THE LESTER DAVIS HOME
The Lester Davis Home
The village of Coram's halcyon days began in 1790 and ended in 1884. During this period it was the seat of Brookhaven Town government. In 1790, the town decided to move the site of government from Setauket to Coram to provide a more convenient central location for the voters. The mode of government was the annual town meeting held in April. Here office holders were elected, issues of the day voted on. In addition meetings of the official boards of the town met in the Davis house after 1800. Probably the first meetings were in the Coram Baptist Church; around 1800 the tavern-inn of Goldsmith Davis was chosen. The Town Meeting was held at this building some 80 times until 1885 when the Town was divided into election districts.
The original owner of the house was probably Elijah Davis (1727-1802) who kept a tavern-inn. He was succeded by his son, Goldsmith (1756-1825) who was, it is said, hung upside down in a well during the Revolution by the British for refusing to divulge military information. The inn was a Temperance House in the mid 1800's. By 1890 all commercial use ceased and it became solely a private residence.
From 1812 to 1840, the Davis House served as a base for a horse artillery company for the State Militia, which was a mobile force for the defense of Suffolk County. In addition, the house was used for regular meetings of militia officers due to its central location in the county. The host of the inn, Captain Lester H. Davis (1807-1886) was the officer in charge for many years.
Remarkably, from the time the house was built in the 1750's until today ( a period of 254 years), all the owners of the house, with a two-year exception, are direct male descendents of Foulk Davis who came to Southampton, Long Island in 1642. The present owner of the house, Lester H. Davis (1926-) is the seventh generation of Davises to own this house.
The Davises have been active participants in local politics, and as was the practice, used their homes as offices. They have held a wide variety of Brookhaven Town positions: Town Board member, and Suffolk County Treasurer.
On April 15, 1986, the Brookhaven Town Board designated the Davis Town Meeting House in Coram as an official town landmark, citing it as one of the town's most historic structures.