A Home with History (and Almost 6 Acres) in Ditch Plains

This house used to be the barracks and administration building of the Ditch Plain Coast Guard station. It was moved to its current location (inside the Montauk Association historic district, near the Stanford White houses) in 1956.

There was a Coast Guard station in Ditch Plains? Yes. Way back in 1848, Congress funded the construction of lifeboat houses on the New Jersey shore. A year later, more lifeboat house were built, including along Long Island.

In 1878, Congress formalized the loose network of volunteers and stocked coastal refuges designed to aid wrecked ships into the “Life-Saving Service.” Money was allocated to employ crews for stations. Crewmen worked hard and were incredibly brave, launching their small life-saving boats into heavy surf by themselves during storms to save lives.

Long Island had many manned life-saving stations because of heavy shipping traffic from Europe to New York Harbor. Recreational boating was much less of a focus than commercial shipping.

An 1878 survey lists the follow stations: Montauk Point, Ditch Plain, Hither Plain, Napeague, Amagansett, Georgica, Bridgehampton, Southampton, Shinnecock, Tyana, Quogue, and more all the way to the Rockaways. In 1915, President Wilson merged the Life-Saving Service with the Revenue Cutter Service (the armed maritime law enforcement service) to create the Coast Guard.

The former Life Saving Station at Ditch (see above) was demolished; the building we’re talking about now was for administration and was built in 1930. And now it’s for sale, repped by Theresa A. Eurell from Town & Country.

Modern photos via Town & Country

There’s 4000 square feet of space in the house, with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Set on 5.9 acres of land, the property comes with a pool permit although there is no pool. However, with the house being set in a historic district, there are restrictions on any remodeling; the town code states “The architectural integrity of the Ditch Plain Coast Guard Station should be maintained. Important original features include the gable-roofed form and massing, the dormers on the front roof slope and the front porch which retains the original posts, lintel, cornice and roof.”

The house is in such nice condition, though (love the kitchen), it should need little work. Asking price for all this is a pretty reasonable $4.25 million, which seems fair considering the abundant acreage.

For more, click here. 136 Benson Drive, Montauk

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