|Birth: ||Dec. 3, 1910|
|Death: ||Jul. 13, 2005|
New York, USA
Newsday (Melville, NY) - Sunday, July 17, 2005
Barbara Ferris Van Liew, the village historian for Head of the Harbor, and noted architectural preservationist instrumental in establishing the historical district in St. James, died Wednesday. She was 94. Van Liew died of natural causes, said her son, Jeffere Ferris Van Liew of St. James. Van Liew lived in "Timothy House," which was built by a descendant of Richard Smith, the founder of Smithtown, said Jeffere Van Liew. The house is a circa-1800 site on 4.7 acres of preserved land in the Village of Head of the Harbor. Van Liew's interest in historic preservation was inspired by childhood trips to sites in Connecticut and New Jersey, where her father, Herbert Henry Ferris, an engineer and architect, bought homes to re-design and eventually sell, her son said. "My mother was at his elbow the entire time," he said. Van Liew was both founding member and, later, chairwoman of the Suffolk County Historical Trust Committee, and longtime editor of "Preservation Notes," a periodical published by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. In 1970, she was appointed as member of the Suffolk County Council of Environmental Quality, and she authored Suffolk County's "Historic Trust Manual," a compendium on historic properties. In 2001, a large parlor space in the historic home at Deepwells Farm County Park in St. James was named the "Barbara Van Liew Room". The naming honored her role in getting Deepwells listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2000, she received the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities' Howard G. Sherwood Award, and in 1996, the New York State Historical Preservation award. Van Liew also oversaw an inventory of every historic and cultural resource on Long Island for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "She was absolutely dedicated to preserving the important portions of Long Island, piece by piece," said Louise Hall, a preservationist who worked on the project with Van Liew in the 1970s. Van Liew also contributed to saving a row of 10 18th- and 19th century homes located north of New York State Route 25 in Smithtown's Village of the Branch that were threatened by a proposed widening of the route.
Van Liew was able to persuade then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to intervene and drop the proposal, Hall said. Van Liew was born Dec. 3, 1910 in Greenwich, Conn. A graduate of Spence School in Manhattan and Vassar College, Van Liew also studied architectural history at Columbia University. In addition to her son, Van Liew is survived by daughter Helen Louise Frohlich of Landrum, S.C. and son Alfred Buttler Van Liew of Middletown, R.I. Her husband, Gen. Harry R. Van Liew, a Marine Reserve General and United Airlines pilot, died in 1960. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. July 25 at the St. James Episcopal Church, 490 North County Rd., St. James. Burial will be held in Bloomfield Cemetery in Bloomfield, NJ.
Herbert Henry Ferris (1877 - 1968)
Edna Reynolds Ferris (1886 - 1970)
Harry Richard Van Liew (1906 - 1960)
Jean Ferris Anderson (____ - 2009)*
Barbara Reynolds Ferris Van Liew (1910 - 2005)
New Jersey, USA
Maintained by: Dee Ferris
Originally Created by: Jim Ferris
Record added: Oct 18, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99149849