The Parsonage

A history of the parsonage at OCC


The Orient Historic District formed in 1976 is home to 120 homes and businesses. These homes were built in the early 18 th and 19 th centuries. Both Orient Congregational church and the parsonage (Manse) are included in this historic listing.

The date the original parsonage at Orient Congregational Church was built is unknown. We do know the first parsonage was destroyed by a fire on June 2, 1907. The parsonage that stands today was built in 1910 for a sum of $4200. The builder was Brewster Smith. The architectural plan chosen (Kriths # 892) had been published by an architectural firm in Minneapolis. The current structure is the Parsonage that stands today.

The parsonage, rebuilt

The letter below was on record at the United Church of Christ concerning the parsonage.

The original parsonage at Orient Congregational church was destroyed by a fire June 2, 1907. A committee consisting of Mr. L.M. Young, Mrs. C.H. Tuthill, Mrs Lucy Glover and C. L. Young were elected with instructions not to exceed $4000. Mr. Rufus W. Tuthill while not elected on the building committee very kindly consented to act as treasurer of the parsonage fund and in this manner and with many valuable suggestions has been of great service to the completion of the work. Mr. H.G. Tabor very kindly consented to see that the cellar was dug and the stones carted. All most every family in the parish has been represented in some of the work done and as a consequence they feel an added pride in their new house. The committee had quite a little trouble to draw a proper plan and after visiting a number of houses in the vicinity they finally on February 13th adopted Kriths # 892 a plan published by an architectural house in Minneapolis. This plan was selected by the committee for the following reasons: It was an economical shape and one that would require little care to keep tight. Houses with bay windows and ells are apt to leak and a house of the public character does not usually receive much attention as a private house gets.

Next it had sufficient rooms for a parsonage be the family large or small. Our carpenter told us that when we had a minister with a family too large for this house that he had better look for a larger sphere of usefulness. A parsonage requires one more room than an ordinary house for a study and some ministers want it upstairs and some downstairs. By this plan you can have either or both.

The house has on the first floor a reception hall, parlor, study, kitchen, pantry and dining room. On the second floor five rooms and a bath. It has a nice large attic and in the basement is a large coal bin, heater, water system and vegetable cellar with brick walls separating it from the cellar proper. The aim of the committee has been to erect a comfortable substantial house economical to build, to heat, to care for and yet large enough to meet every requirement. So much for the plan.

The cellar wall was built by Joseph Miller of native stones rough hewn but solid like the men of our parish and is not less than 18 in. Thick anywhere. Bids for building the house were received from four of the best carpenters on this end the island and the contract was awarded to Mr. Brewster Smith the lowest bidder. The contract was signed on Friday the 23 rd of April 1909 and work began I think also on Friday.

The girders are ?? By 10 spiked together and resting in notches in the cellar wall and supported by locust or cedar posts about 8 ft. Apart. Sills 4 x 6 floor timbers for first floor 2 x 10 others 2 x 8 well bridged. Rafters 2 x 6 hip rafters 2 x 8 frame braced door and window studs 3 x 4 are doubled. First floor has double floor laid with hard maple. Second floor has single floor of 1 st quality N. C. Pine except both bathrooms which has double floor. The interior trim is cypress throughout.

The contract for plumbing was given to Gordon Bros. Of Patchogue who plumbed the house and piped for gas for the same figure as the lowest bid received by Greenport plumbers. The hot air pipes to the second story were put in by Augustine Corwin and the old furnace was repaired and put in first class condition by Mr. Bryant L. Young. The old heater now looks and acts as good as new. All the interior woodwork was finished bright and the outside trimmed in white. Mr. Frank Rackett did an excellent and painstaking job and Mr. C. B. King furnished the material. We trust the house will prove substantial, convenient and satisfactory.

Now as the cost:

  • Laying cellar wall and jointing seams $200.00
  • Contract for building house $3200.00
  • Extra for shingles as voted $45.00
  • Extra for tiling bathroom, mantel, interior columns, doors into nursery, coal bin, etc. $80.00
  • B.L. Young repair heater, pipes and registers $58.85
  • C. B. King paint and varnish about $65.00
  • Blue prints $18.00
  • 1 length 1 1/4 inch pipe $2.40
  • Plumbing $250.00
  • Extra tubs $6.00
  • 2 blocks cement $5.00
  • Some more cement will be required for the cellar and cesspool
  • The total cost will be in round numbers $4150.

It has cost a little more than the committee expected but building jobs generally do and we hope and believe we have received the worth of the money. A visiting friend of great experience once pronounced it a model house and we only hope it is true and that we have a model man in it.

The Rosie Heitzman murals

The only other record concerning the parsonage is as follows:

In 1979, Rosie Heitzman, the wife of the 55th Pastor of the church Rev. Milton Heitzman painted a mural on the walls of the kitchen. The mural was a walk thru the Town of Orient.  Photos of the mural can be seen in Fellowship hall along with a note from Rosie.

In 2018 the church and Parsonage were part of the Oysterponds Historical Society Holiday House tour.

Photos of The Parsonage decorated for the Holiday tour.

Updating the parsonage

The murals remained until 2020 when the parsonage underwent renovations to the interior. Photos of the kitchen murals are archived in the Fellowship hall of the church.

These much needed renovations gave a facelift to the kitchen and two bathrooms and a fresh coat of paint in the interior.

The balance of the old windows were replaced and a new storm door was installed at the back entrance.

Join us this Sunday and explore the rich heritage at Orient Congregational Church!