And a whole team of Saltaire Bloggers gives him a great response.
Saltaire didn't exist when the photo was taken., Does anybody recognize this photo? It wasn't exactly in Saltaire
DERF WOULD KNOW THE NAME "DOMINY HOUSE" FROM EAST HAMPTON. THE DOMINY FAMILY "WAS KNOWN FOR GENERATIONS" OUT EAST AS CRAFTSMEN. A FAMOUS DOMINY HOUSE STOOD IN E.H. FOR A COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS.
APPARENTLY THEY ALSO BUILT THE VERY FIRST HOTEL ON FIRE ISLAND, ALSO CALLED THE DOMINY HOUSE. IT IS MENTIONED IN A FI NATIONAL SEASHORE BROCHURE:
While in Kismet, look for the marker commemorating the site of the first hotel on Fire Island: the Dominy House, built in 1844. Proprietor Felix Dominy was the first keeper of the original 1826 Fire Island Lighthouse.
Liz Kelly adds: I'm pretty sure that marker is by the little bike rack outside the OUT, on the bay side, just before the path leading to the water west of the dock
The marker looks like the base of the brick chimney that I remember back where the tennis court are now. Kids used to say that the chimney was the ruins of the bakery of an old hotel, and that there were always millions of ant colonies that were descendants of ants that lived off the crumbs of the bakery from a hundred years before. The chimney went down when they built the tennis courts.
Dominy House is not to be comfused with the more famous Surf Hotel which was built in the 1850s, probably slightly to the west of Kismet.
We have a Civil War - related story about the Surf Hotel coming up in a week or two.
Two modern day Bay Authorities if ever there were, Noel Feustel and Francis X. Mina, add color to the the Dominy House Story:
Capt. Frank tells us:
"My archive has quite a bit about Dominy, Surf Hotel and Kismet. The Dominy House is quite famous in local lore. Felix was the lighthouse keeper from 1835 to 1844. At some point he purchased a tract of land east of the lighthouse and, after his "tour of duty", built a small inn out of shipwreck lumber and opened in 1847. No formal record has been found of any ferry service to the place, but since the inlet was so much closer to the Kismet area then, it became a hangout for fishermen and duck hunters.
Noel Tells more:
The Dominy -- was located in Kismet, the Surf Hotel was erected to the immediate west blocking the Dominy's views of the Lighthouse--some things never change--just think of all the present day decks to the sky in present day Saltaire.
There is a fairly new book that I received for as a gift from (expletive deleted by Rosemary Woods) entitled "Fire Island's Surf Hotel" by Harry W. Havemeyer--full of historical insight about the bay. Chapter two deals with the Dominy House.
JOH: Poor Old Felix, the first Fire Island Lighthouse keeper on Fire Island, and first hotelier on Fire Island, must have really been upset when the Surf Hotel came along and stole his best ideas: Not only does the Surf Hotel steal his idea for a hotel, the block his view of his lighthouse.
Post Script to this post: .
This is where you miss a guy like Frank O. Braynard.
All day long we have been piecing together drips and drabs of stories about the Dominy House. If Frank Braynard were with us today I am sure he could have given us infinitely more detail right off the top of his head.
Frank Braynard, Dorothy Braynard, RIP
But thanks for the collaborative effort of Cosmo, Liz Kelly, Frank Mina, and Noel for a great story. This cooperation illustrates the importance of this crazy blog.
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