Address410 Bryant Avenue, Roslyn Harbor
The tract where Montrose stands, overlooking Hempstead Harbor,was part of the 100-acre farm of Richard Kirk , who built a house (later owned by William Cullen Bryant and named "Cedarmere") that replaced an older family "mansion". The original owner of the tract is said to be Samuel Pine, from whom it passed to the Kirk family before the mid-18th century (J.M . Moulton , Account Book , 1836-37 , Ms. , New York Historical Society). On the land south of the homestead, on the harbor side of the pond, Kirk built a mill which he used variously as a fulling and a paper mill which constituted one of the earliest important industries in Hempstead Harbor.
Kirk died "at an advanced age " in 1818, and in 1821 his heirs sold the farm to Obadiah Jackson and his wife Sarah Boerum. Their daughter Ruth married Hempstead Harbor postmaster William Hicks in 1827 (Wm. Hicks family bible) and the couple bought the Jackson Land in two, installments,in 1828 (Queens Co . Liber X of Deeds , pg. 185) and in 1834 (Queens Co . Liber F.F . of Deeds , pg .142), acquiring a half-interest in the entire property with each of the deeds . According to HenryWestern Eastman's history of Roslyn which appeared in the Roslyn New s during 1879, prior to William Hicks ' ownership of the Kirk property, the only dwelling houses along the east side of the harbor in this vicinity were the Kirk-Jackson farmhouse, the Pearsall house (Willowmere), the Mudge farmhouse, and a small tenant house built for a laborer. When Hicks acquired half title to the land he probably moved into the Kirk farmhouse, as it was there he received Joseph W . Moulton,N.Y . attorney and his wife as they passed through Hempstead Harbor in 1834 , the year Moulton retired from his law practice on Nassau Street in Ne w York . (NY C Directories).
Joseph W . Moulton was a historian whose book , History of the State of Ne w York , Including its Aboriginal and Colonial Annals , published in 1824, was an important early work on the state' s origins . In 1833 he married Leonice Marston Sampson, of Plymouth, Mass . , " a life-long friend of William Cullen Bryant." The Moultons were the adoptive parents of Dr. John Ordronaux , a prominent local physician and lawyer and one of the founders of the Roslyn Savings Bank . (See Tour Guide , St. Mary' s Church 1972 and Trinity Episcopal Church 1970). In 1834 Moulton bought an 18-acre parcel at the southern end of the farm, including the Kirk house, from Hicks , and with his family moved to Hempstead Harbor. In 1836 he bought two more parcel s from Hicks , bringing his property to about 40 acres , nearly half of the original farm.
Whether Hick s had already built the house which he called "Montrose " before he planned to sell the older Kirk house to Moulton is not known. It was certainly to the "Montrose " house that he moved in 1834 and by comparison with other local houses it seems to date from around that year.