Written by Suzie Alvey, Village Historian, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 03 August 2013 00:00
Robert and Maria just moved from Brooklyn with their baby daughter to 153 Whitehall Blvd. They asked the author if she could find out about their new digs via “My History Home.”
The four-bedroom traditional center hall colonial is approximately 3,300 square feet and sits on one third of an acre. It was built in 1928. It is unusual in that it has two family rooms with extensions built on over the years.
“We love the addition that was put onto the east and south sides of the house. It lets in a lot of light, which is important to us, and makes the house bright and cheerful. It also provides a very nice flow to the house, making it perfect for entertaining,” the current homeowner, Maria said. “On the second floor the addition gives us a very spacious master suite, which we plan to renovate into a relaxing retreat...The addition was done by the Murphys, the owners before the McLaughlins. They enclosed a patio on the south side to create a two-story addition, and also added a one-story addition to the east, creating a very large den/family room...We love the oversized windows in the front of the house as well...”
In 1928, when the house was built, the first homeowners of 153 Whitehall Blvd. were Charles Walter Ulsh (b. around 1891) and Harriet G. Ulsh (b. 1898). C. Walter and Harriet Ulsh had two children: William G. Ulsh (b.1924) and Mary Alison, four years younger.
Ulsh was originally from Brooklyn, went to one year of college and then worked many years at the Munson Steamship Line in Manhattan. By 1940 he was president of Munson, earning $5,000 a year.
Founded in 1899 by Walter Munson, the Munson Line plied the Atlantic Ocean with 60 freight ships between ports in the United States, the Caribbean Sea and in South America. It was one of the largest cargo companies in the eastern United States at its height. Munson’s son added to the line ships seized from Germany and Italy during World War I. Around the same time, it provided service for passengers. Although eventually Frank Munson had to send the ships back to the proper countries, he was able to buy additional ships over the years. When Ulsh was running the line in the 1930s, it was still advertising cruises. But the Munson Line went bankrupt due to the Depression and ship losses. The average ship lifespan was 27 years.
The Ulshes put an addition onto their house in 1936. After 10 years they did further work, installing a porch and doing alterations.
In 1944, C. Walter Ulsh was president of the North Atlantic and Gulf Steamship Company of New York. The company provided freight service between New York, Cuba, the Bahamas, South America and the Mediterranean Sea areas. Later, its name was shortened to Norgulf Lines. That same year Mary Alison Ulsh carried out the ceremonial christening of the SS Renald Fernald freighter ship, named after the founder of Portsmouth, NH. Most likely her dad arranged it.
Around 1948, the Ulshes moved to Brookville. Later, they moved to Locust Valley, where Harriet eventually passed away in 1982 and C. Walter in 1984.
Although C. Walter and Harriet Ulsh moved from Garden City, William Ulsh lived at 12 Hamilton Place for a number of years with his wife, Betty Joyce Weekes Ulsh, a 1944 graduate of Garden City High School.
The younger Ulsh was very intelligent, having completed two years at Princeton University by the age of 16. Like his father, he enjoyed the sea, having served as an ensign in the United States Navy during World War II and continuing with the steam shipping business. He and his wife, Betty, formed Seaway and Skyway Services in Florida, with Ulsh as president and his spouse as secretary. He passed away in 2012.
The second family to live in the home were George McCree (b. 1894) and Bertha Annie McCree (b. 1895). They were born in England and only had an eighth-grade education each. They sailed for the United States and were naturalized in 1926. They arrived with their young sons, Vivian (b. 1919) and Brian (b. 1924).
The McCrees settled in nearby Hempstead after a few years of living in Brooklyn. By 1933 McCree was president of L. Flack and Son, Inc. in Hempstead. It was a company dealing in coal exports and as the top man, McCree travelled extensively by ship and plane. Commercial plane flight was in its infancy back when he was flying.
In 1942, son Vivian McCree enlisted as an Army private after one year of college.
Brian McCree also enlisted and rose to be a captain in the U. S. Army Infantry. Unfortunately, the younger son was killed in 1945 and is buried in Pinelawn Cemetery.
In 1952 George and Bertha McCree bought 153 Whitehall Blvd. from the Ulsh family. McCree’s coal business was booming, he opened up his office in Manhattan, and eventually had at least one other office in London. Around 1955 they moved to Park Avenue in Manhattan. The couple’s surviving son followed with his own place in Gramercy Park. George McCree passed away in 1965.
The third family to live at 153 Whitehall Blvd. were Lloyd Heywood Hall (b. 1904) and Eleanor Thomas Lamdin Hall (b. 1912 in Maryland). They were married in 1937. Eleanor’s family moved to Garden City when she was a child. She was a member of the Cathedral of the Incarnation and had gone to St. Mary’s Cathedral School in town and Katherine Gibbs School in Manhattan. Lloyd was from Connecticut and graduated from Wesleyan College in Middletown, Class of 1925. He was also a member of the Stamford Yacht Club.
Hall owned a marketing research firm called Lloyd H. Hall Company and was active in marketing circles, including past president of the Marketing Research Council.
Before moving to Whitehall Boulevard, the Halls’ daughter, Lucy Clements Hall, had graduated from the Masters School, which was a boarding school, and Pine Manor Junior College in Massachusetts. Lucy was married to J. Scott Howard of Connecticut in 1951, before the Halls’ arrival at Whitehall Boulevard.
Eleanor and Lloyd Hall spent 22 years on Whitehall Boulevard, from 1955 to 1977. They had two sons, Peter R. Hall and Thomas H. Hall, in addition to daughter Lucy.
Around 1958, son Thomas Hall bought a house in town at 41 Clinton Rd. and lived there until at least 1977.
Son Peter Hall attended Randolph- Macon College in Virginia. In 1965 he married Marlon (correct spelling) A. Dean of New Jersey. By then, Lloyd and Eleanor also owned a place at Buck Hill Farms in Pennsylvania.
Just before leaving Whitehall Boulevard, Lloyd retired in 1976 from his company. In 1983 he and Eleanor moved to New Jersey. Both husband and wife lived to an old age. Lloyd passed away in 1995 at the age of 91. Eleanor followed recently, passing away in 2008 at the age of 96.
The Murphy family became the fourth owners of Whitehall Boulevard. James F. Murphy, Jr. (b. 1933) and Beverly B. Murphy (b. 1939) bought the place, with at least one son, whose name was also James F. Murphy (b. 1963).
In 1980 they enclosed the porch on the Whitehall Boulevard home and in 1986 built another addition that was 13 feet by 30 feet. Not much is known about them. In 1995 the Murphys moved to Roswell, GA, but retained a place in Southold.
From 1995 to 2013, Terence John McLaughlin (b. 1958) and Sally Jeanne Lewis McLaughlin owned 153 and were the fifth family to own the home. They were married in 1986 in the Cathedral of the Incarnation by The Very Reverend Robert V. Wilshire. Sally was from Locust Valley while Terence was from Garden City and Jamesport. He attended St. John’s University and at the time of his marriage, worked for a Manhattan investment company. The couple first lived at 138 Rockaway Ave., before purchasing the Whitehall Boulevard home. They had about four children. During their time on Whitehall Boulevard they added a portico and rear addition in 1998.
The McLaughlins now reside on the east end, since selling the house this year to the current owners, Robert and Maria.
If anyone has any old books, photos, phone books or papers relating to anything in Garden City, please call Alvey. She can scan or photograph the items, while you keep the original, or you can donate it. This will be extremely helpful to the archives at the Garden City Public Library and the Garden City Historical Society. Help us help history!