“The Little House” had a certain distinctive charm to it. It was a cute cottage that was located on the old Mabey Estate. In this picture you can see the “Mabey Lane” street sign. The Little House was located on the corner of Mabey Lane and Route 202.
Remembrances of “The Little House”
By Richard Mabey Jr.
“The Little House” was the name that my dad gave to the cute carriage house that was on the Mabey Estate. It was a cute two-bedroom home that stood at the corner of Mabey Lane and Route 202 in good old Lincoln Park. The Little House stood close to the main house.
A view of the Little House showing its proximity to the Mabey Homestead.
My grandpa, Watson Mabey, once told me that the Little House had been built before the main house. According to my grandfather, the Little House was built around 1880. Originally, it was not a home, but rather an ice cream parlor. My great grandmother, Dora Mabey, owned and operated the quaint and charming ice cream parlor. Her three daughters; Myrtle, Alberta, and Reedie helped their mom at the ice cream parlor.
A rare photo of my great grandmother, Dora Mabey, standing on the westerly side of the Little House.
The Mabeys were enterprising and hard working people. My great grandfather, William Mabey, owned and operated an ice house along the tow path of the old Morris Canal. His two sons, Watson and Earl helped their father at the ice house.
A photo of my great uncle, Earl Mabey, standing beside his Indian Motorcycle. This picture was taken shortly before Great Uncle Earl left for France, to fight in the First World War.
My grandpa once told me that he and his brother, Earl, loved to walk up Mabey Lane, from the tow path to their mother’s ice cream parlor and have a dish of ice cream after working at the canal ice house all day. Sadly, Earl Mabey was killed in the First World War. A devastating trauma from which Dora never really healed from.
Originally, the little ice cream parlor only had a main room in the front, which led into a small kitchen, which led into a short hallway with only one room behind the kitchen. In 1959, my dad built two additional rooms to the Little House, a bathroom and a large master bedroom.
The Little House served as home to many of my aunts and uncles and cousins, over the years. For some of you reading this little essay, once called this cute little cottage, “home.”
One of the things that I loved about the Little House was its cute front porch. There was something very charming about it. To simply sit down on that porch and watch the cars and trucks drive by, would serve as a wonderful remedy to forget any problems or worries that a person might have.
In recent years the Little House was torn down. It was very close to Route 202. In memory, I can still visit that quaint and charming cottage that once enhanced the elegance of the old Mabey Estate. It’s creaking boards, cute porch, and rich heritage still remain alive in my heart