December 4, 2011 was a beautiful, sunny, cold, but not too cold, day and was perfect for our 18th Holiday House Tour.
This year we showcased five historically and/or architecturally wonderful homes in the hamlet plus the Scully Estate (Wereholme), home to the Seatuck Environmental Association. The estate was built for Lousine Peters and her husband from property given to her by her father, Samuel Peters. It was inspired by a French chateau and designed by world-renown architect Grovsner Atterbury. In 2004 Suffolk County purchased the property and entered into an agreement with Seatuck to establish an environmental education center.
The Abrams home was built in the 1920s on land once owned by major developer Charles Wolpert. The front-gabled farmhouse has been lovingly restored by the owners who have added additional space to accommodate their growing family.
The Dolan home, a Dutch colonial-style house, was built around 1928 by Nicholas Schaper for his bride when they came to this country from Holland. Besides the Dolan family there are reports of a “presence” that resides in the house as well.
The next three homes all have a “Raynor” family connection.
The Gabreluk’s Federal Colonial was built in 1925 by local builders, the “Raynor Brothers”, who were known for their hand-crafted built-ins that appear in many rooms throughout the house. This house has always remained in the Gabreluk family.
The Raynor-Kalman front-gabled home was built in 1954 from land J. Edward Raynor and his wife purchased from Grace Timmerman-Tobey, daughter of H. G. Timmerman, whose estate ran from Orowoc Creek to the east side of Ocean Avenue and from Adelphi Court south to just beyond the Raynor plot and then east to Cedar Avenue.
The Menna home was built in 1923 by Willis Raynor for his son Willis, Jr. and his bride. Willis, Sr. erected the house on the property he already resided on. Willis Jr.’s two sons, Richard and Preston, still reside in Islip. Again, this house has many of the Raynor-featured built-ins throughout.
After touring the homes, tour participants gathered at the United Methodist Church for hot tea, coffee, cider, hot chocolate, baked goodies and a wonderful array of baskets/gift certificates that made up our Chinese auction. They were entertained by the sounds of the Twin County Sweet Adeline’s.
As in the past 14 years, the USMC was on hand to collect toys generously donated by our ticket holders.
The house tour would not be a success without the help of many people. Roberta Drake (kitchen) Arlene Goldman (Chinese auction), Stephen Kreutzer (entertainment), Pamela Manuel (tour guides/society table), Jane Mizrach (costumes), Joan Sullivan and Christina Artonio (decorations), Karen Silverthorn (ticket sales), Karen Schill (house sketches), the Islip School District Middle and High School students Careers FACS students (baking), Lori Zegel (Nook & Cranny Gift Boutique), all the volunteers who dress up as tour guides or help at the reception, the homeowners who graciously opened their doors to 490 people this year and all those who purchased tickets to support the Society. I would like to extend an extra “thank you” to Christina for being my back up.
The house tour is a wonderful way to ring in the holidays.