Houses of Julie Whitcomb Markle Dougherty
Hunterbrook Road and Old Logging Road
According to local legend, Julie Whitcomb Markle Dougherty was a visionary entrepreneur who initially acquired about 35 acres of rocky, forested land abutting Hunterbrook Road and the New Croton Reservoir in 1938. With the assistance of several local craftsmen including master builder Nick Lamando, she began an ambitious development plan, constructing a new house or two every year. She was joined by Dan Dougherty, a roofer and her husband, and Rex Bell, the town supervisor and a plumber.
The earliest six homes along Hunterbrook Road – three of them fronting the reservoir -- were built between 1938 and 1955. Although the buildings themselves were modest residences in a fairly typical-for-the-time suburban style, unlike post-war tract homes, they were expansively sited on two or more acres featuring rocky outcroppings, ponds, views and sometimes swimming pools. As Whitcomb completed a home, she was rumored to live in it for a while as she worked on the next. She dubbed one of her favorites on Hunterbrook “Care’s End."
After developing Hunterbrook, Whitcomb began moving up to what is now Old Logging Road, creating little roads off the main one to accommodate more homes. By 1958, she had used up her initial parcel of land and had added another 52 acres and eventually completed twenty-two more houses on the roads then and now called Old Logging Road, Old Logging Roads West, South and East, and Maiden Lane.
These top of the road houses sported 3/8 tounge and groove cedar plank on the walls and scultured plywood on the upstairs wall, all covered with a paint-linseed oil-turp wash. Nick perfected the wood trim. Nick died in the 1990's.
In the mid 60's Julie got the town to take over the paved part of the road for a fee.
Many of the original “Julie Houses”, as they are known locally, have been extensively renovated over the years, some beyond recognition, but there are still quite a few remaining with their original mid-century bones.
This house was the first house built by Julie Whitcomb. In it was sold to a family named Mandelbaum, and then in 1945 to Irving and Minnie Sarnoff. The Sarnoff family owned the home for almost 70 years before selling it in 2014.
Original Home Designed and Built by Julie.
New Addition by Architect, Robin Zahn