George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison rode past the site of the house. Washington was making his triumphant gand tour just after becoming our first president (his carriage passed by on April 23, 1790). Yes, George Washington did sleep just down the road from here. Franklin was marking out postal routes in 1763, and Jefferson, traveling with his close friend Madison, was recording vanishing Indian languages in 1791, as Washington’s Secretary of State. The B&B lies on the recently established Long Island North Shore Heritage Trail, recently established to mark this history (maps available).
The distinctive Main House and Great Barn were built circa 1881 by D. T. Bayles, one of Long Island’s premier shipbuilders and lumber-yard owners. The Bayles family dominated Long Island’s large sailing-ship industry for more than a century. D.T. in fact began but was unable to complete the construction of the world’s largest ship.
The shipwright heritage is evident in the huge timbers of the barn and the rare woods used for parts of the Main House, and in the distinctive woodwork in both. The very large barn has an unusual L-shape; the windowed steeple/widow’s walk is visible from the harbor.
Bayles chose a dramatic location for his estate. The house, barn, and hexagonal gazebo with its striking flight of stone steps dominate the hillside landscape at the entrance to the Stony Brook Historic District. Two acres of distinctive organic gardens holding many specimen plantings surround the Main House and Great Barn.
The Bayles name appears in many local venues today – a dock, a church memorial window, a park monument, an architecturally distinctive grave, and, running into the B&B, Bayles Street itself.
Guests can read up on local history in our substantial collection of books on the subject.