CENTER MORICHES

A marker signifying an elegant past

Old Neck Road gets Masury Ballroom sign

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The Masury Ballroom has a proud heritage, but those who might pass on a road trip wouldn’t know about it.

Until now.

Care of the beautiful Masury Estate Ballroom, constructed by Grace Masury circa 1898 after the death of her husband, is under the Holiday Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) stewardship, all volunteers.

Bill Roache, an HBPOA trustee and its restoration chair, thought it was time for a sign on the corner of Montauk Highway and Old Neck Road, which leads to the mansion.

“I’m also a trustee of the Mastic Peninsula Historical Society (MPHS) and we know how to go about getting the historical signs,” explained Roache.

Roache tapped Brad Shupe, reference librarian of the Mastic, Shirley, Moriches Community Library and a volunteer for the MPHS to help with research.

“We were able to get the sign through the William G. Pomeroy Foundation,” Shupe explained. “You provide the source material. It didn’t take me more than a few weeks for approval.”

The sign went up early November.

The William G. Pomeroy Foundation provides signage grants to 501(c)(3) organizations commemorating historic people, places, things or events within the 1740 and 1920 time frame. You’ll see their distinctive signs on roadsides, blue with highlighted yellow lettering and a border, commemorating New York State history, National Register of Historic Places and other significant events or places including women’s suffrage. The foundation also offers Legends and Lore markers to those who qualify and have funded more than 600 markers in New York State.

Shupe said the sign cost about $1,400, paid for by the foundation grant.

The two groups who showed up for the Moriches Tide photo and story, including Ed DeGennaro, president of MPHA, are enthusiastic providers of interesting local facts. They’re proud of their community’s histories, thus the cooperation. DeGennaro pointed out the significance of the nearby William Floyd Estate (William Floyd was a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and General Nathaniel Woodhull (of the Suffolk County Militia who was fatally wounded in the American Revolution) who is buried in Mastic Beach.

The Old Mastic House of the Floyd Estate has a William J. Pomeroy marker as does the burial place of General Nathaniel Woodhull.

Sally Burgess, a former HBPOA president, current trustee and Masury Ballroom and Mansion tour guide provided an interesting historic tidbit adding to the sign’s relevance: The William J. Pomeroy Foundation had a local link.

“The Pomeroys were founding members of Holiday Beach,” she said, one of 12 families who originally purchased the property. “Violet Pomeroy, the oldest HBPOA member, passed away just last year,” she said.

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