Book Signings

We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:

10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble

10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble

10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble

Long Islands Abandoned Houses


Ever drive by an abandoned house and wonder what's inside? Do you wonder now? Perhaps the house has a really creepy look to it, is historical, or just out right bazaar. Take a look at some of the unused houses across the island.


The Old House


A close look at this houses construction style reveals that it is very aged. No sheetrock in here, walls are plaster. The foundation is made of stone and the supports are trees. Many rooms have a fireplace as there was no central heating when this house was constructed. If anyone knows more about its history, please email the editor. My guess is that this house dates to the 1700s.



Dear LI-oddities Editor,

The house was the home of John Homan. He constructed his
saw mill, just south of this house, in 1736. His some
Daniel Homan also lived here. In 1771, Daniel added a
grist mill and a bolting mill. Daniel Homan sold the mill
to Robert Hawkins in 1821. Homan heirs continued to live
in the house until 1861.

The house in now in the care of the Yaphank Historical
Society and will be renovated in the coming years. We are
working on the Booth House renovation which is just around
the corner. One of our more complete projects is the
Hawkins House which is just across the street from the
Homan House.

We ask that you do not enter, nor encourage anyone else,
to enter the Homan House as it is old and unsafe (until
the renovations are complete). You're welcome to explore
the Historic Trail, the trail head for which, is just
behind the Homan House and will lead to the cranberry bog
and also to the Octagon Foundation which is all that is
left after the octagon house that burnt down there in
1959. The original home (the Week's Octagon House) was
built in 1848. You can find out additional information at
our web site You are also welcome to come
to our general meetings which are typically the third
Thursday of each month. Please let me know if you have any
additional questions.


Erich Bremer, YHS Libraria



The Americana House


This house is amazing because of the stuff left in it including its furnishings and magazines from the 1950s. It feels as though it has been frozen in time from simpler days. With its piano in the living room and quaint furniture its as Rockwell as the covers of the magazines that litter the ground.



The Block House


This house is an odd one. The entire outside of the house is made of cinder block, with no shingles or covering. The inside is missing all the wall covering, yet is still littered with its former possessions. A wall has phone numbers for group homes on it. So, perhaps it was a grouphome too. On the other hand, some of the things left inside include a bottle of civil defense water and a can of gun scrubber. That combined with the concrete construction makes one wonder if it was used by the government at one time. Two calendars indicate years in the 50s and 70s. Thank you RacoonInQuad4 for this find.



The Miller's House


This old abandoned house sits in Blydenburgh park. It was once part of the Bydenburgh estate which had its own grist mill. When the mill was active the miller lived in this house. The side section was a store where he would sell flour from the mill. The house has many remnants from its more active days. Old machinery can be seen in some of the rooms. There is even a hidden root cellar. The park gives tours that include this house every Saturday.



Middle Island House


While driving around one night I stumbled across this old house set back from Middle Country Road. Read the email bellow to learn the history of who once lived there.


Hi John:

Just checked out the updates to your website and have some info for you
on what you call the "Middle Island Creepy House" in your abandoned
houses section.

The house was the home of Richard M. Bayles, surveyor, notary public
and Suffolk County historian. He wrote a book published in 1878 called
"Sketches of Suffolk County." I have 2 copies in my archive. I also
have a photo of him surveying back around 1914.

He had that house built on the north side of Middle Country Road and
raised his sons Thomas and Albert there. Both went to work for the Long
Island Rail Road: Albert as a carpenter and Thomas as a messenger and
later ticket clerk. Don't know what eventually happened to Albert, but
I became good friends with Thomas when I was a young teenager.

I believe Richard Bayles died in the 1930s. Thomas was born in 1895.

Richard built a work shed just west of his house. It was part work shop
and part office. When Thomas got married, he and his wife Gertrude
converted the old office/workshed into their home and lived there until
he was killed in a car accident in 1977.

They had a son, I believe his name was Robert and somewhere over the
years he obtained the "creepy house" and used it as his office for his
insurance and real estate business for many, many years. For years he
tried to get his parents out of their little house so he could have the
space for additional parking for his business.

After Thomas died, his wife Gertrude moved around the corner into one of
her son's rental properties until she passed away.

Some time later, Robert got his wish and bulldozed the old house. Some
years later, his insurance business closed. I don't know the reason.
Could have been death, could have been sickness, could have been
retirement . . . .

The "creepy house" stood empty, then was a victim of arson. It remained
boarded up for years and years. I see from your website that it's still
standing in the same condition I remember from back in the late 1980s
when I moved to Florida.

If you're interested at all in Thomas R. Bayles and my reminiscences of
him and his work on the LIRR, go to the following link to my
"vignettes" section on my website and scroll down to the article on
"Thomas Bayles." I have photos and his obituary from Newsday.

Dave Keller



Comments (5)

    Dear L.I. Oddities,

    I am a filmmaker from Suffolk County, New York, and am currently developing a feature-length screenplay that calls for an old abandoned edifice as a primary location. Was wondering if you could tell me if any of these houses, particularly the Americana House, would be accessible to a small video crew, for shooting purposes. We would be making the flick on a microbudget and would, therefore, be seeking low-to-no-cost locations. Thanks in advance for any info you can send my way.
    Some more information on Richard Bayles can be found here
    The Americana house above had been set on fire about a month or so ago. I'm not sure how bad the damage was, but it looks like there were some pretty amazing things inside!
    i regret to inform you that the The Americana House has recent fire damage.. photos to be posted on fourms

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