History of the Jamesport Manor by Richard Wines
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