21 Aug 2014
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Moving Tales

Massapequa history has several instances of buildings being moved.

Moving Tales

There are several instances of homes or businesses being moved around the Massapequas in recent memory. Four examples are especially interesting and may spark memories from long-time residents. We'll take a look at two of them today and look at the other two in a future column.

BELLPORT METHODIST CHURCH

The first move occurred in November 1947 and involved a church. The Methodist Church was interested in providing a building for its growing Massapequa congregation.

Worshippers had used local firehouses as well as the American Legion Hall, but it was clear a separate structure was needed. Fortunately, a church was available, but it came with a significant problem: it was located thirty miles east, in Bellport.

Not to be deterred, the Methodist ministry arranged to accept a larger Presbyterian church in Bellport in exchange for their church building in Brookhaven. That allowed the smaller church to be moved to Massapequa.

Under the aegis of Davis Engineering, the building was rolled about one mile down to the Great South Bay, loaded on two barges and ferried to Jones Creek in Massapequa (present location of Burns Park), where it was loaded upon a truck and moved along Merrick Road to Park Boulevard, and then north to its present location across from Moore Avenue.

The move was uneventful except for a slight delay when the building became mired in the mud along the Massapequa shoreline. Luckily, it floated free when the tide rose, allowing everybody to breathe a sigh of relief. The original building is now part of a larger structure that was built in 1962.

THE SERVANTS' COTTAGE

The second move occurred thirty nine years later, by which time the area was heavily populated and house moving was not an easy proposition. This transaction involved the Historical Society and was one of the finer examples of its mission to preserve local history.

The Floyd Jones Servants' Cottage, which had remained for many years after Elbert Floyd Jones's mansion burned in 1926, had deteriorated very badly by the 1980s. It was, however, one of the few historic buildings still standing after the onslaught of development had destroyed most other reminders of Massapequa's history.

The property, located to the northwest of the Bar Harbour Library, was bought by the Cummings family in the early 1980s. Historical Society Officers approached the family about moving the structure, and they allowed the Society sufficient time to raise money to move it.

Several fundraising activities produced enough money to pay for the task, and Davis Engineering, which had moved the Methodist Church thirty-nine years earlier, moved the Cottage from its original site to what is today Massapequa's Historic Complex, on Merrick Road across from Cedar Shore Drive.

The building lies behind the Floyd-Jones Library and east of the Floyd-Jones family's original church (Old Grace Church), another example of the influence of the Jones and Floyd-Jones families on the area.

 


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