Home for sale in Mattituck had been hunting lodge at NY World’s Fair

The patio of this Mattituck house — originally part of the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair — features a table topped by a spinning wagon wheel and surrounded by tractor-seat chairs. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)

The walls of North Fork homes are often filled with stories of the area’s founders or multi-generational farm families, but one Mattituck house has ties to the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, according to its listing agent. The home, a wooden hunting lodge, served as a beer and food pavilion for Albany-based Beverwyck Brewing Company at the fairgrounds in Queens.

Gerald Cibulski of Century 21 Albertson Realty said that while researching the home’s history, he found an article from the June 5, 1940, Kingston Daily Freeman that describes it as an “old English Hunting Lodge, authentic in every detail.”

“And typical of the fair this year, visitors at the Beverwyck Hunting Lodge find it an easy matter to adjust their budget to the tun [a large beer or wine cask],” the article continues. “In such pleasant surroundings as these a complete meal for less than a dollar, or a glass of beer at the usual price, is easy to find.”

The two-bedroom, two-bath house is listed for $769,999.

The log-cabin style house sits on about an acre on Laurel Lake, with large windows facing the water and a dock surrounded by freshwater lilies. The feeling there is evocative of the Adirondacks, Mr. Cibulski said.

“Just looking out here is just gorgeous,” current homeowner Carole Rich said, pointing out at the lake through the hunting lodge’s windows. She later pulled out a photo showing a largemouth bass her grandson caught in the lake.

Ms. Rich said she knew some bits of the home’s history when she bought it about 37 years ago, but was under the impression its sole purpose was to be a model for a hunting lodge.

Credit: Century 21 Albertson Realty courtesy

It’s unclear exactly how the lodge was moved from Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to Mattituck, but it was likely that the slate floor was laid before the structure arrived, Ms. Rich and Mr. Cibulski said. The World’s Fair opened in April 1939 and closed in October 1940.

About four years ago, the grandson of the home’s original owner came by to check it out, Ms. Rich said. He remembered the side bedroom, an add-on, where he slept on bunk beds, as well as a number of small cabinets and closets that lined the walls of the original structure.

“I made a lot of use of all those nooks and crannies,” Ms. Rich said.

The original lodge was likely two rooms, with two sleeping benches and no bathroom, but its first owner added a kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake. Ms. Rich had a master bathroom and walk-in closet built as well. She also modernized the home with central air conditioning.

Ms. Rich said that while building the additions, she learned that the original owner had painstakingly made sure to source wood from Oregon to keep with the style of the hunting lodge.

Outside, on the patio, the house features a table topped with a lazy Susan crafted from a wagon wheel, surrounded by chairs that were once tractor seats. Nearby is a tiki bar.

Mr. Cibulski pointed out that the 1939-40 World’s Fair popularized the “Zombie” tiki cocktail.

Ms. Rich was first drawn to the winding road that led to the house, which at the time was canopied by white dogwood trees that reminded her of property her father owned upstate. The house already had an offer on it when she discovered it while showing a friend around some of the area’s side roads. But she soon learned the offer was withdrawn.

“I wasn’t looking for a house at the time,” Ms. Rich said. “It was an accident.”

kzegers@timesreview.com