The Woodhull Lodge

The Woodhull Lodge

I first heard the term “Woodhull Lodge” this past spring (2002) when I came across this 1926 article in the New York Times about The Smadbeck Brothers aka Home Guardian Co. aka to the real estate buying public as The Brooklyn Citizen newspaper re: their purchase of what would eventually become Section Three of Mastic Beach. This would be their first purchase onto the western boundary of The Knapp Estate. This announcement followed just a few months after their original purchases of the Woodhull / Lawrence estate that they developed into Sections 1 & 2 on Knapp’s eastern boundary. I thought there might be a house named Woodhull Lodge over there, but soon abandoned that idea as the three homes I did know about in that area (Dermody, Muse & Wetzel) all bore references to either Charles Jefferey Smith or The Lawrences. Now the Woodhull family was related through marriage to both Smith and the Lawrences, but I figured perhaps the Woodhull Lodge was just another name for General Woodhull’s neglected homestead that was falling down over by the Mastic Beach Clubhouse in Section One. Or if indeed there was a “Woodhull Lodge” located over in Section 3, perhaps it had burned down before the West End Fire Department of Mastic Beach was up and running.


I should of known better. Although General Nathaniel Woodhull was long gone by the time Charles Jefferey Smith built the original home in 1850 , I’m betting that it was Hannah Newbold Lawrence Sherman that named it that, when it came to her via her Lawrence inheritance in the 1890’s. She also named the road that once led to it Sherman Road. That would have to be after 1900 when she became Mrs. Charles E. Sherman. and remodeled and used the Woodhull Lodge as a summer retreat. As of today (Oct 25) I discovered she had it moved (by the Penneys?) to it’s present location where I’m happy to say it’s still standing! And along with that may I present to you, Mr. E. F. Penny’s 1897 photograph of it

As soon as I saw it I sort of recognized it. Studying it for a few minutes it came to me. What you are looking at is the North Face (now eastern face it was moved again in 1960’s) of The Robert F. Muse house on Locust Dr. The east wing must of met with some mis fortune because when Bob’s parents Fred & Emily Muse purchased it in 1948, that wing was reduced to about 1/3 of the size shown here. Here is the link to the page of the Muse’s fix er upper as it was 1948 which will also lead you to photos of how grand it looks today.


I am working on a whole lot of newly discovered (for me) information on the Lawrence family, who were every bit as influential and important to the development of the Mastic area as the Smiths, Floyds, and Woodhulls. Remember it was Frank Mauran Lawrence who grew up in the above house, that sold the Lawrence estate to J. F. “Dodi” Knapp in 1916…..Stay tuned