Charles J. McNulty, who purchased it from Reeve in the late 1800s. Described as a “splendid citizen and active farmer” by the Traveler Watchman newspaper. He lived in the residence for over 40 years, with his wife, Annie, where they raised their brood of six.
Charles was killed by a passing baggage train at a crossing near the home, on
May 28, 1943. Charles, 74, surveying his land, was driving his truck on an open
area of his farm situated below the railroad tracks. It is believed that he was
preoccupied, paying no attention to the regularly-scheduled, rapidly-approaching
train. All of Eastern Long Island mourned Charles’ passing. He was President of
the Long Island Cauliflower Association, Director of the Bank of Mattituck,
Southold Town Trustee, President of the Holy Name Society in Cutchogue and
Member of the Stirling Council of the Knights of Columbus in Greenport. Charles
J. McNulty was considered a “fine man to know and to be associated with.”
The house was passed on to two McNulty daughters, Mildred and Edna.
Mildred was born in the house in 1907. She attended local schools, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph’s College for Women in 1929, and then continued her studies at NYU in Manhattan. She enjoyed a long career as a New York City school teacher. Returning to the Laurel residence upon retiring in 1971, she became an active member of the Mattituck Historical Society, always retaining her inquisitive nature. Mildred resided with her sister, Edna, in the Main Road house until her passing at the age of 91.
Edna survived her sister, living until a ripe old 98.
Perhaps you will write your next chapter in this magnificent home.
Please call Ed Giordano at Prudential Douglas Elliman for a private showing of the property.
NOTE: Continuing thanks to Mariella Ostroski and Jeff Walden for their invaluable information on these old beauties. I welcome revisions, corrections and additional info.