Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association

To Preserve and Protect
LAKE RONKONKOMA
NEW YORK
"LAKE RONKONKOMA now displays the results of many years of planning and research.  The Landmarks are magnificent."
HISTORIC LANDMARKS OF 
LAKE RONKONKOMA 
For All Inquiries Contact:
Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Commission 
4 Cherry Street
Lake Ronkonkoma NY 11779
631-831-1670
thelakeheritage@aol.com

ThLake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association sponsored a comprehensive survey of the town’s historical assets in 1993-94, jointly funded by concerned families in the community. The Heritage has sponsored lectures about Lake Ronkonkoma's’ history, heritage and architecture, some of which are available in video form. The Commission invites you to explore this website to discover the variety of Lake Ronkonkoma's historical resources and to understand  the town  relating to historic preservation. 
The Initial task of administering the Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma series is the creation and responsibility of the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association. The final approval is administered by the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Commission. Public Awareness and Heritage is the goal for the Landmark Series. Currently there are four Proclaimed Landmarks. 

As the Landmark Series progressed, the need arose for a unified series which would depict the other two areas of recognition.  In response, the Historic Marker Program and the Historic Mercantile Registry Program were developed. You may read about them on their separate pages. 




  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma # 1

Name:                        Purple European Beech Tree
Location:                    Lake Shore Rd. 100 feet east of 7-11 at Metzner Rd.
Significance:              Planted to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Pilgrims 
                                   landing at Plymouth Rock, MA.
Date of Introduction: 1820
Date Nominated:       8/4/2012
Nominated By:          Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association
Proclamation Date:    10/9/2012
Made Known By:      Suffolk County Legislator John M. Kennedy Jr., 12th District
Sign Installation & Ceremony:  TBA
The Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma are in full operation.  Many nominations have been presented to the Committee, and we are striving to research and confirm each one.  

The Public is a large resource for information, so we do ask that anyone with knowledge, artifacts and the desire to assist with the Landmarks come forward.  Surprisingly we have actually had tips on other Landmarks while working with citizens on completely different topics. 

The Proclamation of a Landmark does not take place until we are satisfied with every detail and fact we have uncovered.  They are not "thrown together" and are not based on "sidewalk history".  Our resources and relationship with the community, as the majority of our volunteers are born and raised in Lake Ronkonkoma, allow us the unique opportunity to not only collect documentation but actual family experiences from so many of the old families here in town.  So many of the families have opened up their private collections to allow accurate information. 

The Town of Brookhaven, Ed Romaine, Supervisor have recently joined in our efforts to safeguard history.  There will now be a Town of Brookhaven Medallion added to each Landmark sign formally recognizing that it is also a Brookhaven Town Landmark if it does indeed hold that significance.   

This is another proud moment for Lake Ronkonkoma, as we have been backed by Suffolk County since the program was designed.  

It is with great responsibility and pride that we develop and Proclaim the Landmarks that are so great in our Town.  Thank you for the opportunity to give Lake Ronkonkoma the uniform and designated signs at each Landmark.  

Our website will change as we add additional information to each Landmark.  Perhaps one of you computer savvy residents can offer to assist the upkeep of the website.  The research and development are time friendly, and as of today over 30 books that hold each Landmark information are distributed to grand museums, historical societies, libraries and university's to name a few. The help would be appreciated.     Thank you.  

  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma # 2

Name:                               Copper Red European Beech Tree
Location:                           At the Schutte Family Homestead on Lake Shore Rd. just 
                                          east of Newton Blvd.  
Significance:                     Planted in 1820 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the
                                          Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, MA.
Date of Introduction:        1820
Date Nominated:               8/4/2012
Nominated By:                  Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association
Proclamation Date:            10/9/2012
Made Known By:              Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi, 10th District
Sign Installation & Ceremony: TBA

   Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma # 4

Name:                            World War II Memorial Tree  
Location:                        N/W Corner of Portion Rd. & Hawkins Ave.
Significance:                  Planted by Bunny Gubner (Lake Ronkonkoma Ice Boat 
                                       Club) in Memory of Ensign David Lloyd Girardet, Navy 
                                       Grumman Hellcat Pilot. Later became a Memorial for
                                       all WWII Soldiers from Lake Ronkonkoma.
                                        * The Site of our Annual ARMED FORCES DAY,
                                        the 3rd Saturday in May.
Date of Introduction:      April 1945
Date Nominated:            February 10, 2012
Nominated By:               George A. Okvist Sr.
Proclamation Date:        May 18, 2012
Made Known By:          George A. Okvist, Sr. - US Navy WWII
​  
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #3

Name:                         World War I Memorial Rock
Location:                     American Legion Post #155, Church Street
Significance:               Community Project to Honor WWI Soldiers in LR
Date of Introduction:   November 11, 1923
Date Nominated:         February 10, 2013
Nominated By:            American Legion Post #155
Proclamation Date:      May 27, 2013
Made Known By:        The Story of William Merritt Hallock, American Legion
                                     Post #155


        Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #5

Name:                               The  National Bank of Lake Ronkonkoma                         
Location:                           N/E Corner of Portion Rd. & Hawkins Ave.
Significance:                     First Bank application on July 15, 1927
Date of Introduction:        April 9, 1928
Date Official Closed:        December 16, 1994
Date Nominated:               January 9, 2014
Nominated By:                  Ronkonkoma Fire Department  
Proclamation Date:            November 1, 2014
Made Known By:              Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District


       Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #6

Name:                                   The Lake Ronkonkoma Cemetery     
Location:                               N/W side at The Five Corners
Significance:                         Second Cemetery in Lake Ronkonkoma 
Date of Introduction:            Circa 1820
Date Nominated:                   March 3, 2014
Nominated By:                      Helen Hethy Mulvihill
Proclamation Date:               August 26, 2014
Made Known By:                 Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore, District #4  


  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #7

Name:                              All Volunteers who have served the Ronkonkoma Fire
                                         Department  
Location:                          Left front of the Ronkonkoma Fire Department            
Significance:                    110th Anniversary Celebration  
Date of Introduction:        Official Institution 1904
Date Nominated:              February 9, 2014
Nominated By:                 RFD Volunteers
Proclamation Date:           July 26, 2014
Made Known By:             Ivar Okvist, RFD Volunteer Fireman 63 years
CURRENT NOMINATIONS  
for 
Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma
       PRESS RELEASE

LAKE RONKONKOMA HERITAGE ASSOCIATION
 Declares the first two historic landmarks in Lake Ronkonkoma:

On Tuesday October 9, 2012 during the Suffolk County Legislature General Meeting in Riverhead, NY,
The Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association issued a Proclamation declaring the first two “ Historic 
Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma”. The two trees, both 192 years old, are located on the Homestead of Virginia Schutte and on Suffolk County Property, 100 feet east of the 7-11, both on Portion road. The beech trees, originally four in number, were planted by The Newton Family in 1820 to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Our three Legislatures, pictured here, will have the 2 trees declared part of the Historic Trust. 
Left to right: Leg. John Kennedy, Leg. Tom Murature, Helen Mulvihill (LRHA), Ellyn Okvist (President. LRHA), Leg. Tom Cilmi.


Photo (left to right): NY State Senator Lee Zeldin, Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle, Ellyn Okvist President of the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association, Ronkonkoma Fire Department 3rd Assistant Chief Kevin Murray, 1st Assistant Chief Jon Santoli, Chief Tom Blewett, 2nd Assistant Chief Mike Iannuzzi, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore, NY State Assemblyman Al Graf, and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine.
This Group, with Vintage roots and values,  is Lake Ronkonkoma's Own. They were just nominated on 9/29/14, and they were told of the nomination at their meeting on 10/4/14, where they graciously accepted.
Leg. Tom Muratore, Helen Mulvihill, Leg. Tom Cilmi, Ellyn Okvist, Jo Molinari at Landmark Proclamation
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #8

Name:                              Agnew & Taylor
Location:                          501 Hawkins Avenue at Portion Road
Significance:                    Continual Operation of a family Mercantile 
Date of Introduction:        ( To be announced on 11/1/14)
Date Nominated:              1974
Nominated By:                 County of Suffolk
Proclamation Date:           November 1, 2014
Made Known By:             County of Suffolk coordinated with the offices of 
                                          Legislature Tom Muratore
Other Accreditations:        Historic Landmark of Town of Brookhaven 
                                          July 25, 2006
Photo Courtesy of Art Weingartner- Winter  Collection 2013
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #9

Name:                              United Methodist Church of Lake Ronkonkoma
Location:                          NW side at The Five Corners
Significance:                    tba
Date of Introduction:        tba
Date Nominated:              August 21, 2014
Nominated By:                 Reverend Constance Pak, Pastor
Proclamation Date:           tba
Made Known By:             United Methodist Church of Lake Ronkonkoma
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #10

Name:                              The Petit Trianon Inn - Site
Location:                          On Ronkonkoma Lake-Town of Islip at the end of LI
                                         Motor Parkway 
Significance:                    Built as an attraction to the eastern terminus in Lake 
                                         Ronkonkoma by The Long Island Motor Parkway, Inc.
Date of Introduction:       1911
Date Nominated:              January 1, 2015
Nominated By:                 Rosalind and Howard Kroplick
Proclamation Date:           April 26, 2015
Made Known By:             Rosalind and Howard Kroplick
​Photograph Courtesy of Howard Kroplick-VanderbiltCupRaces.com
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #11

Name:                            The Cenacle   
Location:                        Cenacle Road
Significance:                   tba 
Date of Introduction:      tba  
Date Nominated:            April 27, 2014
Nominated By:               tba
Proclamation Date:         tba
Made Known By:           The Chamber of Commerce of the Greater Ronkonkomas
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #12

Name:                             Sandy Garth - Home of Maude Adams
Location:                        Cenacle Road
Significance:                   tba 
Date of Introduction:      tba  
Date Nominated:            April 27, 2014
Nominated By:               tba
Proclamation Date:         tba
Made Known By:           tba
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #13

Name:                             Lake Ronkonkoma Homemakers Unit #38
Location:                        Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Building
Significance:                   tba 
Date of Introduction:      tba  
Date Nominated:            September 29, 2014
Nominated By:               Michelle Okvist
Proclamation Date:         tba
Made Known By:           tba
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #14

Name:                             Gatelot Avenue School
Location:                        Gatelot Avenue
Significance:                   tba 
Date of Introduction:      1947-48 
Date Nominated:             3/2/2010
Nominated By:                Sachem CSD #5 
Proclamation Date:          11/24/2015 
Made Known By:           Gatelot Avenue PTA
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #16

Name:                            The 4th Purple European Beech Tree 
Location:                        Lake Shore Road
Significance:                  The 4th Tree in a series (see Landmark #1 & #2) 
Date of Introduction:      tba  
Date Nominated:            tba
Nominated By:               tba
Proclamation Date:         tba
Made Known By:           tba
     Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #17

Name:                             Newton's Garage 
Location:                        Portion Road & Ronkonkoma Avenue
Significance:                  tba 
Date of Introduction:     tba  
Date Nominated:           1974
Nominated By:              County of Suffolk
Proclamation Date:        tba
Made Known By:          Town of Brookhaven 
​Other Accreditations:    Historic Landmark of Town of Brookhaven 7-25-2006 by Lenore Baake







Nominations come in frequently.  The latest nominations are listed, however final acceptance as a Landmark will be decided by the Commission and will be posted promptly.
Ronkonkoma Railroad Station
Ronkonkoma Auto Parts (Building)

​Many nominations may fall into the other three categories offered, Significant places, Historic Marker Program and Historic Mercantile Program.  We would be glad to assist or answer any questions you may have




  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #18

Name:                            Walter Commerdinger Jr. Estate (home)
Location:                        County Park 
Significance:                  tba 
Date of Introduction:     tba  
Date Nominated:           tba
Nominated By:              Leg. John M. Kennedy Jr.
Proclamation Date:        tba
Made Known By:          County of Suffolk through the offices of Leg. Tom Muratore


This Tree is already a Landmark. 
(see below).  Watch for Announcement of Sign Installation & Ceremony.
George A. Okvist, US Navy WWII
                 June 1945
Note:  Fire House #1, prior to 1904 was a barn and shed that contained the Hook & Ladder truck and horse that pulled it.  The picture was graciously lent to us by a local family, and it can be seen on the actual sign at the RFD.  
  Historic Landmarks of Lake Ronkonkoma #15

Name:                             Bowen's Pond & Well
Location:                        Just north of Gatelot school, has roots to the Algonquin
                                       Indians. 
Significance:                   tba 
Date of Introduction:      tba  
Date Nominated:            tba
Nominated By:               tba
Proclamation Date:         tba
Made Known By:           tba
Landmarks # 19 through # 26 will be shown shortly.
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark
Nomination, Research and Confirmation has been completed by the Commission. This has been proclaimed and is a full Landmark