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Only the Bees Call Crumbling Ebo Hill Home [Empty in Smithtown]

Home tied to Smithtown's history weathers on Edgewood Avenue.

You've likely seen it if you drive down Edgewood Avenue, the plantation-like home that is decaying near the intersection of Landing Avenue. What you may not have known is how tied to local history it is.

From a prior :

According to “Colonel Rockwell’s Scrap-Book” published by the Smithtown Historical Society in 1968, the house was built around 1846, and the property extended to the Nissequogue River. The land once belonged to Obadiah Smith, a great grandson of our town founder Richard Smythe. When Obadiah passed away, his grandson Lyman Beecher Smith inherited the property.

Lyman lived in another home on Edgewood Avenue, so he gave it to his daughter Nancy when she married a doctor by the name of Josiah Bowers, according to the scrap-book. When Nancy died in 1877, her husband sold the homestead to Ethelbert Marshall Smith, another descendant of Smythe.

But these days the estate stands as another of Smithtown's vacant eyesores, and unlike a smaller house at 436 Edgewood Ave., this one hasn't been .

At the same time, a pilot project by Suffolk County announced this week that will give incentives to those who save historic properties leaves Ebo Hill off the list.

The only buzz around the property is coming from the hundreds of bees that have infested on of the main columns of the house.

Would you like to see Ebo Hill preserved?

Ranger Sewer April 04, 2012 at 12:27 PM
We drive past this place all the time. It is sad to see it like it is now. This is History and do you want to lose History to a wrecking ball?
Laura Davis April 04, 2012 at 02:36 PM
The town should restore it and turn it into a catering hall. They would be able to rent it out for meetings, galas, weddings. Its a beautiful building to be wasted.
George April 04, 2012 at 02:40 PM
During these hard times it is difficult to justify spending public money on private property. Who owns this property now? Is there any chance an effort could be made to save and restore the house with private funds? If the current owner can't maintain it could it be sold to a not for profit group and be used for some worth while community purpose?
Jonathan Vecchi April 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I have always found this building to be a diamond in the rough. It would be great to see it restored. For the past 5 years or so, my family has been eying it to see if it ever goes on sale. As for the current owners, I have on occasion seen a woman mowing the lawn - but that is the only action I have seen on the property.
Henry Powderly (Editor) April 04, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I just had this comment emailed to me: "Hello, I read your article about Ebo Hill. I lived on Teapot Lane my entire life. Ebo Hill sits DIRECTLY behind my house. I have tons of photos of Ebo Hill in the background of all of my family photos. I played in there and on tha property as a child. In its day it was a beautiful tribute to what Smithtown once was. I cannot understand how this house, with such RICH Smithtown history is going to be overlooked. Saddens me to the core. I now live in Florida, for the last 7 years and cannot bear the condition it is in. I understand it will literally take millions to renovate , but shouldn't THIS be the Smithtown Historical Society HOME? I can tell you from first hand experience the inside is amazing. You really get transported back in time with the Ballroom off the main entrance, the sweeping staircase, etc. I was told as a child by the owners at the time the very back had a slaves quarters. To stand inside this once magnificent home / mansion thinking of all it as weathered, makes you wonder if our modern times are looking past, our past. I'm am very upset at these photos. As a child I always thought about being able to buy that Mansion. If only I could rescue her now. Tears my heart out. Thanks for making people aware, I just wish there was something, anything I could do to prevent further damage, loss."
Candyee April 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Town seems not interested in saving much from past . !Lets destroy it , who cares about towns rich history, This is there mindset . At least , that is what I see.
Mrs Mills Pond April 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Is this house private property or does it belong to the Town of Smithtown?
Jonathan Vecchi April 04, 2012 at 07:24 PM
wow, what a great message. The Smithtown Historical Society location would be a great idea. I had walked around the property a few years ago, and from my recollection, the inside was still in great condition. Furthermore, I can't imagine what the owners are paying in yearly taxes for a lot/building of that size that is not in use. This makes me wonder as to who the owners are.
Jessica April 05, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I love that house and would love to see it restored, not torn down to buld anything new please....... I would be interested to know who owns this property and if they have tried to sell it.
George April 05, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Does anyone know who the town records show as the owner? What is the official address or lot number of the property?
E Baum April 05, 2012 at 01:38 AM
I have always thought that the town could use an interactive children's museum. We have an art museum in Stony Brook, performing arts, acoustic long Island, wonderful parks, beaches, general store,but no children's museum. I think it would be a wonderful addition to our town.
Marge Baldwin April 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM
deepwells in st. james was restored beautifully. how was that handled?
Lisa April 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I too would like to see this house saved! Every time I drive past makes me wonder who owns this, and what a shame to see it like this. Smithtown has so much History, and I feel like it's all being overlooked!
Clare April 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Yes , the town must know. I have also been fascinated everytime I have driven by over the past 34 years. I vote restore.
jean vecchi April 05, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I too have driven by this house and have wonder who owns such a diamond in the rough and what untold stories it holds! Thank you Henry for your light into a past long forgotten. This building is too much of a treasury to destroy. Yet, lack of care has it in a self destruct mode. The town of Smithtown &/or historical society mustn't be blind to this slice of history! Someone must have a feasible solution? After all, We've "Saved Whales. etc" didnt the we?
Landing April 07, 2012 at 01:44 PM
The property could cause a traffic problem to be a complete nightmare, if it were an attraction. If someone could figure out how to make use of it without clogging the artery, the house could be of great use.
Claire Roberts May 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM
The people that own it live in smithtown!!!
Debra Gress May 16, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Funny story. We moved back to LI after being gone 4 years. Saw that the house was run down and tried to find who the owners were. We wanted to see if they were interested in selling, only to find out that Smithtown Tax Dept. didn't even have the names of the owners on file. It was within a month of our investigating this that grass got cut and a chain went across the driveway.
s May 16, 2012 at 05:26 AM
There seems to be enough interest in this thread alone to start a small group that could start a fight for the saving of the house... I live around the corner and LOVE LOVE LOVE this house, was hoping they would do something like Deepwells too. Anyone have interest???
LivingSmall May 19, 2012 at 04:17 AM
It is heartening to read the comments on this thread :-) I had started to wonder about what the local residents could have been like -- after all, the old gem of a house which was situated next to the YMCA was torn down and I don't recall much concern about saving it. Now that the Y is gone and towering McMansions will dominate microscopic portions of the land, I wondered whether the Ebo Hill owners would allow thise beautiful home to be suffer such a fate. Fight the good fight!
Frederick Greaves July 13, 2012 at 04:52 AM
How do I get in touch with them? I'm interested in restoring the old house to its former glory, and then using it as a personal residence.
Frederick Greaves July 20, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I would like to leave my email just in case the owners monitor this site. gindinc@gmail.com. Like I said I'm interested in restoring the old house to its original state, and moving in personally.
Bob R. July 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
@ Frederick The owner of the vacant Ebo Hill estate in Edgewood Avenue in Smithtown said he'll part with the property as soon as he gets a fair offer, though he's considered proposing an assisted living facility for the stately mansion. Richard Longobardi, owner of All Towne Realty Group in Smithtown, said he bought the property in mid-2000 as an investment opportunity, but the recession and real estate slowdown has made it hard to profit from that. "The property could be pretty valuable," he said, "so I'm asking at least $1 million plus." READ this other Patch article :http://smithtown.patch.com/articles/owner-eyed-assisted-living-facility-wants-sale-for-decaying-ebo-hill-estate?ncid=wsc-patch-image
James Olson August 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Some communities have been successful in saving historically or architecturally significant buildings from the whims of their owners by following a carefully planned process I call "polite eminent domain". It begins with the organization of a grass-roots campaign to get the word out and gather names on a petition to request the municipality to issue a Proclamation (usually one which simply states the municipality recognizes the historical/architectural value of the property). This serves to send the "suggestion" to the owner that any attempt to demolish or significantly change the property will probably not be approved...easily. This tends to temper the owner's ambitions of profit from the property; which helps ensure the property will be maintained without the immediate threat of demolition. In the meantime, the grassroots org. should either partner with or transform itself into a properly incorporated non-profit in order to enter a contract to purchase the property, fundraise, etc. Sometimes such non-profit can petition to have the property gain "protected status" though this is tough to achieve without owner approval. Often this "protected status" is simply a commitment by the municipality to disapprove any demolition/building permits/variances as long as there's significant public support of preservation.

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