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History on Main Street - The Herbert House

The white house has stood on Main Street since 1728. It was here when Yaphank was known as Millville. An addition the rear of the residence appeared in the 1800’s. During Yaphank’s boom years in the 1870’s the house was occupied by Dr. Holden who was the physician for the Alms House.

The Herbert House has stood in Yaphank almost from its beginning. In 1934, William and Mary Herbert purchased the house from the colorful Christian Krabbe who had his real estate office just west of the residence. When Mr. Krabbe sold the house and property he reserved for himself the right to walk through the property to the river whenever he chose.

William and Mary improved the residence by adding dormers and the upstairs bedrooms. The Krabbe Real Estate was moved and in its place a garage was built. A fish pond, the boathouse and a cute cottage were also added. The large waterfront property was dotted with orchard trees and rhododendrons.

Ruth Herbert FinneganWhen the Yaphank Historical Society was formed in 1974, William Herbert had passed and Mary was a very old woman.  She lived at the house with her son Bill and her daughter and son-in-law Ruth and Jim Finnegan. They all became Charter Members of the Society. They remained as members until only Ruth was left. Last year Ruth passed. The Herbert House now belongs to Ruth’s daughter Molly Falk. This past December, Molly and her husband Omar allowed the Society to feature the house on our Candlelight Tour. The house looked lovely and visitors enjoyed a slide presentation of the house and property through the seasons. The house, which is now for sale, seemed to have many Interested prospective buyers.

Molly Falk has graciously donated to the Society the ornate family portraits that we have hung in the parlor of the Hawkins House. An elegant Victorian easel, slides, photographs, papers and other memorabilia were also donated. Perhaps the most exciting news to the Society is th. loan of an 1800’s long case clock that now stands in the library at the Hawkins House.
Ruth Herbert Finnegan was a staunch supporter of preservation and of Yaphank’s Historic District. I think that she would have been delighted that her home was on the Candlelight Tour. Our Society thanks Molly for all of the contributions that she has made to our group which will enable us to preserve her family’s past in Yaphank.
The Herbert House is one of the most historically significant houses in Yaphank. We hope that future owners will be as sympathetic to its historic past as was the Herbert family.