36 Main St, Roslyn, NY, 11576

Cornelius House

Address64 Bryant Avenue, Roslyn

Date Built1886
Original UseResidence
Restoration StatusCompleted Restoration Date1992
Roslyn Landmark Society Covenant No
View House Tour Details 1996

2020 08 03 12 35 11

The property on which this house has been built has a complex and not yet fully understood early deed history. The first grantor appears to be Joseph Curtis, Sheriff of the County of Queens, in a foreclosure action against Valentine and Elizabeth Mott, Edward M. Banks, George Kissam and John C. Lattimer, dated August 8, 1859. This deed, which transferred 72 acres, cites Stephen Mott as the grantee. It is unlikely that the present house was on the property at the time. A mere four years later, the property was transferred from Stephen Mott to Nathaniel Terry and James Mott; five years after that, Nathaniel Terry transferred a seventy acre parcel to Harriet Terry, while Stephen Mott transferred a 150' x 175' parcel to the same Harriet Terry. Selah B. Strong and Thomas Strong had interest in the Stephen Mott parcel, and although the nature of their interest is not known, their shares were transferred to Harriet Terry as well. Three months after Harriet A. Terry had collected the parcels and interests, she transferred the property to Catherine O. Miller, on May 25, 1868.

Catherine O. Miller was not the owner of the property for long either, as she transferred the property to Henry W. Eastman in 1872. There is a possibility that, as a part of Eastman's continuing development of the Roslyn area, that he may have been responsible for the actual building of the house; he owned the parcel for fourteen years, and the style of the house reinforces a post-Civil war construction date. However, the 1873 Beers-Comstock Map indicates only the plot of land, without a structure, and does not identify a property owner. Lydia Eastman, as executrix of the estate of Henry W. Eastman, transferred the property to George H. Cornelius in 1886. Cornelius was a local carpenter, and it is possible that he was responsible for either the construction or finishing of the house. (The Roslyn Landmark Society owns the tool chest of Cornelius.) The Cornelius family, first George and later Margaret owned the property through 1980, when the property was sold from the estate of Margaret Cornelius.