Longwood Manor House Visit Turns Back Hands of Time

Footnotes to Long Island History

Longwood Manor House Visit Turns Back Hands of Time


Thomas R. Bayles

Longwood Manor House Visit Turns Back Hands of Time

            MIDDLE ISLAND – An “open house” reception was held for a large number of invited guests by Mr. and Mrs. Elbert C. Smith of Longwood Sunday afternoon after the dedication of the new Longwood High School, which is located across the road from the historic old Longwood Manor house, built in 1790 by William Smith of the Manor of St. George, Mastic, and a descendant of Col. William Smith, who purchased the enormous tract of land known as the Manor of St. George from the Indians in 1691, which extended from the Middle Country road south to the ocean, and from Carman’s river on the west to Mastic river on the east.

            William Smith married Hannah P. Smith of Smithtown and a son of theirs was William Sidney Smith, who was born at Longwood in 1796.  He married Eleanor Jones of Cold Spring in 1823 and they moved to the family homestead at Longwood where they raised a family of 10 children.

            William Sidney gave his attention to farming and the management of his estate of several thousand acres, and also held several public offices in Suffolk County.  He was interested in the operation of the Long Island Rail Road and the flour mill and woolen factory at Yaphank.  He died in 1879, leaving a widow and eight sons and two daughters.

            His eldest son, Robert Russell Smith, managed the Longwood estate and married Corneilia Thorne in 1875.  Two of their children, Helen Tangier and William Sidney served as a captain in the Medical Corps in World War I, and was connected with the Brooklyn City Hospital until his death in 1944.

            Miss Helen occupied the old homestead summers until her death in 1955, and left the estate to her cousin, Elbert C. Smith of California, who is a direct descendant of the original Col. William Tangier Smith.  He, with his wife and five children, moved here and occupy the ancestral homestead at Longwood.

            A visit to this old Manor house with its priceless furnishings of an early period, is like turning back the hands of time to the years of long ago.

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