THE BRUSH HOUSE
Seated married couple are George Sayres Brush and Elizabeth Norton Brush. The other woman is a nanny. The children are Dorothy, Marjorie and George (Mrs. Henry's Grandfather) and Edith.
Photo from the collection of Mrs. Dorothy Henry
George Sayre Brush, the owner of the Brush home in Coram from 1902 to 1915 was the son of Jonathan B. Brush and Mary Ann Valentine Brush of Cairo, Greene County, NY. George was born in 1845. His middle name, Sayre, was in honor of the family's Episcopal Minister, Reverend Sayre. Since George's day an "s" has been added to the name making it Sayres. It continues until this day to be a popular middle name for Brush family members.
By the age of 23, George had moved from upstate New York to Brooklyn where he held a variety of jobs: clerk, warehouse supervisor, butter and produce salesman, and mason and builder. He, together with a partner, Archibald J. Robertson, organized a stock company for the purpose of selling, manufacturing, and inventing wiring systems for the electric railway. He married Matilda Bergen and they had one daughter, Mary, who was born in 1873 and sadly died that same year at the age of 7 months.
By 1893 George's 1st wife Matilda had also died and George married Elizabeth Norton (always referred to as Lizzie) on July 21st of that year. Together they moved to Jamaica, NY and then to Coram in 1902 where they opened a small country store on the side of their home which was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Routes 25 and 112. The house was conveniently located in close proximity to the town pump so business prospered. George and Elizabeth had 4 children: Dorothy, Marjorie, George Sayres, and Edith. When he was old enough George Junior was placed in charge of the candy section of the family store. From what he hear that was the first time this section showed a profit - apparently before he began to watch over it the other children were helping themselves on a regular basis to the selection of penny candies. In addition to keeping a close watch over his father's inventory, young George ran trap lines for muskrat and fox and constructed in the Coram house a crystal radio receiver through which he received signals from as far away as Arlington, VA, an accomplishment for which he was written up in the local newspaper.
In 1915 Lizzie Brush agreed to sell the family home together with a parcel of 18 acres of land on the southwest corner of Routes 112 and 25 to John and Anna Pfundstein. The Brush family moved to Patchogue. George, who was quite a bit older than Lizzie, died in 1930. In her later years, Lizzie traveled a great deal spending time with one of her children, then another. She died in 1965 at the age of 92 and was buried in Selden beside her husband.