Riverhead lost one of its most treasured landmarks when the Dimon Mansion, also known as the Jamesport Manor, burned to the ground October 19, 2005. “The Manor,” as it is known locally, was an interesting building with an interesting past. Dimon family members had marched out of the Manor to serve as Minuteman before the Revolution and as militiamen during local battles in the War of 1812. One member of the family, John Dimon, made a fortune in New York City building some of the first clipper ships, including the famous Sea Witch. John was also an early builder of steamships and both a friend and business associate of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

One of John’s sons, John Franklin Dimon, made his fortune as a merchant in South America before returning to his father’s birthplace with his Peruvian wife and rebuilding the manor as the fancy Second Empire mansion that has been recreated today.

On top of all this, there are stories of great adventure and of great love. Scandal, tragedy and sadness too all played a role in the lives lived within the Manor’s walls. The Manor harbored many secrets that its walls were just beginning to reveal when they were silenced by the tragic fire -- including that the original structure may have dated back a century earlier than anyone thought to before the Revolution, perhaps about 1750.  (Read More)



Renovation of the Jamesport Manor Inn began in February 2005, just one year after the purchase by Matt and Gail Kar and Frank and Anne McVeigh.  This was no easy task.   The original fish-scale slate Mansard roof was replaced with slate customized to be identical in scale to the original slate.  Windows were painstakingly repaired, glazed and painted. New electrical, plumbing, heat and air conditioning systems were installed.  Most rooms were gutted and sheet rocked, but carefully, to retain the massive amounts of original woodworking throughout.  Layers of carpet and floor tiles revealed breathtaking parquet floors throughout the first floor.  The original frame structure of the 1820’s construction was revealed when plaster walls were removed in the Grille Room.  By mid October the Manor was virtually complete when a fire destroyed the entire historical building in the early morning of October 20th. 

Our community was shocked and saddened.   It was a tragic loss not only to the town of Jamesport, but to our entire North Fork community. 

With the overwhelming support of their community, the owners made the decision to not only rebuild the Manor, but to replicate the original 1850’s structure.  And the process began … 
          
Armed with talented architects, a skilled and professional custom builder, the resilience of the owners and a community of supporters, the project began in August  2006.   Great pains were taken at virtually every turn in the rebuilding process to replicate the architecture of the original Manor.  Amazingly, with this team of professionals, countless man hours, skill and passion, the Jamesport Manor Inn was complete and the restaurant opened to the public in May 2007.

The Manor “Reborn” is a virtual replica of the original Manor building, from the fish scale Mansard roof, dormered windows, and intricate woodworking that can be seen in the corbels, front entrance porch and window scroll trim.  The interior is similar, but not exact, to allow for changes in town code.  The original bar is replicated and features a recreation of the original framing structure on the north wall of the Grille Room. The center hall staircase showcases the custom rails, balusters and newel posts almost identical to the original construction.  Two dining rooms return with a fireplace in each, mantels and hearths replicating the originals.  The themed Manor “archways” with signature center decorative keys can be detected throughout.  Finally, the prayer seats of John and Rosalie Dimon return in the hauntingly welcoming entrance foyer.



You're invited to view our rebirth gallery. Please click here.


 


Dimon School House - Destroyed by Fire 1877






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