Leak-Monsell-Ashton House



Leak - Monsell - Ashton on East Bartlett Road. 1915. Longwood Public Library, Thomas R. Bayles Collection CS 9-7

ashtonand the boys

Left to right, Captain Ashton and Herman Bubb. Photo from Joan Marshall and Cheryl Gulino

Ashton house. Notice the barrels at sides of house that were used for gathering clean rainwater.
Photo from Joan Marshall and Cheryl Gulino


Wagon in front of Ashton House. Photo from Joan Marshall and Cheryl Gulino

This home on Bartlett Road was built prior to 1750. At the time of the Revolution the Leek family occupied the house. Captain Leek was an officer serving with the Burlington rangers in New Jersey. State archives in New Jersey show him twice escorting prisoners to Trenton.

Tradition states that while Leek was away during the war, some British soldiers stopped at the Leek home. Knowing the Leeks to be patriots they demanded that Mrs. Leek prepare them dinner. While waiting, one of the British officers began to strike the handle of his sword against panels on the wall, listening for a hollow sound where valuables might be stored. An anxious Mrs. Leek watched this knowing that a secret panel did exist next to the fireplace. In this panel were silver pieces and other valuables. The soldiers did not find anything and left after dinner.

Shortly after the war Leek sold the house to another Revolutionary war veteran Alexander Monsell and moved back to New Jersey. Alexander and his wife Mary (Moger) had 7 children: Jacob, John, Nathaniel, Samuel, Isaac, Jesse, and Hannah. While living in this home Monsell purchased 2 slaves. The Brookhaven Town Historians office provided a copy of the bill of sale.

"John Newton of Brookhaven for fifty-five pounds sells to Alexander Monsil of the township above said ' a certain negro woman named Jud being about twenty eight years of age an also a Negro boy named Oliver about five years old…'

9th Feb. 1797
John Smith
Jeremiah Squires"

At the time of his death in 1807 Alexander Monsell's will left the farm to his son Nathaniel. During this time a Methodist minister, Reverend Dickerson, spent the night with the Monsells.It was then discovered that he was a descendent of Captain Leek. It was Dickerson who told the Revolutionary tale of the secret cupboard. Upon examination the secret panel was found and in the cupboard behind it was the hiding place built into the solid brickwork of the chimney.

Nathaniel and his wife Mary (Smith) had eleven children.

1. Mary E. Monsell b. Feb. 5 1838
2. Nathaniel Monsell b. June 30 1839
3. Alexander Monsell b. Oct. 6 1840 died Dec. 7 1861 (during Civil War)
4. Jeremiah Monsell b. Aug. 21 1842 died Oct. 6 1843
5. Dorothy Monsell b. Dec. 6 1843
6. Isabel Monsell b. Dec.16 1845
7. Nancy Monsell b. March 20 1848
8. Julia Monsell b. November12 1849
9. Jerusha Monsell b. Oct. 17 1850
10. Hannah M. Monsell b. Nov. 17 1853 died June 11 1857
11. Elizabeth Monsell b. Oct. 12 1855 died May 27 1857

Their daughter Isabel married James Ashton and took ownership of the house when Nathaniel died. Her sister Jerusha married Adam Bubb and moved into the house next door. The Ashtons had four daughters: Minnie, Alice, Julia and Frances. Minnie took possession of the house and was the last family member to own it.
The house was sold a number of times after that and fell into disrepair. It was moved to Mount Sinai where it was renovated and stands proudly on Little Harbor Road.
The Leak house, after it was moved to Mt. Sinai.

Information compiled by:
Michele Gulino
Jenna Fabian

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