In the mid 1800's the summer boarders swarmed to the South Shores of Long Island. Although the Southside Railroad Company did not reach Islip until 1868, rail service had been in available from Suffolk Station (Brentwood) since 1841, and from Thompson Station (Brentwood) since June 24, 1842. Horses and the stage coach were the principal means of transportation.
The Lake House on (present day) Knapp's Lake was opened in 1856. It had bath houses on the lake and was known for its excellent cuisine. Amos R. Stellenwerf was the proprietor. Amos Stellenwerf's daughter Louise was married to Thomas Worth, a noted artist with Currier and Ives.
A Thomas Worth depiction of the Lake House
Thomas Worth is buried in the Stellenwerf plot in the Oakwood Cemetery on
Brentwood Rd in Bayshore.
In 1882 the Long Island Railroad Company advertised the following hotel rates:
Lake House ---------------------------- 100 guests, $12.00 to $14.00 per week
Long Island Railroad Booklet 1884:
"The Lake House owned and managed by Amos R. Stellenwerf since 1856 is a cozy, old fashioned house, where good cooking, comfortable rooms, civil attendants and cleanliness are the rule. By the house is a large trout pond, with row boats and a bathing house for fresh water bathers. Stabling for 20 horses"
It was said that a "Four-In-Hand" (4 horse's across and a buggy) could be circled in the main dining room of Stellenwerf's Lake House.
Amos R Stellenwerf Obituary
Here's what it looked like in 1999