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The Frank W. Smith House at 43 Barberry Court was built about 1901 in the Queen Anne style. Smith was a local businessman with a dry goods store and lived in the new house with his wife, Olla, until 1908. The new owners in 2004, the Guidice family, have restored the interior and exterior and furnished the interior with late Victorian antiques. The Frank W. Smith House was listed in the New York and National Registers of Historic Places in 2010 for its local significance in the development of Amityville and for its architectural style. The circa 1901 carriage house, a small wood frame structure in the rear yard, also is part of the nomination.

Front (south) of Frank W. Smith House in 2010 photo for the NRHP (by Virginia Bartos)

Building, Car, Automotive parking light, Window

Rear kitchen wing (1985 addition) of Frank W. Smith House in 2010 photo (Bartos)

Plant, Window, Property, Sky

Fireplace in Frank W. Smith House in 2010 photo (Bartos)

Black, Style, Black-and-white, Building

Smith House (arrow) & carriage house (circle) on 1925 bird's eye view map of Amityville (Rene Cinquin, Metropolitan Areo-View Co.)

Plant, Building, Land lot, Architecture

Amityville to New York City on 1925 Amityville map inset (Cinquin)

Sky, Water resources, Cloud, Map

The Frank W. Smith House is on a street that was laid out in the 1890s, as development of Amityville spread to land north of a new commercial corridor along Broadway Avenue. The house is approached from Barberry Court by a semicircular driveway and was built for Frank Willis Smith by his father-in-law, Stephen Haff. The Smith home was the first to be built on the street. The two-story wood frame house on a brick foundation features a full basement and attic and a wraparound front porch. Decorative green and yellow wood shingles surround two green shuttered windows in the front gable. The porch has matching green and yellow shingles at the gabled entrance. The former carriage house was being used for storage when the property was documented for the National register in 2010. The wooden pocket doors of the parlor retain the stamping from the local mill. Several windows retain colored glass panes.

Frank W. Smith was born in 1865 and owned a dry goods store nearby that he opened on Broadway Avenue in 1894. Smith purchased the former local school building in 1894 to become his store andmoved it to the Broadway location; the 1872 school had become too small for the village children. He and his wife. Olla R. (born in 1871) lived on the second floor of the store building. Smith was on the committee that voted to incorporate Amityville as a village in 1894. By 1900, the couple had been married for nine years and had no children. Frank bought the lot for the new house in 1900. The couple had a daughter named Marion M. around 1907. Frank and Olla sold the house on Barberry Court in 1908 and moved to another house up the street, at the corner of Barberry Court and Avon Place. Frank was still a dry goods retail merchant in 1910 and lived in a mortgaged home with his wife, young daughter, and his widowed mother, Louisa R. Baylin (age 74). Perhaps the couple decided their Barberry Court home did not suit their household, or moved in with the widowed Mrs. Baylin.

Frank and Olla Smith still lived on Avon Place in 1920 with their 13-year-old daughter and his 83-year-old widowed mother. The Frank W. Smith House was one of only two houses on Barberry Court in 1915; by 1925, five more homes lined the street. Smith closed his store on Broadway in 1927 and he and Olla moved to Connecticut to live with their daughter. The couple returned five years later and operated another store that was in business until 1945. Frank and Olla died in the 1950s.

The William L. Nienan family owned and lived in our 43 Barberry Court house by 1930; William was a 40-year-old engineer in the construction industry who was married to Dorothy (37). Two of the Neinan children shared the house: William L. Jr. (15) and Audre (11, a daughter); Dorothy's grandmother also lived in the home: Emma J. Aspinall (84, a widow, native of England who immigrated to the U.S. in 1854). The house was valued at $12,000 in 1930.

The attic of the house was finished with partition walls sometime in the early twentieth century. A modern kitchen wing was added to the rear of the house in 1985. The veranda was enclosed in 1980 but in 2005 it was restored to its open air original state. The restored home continues to be a private residence.

Bartos, Virginia. NRHP Nomination of Frank W. Smith House, Amityville, Suffolk Co., N.Y.. National Register. Washington, DC. National Park Service, 2010.

U.S. Census. Household of Frank W. Smith in Village of Amityville, Babylon District 736, Suffolk Co., N.Y., dwelling 20, family 21. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1900.

U.S. Census. Household of Frank W. Smith on Avon Place in Village of Amityville, Babylon District 1341, Suffolk Co., N.Y., dwelling 178, family 188. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1910.

U.S. Census. Household of Frank W. Smith on Avon Place in Village of Amityville, Babylon District 83, Suffolk Co., N.Y., dwelling 50, family 51. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1920.

U.S. Census. Household of William L. Nienan at 43 Avon Place in Village of Amityville District 5, Suffolk Co., N.Y., dwelling 222, family 260. Washington, DC. U.S. Government, 1930.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

New York State Cultural Resource Information System (NYS CRIS):



Library of Congress:

Library of Congress: