Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

Two New Historic Landmarks In Ronkonkoma

In 1920, if your Ford Model-T required service, you would pay a visit to Sumner Newton’s automobile service station in Lake Ronkonkoma, on the corner of Ronkonkoma Avenue and Portion Road. Even if you didn’t own a car you would still drop by to see Sumner, since his garage was the meeting place for community members to gossip and discuss the day’s events.
While your automobile was being repaired, you could walk over to the Agnew & Taylor Store on Hawkins Avenue to pick up a shovel and maybe some paint for the barn.
Over 85 years later, if your automobile needs service, you can still bring it to Newton’s Garage, and you can still get a shovel and a can of paint at Agnew & Taylor. These historic structures are now protected for future generations as Town of Brookhaven Historic Landmarks.
The Civic’s Historic Preservation Committee Chair, Lenore Baake-Ozgercin, has worked for over two years to preserve these historically significant structures. Working with the Town’s Historic District Advisory Committee, and Councilmembers Kathy Walsh and Tim Mazzei, her efforts were rewarded when the Town granted historic landmark status at the Town Board meeting on July 25th, 2006.
These buildings now join our community’s growing collection historic landmarks: the Woodhull-Newton House (built circa 1796), the Fitzgreene-Hallock House (built circa 1888), the Lake Ronkonkoma Library (built circa 1916, and which now houses the Historical Society Museum), and the Maude Adams House at the Cenacle.

The Agnew & Taylor Store, in 1905 (left) and today (right), was the town’s first “General Store.” It was originally opened by Willis Hallock in 1890. The store was later sold to W.E. Coleman, and then it was bought by James Agnew and his brother-in-law, Ike Taylor, in 1914. It served as the Lake Ronkonkoma Post Office until 1933. In the 1920’s the store started selling gasoline. In the 1950’s groceries and hardware were sold. Since the 1960’s, it has operated as a paint and hardware store. It is now a Town of Brookhaven historic landmark.

Newton’s Garage, in 1937 (left) and today (right), was built about 1920 and was originally owned by Sumner Newton. The Newtons were one of the first families to settle in Lake Ronkonkoma and were significant contributors to the town. The structure is credited as being Lake Ronkonkoma’s first “automobile service station.” It served the local residents of the area as well as visitors who traveled by car to Lake Ronkonkoma, usually during the summer months. The garage was the meeting place for the men of the town and has played an important role in the development of the area. It is now a Town of Brookhaven historic landmark.