Unless indicated below, this is a transcript of the original Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities/Town of Brookhaven survey form. Since most of the surveys were conducted in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, much of the information reflects that time period.
Corrections to obvious typographical and spelling errors have been made. Corrections to factual errors in the original surveys, and updates or comments on the information are either enclosed in [square brackets], or are clearly indicated as updated material from the context of the comments.
Sites which have a suffix of “S” are supplemental sites not included in the original surveys.
Building-Structure Inventory Form
Howard Robinson Store
If checked, this is a Supplemental Form, not in the original surveys.
7 Locust Rd.
Brookhaven, NY 11719 631-286-3178
Howard Robinson Store
Hamlet of Southaven
If checked, this site is within the Fire Place (Brookhaven Hamlet) Historic District
Town of Brookhaven
7a-Visible From Road
8d-Board & Batten
9a-Wood Frame Interlocking Joints
9b-Wood Frame Light Members
Photo & Map
The property has been purchased by the Town of Brookhaven. Its future is uncertain.
Related Outbuildings and Property
Adjoing the Carman's River.
Surroundings of the Building
Nestled between Montauk Highway, Sunrise Highway, and the Carman's River.
Interrelationship of Building and Surroundings
Other Notable Features of Building and Site
About July 1927
Historic and Architectural Importance
This structure is all that remains of the commercial district of the South Haven hamlet. In the 17th, 18th, and much of the 19th century it contained mills, stores, an inn, a church, blacksmith, wheelwright, and other enterprises. Throughout the late 19th and 20th century, the commercial nature of the community declined, and the properties were purchased by the Suffolk Club and the Robinson Duck Farm. The construction of Sunrise Highway provided the death knell – the old mill was destroyed, and all other structures on the north side of Montauk Highway were either razed or moved. Until the site was sold by Swezey Fuel Oil, a large fuel oil tank dominated the site.
(From Marty Van Lith) Howard Robinson started the business, died shortly after. His widow, Audrey, remarried Delbert Wesche, who ran the business for many years keeping the name Robinson Fuel Oil. I don't know exactly when, but I think sometime in the 1950s Wesche sold the business to Swezey Oil. Swezey came under pressure during the 1970s and 80s to clean up the site, being on the banks of Carmans River, and decided that they didn't need the place and sold. The next owner was the first to use it as a canoe rental calling it Carmans River Canoe. I don't know how many times it changed hands after that but it ended with Glacial Bay Canoe.
From the Patchogue Advance, 1 July 1927: "Howard Robinson of Southaven is building a new refreshment store with living rooms above, next [to] his refreshment stand in Southaven opposite the Presbyterian Church."
Marty Van Lith. Personal knowledge. Patchogue Advance, 1 July 1927.