East Rockaway house a piece of history

Homestead named to state, national registries


A home in East Rockaway has been designated by New York state as historic, thanks to the work of the Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook, current homeowner Ellen Morrison, and former occupant Greg Dengel.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo added the Denton Homestead, at 60 Denton Ave., to the New York State registry in September. That automatically puts it on the National Register of Historic Places as well.

At his announcement, which added 22 properties across the state to the registers, Cuomo said that preserving them is an important way to honor and share New York’s legacy. “These sites are an enduring example of our state’s proud and diverse heritage,” he said.

Madeline Pearson, executive director of the Historical Society, said she was excited to see the home added to the list. “I’m very glad that this historic home is being given the recognition it deserves as a historical site here in our own hometown,” she said.

The homestead was built as a tavern in the late 18th century. In 1808, the Denton family, which played a large role in the founding and planning of East Rockaway, owned the house and its land. The family converted it to a residential farmhouse, which it remains to this day.

Though the home has been moved twice, and some of the farmland was sold, the home’s structure has not changed. Many of its original features remain, including the doors, mantelpieces and hardware fashioned by local 18th- and 19th-century blacksmiths.

Only two other families — the Dengels and the Morrisons — have lived in the house. Morrison and Dengel worked with the Historical Society to ensure the house’s designation as a historic site.

“A lot of the information-gathering and researching was done by Greg Dengel, in honor of his [late] father, William E. Dengel,” Morrison explained, adding that she was glad to work with a former owner to help secure the designation.

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